As friends and family will gather this week to give thanks and relax, we take a moment to share 5 facts that you can talk about around the dinner table on Thanksgiving!
The tradition of football games on Thanksgiving dates back to 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears in the first NFL game broadcast nationally. George A. Richards, a radio executive and owner of the Detroit Lions team, wanted to gain the attention of fans with a Thanksgiving Day game. His idea worked, and all 26,000 tickets sold out two weeks before kickoff. The Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving game each year since. The Dallas Cowboys also began hosting on Thanksgiving in 1966, and a third game was added with rotating matchups in 2006.
AMERICANS REALLY, REALLY LIKE TURKEY
The National Turkey Foundation (NTF) estimates that around 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and about 46 million turkeys were consumed on the holiday in 2015. Turkey has become a bigger part of the American diet recently, with consumption nearly doubling over the past 25 years, according to the NTF.
BUSY DAY FOR PLUMBERS
The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers, according to Roto-Rooter. Meal prep and cleanup can clog drains and garbage disposals, and guests requiring “additional clothes washing, showers, and toilet flushes put a strain on household plumbing,” the company says. It experiences a 21 percent increase in calls over the four-day weekend than any other Thursday to Sunday period in the year.
THIS STATE IS ALL ABOUT TURKEY
Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in the U.S., raising close to 46 million last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
THE PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
The first official presidential pardon of a turkey occurred much more recently than most might think: President George H.W. Bush did it in 1989, and it’s since become an annual tradition. Stories of unofficial pardons, however, go further back - perhaps even to President Lincoln’s days, when he supposedly pardoned a turkey after an impassioned plea from his son Tad for the bird’s right to live.