In an attempt to wish my wonderful readers a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, here is some trivia for you to use to impress the others sitting at your table today.
Congress adopted a resolution in 1941 setting the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday of Thanksgiving.
It is estimated that Minnesota will top turkey production this year with 49 million. Minn. is followed by North Carolina (39 million), Arkansas (31 million), Virginia (21 million), Missouri (20 million) and Indiana (15.9 million). These six states together will probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2008.
689 million pounds of U.S. cranberries with produced this year, up 5 percent from 2007 and slightly below 2006. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 385 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 15 million to 50 million pounds.
The typical American consumed 13.3 pounds of turkeys in 2006, with a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 4.6 pounds. Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Tables 209-210 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/stata
Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2007 was $1.01.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 709 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>
CREATION OF THE FIRST TV DINNER.
In 1953, someone at Swanson severely overestimated the amount of turkey Americans would consume that Thanksgiving. With 260 tons of frozen birds to get rid of, a company salesman named Gerry Thomas ordered 5,000 aluminum trays, recruited an assembly line of women armed with spatulas and ice-cream scoops and began creating mini-feasts of turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes — creating the first-ever TV dinner. Thomas later said he got the idea from neatly packaged airplane food.
Gobble it up.