Thanksgiving Trivia Questions

Thanksgiving Trivia Questions will shatter your beliefs about the many parts of Thanksgiving we observe.

I feel a little bit like I'm doing a Jay Leno stint asking friends some of these questions.

Everyone looks a little bad if they don't brush up on their Thanksgiving Day knowledge.

This page will help you brush up on your history a bit.




According to popular legend, where did the male “tom” turkey get its name?

Benjamin Franklin named it after Thomas Jefferson rejected the turkey as the national bird.
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According to the Butterball Corporation, they recommend that you thaw a wrapped turkey in the refrigerator how long per 4 pounds of bird?

One whole day per four pounds(wrapped, laying on it’s breast side up.)
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At the first thanksgiving, were there more Pilgrims or Indians enjoying the meal?

Indians. Over 50% of the Pilgrims had died.
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Butterball says the best place to put the meat thermometer in the turkey is where?

In the thigh.
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Butterball says that once the turkey is done, it should stand for 15 minutes before serving because:

To let the stuffing cool down to 165 degrees for better serving temperature.
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By the 19th century , celebrating Thanksgiving is said to have been the origin of what table tradition?

The kiddie table.
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Captain John Smith founded what colony in Virginia?

Jamestown.
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Did the Mayflower dock at Plymouth Rock?

No, the water was too shallow. But, Plymouth Rock was the first place the Pilgrims set foot onto the New World.
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Did the Pilgrims take beer with them on their crossing?

Yes, John Alden was a cooper who made barrels.
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Did the Pilgrims actually wear those funny buckles and hats?

No, however, no one knows how this look originated.
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Do turkeys have heart attacks?

Yes. (The US Air force found that out the hard way when they were trying to break the sound barrier. Whole fields of turkeys fell down dead from heart attacks.)
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Every year, the President pardons a turkey and it goes to a public farm called Frying Pan Park , Herndon. Virginia. Who the the first President to pardon a turkey?

Harry Truman in 1947.
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How can a turkey drown when it’s raining?

By looking up.
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How fast can a spooked turkey run?

20 miles per hour.
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How high must a cranberry bounce before it is harvested?

4 inches.
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How long was the voyage from England to the New World?

66 days.
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How many degrees can a turkey see with its eyes?

270 degrees. So they can see behind them.
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How many Pilgrims were on the Mayflower as it began?

102.
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How many Pilgrim women are believed to have survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

Only 5 survived and they all cooked the meat.
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How many turkeys are cooked each Thanksgiving in America?

45 million.
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In Canada, when do they celebrate Thanksgiving?

The 2nd Monday in October.
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In what year did the Macy’s Parade first occur?

1924.
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Is Thanksgiving a religious celebration?

No, it is a harvest celebration not associated with any religion.
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Is Thanksgiving only celebrated in the United States?

No, Canada observes the holiday as well.
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Not everyone sailing on the Mayflower was coming to the New World to settle. What was the purpose of the others?

To bring back furs, lumber and other things. They were sponsored by English businessmen.
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Of the 102 Pilgrims who set out on the journey to the New World, how many survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

Around 50.
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Plymouth Rock is how big today?

The size of a car engine. (It has cracked 3 times over the years, each time getting smaller and smaller.)
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Thanksgiving became a national holiday thanks to this woman who was an editor of a woman’s magazine called “The Godey’s Ladies Book”. What was her name?

Sarah Hale. ( 1788-1879) She wrote letters to Congress for years to establish the holiday.
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The Indians who were invited to the first Thanksgiving were of the Wampanoag tribe. Who was their chief?

Massasoit.
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The Mayflower was not built as a passenger ship. What was it’s original purpose?

As a merchant ship to carry wine.
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The original thanksgiving lasted how long?

3 days.
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The word Turkey is said to have come from the Hebrew word “Tukki” which meant:

Big Bird.
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There were only 2 ways to cook a turkey in 1627. One was to roast it using strings and skewers and spinning it vertically. The other was done by using a “tin kitchen” which was set inside the hearth and allowed the turkey to be cooked on a spit and turned. But, the “tin kitchen” was only for the wealthy. It cost $3 back then. What would that be equal to in today’s economy?

A week’s pay.
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What does cornucopia mean?

Horn of plenty.
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What does the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrate every December 11?

Forefather’s Day, in honor of those who founded the Plymouth Colony. It has been celebrated since 1769.
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What food do we never eat at Thanksgiving that the Pilgrims enjoyed on the first celebration?

Codfish.
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What foods were served at the first thanksgiving?

Deer, codfish and boiled pumpkin. They had no ovens for baking bread and had no sugar or milk.
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What Indian tribe was invited to spend thanksgiving with the pilgrims?

Wampanoag.
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What is a baby turkey called?

A poult.
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What is the name of the book that Governor William Bradford wrote telling of all the experiences and troubles of the Pilgrims?

Plimouth Plantation.
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What is the name of the famous rock where the Pilgrims first landed?

Plymouth Rock.
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What percentage of pilgrims who sailed on the mayflower survived to celebrate thanksgiving?

50%.
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What poet wrote “The Courtship of Miles Standish”?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
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What utensils did the pilgrims eat with at the first thanksgiving?

Their hands, spoons and a knife. No forks present.
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What vegetable did the pilgrims have available for thanksgiving but did not use because they thought it was poisonous?

Potatoes.
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What was considered perfect table manners at the first Thsnkgiving?

Eating with your hands, spitting on the floor and throwing bones into the hearth when done.
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What was the first department store to hold a Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Gimbel’s Department Store in Philadelphia, 1920.
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What was the original name of the Pilgrims?

Puritans. They wanted to purify the Church of England from Catholic influence. They were also known as Separatists because they wanted to separate from the Anglican Church , leaving England making a pilgrimage to the new land.
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What was the name of the Indian chief that helped the pilgrims survive the winter?

Massasoit.
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What was the name of the ship the Pilgrims came over on?

The Mayflower.
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What year did the first Thanksgiving take place?

1621.
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Who was the Captain of the Mayflower?

Christopher Jones.
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Which balloon was the first to fly in the 1927 Macy’s Parade?

Felix the Cat.
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Which gender of turkey says “gobble, gobble”?

The male, but only seasonally and when going to sleep.
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Which President moved the holiday up one week to help stimulate the Christmas shopping economy?

Franklin Roosevelt . But, it did not go over well and Congress in 1941 established the Federal Holiday always on the 4th Thursday in November.
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Who was the first astronaut to eat a turkey dinner on the moon?

Neil Armstrong.
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Who was the first president to make thanksgiving a national holiday?

Lincoln.
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Who was the first president to pardon a turkey from Thanksgiving dinner?

Truman.
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Why is the male turkey referred to as “Tom Turkey”?

Rumor has it that Benjamin Franklin was mad that Thomas Jefferson opposed his idea to naming the turkey as the National Bird. So, Franklin mockingly called the turkey “Tom Turkey” after Thomas Jefferson.
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