The other day I Googled, “Little known Facts about Thanksgiving.” I was overwhelmed with how much I did not know about Thanksgiving.
Here are just a few items that caught my eye:
- The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.
- President Jefferson called a federal Thanksgiving proclamation “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.”
- Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries were actually used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye clothes.
- Thanksgiving Day became an annual national holiday upon a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War in November 1863. It was set as the last Thursday in November.
- Thanksgiving football games began with Yale versus Princeton in 1876. Princeton lost!
- Baby turkeys are called poults. Only male turkeys gobble and therefore are called gobblers.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, who tirelessly worked to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday, also was the first person to advocate women as teachers in public schools, the first to advocate day nurseries to assist working mothers, and the first to propose public play grounds. She also wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb”.