Thanksgiving is a day for Americans to gather with our loved ones and reflect on everything that we are thankful for. Most Americans know the basic history behind Thanksgiving, but we found some interesting facts that you may not know about this beloved holiday:
1) Though various claims exist, the most popular belief is that Thanksgiving began in 1621, in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. Congress didn’t make Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday until 1941.
2) In 2011, more than 219 million turkeys were consumed in the United States. It is estimated that 46 million of those turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving.
3) On Thanksgiving the National Turkey Federation presents the President of the United States with a live turkey and two dressed turkeys.
4) Since 1989, the President has granted one turkey a “presidential pardon” on Thanksgiving to spare the bird from being killed.
5) Many people report drowsiness after eating Thanksgiving dinner. While turkey often receives the blame, recent studies suggest that alcohol and carbohydrate-rich meals may be the cause.
6) It is believed that cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving. Cranberries were first used by the Native Americans as a fabric dye, healing agent and as a food.
7) Only male turkeys gobble. Female turkeys actually make a clicking noise.
8) Domesticated turkeys can’t fly, but wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour and can run 20 miles per hour.
9) Turkeys sleep in trees. Although they spend most of the day on ground, wild turkeys actually spend their nights sleeping on tree branches.
We hope you found these facts as interesting as we did! Mackoul wishes you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!
Sources: History.com, National Turkey Federation