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Surprising Facts About Thanksgiving

If you run out of safe but interesting topics to discuss with extended family members at the dinner table while celebrating Thanksgiving this week here are some little known but interesting facts about Thanksgiving that might help to keep conversation flowing.





1.George Washington initially advocated for a national Thanksgiving celebration and was supported by other statesmen. However, Thomas Jefferson was not one of them, he referred to the idea as “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation in 1863.


2.When it began in 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t have gigantic balloons that we all know and love today. They actually paraded live animals through the streets of New York, all on loan from the Central Park Zoo. Felix the Cat was the first balloon to make its appearance in the parade in 1927.


3.Macy’s used to let the balloons go at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade and offered monetary rewards to those who discovered the balloons later.


4.NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station in space celebrate Thanksgiving by having a big meal that includes turkey, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and desserts.


5.Butterball has a Turkey Talk-Line. For more than 3 decades professionally trained turkey experts receiving calls at Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line have answered more than 100,000 questions annually for people that need help with their bird.


6.According to the Guinness Book of World Records the heaviest turkey on record weighs 86 lbs. It was sold at a charity auction in London in 1989 for about $6,692. For comparison a typical Thanksgiving turkey weighs around 15 lbs.


7.Only male turkeys make the gobble sound. Female turkeys make a cackle sound.


8.An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are devoured every November in the US. According to the American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall- pumpkin pie comes in second place.


9.Over 32 million people go shopping on Black Friday. A total of 69 percent of Americans chase deals on Black Friday.


10.Where does the term Friendsgiving come from? According to the Meriem-Webster dictionary the earliest use of the term dates back to a 2007 tweet. Many people credit the hit show Friends for inspiring the concept of spending the holiday with friends, but the word Friendsgiving was never used on the show.



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