26 Thanksgiving Facts to Share (So You Can Avoid Talking About Politics)
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26 Thanksgiving Facts to Share (So You Can Avoid Talking About Politics)

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.