Turkey Day is upon us, and millions of Americans will digest an estimated 4,500 calories in ONE DAY. Yes, that’s what most Americans consume on this festive day. Here’s some facts about Thanksgiving.
5. Thanksgiving Was Declared a National Holiday in 1941. Congress declared it a national holiday to be held on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1940 and 1939, FDR attempted to declare it the third Thursday in order to lengthen the Holiday shopping season. Many people were upset by this because, although it was not a national holiday before 1941, people were used to having it at the end of the month. Roosevelt’s critics called it “Franksgiving”. The first President to officially declare a “Thanksgiving Day” was Lincoln, who declared it the final Thursday of November.
4. The Founding Fathers Had Different Views on The Holiday. Benjamin Franklin was fine with Thanksgiving, but believed the turkey should have been declared the national bird. He found the bald eagle was a scavenger and not the sort of animal that should represent the USA. The turkey, however, he saw as a proud, beautiful bird that people would grow to think of when thinking of America. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, thought Thanksgiving was silly. He said it was “the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard”. George Washington declared a “Day of Thanksgiving” in 1789l
3. “Black Friday” Is Not The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year. Every year, some reporters will be on TV going on about the day after Thanksgiving (commonly referred to as “Black Friday”) as being “the busiest shopping day of the year”. It is not. Although there are massive sales at many department stores that day, “Black Friday” is only one of many busy shopping days. Many people deliberately avoid shopping on this day because of the huge crowds. In fact, the busiest shopping day of the year is the last Saturday before Christmas.
Extra fact: “Black Friday” supposedly got its name because it is that day of the year when the stores finally make a real profit for the year and report their income as being “in the black”. This is actually a myth and not the original meaning. It was originally called “Black Friday” in Philadelphia, where city shoppers coined the term in response to the heavy traffic, accidents, and general chaos caused by that day.
2. We Should Give Thanks to Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale worked tirelessly for years during the 19th century, attempting to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Before she began her campaign, it was mostly a New England holiday and each state celebrated it different days of the year…or not at all. In fact, she convinced Lincoln to make it a national holiday after trying with four other Presidents. Up until then, the only national holidays celebrated in America were Washington’s Birthday and Independence Day (Christmas came even later). Her efforts kept the holiday in the public mind and she was henceforth seen as a patriot for her work at bringing the fragile Union together. Hale was also known as being the author of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”.
1. The Parade Took A Break For The Allies. Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade is watched by millions and a tradition in homes all over the country. It originally began in 1924 and has continued every year since…except during 1942 to 1945. The helium used in the enormous balloons during the parade was needed for the war effort during WWII. Extra Fact: The balloon that has been made the most appearances in the parade: Snoopy.
Now you know a few more random tidbits to bring up at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. With all this great knowledge to discuss with friends and family, there’s no need for political arguments or even to tell your parents how they ruined your life. Just sit back, have some venison (the most common meat at the original Thanksgiving) and enjoy your weekend! See you at the mall!