4 Things You May Not Know About Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is almost here and with all the rush to get plans together, it can be easy to not give this day much thought.  That’s why I’m sharing four things about Thanksgiving you may not know -- hopefully it will give you a moment to pause and maybe learn a thing or two.


1. Thanksgiving originally didn’t involve any food.

While the word Thanksgiving brings to mind a huge feast, originally it was meant to be a fast. The settlers at Plymouth Rock chose to participate in the "giving of thanks" in the form of prayer and abstaining from food.  That changed when the Indians who joined the pilgrims for their 3-day celebration contributed their own harvest tradition -- dancing, games and feasting.

2. One woman prompted it to become a tradition.

Sarah Josepha Hale, the writer of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb", carried out a 17 year letter writing campaign to make it a nationwide holiday. Abraham Lincoln finally agreed and in October of 1863 issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation that made this tradition official.

3. A big Thanksgiving mistake gave way to the TV dinner.

Food shippers, what may seem like a disaster during the holiday season could be in fact a great opportunity. Be on the look out!

Back in 1953, a person at Swanson severely overestimated the amount of turkey Americans would buy that Thanksgiving. Since there were 260 tons of frozen birds left over, company salesman George Thomas ordered 5,000 aluminum trays, recruited an assembly line of workers and began creating packaged meals of turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes which were then frozen.  Thomas later said the idea came from neatly packaged airplane food.

4. Black Friday sales were down last year.

Despite the economy inching upward last fall, the sales for Black Friday fell 2.9 percent to approximately $57 billion, or $407 per person, during the four day period beginning on Thanksgiving Day. However, consumer confidence has climbed up about 10 percent since last fall, so it will be interesting to see if that will be reflected in this coming Black Friday’s sales, especially since that will be an important measure of what to expect in the month ahead.

We at TranzAct are thankful for all the clients, associates, partners, family, friends and all others who have helped us to become a thriving company. We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.