Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26, 2015
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.
The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought
November 24, 2016
November 23, 2017
Thanksgiving dates 1990–2050
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In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
248 million – The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2011. That’s up 2 percent from the number raised during 2010. The turkeys produced in 2010 together weighed 7.11 billion pounds and were valued at $ 4.37 billion.
46.5 million – The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota is expected to raise in 2011. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (30.0 million), Arkansas (30.0 million), Missouri (18.0 million), Virginia (17.5 million) and Indiana (16.0 million). These six states together account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2011.
- Culinary Delights
750 million pounds – The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2011. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 430 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (210 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 17 million to 54 million pounds.
2.4 billion pounds
The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2010. North Carolina (972 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state.
1.1 billion pounds – Total production of pumpkins in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois led the country by producing 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, New York and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $117 million.
If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2011 totals 266.1 million pounds, up 40 percent from the 2010 production. Of this 2011 total, the overwhelming majority (210.0 million pounds) will be produced in Michigan.
2.01 billion bushels – The total volume of wheat — the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pie crust — produced in the United States in 2011. Kansas, Montana and North Dakota accounted for about 33 percent of the nation’s wheat production.
656,340 tons – The 2011 contracted production of snap (green) beans in major snap (green) bean-producing states. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (258,320 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
$7.8 million – The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys from January through July of 2011 — 99.7 percent from Canada. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 60.1 percent ($3.2 million) of total imports ($5.3 million). The United States ran a $3.6 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $41.7 million in sweet potatoes.
13.3 pounds – The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2009, with no doubt a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.3 pounds.
- The Price is Right
$1.38 – Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2010.
- Where to Feast
4 – Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey Creek, La., was the most populous in 2010, with 441 residents, followed by Turkey, Texas (421), Turkey Creek, Ariz. (294), and Turkey, N.C. (292). There are also 11 townships around the country with Turkey in their names, including three in Kansas.
9 – Number of places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the acidic red berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2010, with 28,098 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next (6,685).
37 – Number of places and townships in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous, with 70,576 residents in 2010; Plymouth, Mass., had 56,468. There is just one township in the United States named Pilgrim. Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 132 in 2010. And then there is Mayflower, Ark., whose population was 2,234 in 2010, and Mayflower Village, Calif., whose population was 5,515 in 2010.
116.7 million – Number of households across the nation — all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday.