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Best Thanksgiving Facts and Trivia

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It’s hard to believe (at least for me), but this is my 12th straight year sharing the best Thanksgiving facts and trivia to help you be an enlightened gobbler during the big meal on Thursday.

Here’s a little “stuffing” to keep the conversation interesting at your Thanksgiving table. Hope you have a fun-filled, calorie-rich day with friends, family, and the fondest of memories.

What are the best Thanksgiving facts and trivia?

  • After a 66-day journey from England aboard the Mayflower, the Pilgrims remained aboard ship throughout the winter, moving ashore in March 1621.
  • Of the estimated 102 aboard, only half survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving (five of those were women).
  • The Pilgrims ate with spoons, knives and their fingers. The fork was not introduced in the New World until ten years later.
  • It’s a myth that Pilgrims wore only black and white and had buckles on their shoes and hats. They were fond of colorful clothing.
  • The turkey almost beat out the bald eagle as the official symbol of our nation.
  • 46 million turkeys are served on Thanksgiving Day. 22% of the birds come from Minnesota.
  • Approximately 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. 50% of families serve turkey at Christmas.
  • We can thank the Pilgrims for bringing beer over on the Mayflower. They drank it instead of water aboard ship as microorganisms cannot survive as long in alcohol as they can in water.
  • Speaking of beer, the night before Thanksgiving is the single biggest day for bar sales in the U.S.
  • No potatoes were served at the first Thanksgiving. Pilgrims believed they were poisonous.
  • The heaviest turkey ever weighed in at 69 lbs. About the size of a German Shepherd.
  • Personifying the term “bird brain,” turkeys really can drown if they look up when it’s raining.
  • The cranberry is one of only three fruits, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, native to North America. It must bounce 12 inches to be ready for harvest.
  • Cranberry sauce was probably not part of the first Thanksgiving, as the Pilgrims didn’t have sugar. They used the berry to dye fabric.
  • While the wild turkey can fly up to 55 miles per hour, domesticated birds cannot fly – no doubt due to their chunky size.
  • Speaking of chunky, the average American consumes a whopping 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day.
  • The first meal eaten on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was roast turkey with all the trimmings.
  • Feeling sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner? Don’t fall for the “tryptophan in the turkey” myth. It’s minimal. Blame the overload of calories and carbs instead.
  • Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the year. So named for an accounting term, it’s when most merchants go from being “in the red” to profitable “black.”
  • The busiest air travel day of the year is the day after Thanksgiving.

“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. Concentrate on what you don’t have and you will never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey