More Thanksgiving facts

A few years ago we had a post with some interesting Thanksgiving facts. We know you’re eager to get new wacky information to make small talk with people on this date, so here you go, some more Thanksgiving facts:

-Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. Canadians celebrate it too but they do it the second Monday in October. Besides, the Black Friday which follows Thanksgiving in the US has been adopted overseas… for instance: the United Kingdom.

Black Friday eager patrons

Black Friday is not only the busiest day of year for some store clerks… it is the busiest day of year for plumbers too, who have to clean up after household guests who overwhelm the system, according to CNN.

-How many turkeys are raised in the US in a year? According to this year’s forecast, 242 million turkeys will be raised in 2013. Minnesota leads the way with 45 million of these birds. An estimated of 46 million turkeys will be consumed on the Thanksgiving tables this year, according to the BBC.

-Cranberries, main ingredient of the traditional cranberry sauce, are not really berries, botanically speaking.

-In 1817, New  York became the first state to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday.

-Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the President of the United States has pardoned one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of US governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual. Turkeys pardoned by the President of the United States are sent to George Washington’s historic home in Mount Vernon.

-Most pardoned turkeys die within a year of being granted a reprieve anyway. Brad Plumer breaks it down this way:

The pardoned turkeys aren’t that much better off — because the life of a turkey is misery and pain. This is going to get gruesome, and I’m sorry about that. But modern-day domestic turkeys aren’t bred to have a happy life. They’re raised to be as large as possible so that they can be slaughtered as soon as possible and produce the greatest volume of delicious turkey meat. Brad Plumer.

Thanksgiving Turkey
Happy Thanksgiving!

Plumer has said the turkey pardon is America’s dumbest tradition (what about Groundhog Day?).

November 28th, 2013.



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