Here are some fun facts about the holiday that you might not know, and definitely didn’t learn in school.
- The first Thanksgiving Day football game was played between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears in 1934. The Lions have played on every Thanksgiving Day since then.
- TV dinners were invented thanks to Thanksgiving. There are always so many leftovers that an innovative sales rep came up with the idea of freezing the individual parts in compartmentalized foil trays that could be stored in the freezer.
- According to the Guinness Book or World Records, The biggest pumpkin pie ever baked was 2,020 pounds. It was 12 feet long and took 900 pounds of pumpkin, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice, and 250 pounds of pie crust to make it.
- Although we think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, other countries have similar celebrations. Other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving include Canada, Liberia, Granada, and Norfolk Island in Australia.
- According to scientists, although tryptophan has long been blamed for making enjoyers of Thanksgiving feasts sleepy after the big meal, it is not the true culprit. The actual reason for the sleepiness associated with Thanksgiving dinner is really a combination of alcohol and overindulgence of carbohydrate-laden foods.
- George Washington was the first advocate for an official holiday in October of 1789. However, his dream didn’t come to fruition until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln was president. Lincoln is also the president who is credited for the tradition of pardoning one turkey every Thanksgiving. The tradition of a sitting president pardoning a turkey is still practiced today.
- The first Thanksgiving was a feast that lasted about three days. It was intended to be a celebration of the end of the growing season. Wild birds that had been hunted were served as food. The Wampanoag Indians, who were invited guests, brought five deer to add to the feast. The participants of the inaugural Thanksgiving feast were predominantly men, including 50 English colonists and 90 Wampanoag Indians.
- The top producer of turkeys in the United States is Minnesota. Other major contributors are North Carolina Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana.