If you’re in the United States, you’re likely prepping this week for Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday where families get together, eat tasty food, and reflect upon the things that they are most thankful for. It’s a time for reflection, a time for thanks, and a time to enjoy one another. And, of course, a time to eat more food than we should and then take the best afternoon nap of the year…but I assumed you already knew that.

But apart from our own personal family traditions, how much do we really know about Thanksgiving? Read through these facts so that you can go into the holiday prepared:

14 Interesting Facts About Thanksgiving

1. The American Automobile Association estimates that upwards of 42.2 million americans travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday each year.

2. 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving day…and if you’re anything like my family, eat leftover Turkey for a couple days following as well!

3. The First Thanksgiving lasted for three days…and we thought one day was a lot of food.

4. Although there is a lot of food at many Thanksgiving celebrations, cooking in bulk lowers the price. The cost of the average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is around $50. At only $5 per person, this is something else to be thankful for.

5. Every President since Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day. But in 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. Given that this is no longer the case, it’s safe to say that this did not go over well.

6. Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America. Six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana—account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. this year.

7. About 280 million turkeys are sold annually for Thanksgiving which is about 7 BILLION pounds of Turkey and approximately $3 billion worth of sales.

8. Since Harry Truman, every president has pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. (There was a fun animated movie about this even!)

9. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey meat and is widely belied to be the cause of that post-meal food coma. However, the levels in turkey are comparable to other meats. It’s actually more likely the large intake of carbs and subsequent release of melatonin that causes your drowsiness.

10.  Fifty percent of Americans put the stuffing inside the Turkey. Personally, I am not one of those! Team-stuffing-outside-of-turkey!

11. (My personal favorite Thanksgiving activity!)  Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

12. About 20% of all cranberries that are consumed in the U.S. per year are eaten on Thanksgiving.

13. The ‘wishbone’ of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual on Thanksgiving Day.

14. There are three places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course — Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, La.; and Turkey, N.C. There are also nine townships around the country named “Turkey,” with three in Kansas.


What are your favorite Thanksgiving Facts?
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