Stuff and Be Stuffed

Author: Alecia Pirulis


In honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few fun facts:

  • The first Thanksgiving dinner didn’t revolve around a turkey. In fact, there was no turkey. Instead, the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of chicken, fish, lobster, and even rabbit. Other goodies included dried fruits, leeks, and chestnuts.
  • Did you know turkeys can suffer heart attacks? It’s true – the Air Force was doing some tests and breaking the sound barrier. Turkeys in the area died suddenly of heart attacks.
  • Beer and football – since when did those become part of the Thanksgiving tradition? Actually, the Pilgrims would be on board with this one – beer was brought over on the Mayflower and consumed during the first Thanksgiving dinner. And, the first dinner in 1621 was celebrated for three days – with both food AND games. Score!
  • Thomas Jefferson thought the idea of a Thanksgiving holiday was absurd. In fact, Thanksgiving didn’t become an official holiday until 1941.
  • Turkeys are prehistoric – turkey fossils have been found that are 10 million years old.
  • Stuffing dates back to the Roman Empire. But, stuffing wasn’t served at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • As for pumpkin pies, those didn’t make the first dinner cut, either. And the colonists wouldn’t have made a pumpkin pie – they used pumpkin for the crust, not the filling.
  • It is commonly believed that the Presidential pardon of a turkey began in 1947, but that is when the National Turkey Federation (yes, there really is one) began donating turkeys to the White House. But until George W. H. Bush pardoned his turkey in 1989, the turkeys were cooked and served – not set free.
  • The amount of cranberries to be produced in the United States in 2010? 735 million pounds. That’s a lot of cranberry relish!
  • There are three places named after the traditional Thanksgiving bird: Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Louisiana. Kansas has three townships named Turkey, as well.

Share the above trivial facts with your friends and family tomorrow. Also, throw in a joke or two and be the hit of the party. Here’s one to get you started: Why did the turkey join the band? Because he had drumsticks! (You’re welcome!)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!