If you’re in the United States, you’re likely prepping this week for Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday where families get together, eat tasty food, and reflect upon the things that they are most thankful for. It’s a time for reflection, a time for thanks, and a time to enjoy one another. And, of course, a time to eat more food than we should and then take the best afternoon nap of the year… but I assumed you already knew that.
But apart from our own personal family traditions, how much do we really know about Thanksgiving? Read through these facts so that you can go into the holiday prepared:
Interesting Facts About Thanksgiving
1. The American Automobile Association estimates that upwards of 42.2 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday each year.
2. 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day…and, people typically eat leftover Turkey for a couple of days following as well!
3. The First Thanksgiving lasted for three days…and we thought one day was a lot of food.
4. Although there is a lot of food at many Thanksgiving celebrations, cooking in bulk lowers the price. The cost of the average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people is around $50. At only $5 per person, this is something else to be thankful for.
5. Every President since Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day. But in 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season.
6. Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America. Six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana—account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. this year.
7. About 280 million turkeys are sold annually for Thanksgiving which is about 7 BILLION pounds of Turkey and approximately $3 billion worth of sales.
8. Fifty percent of Americans put the stuffing inside the Turkey.
9. About 20% of all cranberries that are consumed in the U.S. per year are eaten on Thanksgiving.
10. There are three places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course — Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, La.; and Turkey, N.C. There are also nine townships around the country named “Turkey,” with three in Kansas.
11. Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when they are scared, but domesticated turkeys that are bred are heavier and can’t run quite that fast.
12. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.
13. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
14. The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighs 86 pounds.