25 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving

Posted by , Updated on August 5, 2014

It’s that critical time of year again – a time to give thanks, get stuffed, and get stuff. A crucible of modern consumerism mixed with our humble past. It’s Thanksgiving, and we’ve been celebrating it since we were kids. As familiar as it is though, we here at List25 will bet that there are some things you are ignorant about concerning one of our greatest holidays. So, in the interest of a more informed citizenry, we present you with 25 things you didn’t know about Thanksgiving:


Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song


James Pierpont originally composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving at his Boston Sunday School. It gained popularity so quickly that it was repeated again at Christmas, and then again, and again, and again.




Americans aren’t the only ones to thankfully consume turkey. If you ask any of our neighbors to the north they’ll tell you Thanksgiving is actually on the second Monday of October. What we celebrate is known to them as “Yanksgiving.”


Irony in the Abbey


Given that Thanksgiving was a holiday started by pilgrims escaping religious persecution, the irony was evident when 3,500 American soldiers filled the pews of Westminster Abbey in 1942 for a Thanksgiving service. This was the first time in 900 years that a foreign army had set foot on its grounds.


Presidential Pardon

22Joyce Boghosian

Since 1947 the National Turkey Federation has given the President a turkey every year as a gift and although it has usually ended up on the dinner table, George H W Bush was the first president to officially offer it a pardon. Since then 1 lucky turkey has been offered a presidential pardon every year.


Forkless frustration

21Elin B

Imagine for a moment the frustration of trying to stab your turkey with a spoon. Although forks had been around for centuries, for some reason the pilgrims didn’t bring any with them to the New World. They did, however, use napkins so at least their hands were clean.

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