As we all celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and family this week, we think about what we are thankful for.
Some history: The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in the state now known as Massachusetts. A good harvest prompted the 1621 Plymouth feast and Thanksgiving. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.
We gathered some fun facts about the Thanksgiving holiday:
- President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3rd, 1863.
- Harry Truman is often credited with being the first president to pardon a turkey, but that’s not quite true. He was the first to receive a ceremonial turkey from the National Turkey Federation and had it for dinner. John F. Kennedy was the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go, followed by Richard Nixon, who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Bush is the president who formalized the turkey pardoning tradition in 1989.
- Butterball answers over 100,000 turkey-cooking questions via their Butterball Turkey Hotline each November and December.
- The football tradition on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1934.
- The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become known as “Drinksgiving.” Bars experience a huge boom the night before the holiday.
As we gather for the holiday, we thought it would be nice to share five country music songs that sing about being thankful.