With US Thanksgiving a little over a week away we thought it was time for a refresher on the celebration of Thanksgiving and the traditions around it. We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and some moments to reflect on what you are grateful for.
Here are some interesting facts around the Thanksgiving holiday from the National Turkey Federation:
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
- Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.
- The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920's.
- In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.
- Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He "pardons" it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.
- In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
- Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 - 18 pounds of turkey.
- Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
- Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
- The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
- The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
- A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
- Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
- Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
- Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clucking noise.
- Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly (ever see the “WKRP in Cincinnati“ episode?)
- A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
Source: National Turkey Federation - (www.eatturkey.com)