Thanksgiving Facts to Feast On

Since becoming a national holiday in 1863, Thanksgiving has been a time for gathering and celebrating with friends and family, giving thanks, and of course – eating! To commemorate this holiday, MERIC has compiled this list of facts to feast on.

Number of places in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Speaking of Plymouth Rock, there is just one township in the United States named “Pilgrim.” Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 135 in 2006.

$9.5 million
The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys during the first half of 2007-99.5 percent from Canada.

Missouri’s rank in turkey production in the United States for 2007 with an estimated 21 million raised. Minnesota is the nation’s leading turkey producer at 46 million, followed by North Carolina (39 million), Arkansas (31 million), and Virginia (21.5 million).

The month of the year when U.S. turkey prices are at their lowest. Last year, turkey prices averaged 97.3 cents a pound in November.


841,280 tons
Estimated U.S. production of snap green beans in 2007. Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish. 

1.6 billion pounds
The total weight of sweet potatoes—another popular Thanksgiving side dish—produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2006. 

690 million pounds
The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2007, essentially unchanged from 2006. 

38.7 million
Forecasted number of Americans who will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, a 1.6 percent increase from 2006.


      Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration;         American Automobile Association; U.S. Census Bureau; The Associated Press; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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