Culturally Discombobulated

Tag: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Reheated Turkey: Thanksgiving facts (and factoids)

When pondering what to write about Thanksgiving it finally dawned on me that I could be a cunning devil and simply recycle last year’s post. It contains Thanksgiving facts, some true and some spurious. You can find it here.

 

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Thanksgiving facts (and maybe some factoids thrown in too)

A Thanksgiving turkey that had been soaked for...

Image via Wikipedia

Displaying the sort of impatience typical of Americans, this Thursday the whole country will be taking the day off in order to have Christmas dinner a whole month early. Apparently, they call this day “Thanksgiving” about which I’ve been able to gauge the following: 

  • Thanksgiving’s place as an American public holiday is almost entirely down to the campaigning of nineteenth century journalist and noted bonnet wearer Sarah Josepha Hale. From 1846 until 1863, when Lincoln established legislation to create Thanksgiving as a national holiday, Hale wrote numerous pieces and letters advocating that what, up to then, had been only a New England celebration should be celebrated by the whole nation. Hale was also responsible for penning “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, though she failed to see the obvious cross-promotional opportunity by not rewriting the nursery rhyme. “Mary Had a Little Turkey, its skin was crisp and tasty…”
  • On Thanksgiving, American children must watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on penalty of death. 37% of death row inmates in Texas are in for failing to watch Snoopy and Woodstock.   
  • Mashed sweet potato is a popular side to the Thanksgiving dinner. This will often be served with a marshmallow topping. This is to try and ensure that the US hits its target of all Americans over the age of 15 having type 2 diabetes by 2016.
  • On Thanksgiving morning, the President will pardon one turkey of a crime it didn’t commit. 45 million of its innocent comrades will be slaughtered, but this lone turkey survives as a soldier of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find it….maybe you can hire “The Turkey”.
  • Many people will try and deep-fry their turkey; some of them will become Darwin Award nominees.
  • in 1939, FDR tried to move Thanksgiving. As they were five Thursdays in November, 1939, FDR tried to move the holiday to the second-last Thursday of the month rather than the last Thursday. The thinking was that by not moving Thanksgiving there would be fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than normal, something the large retailers who lobbied FDR didn’t want. Numerous governors did not go along with the President’s rulings so in various parts of the US Thanksgiving was celebrated on different days. In 1941, FDR moved the holiday back to being held on the last Thursday of the month.
  • That Americans flock from all over the country to spend time with their family and yet they call this day “thanksgiving” really puts to bed the notion that Americans don’t do irony.