Save room for some Thanks-quizzing

While you may not be able to sit down with loved ones for a post-meal board game, you can still take part in some social-distanced turkey day trivia.

Many of us will connect with friends and loved ones online today. iStock / Special to The Forum

FARGO — This Thanksgiving, family and friends may not gather as usual to celebrate. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are being asked not to travel or gather in big groups at the risk of further spreading the coronavirus.

Instead, folks are encouraged to reach out via phone or video calls to spend time with friends and family.

While you may not be able to sit down with loved ones for a post-meal board game, you can still take part in some socially distanced turkey day trivia. Try these historic questions for some Thanks-quizzing.

How much turkey is consumed on Thanksgiving?

Last year, Americans made 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving with an average weight of 15 pounds — or 690 million pounds of turkey overall.


An over-order of turkey in 1953 led a food company to create what iconic meal?

After an employee at C.A. Swanson & Sons bought about 260 tons of turkey more than was needed, a salesman ordered 5,000 aluminum trays and developed a meal that became the TV dinner. In its first year, 1954, 10 million TV dinners were sold.

Happy Thanksgiving from us at The Forum! iStock / Special to The Forum

In 1789, George Washington was the first to call for a day of thanks and, 74 years later, Abraham Lincoln was the one who declared it a national holiday, but the event wasn’t marked by every president in between. Which founding father refused to recognize the holiday?

Thomas Jefferson was so resolute in his belief in the separation of church and state that he felt a holiday that encouraged prayer and reflection would be a mistake and felt it should not be a federal holiday, but a state one.

Lincoln marked the beginning of a formal observation of Thanksgiving in 1863, at the insistence of what famous artist of the day?

Sarah Josepha Hale was known for writing the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” but she was also a persuasive editorial writer and advocate for women’s rights. She spent 17 years lobbying for Thanksgiving as a national holiday, earning the nickname, “Mother of Thanksgiving.”


Presidents and Thanksgiving turkeys have been intertwined for about 150 years with farmers often sending the birds as gifts. By the time Calvin Coolidge moved into the White House he was receiving quail, ducks, geese, rabbits, a deer and what masked mammal?

Coolidge received a raccoon from a Mississippi man, who described the meat as “toothsome.” Cool Cal kept the animal as a pet, naming it Rebecca. The Coolidges' other pets included nine dogs, four cats, a wallaby and a black bear.

President John Kennedy spared the life of this turkey in 1963. Public Domain / Special to The Forum

George H.W. Bush was the first president to formalize the pardoning of a turkey in 1989, but who was the first to publicly spare a turkey’s life?

In 1963, John Kennedy was presented with a bird, but politely returned it, saying, “We’ll let this one grow.” The bird would outlive him as Kennedy was assassinated three days later.

This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will look very different as it will be downsized and for television only. The annual event has only been canceled three times. What was the reason?

In 1942, ’43 and ’44, the parade was scrapped due to helium shortages during World War II.


The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t have any big balloons. Instead, what was the main attraction?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924 with a roar — animals from the Central Park Zoo.

Nearly 1 million people run in Thanksgiving day races around the country, but how many participated in the first Turkey Trot in 1896?

The first Turkey Trot attracted only six runners, of which only four finished as the other two fell ill during the run.

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