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Interesting Thanksgiving Trivia

How well do you know the history of Thanksgiving? We all learned about the first Thanksgiving in school when we were kids, but there are so many more hidden gems of trivia about Thanksgiving. For example, did you know some historians argue the first Thanksgiving was actually in Florida in 1565 involving a Spanish fleet? If you want to learn some more cool trivia, continue reading!

1. Abraham Lincoln declared the first official proclamation for a national Thanksgiving holiday in 1863

2. Pumpkin pie has been a New England Thanksgiving tradition since the 18th century.

3. The first Thanksgiving football game was in 1876 between Princeton and Yale. (Yale won btw.)

4. In 1963, John F. Kennedy was the first president to spare a turkey’s life after he was gifted one. But the official tradition of the presidential pardon of a turkey did not start until 1989 with George H. W. Bush.

5. The first Macy’s “Thanksgiving” Day parade was in 1924 when the store wanted to celebrate the expansion of their store and announced a “Big Christmas Parade” two weeks before Thanksgiving. It was renamed the Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927.

6. President FDR tried to move Thanksgiving back a week in 1939 in order to expand the Christmas shopping season. People called it “Franksgiving,” and there was so much outcry against it that, in 1941, Congress officially moved it back to the last Thursday in November.

7. In 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used live animals from the Central Park Zoo in its parade.

8. Part of Plymouth, Massachusetts still looks the same as it did in the seventeenth century. So, why not go check out Plimouth Plantation this Thanksgiving season?

9. Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in America. Others in the top five include North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, and Missouri.

10. The Turkey-Talk hotline from Butterball, started in 1981,  will answer your questions about how to cook a turkey. They answer about 100,000 calls each season and also have email, live chat, texting, and social media. This is their website, if you’re interested.

This Thanksgiving, if your family keeps asking you about your relationship status or what you want to do with your life, casually try to drop in one of these bits of trivia to change the conversation. Who can pass up a conversation about historic Thanksgiving trivia?! Happy Thanksgiving!




















Alexandra is a Senior History major with an English minor at Boston College who can always be found procrastinating by reading books or watching Netflix. She is known for making puns so bad that not even her friends laugh at them (but she always does). Her favorite ice cream flavor is Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey. Favorite movies include When Harry Met Sally, Dead Poets Society, and The Princess Bride.
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