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  • Writer's pictureJohn A. White

5 Things You Probably DID NOT Know About Thanksgiving 🦃🏈

Factoid 1:

The first Thanksgiving likely included lobster, seal, and swans. Historians believe that the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 included a variety of foods, some of which may seem unusual to us today. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans gathered together for a three-day harvest festival, and it is believed that they enjoyed a diverse range of foods. While turkey may not have been the centerpiece of the meal as it is today, it is speculated that the feast included a variety of meats, such as lobster, seal, and swans. This reflects the abundance of wildlife in the region during that time.

Factoid 2:

Pumpkin pie has been a Thanksgiving dessert since the 1700s. While pumpkin pie is a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert today, it did not make an appearance at the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. However, pumpkin pie has been associated with Thanksgiving since the 1700s. The early American settlers, including the Pilgrims, were familiar with pumpkins and used them in various dishes. Over time, pumpkin pie became a popular dessert during the Thanksgiving season, and it has remained a beloved tradition ever since.

Factoid 3:

The tradition of football on Thanksgiving started with college teams, and the first NFL games on Thanksgiving were played in 1920. Football has become an integral part of Thanksgiving Day for many Americans. The tradition of playing football on Thanksgiving dates back to the late 19th century. Initially, college football teams started playing games on Thanksgiving as a way to bring communities together and attract more spectators. The tradition continued to grow, and in 1920, the first professional NFL games were played on Thanksgiving. Since then, football has become synonymous with Thanksgiving, with millions of people tuning in to watch games and cheer for their favorite teams.

Factoid 4:

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird. Contrary to popular belief, Benjamin Franklin, one of America's founding fathers, did express his preference for the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. In a letter to his daughter in 1784, Franklin wrote about his admiration for the turkey, describing it as a "bird of courage" and "much more respectable" than the bald eagle. However, the bald eagle was ultimately chosen as the national bird, symbolizing strength and freedom. Nevertheless, Franklin's fondness for the turkey lives on in popular culture and discussions about Thanksgiving.

Factoid 5:

The first Macy's parade featured animals from the Central Park Zoo instead of character balloons. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is an iconic part of the holiday season, but it wasn't always filled with the giant character balloons we know today. The first Macy's parade took place in 1924 and featured a procession of animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. The parade was a way for Macy's to attract attention and bring excitement to the holiday shopping season. It wasn't until 1927 that the first helium-filled balloon, Felix the Cat, made its appearance, eventually leading to the beloved tradition of character balloons that we now associate with the parade

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