Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some Thanksgiving tidbits

Since it's always important to ask the stupid question, I got to wondering why we eat turkeys at thanksgiving. I did some google searches and turned up a few thoughts.

Would you guess that turkeys might have something to do with Queen Elizabeth, a goose, and the Spanish Armada?

If Ben Franklin had prevailed in his attempt at making the turkey the national bird (instead of the bald eagle), would we still be eating turkey at Thanksgiving?

Apparently we don't necessarily know a whole lot about the actual first thanksgiving. There seem to be only 2 direct accounts. According to this website the first thanksgiving meal included:

From Edwin Winslow's account:
Corn (probably just for meal. Indian corn was not like present day corn)
Some pretty sorry peas (very bad crop apparently "not worth the gathering")
fowl (probably means waterfowl in the usage)
5 deer

From Governor Bradford's account written many years later:
Cod and Fish
Fowl and besides waterfowl there was wild turkey
venison (deer)
Corn (again, probably just meal, not like modern corn)

Also, the first thanksgiving in 1621 occurred at some point between Sept 21 and Nov 9.

Thanksgiving was an irregular holiday on different dates until made a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Later FDR made it the 4th Thursday of November.

What all of this has to do with turkeys I really don't know how that came to be, but for some reason they won out over deer through the years.

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