So you think you know all there is to know about Thanksgiving, right? Think again! Check out this quiz about one of America’s favorite holidays.
- Plymouth Rock can lay claim to having the first Thanksgiving.
False. Historians will tell you that Maine, Virginia, Texas, and Florida also have evidence that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in each of those states. Of course, the most well-known story recalls how a group of English colonists got together with dozens of Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Rock to break bread (and gobble down lots of other food) following the fall harvest of 1621.
- The first national Thanksgiving was proclaimed right after the birth of our nation.
True. The Continental Congress declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1777.
- At least two U.S. Presidents had a hand in officially recognizing Thanksgiving as a holiday.
True. In 1863, nearly a century after the Continental Congress, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. Then in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt put his stamp of approval on having the holiday officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
- Only wild fowl such as turkey and duck showed up on the dinner table at the first Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth Rock?
False. Those birds were joined by seasonal fare including lobster, clams and fish, according to historians. Other tasty treats included peas, squash, nuts, and carrots.
- Also on the Plymouth Rock dinner menu were pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes.
False. None of those were served up during the feast.
- A New England native penned the famous Thanksgiving poem, “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” (also known as “Over the River and Through the Wood.”)
True. The author, Lydia Maria Child, was born on February, 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts. The poem, which appeared in Flowers for Children, Volume 2 in 1844, recounts the author’s childhood memories of visiting her grandfather’s house. Yes, you read that correctly – grandfather’s house. That’s how it was worded in the original poem, but it was later changed “to grandmother’s house” for reasons unknown.
Some side notes: The poem later became a popular song, and a play (“Over the River and Through the Woods” published in 1998) and a children’s book (“Over the River – A Turkey’s Tale” published in 2005). It was also adapted to serve as a Christmas poem.
- Ben Franklin thought the turkey deserved to be the official U.S. bird.
True. But Franklin’s favorite fowl lost out to the bald eagle.
- Speaking of turkey, this traditional Thanksgiving meat lays claim to making millions of people drowsy during the holiday because of its organic protein tryptophan.
False. Experts say the real culprits are more likely to be the huge amount of food consumed, alcohol, or having a day to kick back and relax (or a combination thereof).
So how did you do? If you answered all of them correctly, you deserve an extra-large piece of pumpkin pie!
Of course, Thanksgiving is also a time to pause and reflect on all we have to be grateful for – family, friends, shelter, food, and so much more. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!