10 Surprising Thanksgiving Facts
Do you think you know a lot about Thanksgiving? Test your knowledge and see how many of these facts are new to you!
1. There are 32 counties, places and townships named Plymouth throughout the United States, most likely named after Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims landed.
2. Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1862, naming the last Thursday of November as the national day to celebrate Thanksgiving.
3. Pumpkin pie was thought to have been included at the pilgrims' second Thanksgiving in 1623. However, English military and political leader Oliver Cromwell banned pie in 1644, denouncing it as a pagan pleasure, forcing people to start eating pie in secret. The ban was lifted in 1660.
4. The world’s largest pumpkin pie, made at the 2010 Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio, weighed 3,699 pounds and was 20 feet in diameter.
5. In 2012, the U.S. produced 2.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, more than 1.2 billion pounds of pumpkins, and an estimated 768 million pounds of cranberries.
6. The National Turkey Federation estimates that 736 million pounds of turkey meat are consumed every year on Thanksgiving.
7. Minnesota is our top turkey-producing state. Cranberries, on the other hand, are primarily grown in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.
8. One can of jellied cranberry sauce—which is extremely popular this time of year—contains around 200 cranberries.
9. Instead of eating cranberries, Native Americans used them to dye clothing and keep wounds from getting infected. In fact, cranberries weren’t even present at the first Thanksgiving.
10. NBC Radio broadcast the first national Thanksgiving day football game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. Other than during World War II, the Lions have played every Thanksgiving day since.
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