Thanksgiving By The Numbers

Thanksgiving By The Numbers

Thanksgiving is that most American of holidays. Declared by President Abraham Lincoln a national holiday in 1863, Thanksgiving sets off a fury in the kitchen, supermarkets and airports as Americans crisscross the country to gather with family and friends to prepare and enjoy a feast with turkey as its centerpiece. How big is Thanksgiving? Consider: Americans will spend more than $1 billion on turkeys this year.

Here are a few more astounding, unique and sometimes quirky Thanksgiving facts.

  1. Turkey, turkey, turkey

    An expected 276 million Americans will be partaking in this feast this year, and an estimated 88% of those will be eating – you guessed it – turkey.

  2. Presidential pardon

    The White House tradition of “pardoning” a turkey goes back to President Lincoln, when he established the holiday in 1863. Since 1947, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation has presented a turkey to the President, but it wasn’t until 1963, 100 years after Lincoln’s pardon, that turkey clemency became more formalized, when President John F. Kennedy spared the life of a colossal 55-pound gobbler.

  3. La Familia es todo

    A baby turkey is called a poult, not a chick. Dad turkeys are called toms and mom turkeys are called hens. That covers the whole family.

  4. Thank goodness for Wisconsin

    What would turkey be without cranberries? Thank goodness for Wisconsin and Massachusetts. The Midwestern state has produced the largest crop of cranberries since 1995, currently, about 57% of the United States’ total production while Massachusetts produces another 23-30%.

  5. Sweet on you

    That other Thanksgiving staple is the sweet potato. Americans are in love with sweet potatoes and production has increased 6% per year since 2000. North Carolina is the leading producer of this vitamin- and beta-carotene rich tuber, with more than half of U.S. production, 53%. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Pumpkin pie takes the cake

    Ending this post on a sweet note, we thought you should know which pies are the most popular on Thanksgiving. (Actually, does it matter? Your favorite is all that matters. OK, play along anyway.) Drum roll please… The favorite pie of all is … pumpkin pie. Four out of 10 Americans call it their favorite, with apple pie a distant second with about 1 in 4 Americans. Pecan pie was third, reported as the one most favored by about 1 in 5 Americans, or 20%, in a poll conducted by the Huffington Post last year.

Did you know?

Tomatoes will keep longer if you store them with their stem down.

Follow along for more great tips