5 Random Things about Thanksgiving (US) to Help with Trivia Night

By Alex Batty, MHI Marketing Communications Coordinator |@mhi_alex

Quick disclaimer: because we’re a US-based company (And I’ve lived in ‘Murica my whole life), this post on Thanksgiving is going to have a decidedly American slant. But to our delightful Canadian neighbors (neighbours), your October Thanksgiving is just as cool. I just didn’t think about it at the time because I was too busy prepping for the holiday of holidays – Halloween.

After some lovely Google searching (really, I love that my job let’s me google ‘random Thanksgiving facts’ and that’s like… okay), here’s some stuff you might not have known about Thanksgiving. Knowledge is power. Especially in pub trivia. Now you know.

History of Turkey Day (US-style)

Thanksgiving was celebrated as a federal thing ever since the first one, but President Lincoln officially proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, which set it on the last Thursday of November as we typically know it now. However, in 1939, there were 5 Thursdays in November, so President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it as officially the fourth Thursday, rather than defaulting to the last Thursday (which is often the fourth Thursday). The reason for this? Basically the origins of Black Friday. After the Great Depression, he thought an earlier Thanksgiving would make the holiday shopping season longer, giving a boost to the economy.

Canadian Thanksgiving

Did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is on a different day? Actually a whole different month. Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October. But from what I can tell, it looks relatively the same. Fall foods, turkey, football, public holiday=vacation, trying to avoid politics at the dinner table, etc.

Canadian readers, please feel free to enlighten me on things I may have missed. I must win at pub trivia night.

Black Friday

I’ll be honest: I have never done this. So many people. Can’t breathe.

I’m a Cyber Monday fan, to be honest, but Black Friday is as much a tradition in the US as Turkey and football and the Macy’s Parade.

Supply chain worked hard to get all the overstock to stores for y’all to pick up at crazy prices. Supply chain will also work hard after Cyber Monday to deliver all the smokin’ deals along with all the other holiday orders.

Transparent Pie

Apparently it’s a tradition in Kentucky. It’s not actually transparent though, but it looks good. You can read the article with the history about it at https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/11/21/565365312/in-kentucky-transparent-pie-is-clearly-a-thanksgiving-winner

TV Dinners

TV dinners were created because of a Thanksgiving mis-order. A guy at Swanson ordered waaaaay to many turkeys (260 tons) and they had to get rid of them. A sales guy (of course) came up with the idea of filling aluminum trays with some turkey along with the regular sides. They sold them cheap and they were a hit. And now the TV dinner lives on with it’s relatively unknown Thanksgiving origin.


There you go. After eating all the turkey (and stuffing. Mmmmmm stuffing), you can dream tryptophan-induced dreams of winning pub trivia with your random Thanksgiving knowledge.


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