FDR tried to change the date – Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Americans should celebrate Thanksgiving one week early, hoping the decision would spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Americans did not react kindly to the new date, so congress adopted a resolution in 1941 setting the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday.
We eat a lot of turduckens – Thanks to the culinary genius of Louisiana (or Wyoming or South Carolina — each region has staked its claim), more and more Americans are forsaking Butterballs for Turduckens. A what? Picture this: a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.
Thanksgiving was meant to be a fast – Thanksgiving was initially meant to be a fast, not a feast. The settlers at Plymouth Rock mostly recognized “giving of thanks” in the form of prayer and abstaining from food. But the Wampanoag Indians, who joined the pilgrims for their 3-day celebration, contributed their own harvest traditions — dancing, games and feasting — from their ancient festival, Nickommoh, meaning “to give away” or “exchange.”
There are three towns named turkey – Three towns have been named after the holiday’s traditional meat — Turkey, TX, Turkey Creek, LA and Turkey, NC — each with less than 500 residents.
The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving – The tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving began in 1876, when the newly formed American Intercollegiate Football Association held its first championship game. 1934 marked the first NFL game held on Thanksgiving when the Detroit Lions took on the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since.
Minnesota is the leading turkey-producing state in America – Last year, the state contributed 44,352,000 birds to the nation’s supply.
Campbell’s corporate kitchen created the green bean casserole – It was created by kitchen supervisor Dorcas Reilly and took off when it appeared in an Associated Press Thanksgiving feature in 1955.
There’s a whole Thanksgiving candle collection – Thanks to the Yankee Candle Company’s 2013 roll-out, your room can smell like burnt turkey & stuffing, sweet potato pie, or cranberry sauce all year round.
The first parades started in the 1920s – Though Thanksgiving Day parades are held all over 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.
The invention of the ‘TV dinner’ came from Thanksgiving – According to Gourmet Magazine, when the frozen-food company C.A. Swanson & Sons got stuck with 260 tons of turkeys, a salesman got the idea to freeze the meat along with other side dishes in a foil tray that Pan Am Airlines was testing to serve meals on their flights. The salesman “borrowed” one of the trays and suggested that the tray include a full Thanksgiving dinner. The first “TV Brand Frozen Dinner” sold in 1954 for 98 cents and came with turkey, cornbread stuffing, peas, and sweet potatoes.