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15 True Facts About Thanksgiving!


1. There are 12 competing claims for the location of the “first” Thanksgiving; three of which are still being re-enacted. But none are the antecedents for the Thanksgiving we celebrate today.  2. The antecedents for the Thanksgiving that we celebrate today are two very old traditions — harvest festivals & thanksgiving proclamations.  3. Sarah Josepha Hale, the “Mother” of Thanksgiving, single-handedly conducted a forty-year campaign that in 1863 established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.  4. Contrary to popular belief, President Abraham Lincoln did not issue the first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation. George Washington did.  5. The traditional “Pilgrim and Indian” story began to emerge in school books & the popular culture in the late 1890s.  6. In 1939 there were two Thanksgiving days in America. 7. It took an act of Congress in 1941 to settle the issue of when to celebrate Thanksgiving— on the last or the fourth Thursday in November.  8. Americans used to be warned against gluttony on Thanksgiving.  9. George Richards, the owner of a football team named the Spartans that he renamed the Lions and moved to Detroit, scheduled the first professional football game played on Thanksgiving in 1934. 10. The first parade on Thanksgiving was held in 1920 by Gimbel’s department store in Philadelphia to jump-start the Christmas shopping season. 11. Many Americans feature ethnic food on their Thanksgiving menu, along with the traditional turkey, stuffing, and cranberries. 12. In the mid-1800s, celery was considered a staple of the Thanksgiving feast, and was served in a celery glass, a special holder that was prominently displayed on the table.  13. In the early 1900s, it was fashionable to attend a dance on Thanksgiving. The hostess of one ball provided vegetable costumes for her guests, including a radish costume for women and a cucumber for men. 14. Being charitable has always been an important Thanksgiving tradition. 15. Since 1970, Native Americans of New England hold a protest, a Day of National Mourning, on Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth, MA. 

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