Every year, millions of Americans are looking forward to dine with friends and family and digging into a big Thanksgiving meal with all traditional embellishments. From iconic turkey meal to Macy’s Parade, there are many fascinating facts about the holiday that you should know. In this article, we’ll let you know some of the interesting Thanksgiving things to make you more familiar with this iconic day. Let’s delve in.
First Thanksgiving was a Three-day Celebration
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations among the colonies. For more than two centuries, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by individual colonies and states.
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest, Governor William Bradford had organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the hatchling colony’s Native American allies including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. However, this was only till the Wampanoag Indian guests came and joined the Pilgrims that they decided to boost up the affair.
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In 1939, Thanksgiving was Celebrated on the Third Thursday in November – Not on the Fourth
In 1939 Franklin Roosevelt declared that America would celebrate Thanksgiving one week early in the hope that retail sales would increase, and therefore boosting the economy. Even though the holiday had been celebrated on the fourth Thursday since its official recognition decades before, Roosevelt had bumped it up a week offering seven more shopping days to the holiday season. However, people didn’t like this change so it was officially switched back in 1942. This is one of the fascinating Thanksgiving things you can share with your buddies.
Thanksgiving Mix-up Inspired the First TV Dinners
In 1953, a Swanson employee had accidentally ordered a colossal shipment of Thanksgiving turkeys around 260 tons. With this, salesman Gerry Thomas came up with an idea of filling around 5,000 aluminum trays with the turkey along with cornbread dressing, peas, sweet potatoes, and gravy. They were sold for 98 cents and were a hit at that time. And you’ll be surprised to know that over ten million were sold within one year.
Turkey is one of the most iconic meals in America at Thanksgiving. Every year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947. Since then one lucky turkey has been offered a presidential pardon every year.
President Obama had pardoned a 45-pound turkey named Courage, who has flown to Disneyland and served as Grand Marshal of the park’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Amazing Thanksgiving things!
Sarah Josepha Hale Started First National Thanksgiving Day
It’s worth mentioning that we would not have a national Thanksgiving holiday if Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, had campaigned endlessly for the holiday by writing letters to U.S. presidents over the course of decades. Hale was so dedicated that her campaign spanned five presidencies before one president finally said yes. After a campaign that consisted primarily of writing letters to presidents and congressmen, magazine editor Sarah Hale had finally convinced Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
So this year, when you’re stuffing yourself with the last pie of pumpkin, just remember that you know a lady named Sarah to thank for it. This is also one of the fascinating Thanksgiving things you can share with your family.
Abraham Lincoln Officially Declared the Holiday
It was President Abraham Lincoln who finally granted Sarah Hale her wish in 1863 when he set aside the last Thursday in November. In 1863, writer and editor Sarah convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote countless articles and letters to persuade the president. Well done Sarah Hale!
Sarah Hale Wrote a Famous Nursery Rhyme
Not only do we owe Thanksgiving to Sarah Hale, but we also owe a classic nursery rhyme that’s forever stuck in our heads – “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. She penned the rhyme somewhere around 1830s as a part of children’s poetry book.
First Parade Started in 1920
Though Thanksgiving Day parades are held across the U.S., the most famous one is arguably the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been held on the streets of New York City since 1924. While the Macy’s parade may be the most well-known parade today, it actually wasn’t the first parade of its kind. Great Thanksgiving things!
Today, a Special Part of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Looks Just as it did in the 17th Century
Modeled after a Wampanoag home site and an English village, the historic attraction Plimoth Plantation stays true to its roots. You can attend a Thanksgiving dinner complete with numerous authentic courses and tales of colonial life. You will also be entertained with melodious songs and centuries-old psalms.
Thanksgiving was Never Tied to Religion
Though a lot of people generally believed that the first Thanksgiving was rooted in religion with a fact that folks were giving thanks to God for their good fortune, it wasn’t actually a religious event. If it had been, the Native Americans would not have been there and the day would have been less about feasting on food and more about praying.
So these were some of fascinating Thanksgiving things to make you more familiar with this iconic day. You can wow your family at the dinner table this year with these Thanksgiving things and fun facts.
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