- November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving: Much To Be Thankful For Including R&D!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Thanksgiving began in the fall of 1621 when the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. This event is generally regarded as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role.
Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 151 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
Today there are many reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving including all the great breakthroughs in areas that I cover as an executive recruiter including R&D, scientific, engineering, technical, IT and manufacturing. For example, smartphones like the iPhone have a lot more processing power than the early UNIVAC Computers, which took up an entire building! These are all things to give thanks for!
Here are some interesting facts related to this memorable holiday:
- 115 million: Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2014’s second quarter — all potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner.
- 4 million: Number of multigenerational households in the U.S. in 2013. These households, consisting of three or more generations, no doubt will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast ─ even if there are no guests!
- 4: Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey Creek, La., was the most populous in 2013, with 435 residents, followed by Turkey, Texas (410), Turkey, N.C. (291) and Turkey Creek, Ariz. (294). There are also two townships in Pennsylvania with “Turkey” in the name: Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot. (Please note that the Turkey Creek, Ariz., population total pertains to the 2010 Census).
- 8: Number of places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the acidic red berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry Township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2013, with 29,490 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next (6,583).
- 30: Number of counties, places and townships in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. The two counties, both named Plymouth, are in Massachusetts (2013 population of 501,915) and Iowa (24,957 in 2013). Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous place, with 73,987 residents in 2013; There are two places in the United States named Pilgrim: One, a township in Dade County, Mo., had a 2013 population of 128; the other, a census designated place in Michigan, had a 2010 population of 11. And then there is Mayflower, Ark., whose population was 2,299 in 2012, and Mayflower Village, Calif., whose population was 5,515 in 2010.
What is your most memorable Thanksgiving memory?