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Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Trivia

I would like to wish each and every subscriber to the Wizard of Odds newsletter a happy and safe Thanksgiving. In celebration, here is some carefully prepared Thanksgiving trivia to share around the dinner table.


  1. Who was the first president to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey?
  2. What was the main course at the first Thanksgiving celebration?
  3. Which president made Thanksgiving a national holiday?
  4. What native American tribe celebrated the original Thanksgiving with the pilgrims?
  5. When is Thanksgiving celebrated in Canada?
  6. Which gender of turkeys gobble?
  7. Not counting “Black Friday,” what is officially celebrated the day after Thanksgiving?
  8. Who led the cause to make Thanksgiving a national holiday and what else is he/she famous for?
  9. Thanksgiving used to be celebrated on the last Thursday of October. Which president changed it to the fourth Thursday?
  10. Many countries have some kind of harvest celebration in late autumn. What is it called in the UK?
  11. What is the name of the pardoned turkey in 2020? Who lost the official White House Twitter account election on which turkey would be spared?


  1. The answer to this one is murky and depends on how you define “pardon.” Most sources claim the answer is Harry S Truman, who also spared a Thanksgiving turkey. However, there is a story of Lincoln sparing the life of a Thanksgiving turkey at the request of his son Tad. Other presidents between Lincoln and Truman probably did too, as they received lots of turkeys as gifts. Back then, anybody could give one to the president. However, these spared turkeys were not “pardoned.” The first known instance of the word “pardon” being used was by George H.W. Bush.
    For more information, please see Which president started the tradition of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey?
  2. Nobody knows for sure, but it was likely mostly deer and seafood.
  3. Lincoln.
  4. The Wampanoag.
  5. Second Monday in October.
  6. Male.
  7. Native American Heritage Day.
  8. Sarah Josepha Hale. She is also the author of the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb.
  9. Franklin Roosevelt.
  10. The Harvest Festival.
  11. The pardoned turkey was Corn. The loser was Cob. Often the president spares both turkeys, but not this year. Personally, I would have voted for Cob, because he likes pickleball, puzzles, and bicycling (as I do too).
    For more information about Corn and Cob, please see President Donald Trump issues full pardon to 'Corn,' the 2020 White House turkey.

Source for most questions: Wikipedia