Thanksgiving Day

These days, most of us are able to enjoy Thanksgiving and its turkey, stuffing, cranberries, potatoes and pumpkin pies without giving much thought to how and why the national holiday got its start. However, the story of Thanksgiving is an interesting one.

The Beginning:

  • 102, the number of people brought forth on the Mayflower.

  • The length of the passage took, 66 days.

  • 6,000, the estimated Wampanoag population in 1621.

  • 2,000, the current estimated population (many of whose ancestry includes other tribes).

  • 5, the number of deer the Wampanoag brought to the first feast.

  • 3 days, the length of the first feast.

  • 0, the number of pies and cakes served at the first feast.

  • It is not known if turkey was eaten at the first feast, it is believed that lobsters, seal swans and mussels were on the menu.

These Days:

  • 10 million turkeys.

  • 2, have increased since 2010.

  • $4.37 billion, the value of those birds.

  • 7.11 billion, the weight in pounds of all the turkeys raised in 2010 in the U.S.

  • 248 million, the number of turkeys expected to be raised in the U.S. in 2011.

  • 46.5 million, the number of turkeys Minnesota is expected to raise this year, which is the nation’s top turkey state!

  • 30 million, the number to be raised in North Carolina and Arkansas, which is the nation’s second top!

  • 18 million in Missouri.

  • 17.5 million In Virginia.

  • 16 million in Indiana.

  • 2 in 3 of all U.S. turkeys, will be raised in these six states.

  • 656,340 tons, of contracted snap (green) beans will be produced in major producing states in 2011. (It is unknown how much of this ended up in green bean casserole).

  • 1.1 billion, pounds of pumpkins were produced in the major pumpkin producing states in 2010.

  • Pumpkins of $117 million worth; are in California, Illinois, Ohio, and New York.

  • 2.4 billion, pounds of sweet potatoes were produced in the U.S. last year.

  • 5.3 pounds, the amount of sweet potatoes consumed by the average person that year.

  • 13.3 pounds, amount of turkey the typical American ate in 2010.

  • $1.38 retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2010.

  • 2.01 billion, bushels the total volume of wheat produced in the U.S. in 2011.

  • 33% of this wheat is produced in Montana, North Dakota, and Kansas.

  • 750 million, pounds of cranberries will be produced in the U.S. in 2011.

  • 17 to 210 million, pounds each will by produced by Washington, Oregon, Maine, and New Jersey.

  • 1 in 5, of all turkeys eaten in the U.S. are eaten at Thanksgiving.

  • 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation said that eat turkey on this holiday.

  • 2.020 pounds, the weight of the largest pumpkin pie ever.

  • Baked October. 8th, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and was made of 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 250 pounds of crust and 9 pounds of spices.

Around the Country:

  • 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade took place in NYC.

  • 3 million now attend and more than 44 million watch it on television.

  • Snoopy has been in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a giant balloon more than any other character.

  • 1934, the first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day.

  • 1956, the first year the game was on television.

  • 42.2 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2010.

  • 11.4% increase in Thanksgiving travel in 2010 from 2009.