In the Spirit of Learning and Thanksgiving - A Quiz!

Growing up in school we all learned about the pilgrims wearing their cute little belt-buckle shoes and the scantily-clad "Indians" sitting down together for a meal in November 1621 in frigid Massachusetts.  As adults, most of us know that picture is not entirely accurate.  I thought it would be fun (because I'm a big nerd) to create a little quiz to see how many of us know the facts about that first Thanksgiving and the traditions that have followed.

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.)

The Questions:
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.  

The Answers:
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

13.  1927

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!


Denise said...

This quiz was great! I only actually knew a few answers but learned some neat stuff, too. I think the Thanksgiving trivia game sounds like a great idea. (as long as no one else in my family reads this post before Thursday) I might win.

Happy Thanksgiving Jennie!

Debbie said...

Well, shoot. I really did think I knew it all. I'm pleading the 50th on the ones I didn't know. You'll understand that someday if you don't now.

Actually, I learned a lot from this and only got about a half dozen right. At least I DO know my Purists from my Separatists. As far as my current church goes, I used to be the former, but I am racing quickly towards the latter.

Debbie said...

Think I'm going to make that husband of mine take this just to take him down a peg or two. He thinks he knows it all too.

Sharon said...

I knew about tryptophan. I wish I could use it as an excuse throughout the year.

Honestly, now on top of feeling fat pre-Thanksgiving, I can also feel dumb. Thanks, Jennie...ahem.

Seriously, hope you and the whole bunch have a wonderful Turkey Day. I'm going to be indulging in a little swan just to mix it up a bit.


Post a Comment

Before you go, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what's on your mind! (Please and thank you.)

Back to Top