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Nation celebrates its 399th annual feast

November 28, 2019
From: Derick Moore - U.S. Census Bureau , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims - early settlers of Plymouth Colony - held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation's first Thanksgiving.

The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role but historians have recorded harvest ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.

There are several places in the United States that have the same names as either the holiday's traditional feast or the early colonists' arrival to the New World.

Article Photos

How many colonists were there? The estimated population in 1620 was 2,499 according to this table on page 25 of "Historical Statistics of the United States," published in 1949 by the Census Bureau.

Fun-Facts-About-Thanksgiving-

From-Turkey-Texas-

To-Pilgrim-Michigan

The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived centuries since the event became a national holiday on Oct. 3, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving.

Decades later, President Franklin Roosevelt officially declared that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping.

There are several places in the United States that have the same names as either the holiday's traditional feast or the early colonists' arrival to the New World.

Seven share the name of the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals - the turkey - and have tiny populations:

Turkey city, Texas, (pop. 339)

Turkey Creek Census Designated Place (CDP), Ariz., (489)

Turkey Creek township, Stone County, Ark., (316)

Turkey Creek township, McPherson County, Kan., (343)

Turkey Creek village, La., (424)

Turkey town, N.C., (242)

Turkey Valley township, Yankton County, S.D., (167)

Five places are named after the popular Thanksgiving side dish of cranberries:

Cranberry Lake CDP, N.Y., (157)

Cranberry township, Alleghany County, N.C., (155)

Cranberry township, Avery County, N.C., (534)

Cranberry township, Butler County, Pa., (30,132)

Cranberry township, Venango County, Pa., (6,465)

Three are named after the Mayflower, the English ship that brought the first Pilgrims to the New World:

Mayflower Census County Division (CCD), Pike County, Ky., (3,191)

Mayflower, city, Ark., (2,218)

Mayflower Village CDP, Calif., (5,828)

Two counties have Plymouth in their names as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims:

Plymouth County, Iowa, (25,027)

Plymouth County, Mass., (509,114)

Two places are named Pilgrim:

Pilgrim CDP, Mich., (52)

Pilgrim township, Dade County, Mo., (79)

 
 
 

 

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