Most of us know the basics about the holiday, including the story of how it got started. However, there are things some of us might not know about Thanksgiving. For instance, did you know that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the New World in October of 1621? According to historians, it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. Did you also know that there was once an effort to cancel the holiday? Like these, we have gathered some interesting facts about Thanksgiving, to impress your family and friends this holiday.
1. The first Thanksgiving was actually a three-day celebration.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated for just one day, but for the Pilgrims, one day wasn’t enough. When the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, the harvest festival spanned for a period of three days. It included 53 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. According to historians, on November 1621, when the settlers’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford invited the Plymouth colonists’ Native American allies to share and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
2. The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, Sarah Josepha Hale, is responsible for Thanksgiving’s recognition as a national holiday.
Thanksgiving wasn’t recognized as a holiday until October 3, 1863. The person who was responsible for convincing Abraham Lincoln was Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to him for 17 years. The writer and editor wrote countless articles and letters until her last one in 1863. A week after that, Lincoln recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
3. There are three places in the US named Turkey.
Three small towns in America are named after the nation’s favorite bird. There is Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Louisiana. According to the US Census Bureau, these small towns each have less than 500 residents and Turkey, Texas is the most populated, with 384 residents.
4. “Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song.
In 1857, songwriter James Lord Pierpont composed the music and wrote the lyrics for “Jingle Bells”. In fact, the song was intended to celebrate Thanksgiving with the title, “One Horse Open Sleigh”, but its popularity caused it to become associated with the Christmas holiday season.
5. The first-ever TV dinner was inspired by Thanksgiving left-overs.
The TV dinner was invented in 1953, because of human error. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the TV-dinner company “Swanson”, overestimated the demand for turkey by 260 tons. After Thanksgiving, the company had no clue as to what to do with all the leftover turkey. So, they sought the help of company salesman Gerry Thomas, who, inspired by the idea of airplane meals, invented the TV dinner. He purchased 5,000 aluminum trays and filled them with the leftover turkey, creating the world’s first TV dinner.
6. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York took place in 1914, and had Central Park Zoo animals.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was originally called the “Macy’s Christmas Parade” in order to promote the holiday shopping season. The original parade also used floats instead of balloons as well as live animals that were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.
7. The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for plumbing and drain companies. More than 50% of the calls come in regarding unclogging kitchen sinks, garbage disposals and toilets. In fact, it gets so busy that plumbers call it “Brown Friday”. Popular plumbing companies recommend that you avoid pouring cooking oils down drains. They also recommend that you place a plunger in guest bathrooms to save your guests the embarrassment of asking for one.