10 Things You Didn't Know About Thanksgiving
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
by Veronica Spettmann
Congress approved Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday in 1941. Since
then, it has been a time to reflect on all of the things we are grateful
for and a time to focus on family. It is celebrated on the fourth
Thursday of every November, as every Savvy Auntie knows. But what are
some things about Thanksgiving you may not know?
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days. The
Wampanoag tribe, who taught the original settlers (the Pilgrims) how to
cultivate the land, gathered with the Pilgrims to give thanks for the
2. The first Thanksgiving was held in 1621, but wasn’t an annual
celebration until 1863, when President Lincoln listened to Mrs. Sarah
Joseph Hale’s request for the national holiday.
3. The Pilgrims set
sail on the Mayflower and landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in
December of 1620. They were attempting to escape religious persecution
by the Church of England and went on to become the Puritans.
4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the United States national
bird. Thomas Jefferson opposed him. It is said that “Tom the Turkey,”
was Franklin’s way of spiting Jefferson!
5. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade became a tradition in the Roaring 20’s.
6. Thanksgiving used to be celebrated on the last Thursday of every
November, but Franklin D. Roosevelt changed that in order to make the
holiday shopping season last longer.
7. Ducks were probably the main
course of the first Thanksgiving meal. The Native Americans would have
brought deer, or venison, with them.
8. Cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, staples at today’s Thanksgiving
table, weren’t even invented until after the first Thanksgiving!
9. There were more Native Americans (90 strong) than Pilgrims (53 survivors) at the first Thanksgiving.
10. Because the Pilgrims’ sugar supply would have dwindled during their
journey, the first Thanksgiving was likely celebrated without any pies,
cakes, or other desserts which we so enjoy during the season now.
as we sit with our nieces, nephews, and other family members for our
own Thanksgiving celebrations, let’s be thankful that we can enjoy the
day off, the newer delicacies, the desserts, and the ease we have in
organizing these delightful dinners together.
Published: November 16, 2011