- The first Thanksgiving was held by Pilgrims
Fiction-Technically, American Indians, Europeans, and other cultures around the world often celebrated the harvest season with feasts to offer thanks to higher powers for their sustenance and survival.
In 1541 Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his troops celebrated a “Thanksgiving” while searching for New World gold in what is now the Texas Panhandle. In 1564 feasts were held by French Huguenot colonists in (what is now) Jacksonville, Florida, English colonists and Abnaki Indians celebrated at Maine’s Kennebec River in 1607, and in 1610 Jamestown, Virginia colonists celebrated with the arrival of a food-laden ship that ended a brutal famine.
It’s the 1621 Plymouth Thanksgiving that’s linked to the birth of our modern “Thanksgiving” holiday.
- Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November?
Fact- In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November would be declared a national holiday known as Thanksgiving Day. Even after this proclamation there was still some disagreement over the actual date. Every year folks tried to change the date of the holiday for a variety of reasons.
In 1933 during the height of the Great Depression, retail associations asked President Roosevelt to move the date of Thanksgiving that year since it would fall on November 30 leaving little time for Holiday shopping. Roosevelt denied the request. However, when Thanksgiving came again on November 30, 1939, Roosevelt agreed and changed the date to November 23rd every year. This decision angered and frustrated people claiming that the president was messing with tradition for the sake of the economy. In turn, each state got to choose for itself and 23 went with the original date, while 23 choose to celebrate on the New Deal date. Some states even celebrated twice! To insure that the date would not be changed again a bill was commenced that Roosevelt signed on November 26, 1941 officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. This has been followed by every state in the union since 1956.
- Turkey was on the original menu
Fiction-It is suggested that the American Indian men killed deer for the feast, and that the colonists shot wild fowl—which may have been geese, and ducks. It is likely that the colonists supplemented their venison and birds with fish, lobster, clams, nuts, and wheat flour, as well as vegetables such as pumpkin, squash, carrots, peas and Indian corn.
Much of what we consider traditional Thanksgiving fare was unknown at the first Thanksgiving. Potatoes and sweet potatoes hadn’t yet become staples of the English diet. Cranberry sauce requires sugar—an expensive delicacy in the 1600s. Pumpkin pie was missing due to a lack of crust ingredients.
- Turkey makes you sleepy.
Fiction-While it’s true that turkey contains tryptophan–an amino acid that’s a precursor to calming, feel-good serotonin–there’s not enough tryptophan in roasted turkey to tire you out. In fact, there’s more tryptophan in cheese and chicken breast than there is in turkey. It’s usually the over-stuffing of ourselves that makes is want to lay back and rest. To prepare yourself for a healthier thanksgiving, Read our article Healthy Thanksgiving
- Minnesota is the United States’ top turkey-producing state.
Fact-This is followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Virginia. These “big six” states produce two of every three U.S.-raised birds, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Some 242 million turkeys were raised in the U.S. in 2010 for slaughter, a net worth of about $3.6 billion dollars. The National Turkey Federation estimates that approximately 46 million turkeys will end up on U.S. dinner tables at Thanksgiving this year.
- The bigger the turkey, the better.
Fiction-Larger-breasted turkeys are new breeds that were created to produce a larger amount of meat–not a better flavor. The smaller the ratio of breast meat to whole bird, the closer the turkey is to the original model and the more old-fashioned its flavor will be. It is best to stick with with a fresh heritage turkey or crossbreed turkey.
- Almost 3 billlion fruits and vegetables are produced just for Thanksgiving.
Fact-U.S. farmers will produce 735 million pounds of cranberries, most of them from Wisconsin and Massachusetts. 1.9 billion pounds of sweet potatoes from North Carolina, California, and Louisiana. And finally 931 million pounds pumpkins will be grown, with top contributors being Illinois, California, and Ohio.
An on a side note, Canned pureed pumpkin from the grocery store often produces a more reliable and consistent result when baking. If you insist on using fresh pumpkins this holiday season, be sure to use sugar pumpkins; the pumpkins you buy to carve at Halloween are watery, mealy, and not great for recipes.
- Pardoned Turkeys retire to Disneyland.
True-Since 1947, every year at least two lucky turkeys avoid the dinner table, thanks to a presidential pardon. A Washington tradition believed to have originated with U.S. President Harry Truman. According to the National Turkey Federation, There are two birds, the presidential turkey and the vice presidential turkey, which is an alternate, in case the presidential turkey is unable to perform its duties. Turkeys that are considered “ready to eat” are also presented to the president after the pardon.
Prior to 2010 the “presidential” pardoned turkeys have gone to live at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch in California. This year’s birds will instead follow in the footsteps of the first president and live out their days at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
- Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year.
Fact-While many airlines, will disagree, stating that summer months are busier, the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips increases by 54 percent. During the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. Some 40 million of the 308 million U.S. citizens will drive more than 50 miles from home, according to the American Automobile Association. It may seem like everyone in the U.S. is on the road on Thanksgiving Day, keeping you from your turkey and stuffing.
During this Holiday Season please be safe throughout all of your holiday travels. Look to HISI to assist you with any and all of you travel protection. Whether it be auto insurance or travel insurance HISI can help prepare you. Checkout our online store or contact Jon Belinke 301.590.0006 for more information on the necessary polices you should have when traveling.
aka Pumpkin Martini
½ oz of sylk cream liquor
2oz vanillia vodka
½ oz pumpkin liquer or pumpkin spice syrup
1tsp whipped cream
Cinnamon stick to garnish
Add first three ingredients to shaker over ice, shake, pur into chilled glass and top with whipped cream and cinnamon stick