NOV 2020

A few tidbits about Thanksgiving, plus a guide on celebrating Thanksgiving in 2020, especially if you’re in Chicago.

Thanksgiving in 2020 may turn out to be the most memorable Thanksgiving of our lives. Because, as I was telling someone the other day…

I think we all need to be a little bit thankful this year.  Because we are still here.

sean connery the rock thumbs up

Even he didn't make it.

On the other hand, as I’m sure you know,..

corona gif

...thanks to our new friend (gif courtesy giphy)...

...Thanksgiving in 2020 won’t be like any Thanksgiving you remember.

  • For one, there’s going to be no Thanksgiving Parade.

  • Thanksgiving dinner may also be a smaller and more subdued event than usual.

Regardless, like I said, we should be thankful just for being around.

To help mark the occasion, Fox in a Box would like to tell you a lot of ‘five things about Thanksgiving’ that you should know.

Five historical facts about Thanksgiving you should know

How many of these do you know?

The very first Thanksgiving went on for three days

plymouth pilgrims wampanoag tribe thanksgiving

The very first Thanksgiving. Image courtesy

The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the Pilgrims’ first ever corn harvest. They invited their allies - members of the Wampanoag tribe - to join in the festivities.

The tribe members had also brought their own food to share.

There was enough food to last three whole days - and the festivities went on for as long.

There have been different kinds of demands to celebrate Thanksgiving

In 1789, George Washington called for a national holiday to be thankful over the United States gaining independence.

During the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy announced days of Thanksgiving to celebrate battlefield victories.

The ‘Mother of Thanksgiving’

Are you thankful for Thanksgiving being a national holiday?

If you are, you should thank a lady called Sarah Josepha Hale, a poet and an activist in the 1800’s.


Sarah Josepha Hale. Image courtesy

It was she who lobbied then President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Football on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving football.

The tradition of football on Thanksgiving became institutionalized when Princeton began a tradition of facing off against Yale every year on Thanksgiving, from 1876.

In 1882, the Intercollegiate Football Association decided to hold a Thanksgiving football game every year between the two top teams of the year.

Cooking the turkey

thanksgiving turkey in the oven

Do you have any questions about cooking the turkey?

  • Is my turkey done?

  • What sauce would be best?

  • Help! My turkey’s on fire!

The Butterball Turkey Helpline receives over a hundred thousand calls like that every year!

Five traditional Thanksgiving foods

turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

These are 5 food items that are widely considered standard Thanksgiving fare:

  • Turkey.

  • Mashed potatoes with gravy and cranberry sauce.

  • Cornbread.

  • Green beans.

  • Pumpkin pie.

Which of them do you like the most?

Five facts about the Thanksgiving turkey you should know

thanksgiving turkey

Would you pardon this bird?

  • The very first Thanksgiving feast between Pilgrims and Indians did not have turkey on the menu.

  • The tradition of the President receiving a turkey on Thanksgiving began in 1873 when Horace (or Henry) Vose, a turkey farmer from the Ocean State, presented then President Ulysses Grant with a turkey.

turkey bird

  • In 1926, President Coolidge received a raccoon instead of a turkey, with a note assuring him that the animal was ‘toothsome’. The First Family decided to ‘pardon’ the raccoon.

george hw bush turkey

George HW Bush pardons a turkey.

Image courtesy