Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for a great 2019
Did You Know This About Thanksgiving?
1. What year was the celebration that is most commonly considered to be the first Thanksgiving?
A: 1621. This is the celebration that people most often talk about when they are talking about the “first” Thanksgiving. But there are others that are claimed to be the first Thanksgiving. There was another celebration in Plymouth in 1623 and one in Boston in 1631 that people claim was the actual first Thanksgiving.
2. How long did the first Thanksgiving celebration last?
A: Three days. It was celebrated much earlier than our current celebration, possibly in late September. There were about 50 European settlers and around 90 native Americans (from the Wampanoag tribe) who attended the multi-day feast.
3. Under which president did Thanksgiving become an annual holiday?
A: Abraham Lincoln. The U.S. has celebrated Thanksgiving off and on since 1774. On November, 26, 1789 George Washington made a proclamation that the country would celebrate a day of thanksgiving to God. Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday after Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. That came after writing letters to him for 17 years.
4. Was turkey served at the first Thanksgiving?
A: Turkey wasn’t served at the first Thanksgiving. Legend has it that venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish were shared, along with pumpkins and cranberries. Surprisingly, it is believed that the pumpkins were served in a stew and in pies, although slightly different than we make today.
5. Which president was the first to give a turkey a presidential pardon?
A: Ronald Reagan. John F. Kennedy was the first president on record for unofficially sparing a Turkey in 1963. The Reagan administration in 1987 gave the first official presidential pardon to a turkey as a joke. The turkey was spared and put into a petting zoo. George H. Bush made it an annual tradition in 1989 and each president since has carried on the tradition.
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