1911 postcard in my personal collection
Here are some fun facts about our Thanksgiving holiday:
- Although traditional American history states that the first Thanksgiving (celebrating a bountiful harvest) occurred in Plymouth, Massachusetts when Governor William Bradford invited the Wampanoag Indians to share in the feast, some historians claim that early settlers in Florida and/or Virginia might have beaten the Pilgrims to hosting the first Thanksgiving in America.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be the turkey.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day beginning in 1837 and continued to promote it until President Lincoln agreed to it in 1863.
- During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, Americans began celebrating an annual Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November.
- In 1939, 1940 and 1941, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November instead of the fourth Thursday to lengthen the Christmas holiday shopping season.
- It wasn’t until 26 December 1941 that President Roosevelt proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day.
- The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed 86 lbs.
- Three towns in the U.S. were named for the turkey – Turkey, Texas, Turkey, North Carolina and Turkey Creek, Louisiana.
- The traditional Macy’s Christmas Parade held in New York City on Thanksgiving Day began in 1924. The annual Christmas season started when Santa Claus appeared in the parade. (Oh, how I wish that were still true!)
- Turducken is growing in popularity as a Thanksgiving meal. What is turducken? It is a de-boned turkey stuffed with de-boned duck stuffed with de-boned chicken. This dish has its origins in Louisiana.
However you are spending Thanksgiving Day, enjoy!