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No Turkey; TV Dinners and Mary Had a Little Lamb–Surprising Thanksgiving facts

1. Feast or Famine—The devout early settlers that landed at Plymouth Rock believed “giving thanks” meant just that. The day would be given over to prayer and not obfuscated with any distractions, such as food, so fasting was the order of the day. It was the Native Americans, specifically the Wampanoag Indians, who contributed the traditions of their harvest, which included dancing, games and feasting that helped shape Thanksgiving as we know it today.ChoirSingingHC0412_M_150_C_R
2. Not on the Menu—There was little on the table of that initial feast that resembles what we’ve come to think of as “traditional” Thanksgiving fare. Those at the feast enjoyed lobster, rabbit, goose, duck, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, onions, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, goat cheese, and carrier pigeon, among others. Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob and cranberries weren’t around back then. Oh, yeah… and NO TURKEY!Title
3. It’s a Good Thing—Sarah Josepha Hale, the Martha Stewart of her day, was a book editor, most renowned for authoring the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” After stumbling across the story of an early American colonist describing a great feast shared with Native Americans, she went on an inspirational jag, filling her magazines with traditional holiday recipes and writing editorials about the need to recognize this “Thanksgiving” day. After a 17-year letter-writing campaign, Hale finally convinced President Abraham Lincoln to issue an 1863 decree, recognizing the historic tradition.

Sarah Josepha Hale

4. Let It Go—In 1953, TV dinners began when someone at frozen-food company, C.A. Swanson & Sons misjudged the amount of turkeys the company would sell for Thanksgiving by 26 TONS! An enterprising salesman for the company, Gerry Thomas, got the brilliant idea to freeze the meat along with other side dishes in a foil. The first “TV Brand Frozen Dinner” sold in 1954 for 98 cents and came with turkey, cornbread stuffing, peas and sweet potatoes.

swanson_TV_dinner

5. ’Twas the Night before Thanksgiving—Thanksgiving Eve is the single biggest day for bar sales in the U.S. This is primarily due to the sudden influx of family and collegiate returning for the holidays, the latter using the event to reunite with their high school buds and childhood friend.Title

6. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh my!—In the earliest days of the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, live animals from the Central Park Zoo were used instead of floats. Today, observers only worry are errant balloons!

7. Dashing through the Leaves—“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song, composed by James Pierpont in 1857 for the Thanksgiving performance of his Sunday school class at church. The song was so well received, the children sang it again at Christmas, thus becoming associated with that holiday.

Make sure you hear all the sounds the holidays have to offerGB Audiology, PLLC helps people improve the quality of their lives through better hearing. Their experts diagnose hearing problems and patiently and thoroughly explain their findings and recommendations to you and your family. GB Audiology tests and treats adults and children, and offers additional services, including hearing protection, assistive listening devices and swim molds. They serves all of the surrounding neighborhoods including Great Neck, Little Neck, Bayside, Douglaston, New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Whitestone, Roslyn and Manhasset.

 

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