- We’ve been eating the wrong foods for Thanksgiving! The first Thanksgiving here in the U.S. did not include turkey. Main dishes consisted of Lobster, seal, swan and deer.
- The 1924 Macy’s Thanksgiving parade didn’t have balloons, but it did include animals from the Central Park Zoo.
- Turkeys can reproduce without a mate. In a biological process called Parthenogenesis, turkeys, chickens, and domestic pigeons can impregnate themselves.
- In November 1621, the settlers’ first corn harvest proved so successful, Governor William Bradford reportedly invited their Native American allies to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Members of the Wampanoag tribe came bearing food to share. They had so much food that they extended the festivities to three days!
- As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
- Modern Thanksgiving was proclaimed for all states in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. He was influenced by Sarah Josepha Hale (she wrote the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) who wrote letters to politicians for approximately 40 years advocating an offIcial holiday.
- In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing the holiday to the next to last Thursday in November, for business reasons. He bumped it up a week to allow more time for the holiday shopping season! The change was not well received and it was pushed back to its original date in 1942.