Thanksgiving 2023: When is it, turkey facts and more – Tennessean

Halloween is a (not so) distant memory and stores are already full of Christmas everything, but don’t forget to make room for Thanksgiving.
The time for turkey (or maybe something a bit different from the traditional Thanksgiving fare) and figuring out what you might be thankful for this last year has come once again. For many people the day is about watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, spending time with their family, eating a bit too much and/or watching some football game while Grandpa Jo falls asleep on the couch.
But how did we get from what was considered the first Thanksgiving to what we know today?
Take a look at some Thanksgiving facts, cooking conundrums, recipe ideas and maybe a turkey pun or two.
Thanksgiving 2023 is on Thursday, Nov. 23.
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You may remember your elementary school lesson of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe coming together to have a meal. Well, the story is a bit more complicated than that. 
In a letter written by Edward Winslow, an early Pilgrim, he states that the Wampanoags’ head sachem Massasoit “with some 90 men” joined the colonists for a three-day feast, but this was only after the Pilgrims began shooting their guns into the air. Believing themselves to be under attack, Massasoit showed up at the settlement with warriors expecting war. Instead, they found a celebration and decided to stay, with their hunters bringing in five deer as a contribution.   
Reserve now:These Nashville restaurants are open on Thanksgiving
Days of thanksgiving (yes plural) were an occasional event in New England, and the Continental Congress designated at least one day of thanksgiving each year.
It was President George Washington who issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789, and New York became the first state to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday in 1817. 
In 1855, Virginia became the nation’s first Southern state to adopt Thanksgiving. Before then it was considered a primarily “Yankee” or Northern day of thanks.
Some Southern states didn’t recognize the day until well into the 20th century. Arkansas and Mississippi declared their states’ first-ever Thanksgiving Days in 1947. 
The sitting U.S. president pardons a turkey that could have been destined for the Thanksgiving plate each year on Thanksgiving day.
One of the most popular beliefs of when the tradition started is Lincoln’s 1863 clemency to a turkey recorded in 1865 by White House reporter Noah Brooks. It is believed to be the origin for the pardoning ceremony, but it’s more likely a bit more modern tradition, according to
Another myth is that President Harry S. Truman started the tradition. The Truman Library & Museum disputes it, thought Truman was known to “pardon” a poultry bird or two.
The sporadic tradition finally came together under President George H.W. Bush in 1989.
“But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table, not this guy — he’s granted a Presidential pardon as of right now — and allow him to live out his days on a children’s farm not far from here,” Bush was quoted as saying while the animal activists were actively picketing just outside the gates of the White House.
Having some issues with your turkey or just not sure what temperature it should be cooked to? Butterball has a hotline for that.
When you call 1-800-Butterball hotline you get an expert who has been to Butterball University who has all the training and gives guidance to anyone with a turkey inquiry.
Not interested in talking to someone? You can find a live chat and some related articles here.
Looking for something special to make for Thanksgiving this year? Southern Kitchen has the ultimate list of recipes to try. Take a look at some below:
Best from the South:The best 2023 Thanksgiving recipes by Southern chefs, from turkey to pie to leftovers
Thanksgiving turkey recipe:Get a perfectly crispy crust with chef’s ‘shrouding’ trick
Stuffing versus dressing:What’s the difference? It depends on who you ask
Ultimate mac and cheese:Make this ‘ultimate mac and cheese’ recipe when you want to impress on Thanksgiving
A little slice of heaven:This creamy, rich pumpkin pie is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. Get the recipe.
There’s plenty to yolk joke about when it comes to Thanksgiving. If you don’t like those you can always wing it.
Take a look at USA Today’s full list of jokes here.
USA Today contributed to this article.
John Robinson also contributed his fowl puns to this article.







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