Thanksgiving Facts To Share With Your Family

Cropped photo of family meeting served table thanks giving dinner two knives slicing stuffed turkey meal living room indoors

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~The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers.

Black Friday isn't just big business for retailers: Plumbers and drain cleaners get in on the action, too. According to Roto-Rooter, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for those who keep water flowing and going in homes and businesses. In related news, they also recommend not pouring cooking oil down your drain.

~Americans eat 704 million pounds of turkey every Thanksgiving.

According to the National Turkey Federation, around 44 million turkeys were served at Thanksgiving in the United States in 2017. That's compared to 22 million pounds at Christmas and 19 million at Easter. The average weight of each, meanwhile, was 16 pounds, which means we're gobbling up 704 million pounds of turkey across the country.

~The Butterball hotline answers 100,000 turkey-related questions every year.

Butterball, a popular turkey company, opens a turkey hotline each November and December to answer any turkey-related questions you may have. Founded in 1981, the Turkey Talk Line went from receiving a modest 11,000 questions that first year to answering more than 100,000 questions across the U.S. and Canada every holiday season.

~Calvin Coolidge was given a live raccoon one Thanksgiving.

In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge was gifted a live raccoon, who was intended to be on the table instead of a turkey for the First Family's Thanksgiving meal. He and First Lady Grace Coolidge weren't inclined to eat the masked creature, however. Instead, they adopted the raccoon, gave her the name Rebecca, and kept her as a White House pet.

~Native Americans had many uses for the cranberry.

Long before homemade and canned cranberry sauces became a traditional Thanksgiving meal, indigenous Americans had many other uses for the small red fruit. Not only did they eat cranberries fresh and use them as an ingredient in other foods, native communities also used cranberries to heal wounds and dye fabrics.

~Female turkeys don't gobble.

You probably relate turkeys with a "gobble" sound, but only male turkeys actually emit that call—which is why they're known as gobblers. Females and males cackle, purr, and yelp, depending on the situation.

~Frozen had the biggest Thanksgiving opening of any movie.

Thanksgiving is a big weekend for movie releases, especially flicks the whole family can go out and enjoy together. As of today, the 2013 Disney animated musical Frozen is the No. 1 Thanksgiving release of all time, pulling in $93 million domestically.

~Tofu is the most hated Thanksgiving dish.

Sorry, vegetarians. In a 2020 YouGov poll, tofu was the most unpopular element of a potential Thanksgiving meal.

~"Jingle Bells" was originally a Thanksgiving song.

"Jingle Bells," the classic Christmas song written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, wasn't meant to be about Christmas. Originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh," the ditty was meant to be sung on Thanksgiving. When it was reprinted in 1859, however, the name was changed to "Jingle Bells, or the One Horse Open Sleigh," and was prescribed for Christmas.

~FDR once moved Thanksgiving up a week.

In the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up one week in order to allow more time for shopping before Christmas. Otherwise, it would have fallen on Nov. 30. The move spurred intense public reaction, though none as memorable as the stunt pulled by Atlantic City's then-mayor, C.D. White. In a public statement issued the day before the new Thanksgiving as designated by Roosevelt, White announced that his city would celebrate two days of thanks and that the earlier date would be known as "Franksgiving."

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