12 Fun Thanksgiving Facts from Ogden City Fire Department

BY DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF, SHELBY WILLIS

As we near the holiday season, We thought we would share some fun facts for this holiday season. Hope you find this humorous and share a few of these tidbits.

  1. Historians have no record of turkey being eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
    The first Thanksgiving Day feast happened in 1621 with three whole days dedicated to the celebration. Although turkey was plentiful, it was not served at the first Thanksgiving. Instead, “ducks, geese and swans” are believed to have been served.
  1. Benjamin Franklin wished the turkey was the national bird. In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country…For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird.”
  1. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade had live Central Park Zoo animals.
    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was originally called the «Macy›s Christmas Parade» Held in 1924, the first parade «included a menagerie of circus mainstays, including monkeys, bears, camels, and elephants, all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo,» instead of the traditional character balloons.
  1. Sarah Josepha Hale was actually the “Mother of Thanksgiving.”
    Famously known for writing “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Sarah J. Hale was a 19th-century writer who was nicknamed the Mother of Thanksgiving. The named seemed fitting after she wrote a letter to President Lincoln calling for the declaration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
  1. Thanksgiving was once celebrated on the third Thursday in November.
    Decades after President Lincoln officially declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, President Roosevelt wanted to mix up the holiday by moving it up to the third Thursday in November, instead of the fourth. By doing this, there were seven more shopping days added in 1939.
  1. The first professional Thanksgiving Day football game was played 1920.
  1. “Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving Day song.
    Before becoming a Christmas anthem, Jingle Bells was an 1857 song titled «One Horse Open Sleigh,” and its composer, James Pierpont, intended it to be a Thanksgiving Day song.
  1. Each year, there are about 46 million turkeys cooked.
  1. Butterball has had a Turkey Talk-Line open for over 35 years.
    Butterball answers more than 100,000 turkey-cooking questions each November and December, and have done so since 1981.
  1. The turkey’s tryptophan doesn’t actually make you tired.
    The reason you can’t imagine doing anything other than watching football on the couch is because you over-ate. The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500. Ouch!
  1. President George H. W. Bush was the first to pardon a turkey. In 1989, the 41st president pardoned the first turkey ever after noticing the 50-pound bird looked a little antsy at his official Thanksgiving proclamation. Since then, every president has upheld the tradition and a few of the turkeys have gone on to serve a different purpose.
  1. Thanksgiving is the reason for TV dinners! In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes — and the first TV dinner was born!

All kidding aside, please reflect this holiday season on all we have to be thankful for. My husband, son and I have a tradition on thanksgiving morning; we each share three things that we are thankful for… Son: “Skiing, video games and skiing” (insert eye roll).

We continue and talk about just how lucky we are to live in this great place and have the freedoms we enjoy everyday. We are truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving from Ogden City Fire!

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