If you are an
American, you know Thanksgiving as a holiday where families come
together to gorge themselves in turkey and wine while watching
football and absolutely positively avoiding political discussions. If
you aren’t American, Thanksgiving is just another 4th Thursday of
November where nothing happens. That’s just sad, isn’t it? But
whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, we can all agree that this
Brainberries article is definitely worth your time. Here are 10
mind-blowing facts about Turkey Day.

1. 46 Million Turkeys are Eaten on Thanksgiving Day

That’s a
lot of turkeys, kids. A whole lot of, um, gobble-gobble birds (an
expression that nobody uses!). To put this number in perspective, if
America consisted of just one person, that person would end up eating
46 million turkeys in the course of a single meal!

46 Million Turkeys are Eaten on Thanksgiving Day | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

2. Abraham Lincoln Established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday

While George
Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving celebration in
1789, it wasn’t until 1863 that Lincoln made things official. The
purpose of the holiday was to celebrate the success the Union was
having during the ongoing Civil War. It wasn’t until the 1870s
following Reconstruction that the entire country celebrated the
holiday.

Abraham Lincoln Established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

3. The First Thanksgiving Football Game Was Between Rutgers and New Jersey

In 1869,
Rutgers College and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton
University) played in what is believed to have been the first
Thanksgiving day game. Rutgers won the snoozefest 6-4, and 150 years
later this remains the sole highlight of their sorry excuse for a
football program.

The First Thanksgiving Football Game | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

4. Nobody Knows Where the First Thanksgiving Celebration Took Place

Americans are
usually taught in elementary school that in 1621, Pilgrims who had
settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts were the first to celebrate
Thanksgiving. They ate alongside the Native Americans who helped save
them from starvation, and as a big “thank you” were subsequently
slaughtered as the settlers expanded their territory. But that’s a
sad story for another time. The point here is that there is
considerable debate amongst historians about where the first
Thanksgiving was originally held. Some say that it actually occurred
two years earlier in Virginia. Meanwhile, others claim the first
Thanksgiving was celebrated by Spanish explorers in current-day Texas
in 1598, while others still trace it back to the Spaniards who landed
in Florida in 1565. So who knows and who cares, right?

 First Thanksgiving Celebration | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

5. Jingle Bells Was Originally a Thanksgiving Song

If you have
ever taught English as a foreign language to kids and ask them to
sing a song in English, they will invariably know the words “Jingle
bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!” They’ll even sing it
when it isn’t Christmas, and why not? After all, it was originally
meant to be sung to celebrate Thanksgiving. Then Christmas came along
and people were like, “Hell, let’s just sing that Thanksgiving
song again.” Eventually Christmas stole the song from Thanksgiving,
which is the reason why I had zero sympathy when the Grinch stole
Christmas.

Jingle Bells Was Originally a Thanksgiving Song | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

6. Turkey Wasn’t on the Menu During Early Thanksgivings

Most likely
the pilgrims would have eaten things like venison, goose, and eel
(!), along with oysters, fish, and other things that definitely
aren’t associated with Thanksgiving today. In fact, they didn’t
even serve pumpkin pie!!! Who were these evil hobgoblins anyway???

Turkey Wasn’t on the Menu During Early Thanksgivings | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

7. Tryptophan Isn’t to Blame When You Feel Sleepy on Thanksgiving

After you finish
off a few plates of turkey, you’re about ready for a nap, right?
Naturally, you are convinced that the tryptophan in the turkey is the
reason for this. But come on! First, there is actually more
tryptophan in chicken than there is in turkey, and yet nobody konks
out after a meal at KFC. The actual culprit is the fact that you ate
the turkey with several heaping scoops of mashed potatoes, an entire
pumpkin pie and a bottle of wine. Of course your body is going to
shut down, son!

Tryptophan Isn’t to Blame When You Feel Sleepy on Thanksgiving | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

8. Bush 41 is the President Who Started the Turkey Pardoning Tradition

Back in 1989
when Republican presidents were far more reasonable, George H.W Bush
noticed that the turkey that had accompanied him to his official
Thanksgiving proclamation was feeling anxious, so he did something
compassionate: he granted the turkey a pardon. Ever since, one
convicted turkey per Thanksgiving season who shows enough remorse for
the crimes they committed receive a get-out-of-jail card from the
president!

Bush 41 is the President Who Started the Turkey Pardoning Tradition | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

9. Macy’s Sent Ragamuffin Day into Obscurity

Remember Ragamuffin
Day from your childhood? If so, it means you’re, like, 140 years
old! Sorry, but you are not the demographic that we’re looking for
at Brainberries. Anyway, from the 1870s through 1920s, Ragamuffin Day
was a New York City Thanksgiving tradition in which children would
dress up as homeless people and harass adults for candy and such.
Sort of like Halloween, but super annoying and sad instead of fun and
scary! But once Macy’s began their annual Thanksgiving parade, that
became the big attraction of the day and as a result Ragamuffin Day
went the way of the dodo bird.

 Ragamuffin Day | 10 Thanksgiving Facts That You Will Gobble Up | Brain Berries

10. Black Friday is Big Business For the Plumbing Industry

Black Friday is a day when Americans shove, punch and trample each other at Wal-Mart so that we can be the first to grab the latest HDTV at bargain basement prices. But retailers aren’t the only ones making money the day after Thanksgiving. Plumbing services see a huge increase in demand. Image all that mashed potato, grease, cooking oil and other gunk that gets poured down the sink. Not to mention all of the additional brown children that get dropped off at the pool. All of this wreaks havoc on the sewer and drain system, which means lots of plumbers to the rescue.

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