8 Thanksgiving Facts You May Not Know

Lauren Epstein

Is 3,699 pounds of pumpkin pie enough dessert for your family and friends this Thanksgiving? That’s how much the largest pumpkin pie in history weighed, according to Guinness World Records. New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers from New Bremen, Ohio, used 440 sheets of dough to make the 20-foot pie. That’s a whole lot of leftovers!

Here are seven more surprising Thanksgiving facts:

  1. Sarah Josepha Hale, a New Hampshire-born writer and editor and the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to convince him to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is often referred to as the godmother of Thanksgiving.
  2. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving one week earlier to boost the Christmas shopping season.
  3. The fastest turkey-carving time is 3 minutes and 19.47 seconds—a record set by Paul Kelly in Essex, England, in 2009.
  4. An estimated 240 million turkeys were raised in the United States last year! The United States is the world’s largest turkey producer and exporter of turkey products in the world, with Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Missouri being the biggest turkey-producing states.
  5. Approximately 50 million people watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television each year.
  6. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington are the top cranberry-growing states, while Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and New York are the leading pumpkin-growing states.
  7. The world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys was set in Dallas in 2011. How many costumed folks were there? 661.

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