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14 Fun Facts About Thanksgiving

If you are looking to break the lull in conversation at the Thanksgiving table this year, we have a solution for you! We have compiled a list of 14 fun and interesting facts about Thanksgiving to share with your friends and family.

From all of us at Trusted Senior Specialists we want to wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!

Americans eat an estimated 50 million pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving! Which do you prefer, pumpkin pie or the whipped cream on top? If you’d rather leave your pumpkins for Halloween and dig into another Thanksgiving dessert, you’re not alone. According to The American Pie Council, more Americans prefer apple pie overall. Pumpkin pie comes in second place. If you would like to learn more about the history of pumpkin pie, you can do so at this link.

Americans prepare 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving each year. To most people, Thanksgiving without turkey would be like Christmas without a tree. While not super popular the rest of the year, turkey is a huge hit for holidays, probably because it can serve large gatherings. On Christmas, an additional 22 million families fix turkey for their holiday meal. 

Thanksgiving turkey recipes.

The Butterball Turkey Talk Line answers almost 100,000 calls each season. So many people roast a big bird just once a year, and understandably need a little help. In 2016, the company’s popular cooking crisis management team also introduced a 24hour text message line or Butterball turkey talk line for the lead-up to the big day. So if you’re wondering why the turkey isn’t turning out quite the way you want it don’t panic. Help is just a call or a text message away!

Benjamin Franklin thought that turkeys were more American than the bald eagle and was very upset when the bald eagle was chosen to represent the United States as the national bird. He wrote a letter to his daughter that said “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; this is a bird of bad moral character.” Franklin thought that the turkey was a “much more respectable bird.”

Only male turkeys actually gobble. If you learned in preschool that a turkey goes “gobble, gobble,” that’s only about half true. Only male turkeys, appropriately named gobblers, actually make the sound. Female turkeys cackle instead. 

Most Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual meal. Almost eight in 10 Americans agree that the second helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes and of course pie beat out the big dinner itself, according to a 2015 Harris Poll.

Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first TV Dinner.  In 1953 TV dinner company Swanson overestimated the demand for turkey by roughly 260 tons according to Smithsonian Magazine. The owners of the company had no idea what to do with all the leftovers and so they enlisted the help of their top company salesman Gerry Thomas and taking inspiration from airplane meals he ordered 5,000 aluminum trays and loaded them with turkey leftovers to create the first TV dinner. 

Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. Thanks to all that food we gobble up on Thanksgiving and houseguests stressing out the plumbing system, Roto-Rooter reports that kitchen drains, garbage disposals and yes, toilets, require more attention the day after Thanksgiving than any other day. Before you have to join the legions paying a hefty holiday bill, you may want to remind your kitchen clean-up crew to scrape the plates before washing.

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York took place in 1924. The parade featured Macy’s employees dressed in vibrant costumes as they marched to the flagship store on 34th Street. The parade also used floats instead of balloons and had monkeys, bears, camels and elephants all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.  Another fun fact: The parade was originally called the Macy’s Christmas parade as the hope was that their Christmas Parade would get shoppers ready for big holiday shopping. It was renamed The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927.

German American Illustrator Tony Strag, whose illustrations were featured in Good Housekeeping magazine, had a passion for puppetry and can be credited for using his talents to make some amazing floats come to life for the parade in 1927.

In 1939, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday in November — not the fourth. During his presidency, President Roosevelt decided to move Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November, even though the holiday had been celebrated on the fourth Thursday since Lincoln officially recognized the federal holiday decades before, Roosevelt bumped it up a week, effectively adding seven more shopping days to the holiday season to boost the economy. That angered football coaches who had Thanksgiving games already scheduled and calendar-printers who now had incorrect dates. Americans, to say the least, didn’t love the change, so it was officially switched back in 1942.

Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote the classic nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb” played an integral role in making Thanksgiving a national holiday. After a 17 year letter writing campaign she was finally able to convince President Abraham Lincoln to issue a decree in 1863 recognizing the historic tradition. 

Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song:  James Pierpoint composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving. The title was “One Horse Open Sleigh,” and it was such a hit that it was sung again at Christmas time. The song then became associated with the Christmas holiday season and the title was officially changed 2 years later in 1859. 


It is said anecdotally that the night before Thanksgiving is the best day for bar sales in the United StatesIt is believed that this is because nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving Day off from work, and so they are able to celebrate with friends and family the night before. Getting ready to host a big meal can be stressful and nobody wants to make big plans on the Wednesday before so many feel that a good celebration the night before is in order! 

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closing at 3 PM (CST) on Wednesday the 24th, and we will be closed on Thursday the 25th. We will be open during normal business hours of 8 AM to 8 PM (CST) and ready to serve you on Friday the 26th.