Thanksgiving has been ranked as America’s second favorite holiday (not surprisingly, Christmas lands in the No. 1 spot). Like many other holidays, Thanksgiving is largely based off historical tradition. What started as a congenial harvest feast shared between the Wampanoag and Pilgrim settlers has now become a day dedicated to family time. Each year on Thanksgiving Day friends and families gather together to give thanks and enjoy a hot meal, or in some cases a feast, together made up of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and all the other traditional fixings.
While most of us celebrate Thanksgiving each year and have probably done so our entire lives, you might be surprised to find out just how much you don’t know about this annual holiday! Here’s a fun look on some interesting facts about Thanksgiving Day…
1. Thanksgiving was Beginning of TV Dinners
If you haven’t tried a TV dinner before, then you’ve definitely heard of one or at least passed one in the grocery store. The TV dinner is a concept that emerged in the 1950s, but what you probably didn’t know was that it was actually due to a Thanksgiving mix-up at Swanson. An article in the Smithsonian.com says the idea emerged back in 1953 after an employee at Swanson miscalculated the shipment of Thanksgiving turkeys and ordered 260 tons by a mistake. This was obviously a HUGE miscalculation.
Thankfully salesman Gerry Thomas had an idea. He came up with the plan to fill 5,000 aluminum trays with turkey, along with all the other classic Thanksgiving fixings like cornbread, gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes. The source says he was inspired by the trays of pre-prepared foods served on airplanes. Swanson and Thomas joined together to sell the first of it’s kind — the TV dinner. And it proved to be a huge success. In the first year of production (1954), they sold 10 million turkey dinners for 98 cents each.