Happy Turkey Day! The first time I heard that phrase, I was about twelve years old in my best friend’s side yard, we loved to hang out, dance and do cartwheels there, come-on, we were twelve. Her sweet next door neighbor of about 58 years of age came out her back door and boisterously announced “Happy Turkey day” to us. I had never heard that phrase before; I wish the story continued as lovely as it began, but towards the end of the day, while still tumbling outside, an ambulance came and picked the lovely woman up, after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with her family, she had a massive heart attack and died that evening. That stuck with me and since that very day; every Thanksgiving, I make a point to say “Happy Turkey Day” probably because in some weird way, I feel I’m honoring her memory.
Let’s lighten this story up a bit and talk about some Thanksgiving Facts, shall we:
- The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.
- The pilgrims sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of Mayflower.
- The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land. Squanto was an integral part of the pilgrims survival. He was a member o the Pawtuxet band of the Wampanoag tribe.
- In 1621, near the end of the Plymouth, Massachusetts colony’s first year in America, the settlers gave thanks for a plentiful first harvest.
- The pilgrims and the natives celebrated together and everyone feasted on geese, ducks, deer, corn, oysters, fish and some other delectable treats; I don’t know for sure, I wasn’t there.
- Thanksgiving became an official holiday in 1863, during the Civil War; President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving should be a national observance.
- Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.
- Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
- Domesticated turkeys (farm raised) cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances at up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys are also fast on the ground, running at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
- The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed in at 86 pounds and was raised in England.
- North Carolina produces 61 million turkeys annually, more than any other state. Minnesota and Arkansas are number two and three.
- The fleshy growth from the base of the beak, which is very long on male turkeys and hangs down over the beak, is called the snood. Always wondered, didn’t you?
- The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920’s.
- Forty-six million Turkeys consumed on this day.
- Twenty-four million tune in for Macy’s Day Parade.
- Betty White hosted Macy’s Day Parade a total of ten times. I LOVE my “Golden Girls” Rose!
- 4,300 calories consumed on Thanksgiving Day on average. Wowie, damn that pie.
- Thanksgiving is now a time for people to celebrate with family and friends, to be grateful for what they have, and to help those who may have less than they do.
My favorite Thanksgiving food is probably pumpkin pie, which is odd because I’m not a big dessert lover and my mom’s stuffing (which I hated as a kid). I also love to save the leftover Turkey and Ham for sandwiches the rest of the week, yummy! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Our family tradition is to drive to my parent’s home and eat with my parents/siblings, then drive to maw maw’s home about fifty minutes away for more family togetherness, thankfulness and of course more food.
I’m so thankful for my entire family and wish everyone extraordinary health, safety and happiness. Have a blessed “Happy Turkey Day!”