Oh the Thanksgiving holidays. If you haven’t earned your freshmen fifteen up until this point, you’re probably about to. What’s better than getting some days off school, seein’ the fam, being reunited with your favorite pet, but more importantly, eating the most delectable smorgasbord of food known to man. You take a bite of your grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie and you just want to yell “God bless Amurrica!”. Turkey day is celebrated every year without fail, but there is so much we don’t know about the history and tradition of our holiday about giving thanks. Here are some fun and little known facts:
1) The original date of Thanksgiving was changed to boost the economy. That’s right, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date from the last weekend of November, to the second to last, in order to extend the Christmas season and encourage more shopping. This didn’t go over quite as well as expected (Texas took both weeks as holidays, typical), so the following year congress officially made it the fourth Thursday of November, which could land on the last OR second to last week. Government compromising at its finest.
2) About 280 million turkeys are sold on Thanksgiving, which is about 7 billion pounds, and about 3 million dollars of revenue.
3) The author of “Mary had a Little Lamb” was largely responsible for the establishment of the national Thanksgiving Holiday. Sarah Joespha Hale, one of the great women in American history, campaigned for nearly 20 years to get Thanksgiving made a national holiday. During her campaign she continually lobbied various congressmen, wrote annual editorials on the subject, wrote annual letter to every governor in the United States and sent a steady stream of letter to the U.S. President as well.
4) Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, where peacocks are found in considerable number. And he believed turkeys were a type of peacock (they’re actually a type of pheasant). So he named them “tuka”, which is “peacock” in the Tamil language of India. Hence, our current turkeys!
- Tyler Edwards, Super Senior Telecounselor (and newly established Thanksgiving aficionado)