Thanksgiving Day Trivia 2013

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal today, here are some fun facts about the holiday to digest.


Snoopy passes through Times Square during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York. (Reuters News Service)


1. In what year was the first Macy’s Christmas Day Parade held?

a) 1919

b) 1921

c) 1924

d) 1927

2. What were the first two helium balloons added to the parade?

a) Toy soldier and Felix the Cat

b) Donald Duck and a gingerbread man

c) Porky Pig and a swan

d) Doll and an elf

3. In some of the early years, parade balloons were released.

a) True

b) False

4. A helium shortage was the reason for parade balloons being filled with air and carried down the streets by cranes in what year?

a) 1937

b) 1945

c) 1949

d) 1958

5. In 1989, what was a “first” for the parade?

a) A balloon proposing marriage

b) A snowstorm

c) Live lions, tigers and bears

d) More marching bands than floats

6. The falloon is a float-based balloon. What falloon was introduced in 1991?

a) Energizer Bunny

b) Humpty Dumpty

c) Grinch

d) AFLAC Duck

7. What duo hosted the parade from 1962-72?

a) Ed McMahon and Neil Armstrong

b) Bob Hope and Bryant Gumbel

c) Betty White and Lorne Greene

d) David Brinkley and Mary Tyler Moore

8. About how many people watch the parade on television each year?

a) 25 million

b) 32 million

c) 40 million

d) 47 million

9. What character, a frequent participant in the parade since the late 1960s, has appeared in different costumes including that of an astronaut and an ice skater?

a) Snoopy

b) Barbie

c) Kermit the Frog

d) Bugs Bunny

10. All balloons are weighted down, covered with netting and inflated by volunteers the evening before the parade. About how long does this take?

a) Four hours

b) Six hours

c) Eight hours

d) Ten hours


1. Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.

2. The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 20 pounds.

3. At maturity, a turkey will have approximately 2,000 feathers.

4. A cooked turkey should be refrigerated within two hours of removing it from the oven.

5. Turkey, as with other meats, are linked to more food-borne illnesses than other foods.

6. A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings — a male produces spiral-shaped poop and a female’s poop is shaped like the letter J.

7. A wild turkey can fly as fast as 55 mph.

8. Safety requires that a frozen turkey be thawed in the refrigerator. It will take one-two days for a 20-pound bird to thaw this way.

9. On average, each American will eat 16 pounds of turkey over the course of 12 months. Of that amount, 50 percent is eaten over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

10. Turkeys prefer to sleep perched atop tree branches, where they are safe from predators.


1. The concept of American football on Thanksgiving Day actually dates back to 1876. Which two college teams played that year?

a) Penn State and University of Michigan

b) Navy and Army

c) Syracuse and William and Mary

d) Yale and Princeton

2. A local radio executive, George A. Richards, purchased the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans and moved the team to Detroit. Richards decided that although it was somewhat of a risk, to schedule a game for Thanksgiving Day. How many tickets sold?

a) 7,500

b) 15,000

c) 20,000

d) 26,000

3. The first year there was a Detroit Lions team (1934), there was a game on Thanksgiving Day. Who did the Lions play?

a) Green Bay Packers

b) Chicago Bears

c) Buffalo Bills

d) Pittsburgh Steelers

4. One year, the only loss for the eventual NFL champion Green Bay Packers came on Thanksgiving Day when Bart Starr was sacked 11 times. What year was it?

a) 1960

b) 1962

c) 1964

d) 1966

5. In 1976, what running back rushed for 273 yards against Detroit on Thanksgiving Day?

a) Earl Campbell

b) Tony Dorsett

c) Franco Harris

d) O.J. Simpson

6) The Green Bay Packers were victorious over the Detroit Lions in 1986 with the highest-scoring game in Thanksgiving history. What was that score?

a) 44-40

b) 39-38

c) 48-36

d) 45-37

7) As of 2013, what team has the longest appearance drought from a Thanksgiving Day game?

a) Houston

b) Cincinnati

c) San Diego

d) Baltimore

8) The first year the Dallas Cowboys played on Thanksgiving Day was 1966. How many were in attendance ?

a) 45,667

b) 53,433

c) 70,200

d) 80,259

9) The Detroit Lions were driving in the fourth quarter of a tied ballgame on Thanksgiving of 1982. Just when they thought they were in good shape to at least kick a field goal and win the game, who picked off a pass and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown and a win for the New York Giants?

a) Brian Kelley

b) Lawrence Taylor

c) Terry Jackson

d) Harry Carson

10. “The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.” Who said this?

a) Phyllis Diller

b) Hillary Clinton

c) Marilyn Monroe

d) Erma Bombeck


1. In 2010, the New Bremen (Ohio) Giant Pumpkin Growers baked a pumpkin pie that weighed 3,699 pounds after it was baked.The pie included 1,212 pounds of pumpkin, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, seven pounds of salt,233 dozen eggs, 14.5 pounds of cinnamon and how much sugar?

a) 375 pounds

b) 435 pounds

c) 525 pounds

d) 580 pounds

2. Pumpkins were once recommended for what?

a) removing freckles and curing snake bites

b) improving digestion and better eyesight

c) restoring strength and removing warts

d) bolstering heart health and soothing a toothache

3. Across the country, about 2.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes were grown in 2012. Which state has the highest production of this Thanksgiving favorite?

a) California

b) Texas

c) Virginia

d) North Carolina

4. How many cranberries does it take to make a pound?

a) 4,400

b) 3,750

c) 2,900

d) 1,500

5. The green bean casserole was first created by the Campbell Soup Company. What year was it?


b) 1952

c) 1955

d) 1959

6. On average, over the course of Thanksgiving Day, Americans consume 4,500 calories. How long would a person have to swim to burn off all those calories?

a) one hour, 20 minutes

b) three hours

c) five hours, 15 minutes

d) seven hours, 30 minutes

7. Pecan pie is another Thanksgiving Day dessert. About how many pecans are in a pie?

a) 48

b) 58

c) 68

d) 78

8. Which of the following has been found to have the greatest cholesterol-lowering ability?

a) kale

b) collard greens

c) broccoli

d) cabbage

9. Mashed potatoes (and gravy) are a favorite at any meal. They are healthy, affordable and even the youngest (and oldest) member of the family can enjoy them. The Inca Indians of Peru had other uses for the potato, including which of the following?

a) Placed raw slices on broken bones to promote healing

b) Soothed a toothache by carrying a potato in your pocket

c) Treated facial blemishes by washing the face daily with cool potato juice.

d) all of the above

10. A must-have on the menu for Thanksgiving is some sort of bread. How many time does the word “bread” appear in the King James Bible?

a) 315 times

b) 410 times

c) 530 times

d) 555 times


1. According to National Retail Federation (NRF), the majority of those planning to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend will scour the classic advertising circulars included in the newspaper. Of the 140 million shoppers nationwide, how many will actually begin their shopping on Thanksgiving Day?

a) 22 million

b) 33 million

c) 44 million

d) 55 million

2. Just before the Mayflower was hired to bring the Pilgrims to the New World, what was the vessel used for?

a) Island exploration

b) The spice business

c) Private passenger transport

d) The wine trade

3. Which of the following is true?

a) The naming of Black Friday came from the 1929 stock market crash.

b) Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

c) Black Friday is the day when retailers will finally see a profit for the year.

d) The term “Black Friday” was not coined until the mid-1960s.

4) Who said, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations”?

a) Oscar Wilde

b) Franklin D. Roosevelt

c) Mark Twain

d) Abraham Lincoln

5) Along the West coast of the U.S.. what is frequently served on Thanksgiving instead of turkey?

a) Duck

b) Ham

c) Crab

d) Cod

6) In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving one week earlier than normal, believing that doing so would help bolster retail sales during one of the final years of the Great Depression. This led to much upheaval and protest with many calling the day “Franksgiving.” In what year did the holiday permanently find its home on the fourth Thursday of November?

a) 1941

b) 1942

c) 1944

d) 1946

7) The term “wishbone” is believed to have come from the ancient Romans who removed the birds entrails and read the future in them. Meanwhile, they laid the collarbone out to dry in the sun and people seeking special knowledge from the gods made a wish upon this bone. Today, what is the “proper” way to pull the wishbone?

a) blindfolded

b) only by children

c) it must be done before midnight on Thanksgiving

d) with the pinkie fingers

8) Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for 20 years and a span of five presidents to get Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. Finally Abraham Lincoln took note. A magazine editor, what is Hale famous for writing?

a) “Jingle Bells”

b) “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

c) “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

d) “Georgie Porgie”

9) Canada also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day. When is it?

a) Second Monday in October

b) Second Monday in November

c) First Friday in October

d) First Friday in November

10) When the first Pilgrim-Indian Thanksgiving took place in 1621, it was a three-day, one-time event. Then in 1623, a brief repeat was held. Why?

a) It was requested by the religious members of the colony

b) The crops were more bountiful than anyone expected.

c) A ship brought all sorts of spices to the colony.

d) The prayer for rain was answered.



  1. c) 1924

The very first parade did not have balloons. Instead, live animals were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.

  1. a) A toy soldier and Felix the Cat were the first two helium balloons (1927) in the parade.

  2. a) True

In 1928, the balloons were released and they promptly exploded. The next year, safety valves allowed the helium to leak slowly. Address labels were sewn inside for a number of years. Anyone returning the balloon and/or label was rewarded with either cash or gift certificates from Macy’s.

  1. d) 1958

  2. b) snowstorm

There were years of rain and wind and cold, but never before a snowstorm. Regardless, the parade went forth as always.

  1. b) Humpty Dumpty

  2. c) Betty White and Lorne Greene

  3. c) 40 million

  4. a) Snoopy

  5. b) six hours


  1. True

  2. False, the average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds.

  3. False, a mature turkey has about 3,500 feathers.

  4. True

  5. False, fresh fruits and vegetables are linked to more food-borne illnesses than any other edibles.

  6. True

  7. True

  8. False, a 20-pound or larger turkey can take five to six days to completely thaw in the refrigerator.

  9. False, 30-32 percent of turkey eaten in America is consumed over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays.

  10. True


  1. d) Yale and Princeton … the score was Yale, 2 goals, Princeton, no goals

  2. d) 26,000…The sold was sold out two weeks before Thanksgiving

  3. b) Chicago Bears….Chicago beat Detroit 19-16.

  4. b) 1962

  5. d) O.J. Simpson

  6. a) 44-40

  7. c) San Diego has not played on Thanksgiving since 1969.

  8. d) 80,259… A new attendance record was set to see the Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14.

  9. b) Lawrence Taylor…his only interception of the year

  10. a) Phyllis Diller


  1. c) 525 pounds of sugar

  2. a) removing freckles and curing snake bites

  3. d) North Carolina…1.2 billion pounds in 2012

  4. a) 4,400

  5. c) 1955

  6. d) 7.5 hours

  7. d) 78

  8. b) collard greens

  9. d) all of the above

  10. 410 times


  1. b) 33 million

  2. d) Wine trade with France, earlier the Mayflower was in the fishing business in Norway

  3. d) The term “Black Friday” was coined into mid-1960s and was not really popular until the early 1990s.

  4. a) Oscar Wilde

  5. c) Crab … Dungeness crab season begins in early November.

  6. b) 1942

  7. d) With the pinkie fingers (the larger piece of the bone entitles the holder to make a wish).

  8. b) “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

  9. a) Second Monday in October

  10. d) The prayer for rain was answered. The Pilgrims gathered for prayer, asking relief from a severe drought. The very next day, it rained.