Mower County Senior Center update
With Thanksgiving soon approaching here are some interesting facts.
Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.
Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase "We Give Thanks."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 49 million in 2008. Just six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and Indiana—will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 271 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year.
The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys — one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007 — were eaten at Thanksgiving.
In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.
The cranberry is one of only three fruits—the others are the blueberry and the Concord grape—that are entirely native to North American soil, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3699 pounds and measured just over 20 feet in diameter. It was baked on September 25, 2010 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and all you need is 1,212 lbs of canned pumpkin, 2,796 eggs (233 dozen), 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 525 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of salt and 14.5 pounds of cinnamon. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Don't forget our coffee shop where every day you can have homemade soup for $1 and a sandwich for 50 cents. This Tuesday, we are serving Scalloped Potatoes & Ham Hotdish for $2. You are always welcome at the center.
Sara Schafer is executive director of the Mower County Senior Center.