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What you should know about Thanksgiving

By Steve Almasy

Published November 26, 2020

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If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle had "bad moral character," he said. A turkey was a "much more respectable bird."

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You have Thanksgiving to thank for TV dinners. In 1953, Swanson had way too much leftover turkey meat. So someone suggested slicing it up and adding some side trimmings.

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Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers, according to Roto-Rooter. After all, someone has to clean up after guests who "overwhelm the system."

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When Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, it was thanks to the tireless efforts of a magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale, who also wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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Only male turkeys, called toms, gobble. Females, called hens, cackle.

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Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. Canadians celebrate it too. Except they do it the second Monday in October.

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You stuffed yourself, and now you're sleepy. But it's not the tryptophan in the turkey. Chickens have more. You're groggy because you overate.

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Why is it called a turkey? Years ago, the Europeans took a liking to imported guinea fowls. Since the birds were brought by Turkish merchants, the English called them turkeys.

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Later, when the Spaniards came to America, they found a bird that tasted like those guinea fowls. When they were sent to Europe, the English called these birds "turkeys" as well.

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