My first Thanksgiving in America. For each of the previous 3 years I've gone back to the UK for the extended weekend but this year we have family visiting us, so we are doing it the American way, that is eating, drinking, watching sport on television and sleeping in-between.
The first ever Thanksgiving was said to have been celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims after their first harvest. The Pilgrims had settled in Plymouth Colony, which is now in Massachusetts on the beautiful slither of land
between Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. As wild turkeys were in plentiful supply, that is what they ate.
The day sporadically became a regular observance throughout Colonial America, but after the American Revolution, it was George Washington who declared the first official national Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1789.
However even up and until 1940, various states observed different dates and some, particularly in the south didn't recognise it at all. It is now always on the last Thursday of November.
As for 'Turkey Day,' since 1947 the National Turkey Federation
has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys. The live turkey was pardoned and lived out the rest of its days on a peaceful farm. In more recent times two turkeys have been pardoned and in 2003 the public were invited to vote for the two turkeys' names. Last year, so I read, they were named Marshmallow and Yam, and they went on to live at Disneyland.
I was told there's no truth in the rumour that this years will be called Kev and Lis, who will continue to live out their days at Sparrows Lane!