Fun Thanksgiving Day Facts

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Thanksgiving is one of the most well loved holidays in the United States, but as SOUTHWEST SUNSHINE explains, there are a few things that you probably were not aware of when it comes to Thanksgiving.

The United States isn’t the only country to celebrate Thanksgiving. Canada also celebrates the feasting day on October 12. The American holiday is referred to by the neighbors in the north as, “Yanksgiving.”


Although cutlery has been around for a few centuries, the colonists didn’t have the pleasure of using a knife, fork, and a spoon, as they didn’t bring any with them from the old country. You can only imagine how frustrated the pilgrims were when it came to eating lobster, oysters, corn, and wild turkey with your hands.

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Benjamin Franklin was so obsessed with turkeys that he had hoped the turkey would become the national bird. He was quoted in a letter to his daughter that, “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of a bad moral character…like those among men who live by…robbing. The turkey…is a much more respectable bird…a true original native of America and though a little vain and silly, a bird of courage.”

Thomas Jefferson thought the whole idea of Thanksgiving was ridiculous. Some say that it was Benjamin Franklin who came up with the name, “Tom Turkey,” just to spite Thomas Jefferson.

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Magazine editor Sarah Hale, the same woman who wrote, “Mary had a Little Lamb,” is also responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. After years of campaigning to President Abraham Lincoln, he finally recognized the Thanksgiving tradition in 1863.

The average person in America will consume about 6,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day, which would require eight hours of exercise to burn off.

As unbelievable as it may sound, Dr. Sarah Birkhold claims that the heaviest turkey ever enjoyed on Thanksgiving Day was 86 pounds, which is about the size of a German shepherd.

Americans will eat about 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day or roughly a sixth of all of the turkeys that are consumed for the whole year in the United States.

There are many folks in America that think of Thanksgiving as a day of mourning because of the happy picture that is painted between the Native Americans and the Europeans. In fact, people have been protesting at Plymouth Rock every last Thursday in November since 1970.

SOUTHWEST SUNSHINE wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and would like you to remember that it is a time to gather and celebrate everything you are thankful for.