Three Questions to Get You Ready for the Thanksgiving Holiday

What’s Thanksgiving Without Turkey??

Ninety-six thanksgiving-turkeypercent of Americans eat turkey at some point during the holidays, with many of us eating turkey for our main Thanksgiving dinner.   Roughly 18 percent of the turkey’s produced each year become somebody’s Thanksgiving dinner which mean that about 48 million turkeys are heading for the Thanksgiving table.  With the average turkey weighing in at 15 pounds, that’s 720 million pounds of poultry!

Do you know which year had two Thanksgiving days??

When Thanksgiving Day became a yearly event in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set the holiday on the last Thursday in November – and that’s where it stayed for the next 75 years. But, occasionally, November has five Thursdays including the year 1939.  At that time, people did not begin Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving. So, concerned about the impact of a shortened holiday shopping period in a nation trying to work its way out of the great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday of November, the 23rd, to be Thanksgiving Day in 1939.  Many people protested the change as an affront to tradition, and Nov. 30 (the last, and fifth, Thursday) was declared to be the official Thanksgiving Day in a number of states.  So 1939 was a year with two Thanksgiving Days.  In December of 1941, Congress passed a law permanently setting Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November.

Who started the tradition of playing a football game on Thanksgiving day?  

The Intercollegiate Football Association was formed in 1872. Two years later, and continuing for the next decade, the association held its annual championship game on Thanksgiving Day.  Probably the most notable game in the series was played in 1893, before 40,000 fans at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Princeton defeated Yale by 6-0, preserving an 11-0 season and ending Yale’s 37-game winning streak.  Although there were some professional games played on Thanksgiving Day during the 1920s, the Detroit Lions made it a holiday tradition starting in 1934.  The Lions have played a Thanksgiving game every year since, except during World War II.  This year they play the early game against the Vikings at 12:30 PM while Washington and Dallas meet up at 4:30 PM and finally, the best game of the day is at 8:30 PM when the Steelers play the Colts (go Black and Gold!).

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and remember the One who has made it possible:  “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.   Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.”  (Psalm 95:1-3)