Americans feast on 736 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving.
According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States at Thanksgiving. That number represents one-sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year!
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird.
Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. However, wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour over short distances.
Only male (tom) turkeys gobble. Females make a clicking noise. The famous gobble is actually a seasonal mating call.
The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed in at 86 pounds—about the size of a German Shepherd! (But turkeys are normally not used as police animals.)
A turkey under 16 weeks of age is called a “fryer.” A 5- to 7-month-old turkey is called a “roaster.”
The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as “suggestive.”
Turkeys are known to spend the night in trees! (Maybe to escape the Thanksgiving table?)
Turkeys can drown if they look up when it’s raining! Interesting fact…why is this?
A turkey’s field of vision is 270 degrees—one of the main reasons they’re able to elude some hunters.
The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.
There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.
Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes or hats.
Buckles did not come into fashion until the late 1600s—more appropriate for the Salem Witchcraft trial time period.
The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name “craneberry” stuck, eventually becoming “cranberry.”
Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.)
President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for our National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.
President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national Thanksgiving Day.
Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.
The average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. (Now that’s a lot of turkey!)