Argosy University Blog

TALKING TURKEY: 11 THANKSGIVING FUN FACTS

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It's happened to most everyone. You're enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving feast with family and friends when-with one single comment-the holiday chatter suddenly careens toward politics.

If you're looking for a great way to quickly steer the conversation back to something less indigestion-inducing, try some Thanksgiving trivia! Here are 11 "fun facts" sure to help keep your dinner conversation light and lively this Thursday:

1. According to the National Turkey Federation, 44 million turkeys were served for Thanksgiving last year. That’s less than 20% of the 219 million turkeys consumed in the U.S. last year. Christmas came in second at 22 million turkeys served, and Easter finished third at 19 million turkeys.

2. The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 16 pounds.

3. A turkey typically has about 70% white meat and 30% dark meat.

4. Nearly 88% of Americans surveyed say they eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

5. Based on a national American Farm Bureau Federation survey conducted by 141 volunteer shoppers in 39 states, it will cost $49.12 this year to serve a complete Thanksgiving feast for 10.

6. If you think turkeys go “gobble, gobble”, you’re half right—because half of them do. While tom turkeys gobble, female turkeys make a clicking sound.

7. The tradition of “pardoning” a holiday turkey at the White House goes back to 1863 and President Abraham Lincoln, who granted clemency to a live turkey at the urging of his son, Tad.

8. Thanksgiving is a plumber’s favorite holiday. The day after Thanksgiving is known in the plumbing industry as “Brown Friday” and is their busiest day of the year, according to Roto-Rooter. Roto-Rooter reports a 50% increase in calls on the day after Thanksgiving compared to an average Friday, due largely to clogged kitchen sinks and garbage disposals.

9. If it weren’t for Thanksgiving, the TV dinner may have never been invented. When a Swanson employee mistakenly ordered 260 tons of turkey back in 1953, a salesman at the food company came up with a novel idea—to create frozen dinners featuring turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, peas, and cornbread dressing. Within a year, more than 10 million had been sold.

10. While most people associate the Thanksgiving Day parade with Macy’s in New York City, the Gimbels department store in Philadelphia first sponsored their parade in 1920. Macy’s followed four years later.

11. As you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, raise a toast to Sarah Josepha Hale. Without her, there might be no Thanksgiving. In 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise,” it was the culmination of a campaign launched 36 years earlier by Hale, an influential magazine editor and author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Argosy University!

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