1621: Thanksgiving as we know it in the U.S. is modeled on the first ever autumn harvest celebration shared by 90 Wampanoag Native Americans and 50 Plymouth colonialists (Pilgrims). The celebration lasted three days; only five women were present.

1782 (more or less): Thomas Jefferson thought a Federal holiday for Thanksgiving was “the most ridiculous idea” ever. Benjamin Franklin, however (having proposed and advocated for selection of the turkey as U.S. National Bird) didn’t appreciate Jefferson’s slight; it’s believed that Franklin named the male Turkey “Tom” to spite Jefferson.

1846: Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent writer, editor and women’s activist who’d also written, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” began writing letters to the president to propose Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Her campaign spanned five presidents.

1863: Ms. Hale’s 17-year campaign finally reached success when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. For her dedication, many consider Sarah Hale the “Mother of Thanksgiving.”

1870s: The sacred correlation of Thanksgiving with football has existed since the mid-1870s, beginning with college football.

1981: Butterball established their “Turkey Talk” hotline (1-800-BUTTERBALL) when six home economists answered 11,000 turkey preparation questions between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today Butterball turkey experts receive about 100,000 turkey-related calls in November and December. Advice is now also available through social media, texting or live chat.

1987: During the yearly National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, President Ronald Reagan granted the first presidential pardon to a turkey; the lucky recipient was then retired to a petting zoo. (President George H. W. Bush made the turkey pardon a permanent addition to the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation in 1989.)

Call Now Button