last seven years at one of the local high schools here in Richmond, VA. Sarah asked me last week if I’d be willing to
write a post about the history of Thanksgiving and I gladly accepted the
challenge. I’ve always thought so highly
of her writing skills, so I don’t know if I’ll live up to her standards but here
According to AAA, over 43 million households travel in order
to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. During this time, over 46 million turkeys are
eaten, according to Livescience.com. So
how did this day originate anyway?
Rather than bore you with facts you probably learned in school, I thought it
might be more fun to share some more unknown facts.
Fun Fact #1:
Did you know that the 100 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower
landed and eventually settled at Plymouth Rock in the month of December?
The result of this was that over half of them
died during that first punishing winter. Talk about bad timing…….
Fun Fact #2:
meal but a three day long festival between the Pilgrims and Natives?
The Pilgrims were celebrating their first
successful harvest in 1621 and celebrating with food, hunting, and other
Fun Facts #3:
Did you know that the first Thanksgiving was held in early
fall rather than in November?
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in either
September or October since this was the peak harvest time for crops.
Fun Fact #4:
Did you know that the colony of Plymouth almost failed?
It was only because of a native named Squanto
(who actually spoke English) that the Plymouth colony was able to farm in the
harsh terrain of modern day Massachusetts. This permanently ingrained the
colony for future generations.
Fun Fact #5:
first Thanksgiving feast?
The meat of choice was probably not turkey but
more likely to have been venison, duck or lobster.
to be recognized as a federal holiday?
It was only because of the efforts of Sara
Josepha Hale that we celebrate Thanksgiving. While studying the early diaries
of the Pilgrims, she came across the history of the first feast and became an
advocate for a national thanksgiving holiday. Her campaign would last over 30 years. You may
not know her name, but I bet you know a nursery rhyme that she wrote titled “Mary
Had a Little Lamb.”
Fun Fact #7:
Did you know it was Abraham Lincoln who signed the law authorizing
Thanksgiving as a national holiday?
Lincoln signed this law during the Civil War in
1863, declaring Thanksgiving be celebrated on the last Thursday of
November. Prior to this law being passed,
the holiday was only celebrated in certain states and on random dates.
Fun Fact #8:
Did you know it was George H.W. Bush who started the
tradition of a presidential pardon for a turkey?
started this tradition in 1989 and presidents have continued this tradition
each year since.
So there you go….. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my first
official post on Theteacherswife.com. Please stay tuned and I hope you and your
family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!