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The Facts of Thanksgiving Laid Out

Posted on November 12, 2013
By Nikki Martinez



You’re marking down the days until turkey is in the air, family is around, and your stretchy pants are ready for a meal that hasn’t been seen since last Thanksgiving. Turkey Day, aka Thanksgiving, is only a few weeks away, and while all that seems to take up space in your thoughts are getting things ready, maybe a breather is in store. And for that moment of quiet time, here are a few fun facts about Thanksgiving that could even give you a little perspective during your preparations:


1. There Was No Turkey!

They probably didn’t have turkey, and if they did it was wild, not the type we’re used to inahling. This is good news for those of us who would rather pass on the dry, sleep-inducing bird. The bad news is that rather than turkey, the crew feasted on the internal organs of local deer. Mmmmm, harrowing. 

2. It Was 3 Days Long

Get ready to rock you guys. Rather than one day of feasting, the original Thanksgiving went on for days. Insert in-law joke here. Also smallpox, because everyone was riddled with smallpox.

3. No Native Americans Allowed!

Yeah, it’s not likely the Americans even invited the tribes who helped them survive to eat with them. If anything, they offered them food as payment and then crossed themselves in fear for their lives having made direct contact with their rescuers. 

4. Why We Have ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb‘ To Thank

Here’s a silver lining – Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb, suggested making Thanksgiving a more widely acknowledged holiday than it was in an effort to keep the nation from dividing over the issue of slavery. The Civil War still happened, but so did Thanksgiving — so there’s that.

5. There Is Another One in December

Fun fact, during the Revolutionary War the Continental Congress declared December 18th Thanksgiving…for the American triumph at Saratoga. So should you find yourself antsy between our Turkey Day and Christmas — invite your friends over to gourge in honor of BEATING THE TAR OUT OF THE BRITISH. 

6. There Was Not Really Feasting

In news surprising no one, the Puritans were not a riotously fun lot. It goes to follow that their “Thanksgiving” involved less stuffing and more countless hours of prayer. Rock on with your clothes on, Puritans.


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