Planning a Thanksgiving party at the office? We have some fun facts for you to share with your team! You can even use these facts to set up a Thanksgiving trivia night while enjoying a delicious roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.
1. The Macy’s Parade featured live animals
Back in 1924, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City. The flagship store featured elephants, camels, bears, and monkeys borrowed from the Central Park Zoo along with floats and employees dressed in colorful costumes.
2. Thanksgiving outside of the US
We are not the only ones who celebrate Thanksgiving; Canadians do too. Their Thanksgiving started about 43 years before the US’s on 1578, and they celebrate it on the second Monday in October, turning it into a three day weekend.
3. Turkey from Turkey
Have you ever wondered why are turkeys called turkeys? Well we did and found out that this name was given by the English to the guinea fowls that Turkish merchants imported to America.
4. The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving
For most people, Thanksgiving means football & turkey, and the Detroit Lions are the ones to blame. The first NFL game on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. Since that day, the Lions have been playing on this special day to later be joined by the Dallas Cowboys in 1966.
5. The Presidential pardon for turkeys
Every year, we watch the President offer a presidential pardon to a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. It’s said that the first unofficial Presidential pardon of a turkey was given by President Lincoln, after his son Tad pleaded for the bird’s right to live. It was unofficial until 1989, when President George H.W. Bush turned it into an official tradition.
6. The turkey as the official bird of the United States
A year and a half after the bald eagle was adopted as the US official bird, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter expressing his discontent: “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly.” He wished that they had selected the turkey saying, “The Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird”.