11 things you may not have known about Thanksgiving
We all know that the first Thanksgiving dinner took place when the Pilgrims celebrated a good harvest in the New World, and that the tryptophan in turkey isn't actually what makes you so sleepy. REUTERS/Brian Snyder Before you feast on this guy, learn a few things about Thanksgiving.
But did you know that there was a crisis in the late 1930s called "Franksgiving?"
We rounded up 11 of the best facts about Thanksgiving, which might come in handy during those awkward silences at the family dinner table. Asta Thrastardottir contributed reporting on an earlier version of this article.
1. There are three places in the US named Turkey.
2. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used live animals from the Central Park Zoo.
3. "Jingle Bells" was originally a Thanksgiving song.
4. The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving.
5. The night before Thanksgiving is one of the best for bar sales in the US.
6. Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first ever TV dinner.
7. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the official bird of the US.
8. Thomas Jefferson canceled Thanksgiving during his presidency.
9. FDR tried to change the date of Thanksgiving — and it caused a lot of problems.
10. Minnesota produces the most turkeys in the US.
11. There is an annual tradition of offering a turkey a presidential pardon — and no one is really sure when it began.