Did you know these facts about the history of Thanksgiving Day?

by Amanda Taylor

We all know the story of Thanksgiving, right? May be not!

We bet, you don’t know a thing or two about the American favorite family holiday. Let’s see…

Did you know that…?

  1. The first Thanksgiving in 1621, when the pilgrims invited the Native American neighbors to share meal with them, wasn’t just the dinner. It was 3-day celebration with food, entertainment, hunting, etc.
  2. Turkey was not on the first Thanksgiving menu. Neither were pumpkin pie, or mash potato.History of Thanksgiving celebration
  3. The pilgrims did not plan to make the Thanksgiving celebration a tradition, and did not repeat it in the next few years.
  4. Thanksgiving has become an annual tradition only about 200 years later after the first celebration.
  5. In 1789 First President, George Washington, announced the first national Thanksgiving to be celebrated on November 26.
  6. It still did not spread nationwide until the 19th century, when Sara Josepha Hale, an American writer and magazine editor, suggested recreating the first Thanksgiving feast and make it a tradition. You probably did know one of Hale’s poetry pieces, kids’ favorite nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb.
  7. It took Sara Josepha Hale about 30 years of letters, articles and speeches to campaign for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. She actually published recipes for turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and some other so familiar today Thanksgiving components.
  8. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed America’s national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated by the entire nation on the last Thursday of November.
  9. In 1939 President Frank D. Roosevelt decided to reschedule Thanksgiving Day for the 3rd week of November. This way he tried extend the holiday shopping season for retailers who were still recovering after the Great Depression. However, Americans did not like the move. In 1941 Thanksgiving Day was returned to the 4th Thursday of November.
  10. The tradition of American football games played on Thanksgiving Day goes back to the end of 19th century, shortly after the game has been invented, because most people had a day off on Thanksgiving.History of playing football games on Thanksgiving Day
  11. The first broadcast of the Thanksgiving Day football game was in 1934 and covered the game between the Detroit Lions against the Chicago Bears.
  12. One of the weirdest Thanksgiving traditions started in 1989 by President George H. W. Bush when he granted the first official pardon to a turkey. Ever since, every Thanksgiving a US President honorary retires a turkey sending it to a farm instead of a dinner table.History of Thanksgiving celebration