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7 Interesting Thanksgiving Facts to Share with Everyone You Know

Thanksgiving, a cherished holiday in the United States and Canada, marks a time for celebrating the harvest and expressing gratitude for the blessings of the past year. As this festive season approaches, here are some intriguing facts about Thanksgiving that you’ll want to share with family and friends:

  1. Dual Celebrations: While Thanksgiving is observed annually in both the United States and Canada, the dates differ. In Canada, it takes place on the second Monday of October, while in the United States, it falls on the fourth Thursday of November each year.
  2. Turkey Myths: Contrary to popular belief, the initial Thanksgiving feast in 1621 did not feature turkey on the menu. Historians have found no recorded evidence of turkey being consumed during that first Thanksgiving celebration.
  3. Extended Festivities: The first Thanksgiving was not a one-day event but rather a three-day festival, reflecting the grandeur and significance attached to the occasion.
  4. Presidential Proclamation: On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, setting a precedent for the annual observance we know today.
  5. Sarah Josepha Hale’s Campaign: The influential 19th-century writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale, known for “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” played a pivotal role in convincing President Abraham Lincoln to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Her relentless letter-writing campaign spanned 17 years before achieving success.
  6. Football Tradition: The Thanksgiving tradition of football originated in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton, adding a sports element to the holiday festivities.
  7. Timing Discrepancy: Contrary to common belief, the initial Thanksgiving celebration did not take place in November, according to some historians. There is speculation that it occurred in mid-October, aligning with the timing of the current Canadian Thanksgiving.

As you gather with loved ones to celebrate this Thanksgiving, these fun and historical facts can add an extra layer of appreciation for the traditions and stories that make this holiday special.

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