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Thanksgiving by the numbers

By Toby Lyles and Amy Roberts, CNN Library
updated 5:14 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Thanksgiving is full of numbers -- some big, some astonishing. For example, this Thanksgiving Americans will eat an estimated 46 million turkeys. That's a lot of bird. Thanksgiving is full of numbers -- some big, some astonishing. For example, this Thanksgiving Americans will eat an estimated 46 million turkeys. That's a lot of bird.
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The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
The numbers that make Thanksgiving
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • How many pounds of turkey will you cook this Thanksgiving?
  • It took 36 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday
  • About 69% of Thanksgiving Day fires are caused by cooking

(CNN) -- 2 -- The ranking of Thanksgiving on the list of America's favorite holidays. Christmas is No. 1.

2 -- The maximum number of days the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests keeping a fresh turkey before cooking it.

2.5 -- The number in miles of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade available for public viewing.

4 -- Americans celebrate Thanksgiving every year on the fourth Thursday of November.

5-5.5 -- The number of hours it takes to cook a stuffed 22- to 24-pound turkey in an oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

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11-12 -- The number of hours it takes to thaw a frozen 22- to 24-pound turkey in cold water. Compare that with the 5½ to six days it takes to thaw in the refrigerator.

17 -- Ridges on a 14-ounce can of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce.

36 -- The number of years it took magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale to crusade for an annual Thanksgiving holiday. National and local days of thanksgiving had been celebrated over the years, but President Abraham Lincoln finally proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving in 1863.

46 million -- The estimated number of turkeys eaten in the United States on Thanksgiving 2012.

46.3 million -- The estimated number of Americans who will be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, according to AAA.

50 million -- The approximate number of people who typically watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.

65 -- Percentage of Americans surveyed who said eating Thanksgiving leftovers is more important than eating their regular Thanksgiving meal.

67 -- The number of years between 1947, the first National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation at the White House, and Thanksgiving 2014.

69 -- The approximate percentage of Thanksgiving Day fires caused by cooking.

73 -- The number of years between 1941, when Congress decided that the fourth Thursday in November would be observed as Thanksgiving Day and a federal legal holiday, and Thanksgiving 2014.

88 -- The approximate percentage of Americans who eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day, according to a National Turkey Federation survey.

90 -- The number of years between 1924, when the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place, and Thanksgiving 2014. It was originally called the Macy's Christmas Parade.

94 -- The number of years between the first NFL Thanksgiving Day games in 1920 and Thanksgiving 2014.

151 -- The number of years between October 3, 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed a national annual Thanksgiving Day, and Thanksgiving 2014.

225 -- The number of years between 1789, when President George Washington issued a proclamation naming November 26 a day of national thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving 2014.

393 -- The number of years between 1621, when the first Thanksgiving was observed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Thanksgiving 2014. A good harvest led Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford to plan a festival to give thanks. Around 90 Native Americans attended.

4,500 -- The average number of calories you might consume on Thanksgiving, according to the Calorie Control Council. That's 3,000 for the meal, and another 1,500 for snacking and nibbling.

100,000-plus -- Questions typically answered by the Butterball Turkey hotline every November and December.

92.1 million -- Black Friday shoppers in 2013.

205 million -- The number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2013.

iReport: Who's at your Thanksgiving table?

Sources: Butterball, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Turkey Federation, Smithsonian Institution, Macy's, Harris Interactive, U.S. Fire Administration, Pro Football Hall of Fame, CNN

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