Given the Holiday season, We'll take a break from the usual dental facts and give you some fun Thanksgiving facts that you may not have known! Enjoy!
1) The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.
2) The turkeys typically depicted in Thanksgiving pictures are not the same as the domestic turkeys most people eat at Thanksgiving. Domestic turkeys usually weigh twice as much and are too large to fly.
3) Americans eat roughly 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving! That's a LOT of turkey!
4) Thanksgiving is an amalgam of different traditions, including ancient harvest festivals, the religious New England Puritan Thanksgiving, the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England, and changing political and ideological assumptions of Native Americans.
5) President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. Since then, Thanksgiving has been observed annually.
6) In 2007, George W. Bush granted a pardon to two turkeys named May and Flower. The tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys began in 1947, though Abraham Lincoln is said to have informally started the practice when he pardoned his son’s pet turkey.
7) When President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the next-to-last Thursday in November to prolong the holiday shopping season, many Republicans rebelled. The holiday was temporarily celebrated on different dates: November 30 became the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 was “Franksgiving” or “Democrat Thanksgiving.”
8) In 1920, Gimbels department store in Philadelphia held a parade with about 50 people and Santa Claus bringing up the rear. The parade is now known as the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade and is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parade.
9) Established in 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ties for second as the oldest Thanksgiving parade. The Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade more often than any other character. More than 44 million people watch the parade on TV each year and 3 million attend in person.
10) Considered the "Mother of Thanksgiving," Sara Hale (1788-1879) was an influential editor and writer who urged President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. She selected the last Thursday in November because, as she said, harvests were done, elections were over, and summer travelers were home. She also believed a national thanksgiving holiday would unite Americans in the midst of dramatic social and industrial change and “awaken in Americans’ hearts the love of home and country, of thankfulness to God, and peace between brethren."
11) Thanksgiving Day is actually the busiest travel day, even more so than the day before Thanksgiving, as most people believe.
12) The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday largely because stores hope the busy shopping day will take them out of the red and into positive profits. Black Friday has been a tradition since the 1930s.
13) Native Americans used cranberries, now a staple Thanksgiving dish, for cooking as well as medicinal purposes!
14) Turkey contains an amino acid that makes you sleepy—however, it’s the combination of that AND all the carbs and fats we consume that leave us all napping on the couch after our Thanksgiving meals!
Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
-Dr. Vaughn and the Pure Dental Team
Woodbridge Family Dentistry 22191, 22192, 22193