Thanksgiving blessings and good feasting to all on this day! As I travel over the river and through the woods to central Pennsylvania for the family dinner today, I thought I’d dish out some turkey trivia for all to consider as you make your way to the Thanksgiving table.
- While there’s no clear evidence that turkey was eaten at the Thanksgiving meal in Plymouth in 1621, eventually, the turkey took center stage at the Thanksgiving meal because it was considered the most festive meat that Americans could serve at a celebration.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted to designate the wild turkey as the national bird of the newly formed United States of America, but the American eagle received that honor.
- Turkeys were first presented the President of the United States in 1947 when the National Turkey Federation offered both live and dressed birds to President Harry Truman. But, the first official pardoning of the national turkey was performed by George H. W. Bush in 1989.
- There was no turkey served at “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” first aired in 1973, but the Peanuts gang did dine on buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans.
- Nearly half of Thanksgiving chefs say their biggest holiday nightmare is the fear of serving a dry turkey to guests.
- The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-Butterball) first opened in 1981 staffed by six home economists, who answered 11,000 phone calls. In 200t the Talk-Line is staffed by 50 home economists who will field more than 100,000 inquiries.
Happy Turkey Day!
“A Much More Respectable Bird … A Bird of Courage,” A Short History of the Turkey by Andrew G. Gardiner, Colonial Williamsburg, Holiday 2006, Volume XXVIII, Number 5.
Butterball Holiday Guide, http://www.butterball.com/
“Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, From Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie,” Kathleen, Curtin, Sandra L. Oliver and Plimoth Plantation, Clarkson Potter, 2005.
© 2006 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved