!. The first Thanksgiving feast probably consisted of lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese.
2. And the pilgrims ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers, not forks.
3. The turkey came later.
The Europeans took a liking to the guinea fowls imported to the continent. Since the birds were imported by Turkish merchants, the English called them turkeys. Later, when the Spaniards came to America, they found a bird that tasted like those guinea fowls. When they were sent to Europe, the English called these birds “turkeys” as well.
4. A young male turkey is known as a Jake, an adult is a Tom, young females are Jennies and adults are hens.
5. Stuffing recipes can be found in Roman cookbooks from around the 4th century B.C. Instant stuffing was invented in 1972 by Kraft foods. They packaged it as StoveTop.
6. Researchers found popcorn kernels in Peru that were 1000 years old. They still popped!
7. A tradition of TV dinners was born thanks to Thanksgiving. In 1953, someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that Thanksgiving — by 260 TONS! Some industrious soul came up with a brilliant plan: Why not slice up the meat and repackage with some trimmings on the side in aluminum trays? Thus, the first TV dinner was born.
8. When Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, it was thanks to the tireless efforts of a magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale. She also wrote the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
9. Only male turkeys gobble. Females cackle.
10. If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he wrote in a letter to his daughter, had “bad moral character.” A turkey, on the other hand, was a “much more respectable bird.”
11. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920’s.
12. 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.
That made a lot of people unhappy and many celebrated the former date.
Congress to passed a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
13. 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.