While those are definitely two of our favorite components, the important (and fascinating!) facts are often overlooked. Whether you're looking for an interesting conversation starter or just really want to know more about Thanksgiving, these surprising facts will make you seem like the smartest person at the dinner table.
Today, Thanksgiving is one day — maybe two if you count Black Friday. But apparently the Pilgrims wanted to party even harder. Governor William Bradford organized the feast, inviting the Plymouth colonists' Native American allies. But it was only until the Wampanoag guests came and joined the Pilgrims that they decided to extend the affair.
There is truly no definitive proof that the traditional Thanksgiving entrée was even offered to guests back in 1621. However, they did indulge in other interesting foods like lobster, seal, and swan.
Modeled after an English village and a Wampanoag home site, the historic attraction Plimoth Plantation stays true to its roots. You can order tickets as early as June to attend a Thanksgiving dinner complete with numerous authentic courses, tales of colonial life, and centuries-old songs.
Presidents originally had to declare it a holiday every year. History says Jefferson refused because he strongly believed in the separation of church and state. Since Thanksgiving involved prayer, he thought making it a holiday would violate the First Amendment.
In 1863, writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday that recurred every year. She wrote countless articles and letters to persuade the president — and the rest is history!
But when the parade made its big debut in 1924, it did have something that might be even cooler than balloons: animals from the Central Park Zoo.
You might think President Roosevelt could predict the future, as he channeled a "Black Friday" mindset in making this decision. Even though the holiday had been celebrated on the fourth Thursday since its official recognition decades before, Roosevelt bumped it up a week — adding seven more shopping days to the holiday season. Americans, to say the least, didn't love the change, so it was officially (and legally) switched back in 1942.
It's tradition, after all! And on Christmas, 22 million families host an encore with another turkey.
We hate to break it to you, but that's about three to four times the amount of fat you should eat in a day. You're probably also wondering how many calories you might eat — and unfortunately an entire Thanksgiving meal could total over 3,000 calories.
Original story: Good Housekeeping
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