From which president tried to cancel Thanksgiving to how many calories the average American eats on the holiday, these Thanksgiving facts work perfectly as no-fuss conversation starters that won’t launch arguments as you pass the peas.
1. The first Thanksgiving was actually a three-day celebration.
2. It’s unclear if colonists and Native Americans ate turkey at their feast.
3. Today, a part of Plymouth, Massachusetts, looks just as it did in the 17th century.
4. While president, Thomas Jefferson refused to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday.
5. The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also responsible for Thanksgiving’s recognition as a national holiday.
6. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t feature any balloons.
7. But we have a Good Housekeeping illustrator to thank for the parade’s first balloons.
8. In 1939, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday in November — not the fourth.
9. A Thanksgiving mix-up inspired the first TV dinners.
10. About 46 million turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving each year.
11. But not everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving.
12. You might consume up to 229 grams fat during the big meal.
13. America’s first turkey trot took place more than a century ago.
14. Runners at a Dallas turkey trot set a world record by dressing up as turkeys.
15. The turkeys pardoned by the President go on to do some pretty cool things.
16. Only male turkeys actually gobble.
17. Turkeys are (kind of) named after the country.
18. Most Americans like Thanksgiving leftovers more than the actual meal.
19. The Butterball Turkey Talk Line answers almost 100,000 calls each season.
20. Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving — but on a different day.
21. There are four places in the country named Turkey.
22. An estimated 50 million pumpkin pies are eaten on Thanksgiving.
23. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers.
24. Over 32 million people begin Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving.