1. The most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621.
2. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving.
3. Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
4. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.
5. In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase "We Give Thanks."
6. Despite record-high gas prices (more than $3.00 per gallon) in 2007, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 38.7 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, a slight increase (1.5 percent) over the previous year.
7. Of those Americans traveling for Thanksgiving in 2007, approximately 80 percent (31.2 million) were expected to go by motor vehicle, 12.1 percent (4.7 million) by airplane and the rest (2.8 million) by train, bus or other mode of transportation.
8. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008.
9. Just six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and Indiana—will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 271 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year.
10. Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.
11. Tony Sarg, a children's book illustrator and puppeteer, designed the first giant hot air balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. He later created the elaborate mechanically animated window displays that grace the façade of the New York store from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
12. Snoopy has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade.
13. The first National Football League game held on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.
I want to send warm wishes out to all my blog buddies out on the web. I hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. Remember to give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life. Many people have so much less.
I found these interesting facts at history.com