Gratitude changes our attitudes and our actions. It changes how we live. This is the power of living a life of thanks; of gratitude for our blessings, whether those blessings are great or small. This is the power of Thanksgiving.
Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash
Here are some fun Thanksgiving trivia facts from the Good Housekeeping Magazine.
Question: What town canceled Thanksgiving because they couldn’t make pumpkin pies?
Answer: Colchester, Connecticut
A frigid bout of cold weather in the middle of October led to the Connecticut River freezing, so settlers couldn’t get their usual liquid sugar shipped on time from across the pond. Thus, the townspeople decided to postpone the holiday for a week in 1705. It was so legendary, Rose Mill Powers actually wrote a poem about it in a July 1908 issue of Good Housekeeping.
Question: What professional football team has played almost every Thanksgiving since 1934?
Answer: The Detroit Lions
George A. Richards, a former owner, purchased the Portsmouth Ohio Spartans in 1934 and moved them to Detroit. Rebranded as the Detroit Lions, George decided to host a Thanksgiving Day game against the world-champion Chicago Bears in hopes of attracting fans. The team has always played on Thanksgiving except between 1939-1944 due to World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also joined in on the Turkey Day tradition in 1966 and have played every Thanksgiving except in 1975 and 1977.
Question: What city is home to the oldest Thanksgiving parade?
The Philadelphia Gimbel Brothers Department Store parade in 1920 had only 50 people, 15 cars and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus. The parade ended with Santa on his sleigh, signifying the arrival of the holiday season. Today, it’s much bigger and called the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade instead. It was the inspiration behind the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade which started in 1924.
Question: What did President Calvin Coolidge famously receive as a Thanksgiving gift?
Answer: A live raccoon
In November 1926, Vinnie Joyce of Nitta Yuma, Mississippi, sent the 30th President of the United States a live raccoon to be served as Thanksgiving dinner. However, the President became so smitten with the furry animal that he pardoned it and adopted it as a pet. He named it Rebecca.
Question: What wasn’t part of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
If you can’t imagine the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade without giant floats featuring your favorite characters, you’d barely recognize the first parade in the early 1920s. It did have puppets riding the iconic floats, as well as singers and celebrities and of course, Santa Claus. That said, when the Thanksgiving parade made its big debut in 1924, it did have something that might be even crazier than balloons: animals from the Central Park Zoo.
Question: What happens to the turkeys that are pardoned by the president each year?
Answer: The turkeys pardoned by the president go on to live fulfilled lives.
President George H.W. Bush pardoned the first turkey in 1989 after he noticed the 50-pound bird at his official Thanksgiving proclamation looked a little nervous. Every president has upheld the tradition, ever since. But what happens to that lucky bird that lives to squawk another day? In 2005 and 2009, the turkeys went to Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks to serve as grand marshals in their annual Thanksgiving parades.
Question: According to Americans, what’s the best part of Thanksgiving?
Answer: The leftovers
Fans of the beloved turkey, stuffing and mashed potato leftover sandwich: You’re in the majority. Most Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual meal. Almost eight in 10 Americans agree that the second helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes and of course pie beat out the big dinner itself.
Question: Do other countries celebrate the holiday?
Answer: Yes! Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving — but on a different day.
Our neighbors to the north also celebrate Thanksgiving, but they do so on a different day and for an unrelated reason. While American Thanksgiving pays homage to a feast between the pilgrims and the Native Americans, the Canadian celebration commemorates a feast between English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew after their successful sail from England to the Canadian territory in 1578. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday of October every year.
That doesn’t mean there are zero similarities between the two holidays. Both American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus often revolve around turkey, and revelers in both countries frequently spend the day watching football marathons and festive parades. In Canada, the biggest one is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Question: How many people go shopping on Black Friday?
Answer: Over 32 million people
Even though many consumers think stores shouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving, a good chunk of us still shop on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. But not everyone heads to the mall before their meal settles. Black Friday still draws the biggest crowd of the entire holiday weekend, with 115 million people. A total of 69 percent of Americans chase those deals like a retail-driven Olympic sport.
Question: How much pumpkin pie do Americans eat every Thanksgiving?
Answer: An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are devoured every November.
Some of us consider pumpkin pie a vehicle for whipped topping and could take it or leave it. If you’d also rather leave your pumpkins for Halloween and dig into another Thanksgiving dessert, you’re not alone. According to The American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall – pumpkin pie only comes in second place.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE