The first Macy's Parade in 1924
was called the "Macy's Christmas Day Parade" although it took place on
In 1927, Macy's introduces the
world famous giant helium balloons. The first balloons included Felix the
Cat and Toy Soldier.
The parade has been held
continuously from 1924, except for 1942-1944 when it was halted due to WWII.
Santa Claus has ended the
Macy's Parade every year except 1933, the only year in which he led the
Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade more often than any other
In 1989, the Macy's Parade
marched through its very first snowstorm.
The parade route has only
changed twice, in 1945 & 2012, from 145th Street and Convent Avenue to the modern
day kick off at 77th Street and Central Park West.
The parade’s first national
broadcast was on NBC in 1948.
Today, more than 44 million people watch the parade on TV each year and 3
million attend in person.
1920, Gimbels department store in Philadelphia held a parade with about 50
people and Santa Claus bringing up the rear. The parade is now known as the
6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade and is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving college football games began with Yale versus Princeton in
The Detroit Lions of the
American National Football League have hosted a game every Thanksgiving Day
since 1934, with the exception of 1939–44 (due to World War II).
The Dallas Cowboys have hosted
every Thanksgiving Day since 1966, with the exception of 1975 and 1977 when
the then-St. Louis Cardinals hosted.
In 1921, Governor William
Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to commemorate the harvest reaped
by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter.
The colonists celebrated it as a
traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag
All thirteen colonies did not,
however, celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time until October 1777.
George Washington was the first
president to declare the holiday, in 1789.
In the mid-1800's poet and
editor Sarah J. Hale had begun lobbying for a national Thanksgiving holiday.
In 1863, President Abraham
Lincoln gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday in
November a day of thanksgiving.
Since 1863, Thanksgiving has
been observed annually in the United States.
In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin
D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed
Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November.
Congress passed a joint
resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth
Thursday of November, where it remains today.
Thanksgiving can occur as early as November 22 and as late as November 28.
Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because stores hope the
busy shopping day will take them out of the red and into the black. Black
Friday has been a tradition since the 1930s.
Beginning in 1947, the National
Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one
live turkey and two dressed turkeys. The live turkey is pardoned and lives
out the rest of its days on a peaceful farm.
Abraham Lincoln is said to have informally started the practice when he
pardoned his son’s pet turkey.
Turkeys sometimes spend the
night in trees.
A turkey under sixteen weeks of
age is called a fryer, while a young roaster is five to seven months old.
Turkeys are the only breed of
poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.
Turkeys have great hearing, but
no external ears.
Turkeys can see in color, and
have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees),
which makes sneaking up on them difficult.
Domesticated turkeys cannot fly.
Wild turkeys can fly for short
distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of
25 miles per hour on the ground.
At one time, the turkey and the
bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America.
According to the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the
U.S. at Thanksgiving—that's one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each
Age is a determining factor in
taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is
stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
Recent studies suggest that
carbohydrate-rich meals may cause sleepiness by increasing the number of
tryptophans in the brain.
A 15-pound turkey typically has
about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
White meat has fewer calories
and less fat than dark meat.
were actually used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye