Gobbling up the facts

An article published on livescience.com lists numerous fun factoids about the Thanksgiving holiday, some of which are genuinely surprising.

In America, there are four towns named after the fowl that has been the centerpiece of the holiday for over two centuries. There is a Turkey, Louisiana, Turkey, Texas, Turkey, Arizona, and Turkey, North Carolina. It doesn’t stop there however, as there are seven towns that are named after the steadfast side dish of the Thanksgiving, cranberry.

One of the country’s most well-known and revered founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, proclaimed he wanted the turkey as the national bird of America, not the American bald eagle. His reasoning was that the turkey was more representative of America, and a “respectable” bird.

According to an article on CNN.com, the invention of the TV dinner is all thanks to the turkey. In the early 1950s, an employee at Swanson misjudged how many turkeys they would sell for Thanksgiving by 26 tons. It was then decided that all of the leftovers could be packaged with some sides and sold at markets — thus the TV dinner makes its way into the cultural landscape of America.

Perhaps a more humorous fact about Thanksgiving is that the Friday after is the busiest day of the year for the plumbing profession. According to Roto-Rooter, all of the “overwhelmed” plumbing systems need to be taken care of after the festivities have ended.

It was Abraham Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.

And while Thanksgiving is seen as a distinctly American holiday, we aren’t the only ones who celebrate it. Our neighbors to the north in Canada also celebrate it — just in October.

It’s widely known that turkey contains tryptophan, which causes sleepiness. That is why after a a long evening of eating as much turkey as possible, drowsiness will set in. What’s not well-known however, is that chicken actually contains more tryptophan than turkey. So although tryptophan can cause people to became sleepy, it’s not the acid itself that causes that reaction — it’s the overeating people tend to do on Thanksgiving.

The information in this article was found at https://www.livescience.com/41506-surprising-thanksgiving-facts.html and http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/21/health/thanksgiving-fun-facts-trivia-trnd/index.html.