Iconic IT Talks Turkey
Thanksgiving may look a little different this year, with smaller gatherings and limited celebrations. Some things never change, though. Americans will be watching a lot of football on November 26, 2020, napping on couches, and eating turkey. Lots of turkey.
What is it about this bird that Americans can’t resist? Let’s talk turkey!
How Many Turkeys are Slated for Plates?
It’s estimated that Americans gobbled 46 million turkeys last year. While turkey giants Butterball and Hormel are predicting smaller gatherings for 2020, they still are placing bets on Americans sticking with turkey for their celebrations.
How Did the Ill-Fated Turkey Gain its Thanksgiving Status?
Just because we eat turkey on Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily mean it earned its place on the first celebratory table in 1621. In fact, Edward Winslow (author of “Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth”) had a seat at that first feast and, while he chronicled that the colonists ate wild foul, the turkey was not specifically mentioned. Since colonists at the time did hunt wild turkeys, however, it is speculated that the bird probably did make its way to the dinner table. The turkey gained its permanent billing as the guest of honor following Abraham Lincoln’s declaration of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863.
Turkey’s Favorite Companion, Pumpkin Pie, Didn’t Have a Seat at the Table
We like to think of a table full of pumpkin pies at that first feast, but the reality is that the pilgrims most likely lacked the supplies (such as butter and flour) to create the popular, tasty treat. Their pumpkin dish was probably something a little blander, like a coal baked or stewed pumpkin offering.
Wild Turkey Hunters Look in Trees for Gobblers
Although it’s hard to believe that turkeys can roost in branches, wild turkeys do just that. The savvy wild turkey hunter knows to look up. Domestic young turkeys and hens can roost in trees, but the males (Toms) become too heavy to lift themselves onto the branches. Hobby turkey farmers will provide lower roosts for their turkeys. It’s just as well; turkeys can be very clumsy at landings and hurt themselves.
The Turkey Lost to the Eagle by One Vote
OK, this one is a myth, but it’s a fun one. Benjamin Franklin never proposed the turkey as our state bird. This myth took wing after a letter he penned to his daughter became public during the 1870’s. In typical tongue-and-cheek fashion, Franklin extolled the virtues of a turkey. He claimed that the turkey was a bird of honor and bravery, explaining that it “would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.” By contrast, he felt the eagle to be a “cowardly bird of bad moral character” because he “does not get his living honestly” and steals food from the fishing hawk, proving that the eagle is, in fact, “too lazy to fish for himself.” Ben Franklin would probably be amused to see how his letter has escalated into legendary myth status.
Only Male Turkeys Gobble
Apparently, male turkeys have a lot to say…and they are the only ones that say it with gobbles. Females respond with clucks and chirps to the male’s “beautiful” gobbles.
Two Lucky Turkeys
In keeping with a long-standing tradition, two turkeys will arrive at the White House and receive a presidential pardon. This tradition is a fan favorite, starting in 1963 with President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Corn and Cob will retire to Gobbler’s Rest at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Blacksburg. Unfortunately, domesticated turkeys that don’t make it to the dinner table have shortened life spans anyway; due to the exaggerated weight of turkeys bred for consumption, they will seldom live past two years in retirement. Those two years are lived in luxury, though; they will be provided fresh bedding, heaters, food and water, and even an indoor pavilion. In the Spring they will be allowed to wander outside, as well. Corn and Cob, like those who came before, will be allowed to interact with their human fans.
Wishing You A Happy, Safe Thanksgiving!
We hope you enjoyed these fun turkey facts. From the Iconic IT family to yours, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Iconic IT is an award-winning Managed IT Service Provider (MSP), providing small and medium organizations with local and responsive IT support services. We feature budget-friendly service plans with coverage as vast as the iconic national parks they are named after. We specialize in fully managed or co-managed IT support, cybersecurity and cloud solutions, strategic guidance, and excellent customer service using our exclusive PROS service model (Proactive, Reactive, Ownership, and Strategic).
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