Thanksgiving Trivia Pop Quiz

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How do you feel good about your turkey intelligence?

Test yourself with our 10-question quiz, then turn the tables and quiz your family and friends at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Look at it this way, we’re giving you something to talk about when you’re seated at the kids’ table with the other twentysomethings and 12-year-olds, or when you’re tired of answering the annual questions about your job, marriage prospects and fluctuating weight.

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1) Where was the Mayflower headed?

A. Virginia

B. New York

C. Cape Cod

D. Disneyland

2) What year did the Pilgrims first feast at Thanksgiving?

A. 1624

B. 1621

C. 1702

D. 1671

3) Which food was probably not on the menu for the first Thanksgiving feast?

A. Potatoes

B. Lobster

C. Venison

D. Pumpkin

4) True or false: The first feast was a three-hour meal?

5) Who led a letter-writing campaign to set aside an annual and national day for thanksgiving and prayer?

A. Sarah Jessica Parker

B. Sara Lee

C. Sarah Josepha Hale

D. Sarah Ferguson

6) True or False: The date of Thanksgiving was moved once to lengthen the Christmas shopping season.

7) What early leader wanted the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the national symbol?

A. Thomas Jefferson

B. Abraham Lincoln

C. George Washington

D. Benjamin Franklin

8) Which president opposed a day of thanksgiving?

A. Abraham Lincoln

B. George Washington

C. Thomas Jefferson

D. Franklin Roosevelt

9) True or false: Turkeys pardoned by the President of the United States are sent to live their lives at Frying Pan Park?

10) True or False: Astronauts ate a turkey dinner on the moon in 1969?


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Here are the answers to our 10-question Thanksgiving Day quiz.

1. B. New York. The Pilgrims planned to settle in part of the Virginia Company, which had the rights to most of the United States’ Eastern seaboard. Their destination was the Hudson River region in New York State, also known as “Northern Virginia.” But they landed in Cape Cod instead, and violent seas prevented the journey from continuing south.

2. B. 1621.

3. A. Potatoes. The newly discovered potato was still labeled poisonous by Europeans. Pilgrims didn’t have any flour for baking, or dairy for milk and butter. And, well, what’s a potato without butter?

4. False. The original feast – sometime between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11 – lasted three days. If your meal is three hours, you’ve got it easy.

5. C. Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale, a magazine editor, led a 40-year campaign of magazine editorials and letters to governors and presidents urging that Thanksgiving be declared, not only an annual holiday, but a national holiday.

6. True. President Franklin Roosevelt pushed it up one week. Public opposition caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later and in 1941 Congress sanctioned the legal holiday as the fourth Thursday in November.

7. D. Benjamin Franklin.

8. C. Thomas Jefferson.

9. True. Since 1947 the President has pardoned The National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate. For the last 16 years, the turkeys have gone to Frying Pan Park in Virginia, a 1930s replica farm operated by the Fairfax County Parks Department.

10. True. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin ate roast turkey and all the trimmings, tucked in foil packets of course.


Can you name other holidays around the world that celebrate the harvest and thanksgiving?

– Thanksgiving in Canada is on the second Monday in October.

– In China, thanksgiving is called the Festival of the Autumn Moon, or Zhong Qui, and is celebrated in the eighth month of the Chinese calendar.

– In Great Britain, the Harvest Festival is in late September or October.

– In Southern India, the harvest festival of Onam is celebrated with flowers and fireworks and Samaritans deliver food to families in need.

– Jewish people around the globe celebrate Sukkot, a nine-day thanksgiving festival.

– Lithuanian thanksgiving tradition is for a doll to be made from the harvest’s last sheaf of grain. The doll is kept until spring to keep the spirit of the crop alive until replanting begins.

Does the tryptophan in turkey make you crave a nap after Thanksgiving dinner?

– It’s more likely to be alcohol and that extra helping of mashed potatoes, cranberries, stuffing and pie. According to Environment, Health and Safety Online (www.ehso.com) all that food is pulling the blood away from your brain to help your digestive tract do its job, and then there’s the sugar/insulin conversion. Tryptophan doesn’t act on the brain unless it’s taken on an empty stomach with no protein present. And tryptophan levels found in a turkey dinner are too low to have such strength. So, there’s no more excuse for not helping with the dishes.

Can turkeys fly?

– Wild turkeys fly low and fast – 55 mph – but only for short distances. Top running speed is 25 mph. Farm-raised fowl can’t fly.

Do all turkeys gobble?

– Nope, just the toms (males). Hens click. Hens are attracted to the male’s seasonal gobbling in spring and fall.

Are turkeys dumb?

– They’re smart enough to sense you sneaking up on them. Turkeys have great hearing and their wide range of vision is about 270 degrees.



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