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We Gather Together

The American Thanksgiving has its origins in two very old and very different holidays: the Harvest Home feast and the formal day of thanksgiving proclaimed by church or government authorities in gratitude for a particular event, such as a military victory. Very few days of thanksgiving coincided with harvest celebrations. Thanksgiving Day began in Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts) in 1621, when the Pilgrims gave thanks for their survival and a good first crop. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November for a national celebration of Thanksgiving. 

Why was a Thursday chosen? Find out.

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Time is running out to send a Thanksgiving greeting. Our e-cards are quick and do not require a stamp!
Check out our photo gallery.

What is your must-have Thanksgiving dish? Post a comment on the Almanac blog!

Over the river, and through the wood,
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

—Lydia Maria Child (1802–1880)

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Here’s a guide to roasting a turkey easily and deliciously.

Don’t forget the colorful cranberry in your holiday cooking. Try this easy Do-Ahead Cranberry Relish recipe.

Need side dishes for Thanksgiving? These recipes are kitchen classics, updated for today’s busy times.

On the days after Thanksgiving, try this delicious Turkey Hash—serve it with fresh citrus slices garnished with mint leaves. This recipe comes from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Cookbook.

Turkey Hash

  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 2 cups diced cooked potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup turkey gravy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Turn into a large greased casserole, cover, and bake for 45 minutes. In the last 15 minutes, remove the cover to brown the top.

Everyday Cookbook

Where can you find more than 400 home-style recipes, with timesaving hints you’ll use every day? The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Cookbook. Free Shipping PLUS Free Gift with Order!

Thanksgiving Storms

November 24–25, 1971—Thanksgiving Snowstorm
Albany, N.Y., picked up 22.5 inches, the greatest November snowfall on record, with amounts up to 30 inches reported elsewhere.

November 25, 1983—The Great Thanksgiving Weekend Blizzard
This storm hit Denver, Colo., and produced 21.5 inches of snow in 37 hours, closing Stapleton Airport for 24 hours.

November 26, 1987—Thanksgiving Day Storm
Snowfall totals ranged up to 20 inches at Flagstaff Lake, Maine, and 18 inches at Errol, New Hampshire. A second storm produced nine inches at Kanosh, Utah, and 13 inches at Divide, Colo.

November 23, 1989—Thanksgiving Day Storm
This big storm produced up to 14 inches over Cape Cod, Mass. Snow totals of 4.7 inches at New York City and 6 inches at Newark, N.J., were records for Thanksgiving Day.

What weather is in store for your Thanksgiving Day? Find out what The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts.

Find local weather history for any date from 1946 to the present.

Only male turkeys, or toms, can gobble. It is a mating call and attracts the hens.

The average person in the U.S. will eat 17 pounds of turkey this year; the average Canadian will eat 9 pounds.

Why did Ben Franklin want the turkey to be the symbol of the U.S.? See turkey trivia!

Turkeys purchased on trees and refusing to descend indicate snow  Old weather proverb

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