Thanksgiving Day Fun Quiz

Thanksgiving Day History for Fun

Of all the holidays in the year, Thanksgiving Day is my favorite.  The weather is typically cool but not wintry cold on this fourth Thursday in November.   The extended family is not always together on Christmas Day due to the need of being at home for Santa's visit on Christmas morning. Thanksgiving Day is different.  Thanksgiving Day begs for attention of immediate and extended family celebrations.  The specific foods served,   the timely NFL gCartoon Turkeyame on television, and  comfort created by beautiful fall colors everywhere, blend together to make Thanksgiving Day a favorite.

To add to the fun on Thanksgiving Day a, take the quiz below and see how much is really known about this special holiday.

What does Mary Had a Little Lamb have to do with Thanksgiving Day?

Sarah Hale was the editor of a magazine back in the 1800’s.  In addition to her duties at the magazine, Sarah started a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.  One might ask, what does this have to do with the nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb?  Sarah Josepha Hale is also the author of the popular tale of Mary and her lamb.  Thank Sarah as a good time is had by all on Thanksgiving Day.  After all, had it not been for her and declaration the national holiday, everyone would still be at work instead of with family and friends on this day of celebration!

How did President Roosevelt interfere with Thanksgiving Day?

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday on the third Thursday in November was all set.  Ever thinking about the economy, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the date to the third Thursday in November for three years, 1939-1941.  Why would he do that?  He assumed that changing the date would give more holiday shopping time.  Public outcry led to the holiday getting back on schedule from 1941 forward.

Why was Ben Franklin a fan of the turkey?

The bald eagle achieved  status  as the national bird of the United States.  Benjamin Franklin opposed that decision.   He vehemently opposed that decision as he felt that the eagle was a bird of ‘bad moral character’ as he stole food for sustenance.  He felt that the turkey was a noble choice as it was a true native of America and more respectable.  Had Franklin won out, it is doubtful that turkey would have landed its current role as the bird of choice of a Thanksgiving feast.  After all, would everyone want to eat the national bird that day?

How much turkey do Americans eat on Thanksgiving Day?

The National Turkey Foundation estimated that number in 2007 in excess of 690 million pounds.  As a fun side note on that number, that is about the weight of the entire population of Singapore!

Were the foods eaten at the first Thanksgiving Day the same as enjoyed today?

No, if the Pilgrims could fast forward to today, the feast spread on the dining room tables would not look familiar for the most part.  Meats most likely at that celebration long ago included; venison, lobster, seal, ell, and swan!  Yum! A few vegetables seen today, such as corn, most likely found a place in the early feast.

Does Disney have a heart about the fate of all the turkeys roasted on Thanksgiving Day?

Sure, Disney loves Thanksgiving.  After all, the Walt Disney World’s Thanksgiving parade is a must see, and the Disney park is jam-packed with happy park-goers every year on Thanksgiving Day.  This year, check out the turkey that serves as the Grand Marshal of that parade.  The proud turkey is one that has received a ‘pardon’ from the president and thus is not on a dining room table somewhere.  In 2007, a double parade awarded to two lucky fowl, May and Flower. 

Has Macy’s annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade occurred on Thanksgiving Day every year since it started in 1924?

Speaking of parades, absolutely Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a must see for the day.  The parade started in 1924 but was not held from 1942 to 1945.  The balloon animals in the parade all required helium.  The war effort needed that helium.

Is the United States the only country to celebrate a Thanksgiving Day?

No, the United States neighbor to the north, Canada, celebrates Thanksgiving too. Their celebration takes place on the second Monday in October. Why is the United States date better?  Think on that one. A four-day holiday results for many in the United States due to the holiday being on a Thursday.  The Monday holiday version means a three-day weekend.  Thank you, United States!

Why is a turkey called a turkey?

It started with Columbus being lost.  When Columbus landed in what became America, the misguided explorer thought himself in India.  Peacocks were ubiquitous in India.  Thinking the wild turkeys he saw were types of peacocks, Columbus called them ‘tukas,’ the Indian word for ‘peacock.

Is Thanksgiving Day referenced by other names?

Sure, there are other names for the day.  The shortened versions,  "T-Day"or “Turkey Day," exist. New York City affectionately sometimes references the day as "Macy’s Day" in reference to the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.’  The Canadians have the most interesting term for the celebration as held in the United States, "Yanksgiving."  That makes one wonder what the United States shortened ame is for the Canadian Thanksgiving Day celebration!

Get a plan ready for Thanksgiving Day to avoid any last-minute stresses.  Then, enjoy food, fun, and family along with a Thanksgiving Day quiz!