November 26, 2014 Slideshows » Arts

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Thanksgiving 

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Sure, we all know that Thanksgiving—the blessed holiday we'll soon be celebrating—is an annual excuse to eat ourselves into oblivion, watch football, argue with the fam, and drink a boatload of beer. But there are also a handful of things you might not know about Thanksgiving, like that groups of Native Americans actually celebrate Un-Thanksgiving Day each year at Alcatraz. Here are a few lesser-known facts we've compiled to help keep the day in perspective. Enjoy, and pass the Christmas Ale. Originally published by the Detroit Metro Times
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1. At the first “Thanksgiving” back in 1621, the pilgrims of Plymouth and the native Wampanoag ate a whole heckuvalot of clams and lobster. Seafood was in enormous supply in that area back then. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons: "The Embarkation of the Pilgrims" (1857) by the American painter Robert Walter Weir)
2. You can visit Plymouth Rock, but it’s depressing. Or a perfect analogy, depending on your level of cynicism. The rock is basically in jail, behind bars. It was put there to keep tourists like you from soiling it with dirty hands, or walking away with a piece of it stuck to sticky American fingers. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
3. The night before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, the Upper West side of Manhattan is like one big family-friendly street party — all to celebrate the blowing up of those giant balloons. People from all over come out to watch, drink cider and hot cocoa, and even eat NYC’s favorite street foods: roasted nuts, hot dogs, and shawarma. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
4. The first NFL game on Thanksgiving took place in 1934, when the Lions played the Chicago Bears. (Photo via Virtual Motor City: Detroit Lions play Chicago Bears, 1930s)
5. Thanksgiving wasn’t an official holiday until Abraham Lincoln made it so in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
6. Minnesota is the leading turkey-producing state in the nation. In 2012, the state contributed over 44 million birds to the nation's supply. (Photo via Virtual Motor City)
7. The world's largest pumpkin pie was made two months before Thanksgiving in 2010 in New Bremen, Ohio. It weighed 3,699 pounds and had a 20-foot diameter. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
8. Thomas Jefferson didn't like Thanksgiving, and even called it a "most ridiculous idea." Clearly, he never tried green bean casserole. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
9. Turkey doesn't actually make you sleepy. Sorry, it's more from carb-loading all day. Oh, and drinking that entire case of Christmas Ale. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
10. Un-Thanksgiving Day, or the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony, is celebrated by Native Americans every year at Alcatraz. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
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1. At the first “Thanksgiving” back in 1621, the pilgrims of Plymouth and the native Wampanoag ate a whole heckuvalot of clams and lobster. Seafood was in enormous supply in that area back then. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons: "The Embarkation of the Pilgrims" (1857) by the American painter Robert Walter Weir)

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