It's that time of year when millions of Americans gather around the kitchen table with friends and relatives to celebrate Thanksgiving. Once all of the food settles, try to digest these fun and interesting facts about the holiday.
Thanksgiving Travel By the Numbers
"The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2010."
Turkey, Turkey, Everywhere
This year an estimated 248 million turkeys will be raised for slaughter in the U.S. That number is up 2 percent from 2010's total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Bonus Fact: "About 46 million turkeys ended up on U.S. dinner tables last Thanksgiving—or about 736 million pounds (334 million kilograms) of turkey meat," according to estimates from the National Turkey Federation.
The New Deal Meal
"In 1939, (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) declared that Americans should celebrate the annual feast one week early, hoping the decision would spur retail sales during the Great Depression. But Americans did not react kindly to the New Deal meal. Some took to the streets while others took to name-calling; the mayor of Atlantic City solved the controversy by declaring his residents would simply enjoy two meals — Thanksgiving and "Franksgiving." After two years of squabbling (or gobbling, as it were), Congress adopted a resolution in 1941 setting the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday."
1.9 Billion Pounds
In 2009 about 1.9 billion pounds of sweet potatoes was produced by major sweet potato producing states. North Carolina (940 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (592 million pounds) and Louisiana (162 million pounds).
Turkey Wasn't the Main Dish at the First Thanksgiving
"At least that's what the journals of Plimoth Plantation's Edward Winslow seem to imply. His account of the first Thanksgiving states that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians feasted on venison, which was supplemented by Indian corn and some type of fowl."
Turkey Almost Went Extinct
“The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction by the early 1900s, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds. But restoration programs across North America have brought the numbers up to seven million today.”
Bonus Fact: “Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour.”
Apps to Help You “Survive” Thanksgiving
Here's an odd collection of apps, which apparently help you "deal" with your relatives during the holiday. Can't we at least put our phones down for one night out of the year?
You Spent How Much?!
About 135 million people shop every year on Black Friday and last year million shoppers spent $39 billion for an average spending amount of $365.34.
Bonus Fact: The term “Black Friday” wasn’t coined until the 1960s, but it didn’t become a popular phrase until the 80s.
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