Thanksgiving is generally known as the one day of the year where families come together and stuff their faces until their buttons start popping off, but there are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about good old Turkey Day.
1. George Washington declared Thanksgiving to be a national day of fasting and prayer in 1789. Thomas Jefferson, however, got rid of it, and it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln’s presidency that Thanksgiving was proclaimed once again. This time, luckily, food was more than welcome.
2. Sarah J. Hale, the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” was the one who pushed for Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. It took her nearly 20 years of campaigning to finally achieve her goal.
3. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. That might have made digging into them on Thanksgiving a little awkward.
4. The early years of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City featured live animals as opposed to the floats we see today. And no, they weren’t the size of buildings.
5. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving a week earlier in 1939, hoping to prolong the Christmas shopping season. Evidently, people were not happy with the extra week of “Jingle Bells” and Santa Claus, so two years later he switched it back to the fourth Thursday in November.
6. The president has been presented two turkeys every Thanksgiving since 1947. He doesn’t eat them though; it’s for a solely traditional purpose, and after the turkey is presented, it moves to a historical farm to live.
7. Although it’s a common belief that the tryptophan (an amino acid) in turkey makes you drowsy, biology teachers will tell you that that’s not actually the case because there simply isn’t enough. You’re exhaustion probably just comes from the extended family.
8. Originally, cornucopias were made out of actual curved goat horns. Presumably, it wasn’t fun to wrestle a goat possessing horns large enough to be filled with stuff, so today cornucopias are generally horn-shaped wicker baskets.
9. Female turkeys don’t gobble; they just sort of click. The gobble that we all know and love is really the male’s way of attracting the ladies.
10. The first Thanksgiving, the one with the Pilgrims, lasted three days. Imagine how tight their pants were after that celebration. But yet, with all that food, there wasn’t a single turkey.
Sarah Probst is a junior at Clarence High School.