Here comes Thanksgiving, the great American holiday that brings friends and family of all stripes -- and political affiliations -- together. This year, you can count on plenty of lively conversation over the turkey about our contentious and surprising presidential election.
Forty-five percent of Americans predict politics will be a topic of conversation over Thanksgiving dinner, and more than half expect the discussion to be stressful. If you’re looking for a way to avoid sparing with Uncle Joe over your presidential vote, try offering up one these 26 Turkey Day facts as a distraction.
1863: The year President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
1941: The year President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill to officially schedule Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
1621: Year of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, between European settlers and the Wampanoag Indians.
6: Number of Pilgrim women and girls who prepared (and cleaned up) the first Thanksgiving feast.
80: The percentage of employers who give workers Thanksgiving and the following day off, with pay.
84: The percentage of employers who offer extra compensation for employees working on Thanksgiving.
48.7 million: The number of people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, up almost 2 percent from last year and the highest since 2007.
27.3 million: The number of passengers who are expected to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday.
370,000: The number of motorists experiencing a breakdown over the holiday, such as a flat tire, dead battery or lockout.
$2.14: Average price of gasoline for this Thanksgiving.
$49.87: The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner, down from $50.11 last year.
96: Percentage of Thanksgiving dinners that feature a turkey.
74: Percentage of Thanksgiving dinners with pumpkin pie.
46 million: Number of turkeys that are consumed on Thanksgiving, beating the amount consumed on Easter and Christmas combined.
16: The average weight, in pounds, of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving.
3,000: Average number of calories for the Thanksgiving meal. Americans will consume 1,500 more calories on appetizers and drinks.
1,730: Number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2014. The holiday is the peak day for home cooking fires.
4: Number of towns in the U.S. with “turkey” in their names: Turkey Creek, Louisiana; Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creed, Arizona.
1924: Year of the first Macy’s parade, which was then called the Macy’s Christmas Parade. It was renamed in 1927.
174: Number of giant character balloons that have been in the parade since it first started.
16: Number of giant balloons in this year’s parade, along with 26 floats, 12 marching bands, 1,100 cheerleaders/dancers and more than 1,000 clowns.
8,000: Number of volunteers marching in the parade this year.
64: The height in feet of the tallest balloon in this year’s parade: The Elf on the Shelf.
77: The length in feet of the longest balloon in this year’s parade: The Red Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger.
3.5 million: Number of people who are expected to watch the parade in person, according to Macy’s.
50 million: Number of people expected to watch the event on television.