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6 popular US traditions that are actually Canadian

6 popular US traditions that are actually Canadian
  • There are a lot of Canadian inventions and traditions that have become incredibly popular throughout the United States.
  • Thanksgiving had roots in Canadian history before it was first celebrated as a holiday in the US.
  • Peanut butter is partially credited to a Canadian inventor.
  • Trivial Pursuit, IMAX movie theaters, and basketball were also invented by people from Canada.

Some of the most popular pastimes and traditions in the United States — from holidays to sports to delicious foods — actually have roots in Canada.

Here are some popular things in the US that you may not know are Canadian.

Thanksgiving might have started in Canada before the US.

Thanksgiving might have started in Canada before the US.
They still celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Getty Images

There is solid evidence that Canadians may have celebrated Thanksgiving before people in the US.

The explorer Martin Frobisher held the first Thanksgiving celebration in Canada in 1578 to give thanks for their safe journey during the exploration of the Northwest Passage. The Plymouth feast that US citizens acknowledge didn't happen until 1621.

Regardless of whether the holiday has Canadian or US roots, the tradition was originally adapted from fall harvest festivals that Indigenous Americans started celebrating long before any European settlers arrived.

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Hawaiian pizza isn't actually from Hawaii.

Hawaiian pizza isn't actually from Hawaii.
The pineapple-and-ham topped pizza was actually invented in Canada. mmkarabella/Shutterstock

Although a food as divisive as Hawaiian pizza might seem distinctly American since it shares the name of a US state, it's actually an invention with Canadian roots.

The late chef Sam Panopoulos moved from Greece to Canada when he was in his 20s, and he first put pineapple on pizza in 1962 at one of his Ontario restaurants. Eventually, he added ham, too, Atlas Obscura reported.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, to see how it was going to taste," Panopoulos told BBC News. "We were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments."

Per BBC News, the "Hawaiian" part of the pizza's name is a nod to the can of pineapples that was first used in its creation.

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Trivial Pursuit was invented by two Canadians.

Trivial Pursuit was invented by two Canadians.
The game is still popular in the US though. Amazon

The popular trivia game was invented in 1979 by Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, and it launched in 1981.

Now, decades years later, the game remains a popular American (and, of course, Canadian) pastime.

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Basketball was invented by a Canadian living in the US.

Basketball was invented by a Canadian living in the US.
The sport became extremely popular in the US. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For many hardcore fans, basketball is up there with US traditions like apple pie and hot dogs, but the sport was actually first invented by a Canadian.

James Naismith had moved to Massachusetts by the time he invented the game in 1891, but he was born and raised in Canada.

Furthermore, in 1946, the NBA's first official game took place in Canada.

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IMAX movie theaters were also invented by a group of Canadians.

IMAX movie theaters were also invented by a group of Canadians.
The first IMAX theater was in Toronto. Akira Suemori/AP

If you've gone to a mainstream movie theater in the past decade, chances are you've benefited from this Canadian invention.

A group of Canadian filmmakers, Roman Kroitor, Robert Kerr, and Graeme Ferguson, first founded Multi-Screen Corporation in 1967, which later changed its name to IMAX.

The company's first theater opened in Toronto, Canada, and as of 2017, there were over 1,000 IMAX theaters in 66 countries across the globe, according to The Globe and Mail.

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Modern peanut butter is partially credited to a Canadian inventor.

Modern peanut butter is partially credited to a Canadian inventor.
The nutty spread may have gotten its start in Canada. Photo-Dave/ iStock

Most people associate George Washington Carver with the invention of peanut butter, but Carver actually primarily paved the way for the popular American sandwich spread by growing the peanut industry.

The nutty spread that we know today is largely credited to three inventors, including Canadian chemist Marcellus Gilmore Edson.

In 1884, Edson patented peanut paste, which was made from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces.

The other two inventors widely credited with the spread's creation, John Harvey Kellogg and Ambrose Straub, were from the Midwestern US and perfected their peanut butter-making processes a few years after Edson.

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