12 Thanksgiving Facts To Share At The Dinner Table

08 November 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden

Flickr / Cozinhando Fantasias

For many people living in the United States, a certain holiday is just right around the windy November corner. This means that school would be off for some days and that there would be some more cozy mornings of sweet, sweet dreams. Now, who doesn’t want some of that?

This federal holiday is known as Thanksgiving or American Thanksgiving, which is different from the Canadian Thanksgiving and it usually happens on the fourth Thursday of November. The event began as a day of thanksgiving and a harvest festival, along with a Thanksgiving dinner. The first Thanksgiving celebration was a three-day harvest festival shared by the Plymouth settlers and Wampanoag Native Americans that took place in 1621.

And just like any other holiday, Thanksgiving is no different because this day is typically celebrated with a feast of delicious food, shared with friends and family. But… when friends and family reunite, we know that questions, discussions, and conversations are going to be popping up left and right. Ooh, will you have space to breathe or what? Who knows. So, before everything gets out of hand, why not break the ice with a dozen trivia facts that will make them ask, "How did you know that?"


Giphy / Peanuts

To learn more about Thanksgiving, download Beelinguapp now and read stories like A Brief History of Thanksgiving and Cooking Our Thanksgiving Feast With Grandma in your target language like French, Spanish, German, Korean, and more.

  1. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 as a three-day harvest festival with 50 pilgrims and 80 Wampanoag Native Americans.
  2. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924 and it featured live bears, elephants, monkeys, and camels from the Central Park Zoo.
  3. James Pierpont wrote "Jingle Bells" in 1857 under the original title "One Horse Open Sleigh." The target audience for the well-known song was children who were celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Since the song had grown so popular and was being sung so frequently throughout the Christmas season, its name was formally changed to "Jingle Bells" in 1859.
  4. For more than 35 years, the Turkey Talk-Line or Butterball hotline has been taking calls from anyone with any turkey-related questions. Each year, around November and December, these turkey experts receive over 100,000 calls. For all your turkey-related questions and concerns, feel free to give 1-800-BUTTERBALL a call or get in touch with any Butterball representative on social media.
  5. Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the children's song "Mary Had A Little Lamb," convinced President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.
  6. To increase sales during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) moved Thanksgiving up one week in 1939. However, a lot of people objected to the decision, and it was ultimately moved back to the original date in 1941. The Thanksgiving celebrations from 1939 to 1940 are known as “Franksgiving.”
  7. Thanksgiving was celebrated at Westminster Abbey in 1942 for the American troops stationed in the area.
  8. Plumbers also have a very, very busy day on Black Friday, just like retail stores do. The Roto-Rooter reports that the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest for plumbers because of backed-up sewers, malfunctioning garbage disposals, and clogged drains. To avoid a plumbing disaster, make sure to properly dispose of any food items in the trash and scrape what is left into the disposal.
  9. In 1989, George H. W. Bush became the first president to pardon a turkey after observing how uneasy and uncomfortable the bird was during the Thanksgiving proclamation. As a result, the tradition of pardoning a turkey was carried on by every president who took office following George H. W. Bush.

    In 2005 and 2009, the pardoned turkeys went to Disneyland and Disney World to act as grand marshals for the Thanksgiving parade celebration. From 2010 to 2013, the lucky birds spent their vacations in Mount Vernon in Washington from 2010 to 2013.

  10. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is referred to as "Drinksgiving," and it is known as one of the year's biggest drinking days. Some people even call it "Black Wednesday" or "Blackout Wednesday" due to how excessively drunk people tend to get.
  11. Hard to believe, but according to a 2015 poll by the Harris Poll, many Americans claim that the best part of Thanksgiving... is the leftovers. People actually prefer the leftovers to the original dinner. Just consider the turkey sandwiches along with leftover stuffing, different types of pies, and other leftover dishes for you to enjoy. Yum!
  12. The American Pie Council (yes, that is a thing and definitely not made up) reports that most Americans favor apple pie, with pumpkin pie coming in second and pecan pie coming in third.

    Your Pie Personality as assessed by the Pie Council: Which one are you?

    • Apple Pie — Independent, realistic, compassionate
    • Chocolate Pie — Loving
    • Pumpkin Pie — Funny and independent
    • Pecan Pie — Thoughtful and analytical
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