In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. This national holiday is a day when Americans give thanks for their blessings. During Thanksgiving history, many people choose to spend the day with family while eating turkey and watching football. Others use the Thanksgiving holiday as a day to volunteer to help those who are less fortunate. All schools and most businesses are closed on Thanksgiving to give people time to celebrate.
Here are three fast facts you need to know about Thanksgiving history:
1. The Pilgrims Probably Didn’t Host The First Thanksgiving in America
It was common in both Europe and in Native American cultures to have a celebration of a successful harvest. Because of this, there are Thanksgiving celebrations recorded by Spanish colonists and early American settlers long before the Pilgrims founded Plymouth colony. Because of this, Florida, Texas, Maine, and Virginia all claim to have hosted the first Thanksgiving celebration in the United States. In addition, many Native Americans take offense to how the holiday is explained and use the holiday as a day of mourning. They believe that the Thanksgiving story of the pilgrims and the Native Americans working together without disagreement leaves out much of the story.
2. Turkey Wasn’t Served At The First Thanksgiving
It’s no secret that Americans eat a lot of turkey during Thanksgiving. In fact, it is estimated that 736 million pounds is consumed in the United States on Thanksgiving Day alone. But historians don’t even believe that turkey was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Instead, it is thought that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians ate venison, oysters, fish, and ducks. There weren’t any cranberries or mashed potatoes at the first Thanksgiving either.
3. Thanksgiving Is The Reason For TV Dinners
In 1953, a worker at the Swanson company dramatically overestimated the amount of turkey that people would buy for Thanksgiving. In response, Swanson salesman Gerry Thomas suggested that the company package up the Thanksgiving leftovers and try to sell them in disposable aluminum trays to be easy to reheat. That year, over 10 million dinners were sold. It’s really no surprise that a holiday known for its televised parades and football games is responsible for TV dinners.
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