We’d like to give you a few facts to go with the fun, food, and family that this holiday best represents.
The History Channel, on its History.com website presents a Thanksgiving By the Numbers infographic that presents some interesting comparisons between the Thanksgiving experienced by the Pilgrims in 1621 with Thanksgiving today:
- The first Thanksgiving was a 3-day feast celebrating the harvest. Today, it’s a 1-day feast followed by football and sales.
- The first Thanksgiving meal consisted of lots of fowl (turkey, duck, goose, and swan), shellfish, and venison. Today, it’s really about turkey, with 26 million turkeys being consumed at Thanksgiving.
- Side dishes at the first Thanksgiving included pumpkin (not as a pie but as a pudding), stuffing, and corn (other vegetables may have been served as well, including spinach, cabbage, and peas. Today, we augment the meal with potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin (definitely pie). The vegetable most of us associate with Thanksgiving is string bean casserole, but it’s unlikely the Pilgrims had cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Here are some Thanksgiving facts and activities that would appear completely foreign to our ancestors:
- In 2014, 133.7 million shoppers spent $50.9 billion over the Black Friday four-day weekend (a drop from the previous year, but still quite impressive).
- Blowing up the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade fifteen balloons takes over 300,000 feet of helium!
- Televised NFL games attract between approximately 27 million and 32 million viewers per game.
We’d like to wish all of our readers and followers the happiest Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy!
Check out the History.com infographic.