Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to come together and update their family on the new things in their life. I’m only kidding, but it seems as though anyway. If you’re a college student, it’s, “How’s school?” If you’re a parent, it’s, “How little Billy liking kindergarten this year?” If you’re my great grandma, it’s, “Have you fallen lately?”
This year, after all the normal questions are asked, you should impress your family with Thanksgiving knowledge.
The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621. 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians came together for a 3 day celebration.
Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until over 200 years later. The woman who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Sarah Josepha Hale, convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote letters for 17 years campaigning for this decision to be made.
The first Thanksgiving didn’t include Turkey. Historians say venison, duck, geese, oyster, lobster, eel and fish were on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. No pumpkin pies. No mashed potatoes. No cranberry relish. No turduckens, turkey stuffed with duck which is stuffed with chicken. In reality, they probably did eat pumpkins and cranberries, but not in the way we do today.
No forks were used at the first Thanksgiving. Forks weren’t introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later, and they weren’t even a popular utensil until the 18th century. Thankfully, there were still spoons and knives present. It wasn’t a “finger-food” free for all.
Thanksgiving is the reason for TV dinners. In 1953, Swanson had 260 extra tons of turkey after the holiday was over. A salesman convinced them to package it into aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes. Thanks to that genius, the first TV dinner was born.
Thanksgiving was almost a fast, not a feast. Early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which was their original plan to celebrate their first harvest in America. The Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned their fast into a three-day feast. Talk about a 180.
The President pardons a turkey from being eaten on Thanksgiving. Each year a turkey is spared its life by the President. This pardoning tradition began in 1947 with President Truman.
Go out there and spread your new knowledge. And please don’t forget to be thankful for what you have!