Kids up to a certain age believe everything their parents tell them. Once they hit double digits, they think they can tell parents a thing or two. The next time they get all superior about the choices you make on Footlocker, bring them down a peg or two with these fun facts about the holiday just past.
About 90% of Americans serve turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and most probably with the traditional cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. However, this is probably flying in the face of historical fact. When the pilgrims gave thanks for making it to dry land in 1621 or thereabouts, the most likely food they had was lobster with a side of cabbage, hickory nuts, squash, and goat cheese. In a letter written by Edward Winslow describing the event, it mentioned lobsters as part of the feast the Indians prepared for them. Wild turkey and venison may have also been present at some point because the feast supposedly lasted five days. Since turkeys are more accessible than lobster, this may explain why turkeys have become the de facto start of the Thanksgiving holidays. Pie was almost certainly not around during the first Thanksgiving.
Jefferson thought the idea sucked
Thanksgiving only became an American holiday in 1863, when poet Sarah Josepha Hale used her influence to get it approved. She campaigned for it by writing letters to 5 presidents over 17 years, finally striking gold with Abraham Lincoln. The fact that it took so long may be because most people thought it was a ridiculous idea, including founding father Thomas Jefferson. However, that isn’t the end of the story. It took another 78 years before it became an official national holiday.
The most popular first Thanksgiving is the one held in 1621 at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, but it may not be the actual one. There are a dozen claims that the first Thanksgiving actually happened in Texas, Florida, Virginia (two sites each), Maine (one site), and Massachusetts (five alternate sites).