Disclaimer (because honestly, there has to be one on every blog post): I should warn you that this is for entertainment purposes only. There are no prizes and, of course, you always have Google at your disposal should you feel inclined to "cheat." (....or you can just scroll down to the bottom where the answers are.)
1. What's the difference between a Separatist (which is what the pilgrims were) and a Puritan?
2. The pilgrims were not aiming for Cape Cod. What was their desired destination?
3. How many passengers made the voyage aboard the Mayflower in 1620? How many survived the first winter?
4. Wait a second...how did Samoset and Squanto know English at all?
5. We use turkey as the hallmark of a Thanksgiving feast, but can you name any other "proteins" that were likely on the pilgrim menu at the first feast?
6. Of all the foods we gorge ourselves with on Thanksgiving Day, it's likely that only three of them were actually on the table in Plymouth. What were they?
7. While they probably did eat pumpkin, there were no pies. Why not? (There are two acceptable answers)
8. What are the top six states for raising turkeys (accounting for 2/3 of the 248 million raised in the U.S. each year)?
9. What are the top four pumpkin-growing states?
10. What are the top three sweet potato-growing states?
11. An influential journalist petitioned the president for 40 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday and finally convinced Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941. What was her name?
12. Not only do we owe this woman a dedicated day of thanks (and turkey and football), we also owe her the credit for which popular childrens nursery rhyme?
13. The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (then called the Macy's Christmas Parade) was started by employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo in what year?
14. Since 1934, excepting the years from 1939-1944, which NFL football team has played a game every year on Thanksgiving Day with their first televised game showing in 1956?
15. Name the amino acid in turkey alleged to make everyone sleepy after that big Thanksgiving meal.
1. The Separatists felt that the Church of England was corrupt and too closely resembled the Catholic Church from which they were originally reforming, so they left the church altogether. Puritans felt the same way, but desired to reform the Church of England from within.
2. The Virginia Company gave the pilgrims permission to establish a settlement, or “plantation,” on the East Coast between 38 and 41 degrees north latitude (roughly between the Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Hudson River). Cape Cod is about 42 degrees north latitude.
3. 102 passengers began the voyage. Only 53 survived through the first winter.
4. Samoset learned from an earlier group of Englishmen to arrive in what is now Maine. Squanto was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. It was during his time in London, he learned English. The pilgrims called him a "special instrument sent from God," as he served as a liason between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe and facilitated discussion over the longest-lasting peace treaty in American history.
5. Swan, duck, lobster, shellfish, deer, and seal
6. Turkey, stuffing, corn
7. The pilgrims did not have an oven and their sugar supply was nearly depleted.
8. Minnesota (#1 producer), North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indiana
9. Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and New York
10. North Carolina, California, and Mississippi
11. Sarah Josepha Hale - There is actually an excellent childrens book written about her called "Thanks, Sarah!" worth looking into if you like picture books with real history. She was one determined lady.
12. Mary had a Little Lamb
14. Detroit Lions
15. Tryptophan. (That's the short answer.) Fun fact: Beef, chicken, pork, beans, and cheese also contain tryptophan. So unless you get super sleepy after you eat all of these types of foods, it's likely that your Thanksgiving droopiness is due mostly to indulging on fats, carbohydrates, alcohol, and, well, just too much food altogether.
Now maybe you've learned something to help you in your annual game of Thanksgiving evening Trivial Pursuit. What? You don't play one of those? Me neither. I think we might start. I love that game.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!