Thanksgiving comes from the rich past of America’s days of pilgrims and Native Americans. There are varying stories about how it all went down, but these trivia questions will be gleaned from the most accurate information on which historians can give a consensus.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answers to every single question. I’m sure your friends won’t think you are a loser because you didn’t know a few, right? Either way, this trivia list should be fun for you to play to test your knowledge about one of America’s great pastimes. If nothing else, we hope you will turn your heart to give thanks for all the good things in your life.
Best Thanksgiving Trivia Questions
1. How long did the first Thanksgiving last?
Answer: 3 days
The first Thanksgiving really did last for three days! In November 1621, Governor William Bradford invited the Wampanoag tribe to come and share their food. About 50 European settlers and 90 Native Americans attended the feast.
2. What country did the pilgrims go to before traveling to America in their attempt to seek religious freedom?
The Pilgrims fled England, hoping there would be more religious freedom in Holland, but they had a hard time fitting in and finding jobs. They were also worried about their children being influenced by Holland’s culture, so they left for New England.
3. Which U.S. president declared Thanksgiving a national holiday?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863. Some previous presidents celebrated it sporadically, but Lincoln was the one to make it a holiday officially.
4. Did Native Americans actually eat Turkey at their Thanksgiving celebration?
Though we do know they enjoyed varied foods like seal, swan, and lobster, no one knows for sure whether a turkey was on the table. Interestingly enough, the Native Americans even brought five full-fledged deer to the feast.
5. Which president refused to declare Thanksgiving a holiday?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson
He was a real big believer in the separation of church and state, and personally, can we blame him? The poor guy had witnessed more than a few violations of that amendment in his day.
6. What woman is responsible for the declaration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday?
Answer: Sarah Josepha Hale
Are we even surprised that the genius behind the best holiday on earth is a chick? She singlehandedly convinced the leader of the free world that a day dedicated to turkeys and overextended stomachs was worth declaring a national holiday. Oh, and she wrote the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Let us just say, not all heroes wear capes–but a lot of them wear napkins.
7. Did the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade have balloons?
I imagine this must have looked pretty boring and all. Oh, except for the LIVE ZOO ANIMALS!!! That’s right, back in the 1920s, not even Santa himself was opposed to the idea of parading Central Park Zoo inmates down 34th street in freezing temperatures.
8. How many turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving every year?
Answer: Approximately 46 million
Let’s just take a moment of silence. In case you didn’t know about the mass turkey genocide that occurs literally every year to feed your gluttony.
9. How many grams of fat does the average person consume at Thanksgiving dinner?
Answer: 229 grams
That’s right, you, yourself, have eaten four times the amount of daily recommended amount of fat in one sitting. You can either choose to be disgusted or choose to be proud of yourself.
10. When was the first turkey pardoned by the president?
If you’re like me, you had no idea turkey pardoning was even a thing. Those birds are definitely the few and the fortunate, and also famous.
11. Do all turkeys gobble?
Only male turkeys actually gobble. Maybe that disappoints you. Perhaps you absolutely could not care any less. Maybe you wouldn’t care if that turkey spoke English better than the Queen of England, as long as it tastes good with a glaze.
12. What other country also celebrates Thanksgiving?
Way back in 1578, the English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew successfully made the voyage from England to Canada so that all North Americans can spend a weekend watching football and gorging on stuffing.
13. How many pumpkin pies are eaten each Thanksgiving?
Answer: 50 million
According to the American Pie Council, pumpkin pies come in second only to apple pies. And yes, the American Pie Council is a real thing.
14. Which Native American tribe taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land and were invited to the Thanksgiving meal?
These were also the people that established the first peaceful relations with settlers. In other words, they’re the reason the colonies survived.
15. What did the Pilgrims come to the New World in search of?
Answer: Religious freedom
So basically, King James was all like, “Yo, I don’t know if y’all should even have religious freedom,” and then the Pilgrims were all like, “Yo, let’s ditch this joint.”
16. What’s a baby turkey called?
There’s no way you knew the answer to this one without asking Siri, but that’s okay. We here at EndangeredEmoji aim to provide you with all the most useless tidbits of information you could possibly want.
17. How many feathers does a full-grown turkey have?
Answer: 5,000-6,000 feathers
If you’re considering shooting and cleaning your own bird this year, maybe you want to think again.
18. Do turkeys fly?
Apparently, wild turkeys do fly. Not that anyone is exactly expected to know that.
19. What American staple meal was invented as a result of Thanksgiving?
Answer: Frozen TV dinners
An oversized order of turkeys and one smart Swanson company salesman who capitalized on the big order. That’s all it took to establish the baseline American diet: frozen dinners.
20. Where did the tradition of breaking the wishbone come from?
Answer: The Etruscans
So it was passed down from the British, who got it from the Romans, who got it from these obscure, ancient, bird-worshipping people. If any animal could have the power to predict the future, it would be birds, though.
21. Where did the first U.S. harvest feast of Thanksgiving take place?
Answer: Plymouth Colony
You probably could have guessed this one, but it makes for some fun, useless trivia and round-the-table dinner conversation anyway.