At Sindledecker Dentistry, we have a penchant for discovering trivia and fascinating facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz are excited to share some trivia morsels that could enhance your knowledge at the holiday dinner table, sparking engaging conversations with friends and family.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no historical evidence supporting the consumption of turkey at the inaugural Thanksgiving dinner. The three-day festivity, shared by the Wampanoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621, likely featured venison and seafood, according to historians. National Geographic suggests that the dinner at the Plymouth colony, held in October, involved approximately 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The menu could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin. In contemporary times, turkey takes center stage, with about 690 million pounds consumed during Thanksgiving, equivalent to approximately 46 million turkeys, as reported by the National Turkey Association.
The Side Dishes
The iconic green bean casserole gained popularity around 50 years ago. Originating from the creative minds at the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a beloved side dish. Campbell’s reports that it was conceived during the development of an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells approximately $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, a crucial ingredient in the recipe.
While cranberries were likely enjoyed by the pilgrims and Indians, sugar was a luxury. The modern-day cranberry sauce we know today did not exist in the early days of Thanksgiving. Approximately 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced annually in the US, with around 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving only became a national holiday in 1863 when declared by Lincoln. As a result, annual parades were not established until much later. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, renowned for its massive hot-air balloons today, debuted in 1924 with approximately 400 employees marching from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Interestingly, the stars of the early parade were live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.
However you opt to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we extend our warm wishes for a safe, joyous, and healthy celebration with your loved ones.