By Jack Gurner
Here is a history quiz in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The answers are directly below the question, so you can cheat a little by taking a peek.
What year was Thanksgiving first celebrated?
1621. The Pilgrims landed in December of 1620 and managed to survive a harsh winter. Their first Thanksgiving was held the next year to celebrate their first rich harvest.
What favorite desert did the Pilgrims NOT eat that first Thanksgiving?
Pumpkin pie. The Pilgrims didn’t have any domesticated cattle, so they didn’t have any milk or butter. They did eat boiled pumpkin, though.
Were Native Americans really invited to the Pilgrim’s first feast?
Yes. The first Thanksgiving feast included 91 Native Americans, who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year.
The potato is America’s most beloved veggie. Why didn’t the Pilgrims whip up some mashed potatoes for their big dinner?
Potatoes were thought to be poisonous. This misconception stems from the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Her cooks weren’t familiar with the almighty spud, so they tossed the potatoes and boiled the stems and leaves instead. The royal family members became very ill, and potatoes were banned for more than a century.
Which U.S. president scoffed at the idea of a national holiday in honor of the first Thanksgiving?
Thomas Jefferson. George Washington declared November 26, 1789 to be the first national day of Thanksgiving. Thomas Jefferson was not in favor declaring the holiday. In 1863, Lincoln declared the last day of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.