Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

In the beginning Thanksgiving was not celebrated as a feast. Instead, the settlers gave thanks and fasted to celebrate the bumper crop. The feast started when the Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned the fast into a three day festival of dance and feast.

TIMOTHY BANKS: Featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving came together in 1888 and will happen again only after 70000 years.

CARLOS VELEZ AGUILERA: Featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Interestingly no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving dinner and the menu was oysters, lobster, eel, Deer or venison, ducks, geese, and fish. There was pumpkin but no pumpkin pies.

DEBORAH MELMON: Featured on Illlustrator Saturday

Turkeys can run at a speed of 20 miles per hour. However the domesticated turkeys are specially bred and fattened and can’t run fast.

RYAN O’ROURKE: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

In 1924, 400 employees marched from Convent Ave to 145th street in New York City in what was to become the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There were no large balloons and the march featured only live animals from Central Park Zoo. 

DEVON HOLZWORTH: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

The first Thanksgiving Day was held in 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and it continued for three days.

It was eaten with spoons and cut with knives but there were no forks which were not even invented and came into use 10 years later.

REBECA KOBLICK DE LEON: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

In 1927, the gigantic balloons that are now the signature element of the parade made their first appearance with the help of helium. The balloons replaced the zoo animals that were frightening to some children, and the first balloons included cartoon characters like Felix the Cat.

REBECA KOBLICK DE LEON: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

Thanksgiving became a national holiday 200 years later. It was due to the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” who in a long campaign stretching to 17 years convinced President Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

LISA GOLDBERG: Featured on Illustrator Saturday.

More than 46 million turkeys are consumed by Americans for Thanksgiving Day.

California tops among all states in consuming most turkeys in US Thanksgiving day.

DAN SANTAT: Featured on Illustrator Saturday


The Macy’s Day Parade has been televised nationally on NBC since 1953.

MICHAEL ROBERTSON: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

The first pardon of Turkey happened in 1947 when the then US President Truman started this ritual. Every year since, the US President pardons a turkey and saves it from being eaten for thanksgiving dinner.


The Americans are not the only ones to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Canada has been having the official Thanksgiving Day since 1879. The date was not fixed until 1957 when it was ruled that the second Monday of October will be celebrated as Thanksgiving Day.

PETRA BROWN: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

The record of the heaviest turkey is 86 pounds according to the Guinness Book of records.

The customary and all important football games started way back in 1934. It was the first NFL games which was broadcast nationally and was played between Detroit Lions & Chicago Bears.


According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans consume turkeys on thanksgiving which means 12% people do not eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Rearing turkeys for Thanksgiving is big business and in 2016, 254 million turkeys were raised in the US. It was 2% more than the previous years.

JUI ISHIDA: Featured on Illustrator Saturday

APRIL HARTMANN: Feaatured on Illustrator Saturday


Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you for this illustrated history! Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy.


  2. Kathy, thank you for these interesting historical stories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



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  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy! Enjoy your day!


  4. Thanks for a wonderful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Kathy.


  5. What a wonderful article! I learned facts I never knew before. Thank you!


  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy!


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