Thanksgiving Dinner: By the Numbers

Happy Thanksgiving It’s Thanksgiving! In honor of the occasion, let’s take a look at some of the most important numbers and figures behind the feast-filled holiday. In 1863, Abraham...

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving! In honor of the occasion, let’s take a look at some of the most important numbers and figures behind the feast-filled holiday.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day. Nearly 90% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. 1/5 of the annual total of turkeys consumed in the US are eaten at Thanksgiving. But, not everyone is eating turkey. There are about 7.3 million vegetarians in the US. The average American will consume 4,500 calories during Thanksgiving dinner.

This will be the 92nd year for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade was originally 6 miles long, starting from 145th St. in Harlem and ending at Herald Square.

The first president to officially pardon a turkey was George H.W. Bush, after noting that the turkey appeared “understandably nervous.” But, JFK spared the life of a 55-pound turkey saying, “We’ll just let this one grow.” Only two pardoned turkeys are still alive: Cheese and Courage.

Every year, 4 million Americans drive 100 miles or more to have Thanksgiving dinner. Since its creation in 1995, nearly 3.5 million Tofurkeys have been sold. A spooked turkey can run up to 25 mph. In 1953, Swanson started making frozen dinners because it needed to find something to do with the leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkeys.

In 1987, the National Turkey Federation sent out a press release addressing the negative effects of deep fried turkey on heart health. But in 1996, Martha Stewart Living photographed one for the November issue, setting the deep – frying trend into motion. To deep fry a turkey, lower it into a vat of 400° oil heated with propane gas and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. But be careful; thousands of fires, as well as many deaths and injuries, happen each year due to turkey fryer fires.

Turducken is a three-bird roast consisting of chicken, duck and turkey, stuffed inside one another like Russian dolls. Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme, self–proclaimed inventor, included a six–page recipe for it in his Prudhomme Family Cookbook. Prudhomme says you need to prepare three stuffings–one for each bird and cook the whole thing for 12 hours.

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