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Let's Talk Turkey!
Howdy, Pilgrim.Judging from the countless cans of cranberry sauce crammed in your cupboards, Thanksgiving is on its way. The Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes: you know everything there is to know about Turkey Day, right?Probably not. For starters, the Pilgrims never called their 1621 fall celebration Thanksgiving.Nor did they repeat the event. In fact, Thanksgiving wasnít widely celebrated until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holidayóand a bad time to be a turkey.

Here are five more Thanksgiving morsels for your kids to gobble up:


1.† Thereís always room for pumpkin pie, right?Not according to the Pilgrims. These dessert-shunning folks used up all of their flour and sugar just months after setting foot on Plymouth Rock and, as a result, were unable to make pie crust for their fall feast. Ever resourceful, the Pilgrims boiled pumpkin pulp into pudding.


2.† Donít cry fowl, but turkey wasnít the dish du jour at what is now known as the first Thanksgiving. Duck, fish, lobster and venison (the Native Americanís contribution to the feast) were also on the menu. Today, however, turkey is topsóabout 280 million turkeys are sold each year for Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States.


3.† Maybe the Pilgrims werenít so proper after all.They didnít use forks, eating instead with spoons, knives and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins, which they also used to pick up hot foods.


4.† One, two, buckle my shoe. Not likely: buckles didnít come into fashion until about 50 years after the first Thanksgiving. Also, Pilgrims were snappier dressers than we give them credit for. Dour black-and-white ensembles were worn only on Sundays and formal occasions. Women dressed in red, green, blue, violet and gray. Men, favoring more muted colors, often wore beige, black, white, and brown. Some things never change.




5.† Whatís with your calendar, eh? Thatís not a typo: Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Though President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941), the Pilgrims original feast (which lasted three days) occurred sometime between September 21st and November 11th.


For more festive facts, take a virtual tour of Plimouth Plantation or visit the National Museum of American History's Thanksgiving exhibit.

More Thanksgiving goodies from Parenthood.com:



  • Is your stuffing safe? 3 ways to ensure bacteria-free stuffing
  • What's Cooking in Your Holiday Kitchen?
  • Make a Gratitude Bowl
  • Pass the Manners
  • Say Thanks to Your Children
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