CNN’s Thanksgiving Quiz: How well do you know these Thanksgiving facts and foods?

By Andrew Torgan and Ivory Sherman

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Where did the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

The first Thanksgiving was observed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. A good autumn harvest led the Pilgrims to hold a feast to give thanks that lasted for three days.

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While historic accounts of what was eaten at the first Thanksgiving vary, which food was definitely not on the menu?

Potatoes, which are native to South America, had not made their way to New England in the 1600s.

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Which US president issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation?

On October 3, 1789, George Washington issued his Thanksgiving proclamation, designating “a day of public thanks-giving” to be held on “Thursday the 26th day of November” that year. Abraham Lincoln would later declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863.

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Turkey is typically the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner. Which US state raises the most turkeys?

Minnesota gobbled up the competition with 40.5 million turkeys raised in 2021.

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Cranberry sauce is a holiday staple. How many pounds of cranberries do Americans consume during Thanksgiving week?

Americans consume 80 million pounds of cranberries during Thanksgiving week and nearly 400 million pounds total per year – mostly in the form of juice or juice blends.

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This Thanksgiving dish was invented in the 1950s by a Campbell Soup Company employee named Dorcas Reilly with the hope of boosting sales of one of Campbell’s products.

Reilly invented the “Green Bean Bake,” as it was first called, as a new way to use Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. It wasn’t originally intended as a Thanksgiving favorite, but it quickly became one.

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Pumpkins were readily available in America during the first Thanksgiving, but the Pilgrims lacked all the ingredients – namely butter and wheat flour – needed to make pumpkin pie. What other dessert might they have made with pumpkins?

English settlers in North America were known to make a custard with milk, honey and spices and roast it in a hollowed-out pumpkin.

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Parades are a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition. Where was the first Thanksgiving Day parade in the US?

Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers Department Store staged a Thanksgiving procession in 1920 with 50 people, 15 cars and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus to usher in the holiday shopping season. Macy’s in New York held its first parade in 1924.

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Another Thanksgiving tradition is football. Which NFL team has played the most games on Thanksgiving Day?

The Detroit Lions have played in more games on Thanksgiving than any other NFL team.

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What is the organic compound in turkey that often gets the blame for making you sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner?

Tryptophan is the compound, but it’s not the main reason you feel sleepy. There’s actually more tryptophan in chicken, so chalk up that groggy feeling to eating way too much food.

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