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Want to avoid hot-button topics or having to listen to one more of Aunt Martha’s boring stories around your Thanksgiving dinner table? Then check out these Thanksgiving facts that you can use to get the conversation going in a fun direction.

  • The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. But it probably wasn’t on the 4th Thursday of November. Abraham Lincoln is the person who decided Thanksgiving would be celebrated on that day thanks to the persuasion of Sarah Josepha Hale, the composer of the classic children’s song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” She campaigned for 17 years to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday!
  • Did you know Thanksgiving was originally intended to be a day of fasting? That’s how the Pilgrims planned to give thanks for their first harvest, but the Wampanoag Indians had other ideas. Thanks to them, the first Thanksgiving was a 3-day feast. We American’s have fully embraced the Wampanoags’ idea. For many of us, the feasting goes on for days. (And for some of us, it lasts until our New Year’s resolutions kick in on January 1st.)
  • Put down that fork! No, I’m not telling you to watch your calories on Thanksgiving Day. If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving in the style of the original feast, you can only use a spoon and a knife to eat that meal, as forks weren’t introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later. And hold the turkey too. You can enjoy venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish, but forget the mashed potatoes. You can have cranberries, but no cranberry relish, and pumpkins, but no pumpkin pie! Where’s the fun in that?
  • So, if the average turkey for Thanksgiving weighs 15 pounds, can you imagine cooking one the size of the first turkey ever pardoned? That honor goes to a 45-pounder named Courage. But Courage is a mere pipsqueak next to Tyson—the heaviest turkey on record—who weighed in at a hefty 86 pounds!
  • Speaking of turkeys, a Thanksgiving mix-up is responsible for the first TV dinners. In 1953, a Swanson employee accidentally ordered 260 tons of Thanksgiving turkeys. Salesman Gerry Thomas came up with the idea of filling aluminum trays with turkey and sides, and the new $.98 meals were a hit. Within one year, over 10 million were sold.
  • Do you know when many of our current Thanksgiving traditions—besides eating—originated? The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924 and included Macy’s employees and live animals from the Central park Zoo—with no balloons in sight. The NFL started the Thanksgiving Classic games in 1920 with the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions hosting every year since. The third game wasn’t added until 2006 giving different teams the opportunity to host a game. And Black Friday wasn’t even on our Thanksgiving holiday radar until the 1980s.
  • And one more helpful tidbit: It’s not the turkey that makes you drowsy on Thanksgiving Day, it’s the high-calorie meal, the wine, the beer, and getting the chance to relax briefly before the rest of the holiday season kicks into full gear. So, if you plan to travel after that turkey day meal, know that you might be extra sleepy and take precautions. Pace yourself with the food and the alcohol and take a nap if you need one. Here at Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we want you to have a relaxing, happy, and safe Thanksgiving!

The important thing to remember is all the gifts we have to share with friends and family and those who are less fortunate. There may be six degrees of separation between you and most famous people, but there may only be only one degree of separation between you and someone in need of food, clothes, a place to stay or an attentive ear. All of us at Accident & Injury Chiropractic wish you and yours the best of this holiday season!