A heavy helping of Thanksgiving facts to impress at the dinner table

a heavy helping of thanksgiving facts to impress around the dinner table 18 photos 2 A heavy helping of Thanksgiving facts to impress at the dinner table (18 Photos)

Turkey isn’t the main reason for that drowsy “food coma” feeling Turns out, according to scientists that extra glass of wine, the high-calorie meal and just relaxing after a busy work schedule is what tends to put us down for the count.

Anybody notice how Thanksgiving seems to be happening really early this month? Well, that’s probably because Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November, and this year the 1st of the month happened to be a Thursday. President Abe Lincoln declared the holiday would be the fourth Thursday in November, but in 1939 President Roosevelt bumped it up a week in hopes of helping the shopping season during the Depression era. The tweak never caught on, and it was changed back two years later.

Wiki Commons/Abbie Rowe, U.S. National Park Service

Each year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey instead of adding it to the dinner table. The first turkey pardon began with President Truman in 1947 who spared a 45-pound turkey named Courage, who has then flown to Disneyland and served as Grand Marshal of the park’s Thanksgiving Day parade!

As you may’ve gathered, Football games were NOT present during the first Thanksgiving feast. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. The NFL tradition began in 1920 and since then the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have always hosted games on Turkey Day (for more details on that check this article out). And since 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting each time. Isn’t it just the greatest tradition? Seriously.

Wild turkeys aren’t as slow as you might think. Top speeds of a turkey can get up to 20 miles per hour when they are scared, however, it’s worth noting that domesticated turkeys are heavier and can’t run quite that fast.

Wiki Commons/Sir Beluga

In 1953, the company Swanson had a surplus of extra turkey (260 tons) and a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes –  and thus the first TV dinner was born thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade launched in 1924 with 400 employees marching from Convent Ave to 145th street in New York City. However, no large Joker-sized balloons were present at this parade, as it featured only live animals from the Central Park Zoo instead.

A few quick hitters facts…

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, instead of the bald eagle.

Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving, and somewhere a cow is shedding a happy tear for getting a breather.

Female turkeys (known as hens) do not “gobble”. Only male turkeys make the iconic noise.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal in space after their historic moonwalk consisted of foil packets with roasted turkey.


Campbell’s soup wisely created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook 50 years ago. That dish now brings in a value of $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year.

The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighed in at a hefty 86 pounds. That’s just scary. Is Guinness certain they weren’t weighing an ostrich?

Facts Via Allparenting

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