Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, we are so thankful for the thousands of LP Magazine digital and print subscribers, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn followers, and the tens of thousands who read our site content every month. We’re so glad you’re here.

But what we’re most thankful for is all of those who work in retail loss prevention, asset protection, security, and law enforcement – those who care enough to ensure our products and (more importantly) our people are protected. Here’s to a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

In gratitude,
The LPM Team

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1. The first Thanksgiving was actually a three-day celebration.
Today, Thanksgiving takes place on one day — maybe two if you count Black Friday. But that wasn’t enough for the original Pilgrims. In November 1621, the settlers’ first corn harvest proved successful and Governor William Bradford invited the Plymouth colonists’ Native American allies to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Members of the Wampanoag tribe came bearing food to share and as they joined the Pilgrims, the revelers decided to extend the affair.

2. It’s unclear if colonists and Native Americans ate turkey at their feast.
Nobody is quite sure if the almighty bird that now marks the centerpiece of our table was even on the menu back in 1621. However, they did indulge in other interesting foods like lobster, seal, and swan. The Wampanoag even brought five deer to the feast, so if you also enjoy venison at your autumn table, consider yourselves right in line with a longstanding tradition.

3. Today, a part of Plymouth, Massachusetts, looks just as it did in the 17th century.
Modeled after an English village and a Wampanoag home site, the historic attraction Plymouth Plantation stays true to its historic roots. And if you want to go way back to the original Thanksgiving table, you can. Guests can order tickets as early as June (May for members) to attend a Thanksgiving dinner complete with authentic courses like a corn pudding and fish fricassee, tales of colonial life, and centuries-old songs. Don’t be too shy to join in the sing-along!

4. While president, Thomas Jefferson refused to declare Thanksgiving as a holiday.
Presidents originally had to declare Thanksgiving a holiday every year. However, Jefferson refused to recognize the event, because he strongly believed in the separation of church and state. Since Thanksgiving involved prayer and reflection, the president thought making it a national holiday would violate the First Amendment. He also thought it was better suited as a state holiday, not a federal one. But he never really explained himself to the public.

5. The woman behind “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is also responsible for Thanksgiving’s recognition as a national holiday.
Writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday that recurred every year after years of persistent lobbying. The author also founded the American Ladies Magazine, which promoted women’s issues long before suffrage. She wrote countless articles and letters to persuade the president to recognize the holiday federally, which she believed could help unify the Northern and Southern states amid gathering tensions and divisions. Hale kept at it, even after the Civil War broke out, and Lincoln actually wrote the proclamation just a week after her last letter in 1863… Good Housekeeping

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