Thanksgiving Fun Facts & Trivia

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How much do you know about Thanksgiving? These Thanksgiving fun facts and trivia will give you plenty to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner (and help avoid long awkward conversations!), or you can turn it into a fun game to play with your family and friends!

  • The turkey’s scientific species name is Meleagris gallopavo.
  • If Benjamin Franklin would have decided on the United State’s National Bird, we would have a turkey instead of the bald eagle. Since Thomas Jefferson disagreed, we sometimes call male turkeys “Tom Turkeys”.
  • Turkeys contain melatonin, which might explain why we may feel tired after Thanksgiving Dinner.
  • Only male Turkeys can gobble – the females cannot.
  • A turkey can have over 3000 feathers!
  • 20% of the 400 million pounds of cranberries consumed by Americans each year is done during Thanksgiving week.
  • It’s estimated that over 280 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving.
  • Many popular cartoons have movies set for Thanksgiving, including Peanuts, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Garfield.
  • Each year, since the 1940’s, the National Turkey Federation presents a live turkey to the President, which is pardoned and can roam the rest of its life freely on a farm.
  • Green bean casserole anyone? Over 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
  • Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of November in 1863.On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday, with hopes it would give the nation an economic boost for the holidays.
  • The story of the 1621 Plymouth feast and “first thanksgiving” is commonly told around Thanksgiving time.
  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade began in 1924 and has been televised since 1952.
  • The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, and is typically associated with sales and large shopping crowds.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3,699 pounds according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

We hope you enjoyed some of these fun facts – and if you’ve got your own to share, please do tell us them in the comments below!

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