25 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving

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:


Benjamin Franklin was obsessed with turkeys


Benjamin Franklin thought turkeys were so American that he was upset when the Bald Eagle was chosen as the national bird instead. In a letter that he wrote to his daughter he was quoted as saying, “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of a bad moral character …like those among men who live by … robbing. The turkey … is a much more respectable bird … a true original native of America,” and “though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage.”


Thomas Jefferson wasn’t

19White House Historical Association

Thomas Jefferson thought thanksgiving was the most ridiculous notion ever.


“Tom” turkey


It has been said that Ben Franklin named the male turkey “Tom” to spite Thomas Jefferson.


Sarah Joseph Hale

17Library of Congress

You can thank the same person who brought us “Mary had a Little Lamb” for bringing us Thanksgiving as a national holiday. After a 36 year campaign that consisted primarily of writing letters to presidents and congressmen, magazine editor Sarah Hale finally convinced Abraham Lincoln to officially recognize the tradition in 1863.


Average Thanksgiving calorie consumption per capita: 6000


The average American will consume between 4,000 and 6,000 calories on Thanksgiving day. A word to the wise: this requires about 8 hours of exercise to burn off.

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