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Interesting Thanksgiving Facts

from Brodbeck Porter Insurance Agency

by Bob Brodbeck on Nov 22, 2019

Thanksgiving: What You Know and Don't Know

Not only is it interesting to learn how the majority of Americans celebrate the holiday, it also might make you feel better about how your own Thanksgiving usually unfolds. If you’re frantically calling the Butterball Turkey hotline for help on how to cook a giant bird, you’re not alone—the hotline answers more than 100,000 questions in November and December. And you’re in good company if your family forgoes the home-cooked meal altogether, too: 9 percent of Americans head to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s also a great way to fill in the blanks of your Thanksgiving knowledge. You might know that the president ceremoniously pardons one lucky turkey every year, but do you know which president kicked off the peculiar practice? It was George H.W. Bush, in 1989.

Thanksgiving History by the Numbers

1621 - The year of the First Thanksgiving

October 3, 1863 - The Date President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday

1989 - Year that President H.W. Bush first pardons a turkey - This began a annual tradition for each president who followed. 

2 - Number of Turkeys that are sent to the White House each year

4 - Number of U.S. towns named "Turkey"

2nd - Rank among America's vote for favorite holidays

3,000-4,500 - Number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving 

8.1 billion - Number of calories consumed by Americans at Thanksgiving every year

10.5 hours - Amount of time it takes the average male to burn off 4,500 calories

9% - Percentage of Americans that eat their Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant

$48.90 - Average cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving dinner. 

$150K - World's most expensive Thanksgiving Dinner (Recorded in 2018 at New York City's Old Homestead Steakhouse)

46M - Number of turkey's killed for Thanksgiving each year

65% - Percentage of Americans who prefer an alternative to turkey as the main course

100K - Amount of questions answered by the Butterball Turkey hotline each November & December

70% - Percentage of Americans believe it's not proper to not serve turkey on Thanksgiving

72% - Percentage of Americans plan to attend a Thanksgiving dinner with 5+ people

Americans' Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes

39% - Turkey

23% - Stuffing

12% - Pumpkin Pie

9% - Mashed Potatoes

6% - Sweet Potatoes

3% - Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving Entertainment

1876 - Year the Thanksgiving Football tradition began. Yale vs. Princeton

1920 - The first year NFL games were played on Thanksgiving

2 - The number of teams who play every year on Thanksgiving (Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions)

1924 - The year of the first Macy's Day Parade

2.65 mi - Distance of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

8,000+ - People that participate in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

3.5m - Number of spectators that attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

1,000 - Number of Police Officers (NYPD)

50m - Estimated number of TV viewers

Travel & Safety

54.3m+ - Americans that will travel on Thanksgiving

89.4% - Percentage of travelers that will drive to their destinations 

7.8% - Percentage of Americans will fly to their Thanksgiving destinations

433 - Number of traffic fatalities each Thanksgiving Weekend

49,400 - Number of people seriously injured in Thanksgiving car crashes each year

3X - As many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving compared to a typical day

$19m - Property loss caused by residential building fires each Thanksgiving

5 - Estimated number of deaths due to Thanksgiving house fires each year

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