1. True. In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally
served at Thanksgiving meals. First and foremost, baked or roasted turkey is
usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that
Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day").
2. False. Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes,
cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie are commonly
associated with Thanksgiving dinner. All of these primary dishes are actually
native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans
when they arrived.
3. True. To feed the needy at Thanksgiving time, most communities have
annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and
corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving
4. True. Thanksgiving was originally a religious observance for all
the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose.
Historic reasons for community thanksgivings include the 1541 thanksgiving mass
after the expedition of Coronado safely crossing part of Texas and finding game,
and the 1777 thanksgiving after the victory in the revolutionary battle of
5. True. In his 1789 Proclamation, President Washington gave many
noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including “for the civil and
religious liberty,” for “useful knowledge,” and for God’s “kind care”
and "his providence." The only presidents to inject a specifically
Christian focus to their proclamation have been Grover Cleveland in 1896, and
William McKinley in 1900. Several other presidents have cited the
Judeo-Christian tradition. Gerald Ford's 1975 declaration made no clear
reference to any divinity.
6. False. The tradition of giving thanks to God is continued today in
various forms. Religious and spiritual organizations offer services and events
on Thanksgiving themes the week-end before, the day of, or the week-end after
Thanksgiving. Bishop Ryan observed about Thanksgiving Day, "It is the only
day we have that consistently finds Catholics at Mass in extraordinary
numbers...even though it is not a holy day of obligation."
7. True. In celebrations at home, it is a holiday tradition in many
families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace. Found in diverse
religious traditions, grace is a prayer before or after a meal to express
appreciation to God, to ask for God’s blessing, or in some philosophies, to
express an altruistic wish or dedication. The custom is portrayed in the
photograph “Family Holding Hands and Praying Before a Thanksgiving Meal.”
The grace may be led by the hostess or host, as has been traditional, or, in
contemporary fashion, each person may contribute words of blessing or thanks.
According to a 1998 Gallup poll, an estimated 64 percent of Americans say grace.
8. True. On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for
a large meal or dinner, the result being that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend
is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In the United States,
Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation in school and college
calendars. Most business and government workers (78% in 2007) are also given
both Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve, on the
Wednesday night before, has been one of the busiest nights of the year for bars
and clubs, both in terms of sales and volume of patrons, as many students have
returned to their hometowns from college.
Page 1 of 1
Discover more Colonial