Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Advice from Butterball and Thanksgiving history

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows
Poet and editor Sarah J. Hale was influential in convincing Abraham Lincoln to proclaim the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to Butterball, one should start carving a turkey at the drumsticks.

According to the Dec. 20, 1918, issue of Stars and Stripes, just before the Third Army's march to Germany began in 1918, a supply sergeant of the 2nd Division traded a farmer near the town of Bar-le-Duc for a pig, intending to serve it to troops for Thanksgiving. It was later learned that the pig was pregnant, and on Thanksgiving Day, it was nine piglets that were feasting.

There are more than 150 varieties of yams.

The word "thanksgiving" hasn't always been associated with feasts. In colonial days especially, George Washington and others called days of "thanksgiving," which could be synonymous with days of fasting and prayer. Thomas Jefferson, however, was leery of the term, which he felt could show an allegiance between Church and State (The Jefferson Papers, letter from Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, Jan. 1, 1802).

The above is information that Mr. Smarty Pants read in a book, magazine, or newspaper; heard on the radio; saw on television; or overheard at a party. Got facts? Write to Mr. Smarty Pants. Why not visit

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