14 Less-Known Facts About Thanksgiving

For most of us this holiday season, our Thanksgiving celebrations will include a family get-together with a big turkey roast along with gravy and mashed potatoes. This combined with a glass or two of wine will help spread the cheer throughout the house. And as for tomorrow, we will have to wake up early and get ready for the Black Friday sale at Kmart or Wal-Mart so that we can get that new LED TV the kids have been nagging for.

While this is what usually happens with most American families, how many of you actually know what Thanksgiving actually celebrates or where the traditions we follow today come from? Well, don’t worry if you don’t because we didn’t either until we did some research to find the following less-known facts about Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Family Celebration

Thomas Jefferson Didn’t Support Thanksgiving

One of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, was opposed to the idea of a national Thanksgiving celebration when George Washington proposed the idea by saying that it was “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” Later in 1863, Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be marked for the national Thanksgiving celebration.

The Birth Of Franksgiving

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had tried to help the American economy in 1939 by moving the holiday a week earlier so that the season for American Christmas shopping extends for an extra week, helping the economy. Unfortunately, many states didn’t agree to this with the day later being called Franksgiving or Democrat Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Is Officially Only 76 Years Old

While Lincoln declared the holiday in 1863, it wasn’t until FDR made it into law on November 26, 1941, that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every year.

The Official Thanksgiving

The Origins Of Black Friday

With the failed attempt at Franksgiving, the American economy had to wait until the 1960s for the concept of Black Friday to become popular. This happened in the then mall capital of the US, Philadelphia, where swarms of people descended on the retail stores and malls for a killer deal which is where the name Black Friday was coined.

Most People Turn Up For Thanksgiving Drunk Or Hangover

While you may think that the drunkest day in the US would be St. Patrick’s Day but it’s the day before Thanksgiving. This day is known as Black Wednesday or Blackout Wednesday as it sees the highest sales for bar and liquor sales. Surveys state that this is because people want to get their pre-game going as well as start the five day weekend with a few beers with friends.

Black Wednesday

Confusion Regarding The First Thanksgiving Celebration

Many celebrations have tried to claim the first position regarding the feast held in the ‘New World,’ with most people assuming the first Thanksgiving holiday feast started in 1621 with the Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims. However, sources state that it was Francisco de Coronado along with his expedition who dined with the native settlers ‘Tejas’ in 1541 in the Palo Duro Canyon that was the first feast in the ‘New World.’

The Hawaiian Four Month Thanksgiving Celebration

Hawaiian natives also have a unique festival around this time of the year which spans from October/November to February/March. This celebration is four months long and is called Makahiki, or Year in English. And for the four months of every year, Hawaiians enjoy their holiday at the beach, dancing, playing sports, eating and having fun in general.

The Trend Of Pardoning The White House Turkey

Abraham Lincoln was the one who started the trend of pardoning the turkey in the 1860s. This was because of the turkey in question, called Jack which was the pet of his son Tad. However, it would be President Truman who officiated the practice in 1947.

Pardoning The Turkey

The Southern States Resisted Thanksgiving

Who has ever said no to Thanksgiving, right? Well, after the formation of the United States, the southern states didn’t like how the federal government could exercise unilateral control over their states’ rights. And this included the introduction of Thanksgiving which was considered to be a New England holiday by many at the time.

The Thanksgiving Parade With Live Animals

While we are all eager to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Festival with their trademark giant Balloons and Floats, did you know that the festival didn’t always have these attractions? The first parade, which was in 1924 had a procession of live animals from the Central Park Zoo. Now, that would have been awesome to see. The balloon of Felix the Cat was introduced in 1927 and the Mickey Mouse float in 1931.

Wild Turkey And Domesticated Turkey For Thanksgiving

The Turkey was one of the first animals to be domesticated in the US with earlier Wild Turkeys being very different to the current turkey you are going to have for dinner tomorrow. Wild turkeys were half the weight of their modern counterparts with the ability to fly for short distances.

Turkey For Thanksgiving

No Pumpkin Pie And Cranberry Sauce In The Original Thanksgiving Meal

Our modern Thanksgiving meals include sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce but these items weren’t part of the Thanksgiving celebration in the first feast. According to the records, pumpkin pie was introduced in 1622 while cranberry sauce debuted in the 1660s. The green bean casserole that we all love also came around 300 years later in 1955.

Thanksgiving In Canada

If you are in Canada, you had probably already celebrated Thanksgiving holiday last month. This is because, in Canada, Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of every October. This is very odd since they don’t get the rest of that week off like we do here.

For Those Who Stand Against Thanksgiving

In 1975, the International Indian Treaty Council started to have an “Unthanksgiving Day” on the same day to help commemorate the resistance of European imperialism by the Native Americans. This event is held on Alcatraz Island every year and is open to the public if you are interested.

Unthanksgiving Day

Well, now that you have just read these less-known facts about Thanksgiving that most people don’t know, you have something to discuss with your family tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner. Have a great holiday and enjoy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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