Friday, November 16, 2012

The Skinny -- We're Thankful...

Image by Anne Taintor, Inc.

We love a holiday.  Any holiday.  As long as we get to celebrate by eating good food, and decorate with cool vintage finds, we are happy as can be.  But Thanksgiving holds a special place in our hearts -- from family drama (um, please don't mention that thing to so-and-so...) to dessert smorgasbords (hello, I need carrot cake!) to turkey sandwiches the day after (must be white bread, with mayo and pepper), we love it all.  At the heart of it, we're both of us very strongly rooted in our family traditions.  We have large families, and though they have shifted and changed through the years, there are certain things that are steadfast and unchangeable.  And for that -- we are thankful.

So, as we all get ready to gorge ourselves on our holiday feasts, we Blackbird girls thought we would share a few interesting facts about the holiday known for ginormous turkeys and pumpkin pies.  You may be surprised about what you will learn...

Screen print by McCaffrey, 1954
  • The idea of Thanksgiving as we know it comes from a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale was editor of Godey's Lady's Book and penned the "Mary Had a Little Lamb" nursery rhyme. She spent 40 years writing letters to anyone who would listen, fighting for a national, once-yearly Thanksgiving holiday. Especially during the years culminating in the Civil War, she saw the holiday as a way to unite the nation.
  • On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln finally listened to her and issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday in November to be a day of "thanksgiving and praise." For the first time, Thanksgiving became a national, annual holiday with a specific date.
  • In 1939, Thanksgiving was going to fall on November 30. Retailers complained to President Franklin Roosevelt that this date cramped their sales by only leaving 24 shopping days until Christmas. They pleaded with him to push Thanksgiving up a week earlier. When FDR declared his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1939, as had become the tradition of presidents, he announced the date of Thanksgiving to be Thursday, November 23 -- the second-to-last Thursday of the month.
  • Whereas President Lincoln had started the Thanksgiving holiday as a way to unite our country, this date change tore us apart. Confusion and anger ensued, and sales didn't really change that much for the better.  So, on December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law that stated that Thanksgiving would forever be on the fourth Thursday of November. 

  • In 1953, Swanson started creating T.V. dinners because it needed to find something to do with the leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkeys.  Put it in a frozen meal package!
  • Green been casserole was created over 50 years ago by Campbell's soup for it's newest cookbook.  Now, Campbell's sells around $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup, most likely for people to make the casserole.  
  • The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was in 1924, and included 400 employees marching off from Convent Avenue and 145th Street in New York City. They borrowed live animals from the Central Park Zoo to walk in the parade with them.

 Have a Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll!!

*Info from and 

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