Great Moments in Thanksgiving Day History

1621: The first Thanksgiving takes place at Plymouth. The Indians are introduced to a number of Pilgrim “treats” being passed around the table. The item that made the biggest impression? Cholera. The deadly, murderous cholera.

1622: Petty bickering ruins Thanksgiving for the first time.

1714: Abigail Smythe requests that her family go around the table and each announce one thing that they are thankful for, officially spurring one of the holiday’s greatest pastimes: making fun of mothers and their stupid ideas.

1780: Employing his legendary ingenuity, Ben Franklin becomes the first individual to turn a traced hand into a picture of a turkey. However, the always-humble Franklin refuses to take responsibility for the discovery. As with all of his inventions, he famously explains, “Don’t thank me. Thank the peyote.”

1817: Turkey becomes the official main course for Thanksgiving. The iconic switch is made after a drought results in scarcity of the original entrée – monkey skulls.

1866: Thanksgiving becomes a national holiday. President Lincoln chooses to set the holiday on the 4th Thursday of November. The date is chosen to allow for “maximum time off from work.”

1901: After receiving a review of “pretty good” from her 6-year-old nephew, Margaret Redding becomes the first in a long line of aunts to erroneously decree her recipe for mashed potatoes as “world famous.”

1934: The first Thanksgiving Day football game is televised. To make room for the new holiday tradition, the previous traditions of “togetherness” and “family bonding” are conveniently removed.


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