10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving

Posted by Michaele Charles on Nov 22, 2023 6:15:00 AM

Fun facts and figures about Thanksgiving from SiteSeer!SiteSeer is in the analytics business, so we’re always looking at the data and numbers behind things! During this Thanksgiving week, we thought it might be fun to share a few facts about this beloved American holiday. Here are 10 interesting things you might not know about Thanksgiving, the traditional turkey feast, and more:

#1 | The first Thanksgiving feast was in 1621, when the Mayflower pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts shared a feast with the Wampanoag tribe. What was on the menu? Deer, wild turkey, and some historians think pigeon, bread made from maize, eel, and shellfish.

#2 | President George Washington declared the first national Thanksgiving in 1789, calling it “a day of public thanks-giving,” but not all presidents thereafter observed the holiday. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, and President Ulysses Grant was responsible for signing legislation in 1870 that made Thanksgiving a federal holiday.

#3 | Americans serve 46 million turkeys, 80 million pounds of cranberries, and 50 million pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving. The cost of a Thanksgiving meal increased 20% between 2021 and 2022, averaging $64.05 for 10 people. 

#4 | People consume about 3,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner. And--brace yourself--as much as 1 1/3 sticks of butter. And that doesn't even include seconds! 

#5 | Turkey is big business, producing 5.2 billion pounds and $7.1 billion in 2022. The top 6 turkey-producing states in 2022 were:

    • Minnesota – 37.0 million birds
    • North Carolina – 28.0 million birds
    • Arkansas – 26.0 million birds
    • Indiana – 20.0 million birds
    • Missouri – 17.0 million birds
    • Virginia – 15.3 million birds

#6 | Those six states account for 69% of the country’s turkey production. Also, the United States is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products.

#7 | The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was watched by 27.7 million people on TV in 2022, and another 3.5 million watch in person.

#8 | Before Macy’s held its first now-famous parade in 1924, Gimbels department store in Philadelphia started one of their own in 1920. The parade is now the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade—and considered the oldest in the nation. Store owner Frederic Gimbel lobbied in 1939 to move Thanksgiving back a week to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, even getting the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, Congress settled the confusion among states celebrating at different times in 1941, when they voted that the holiday be set as the fourth Thursday of November.

#9 | The National Football League held its first Thanksgiving day game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. Football on Thanksgiving was started by colleges, when the Intercollegiate Football Association championship took place on Thanksgiving in 1876 (Yale vs. Princeton).

#10 | Almost 55 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving in 2022. Orlando, Florida, was the most popular destination.

From Our Family to Yours, Thank You 🙏

From everyone on the SiteSeer team to all of our clients and colleagues, we wish you a safe, relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends, and/or maybe a little football. As always, we are so grateful for your business. If we can support your business in any way as you look ahead to 2024, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy Thanksgiving! 












Topics: Data Study, Site Selection Checklist

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