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Thanksgiving in history: a quiz

On Thanksgiving it's good to brush up on what we know about this American holiday. The following quiz, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, will test your knowledge of the holiday in American history and culture.

1. What was the primary food that the Wampanoag, the Native American tribe that participated in the first Thanksgiving, contributed to the feast?

A. Turkey

B. Ham

C. Venison

D. Lobster

2. Writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale, author of the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb," also is known as the "godmother of Thanksgiving" for urging which president to have "our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival"?

A. James Buchanan

B. Ulysses S. Grant

C. Andrew Johnson

D. Abraham Lincoln

3. In what year was the law passed making the fourth Thursday of November the fixed date for Thanksgiving?

A. 1912

B. 1935

C. 1941

D. 1991

4. Which president said that "Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences, we are still one people, part of something bigger than ourselves ... we are always, simply, Americans"?

A. John F. Kennedy

B. Barack Obama

C. Ronald Reagan

D. Franklin Roosevelt

5. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade excluded a live audience in 2020. In what years was the parade officially canceled since first being held in 1924?

A. 1929 to 1931

B. 1942 to 1944

C. 1951 to 1953

D. 1960 to 1962

6. Because of a mix up that resulted in a major surplus of turkey one year, which company packaged turkey, stuffing, peas and sweet potatoes in aluminum trays, creating the first TV dinners?

A. Swanson

B. Morton's

C. Tyson

D. Stouffer's

7. Which of America's Founding Fathers wanted the turkey, rather than the eagle, to be America's national bird?

A. John Adams

B. Alexander Hamilton

C. Patrick Henry

D. Benjamin Franklin

8. Which Ivy League college teams faced off in the first Thanksgiving football game in the 1870s?

A. Princeton vs. Yale

B. Harvard vs. Princeton

C. Columbia vs. Dartmouth

D. Cornell vs. Yale

9. The tradition of handing out Thanksgiving themed awards to NFL players began in 1989. What was the initial award called and who received it?

A. Turkey Leg to former Philadelphia Eagle Reggie White

B. Galloping Gobbler to former Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo

C. Turkey Leg to former San Francisco 49er Joe Montana

D. Galloping Gobbler to former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre

10. In addition to the United States, several other countries celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday. Which of the following is not one of them?

A. Canada

B. Brazil

C. Sweden

D. Liberia

ANSWERS: 1-C, 2-D, 3-C, 4-B, 5-B, 6-A, 7-D, 8-A, 9-A, 10-C

Patrick Maloney, deputy director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, wrote this for in 2020.


The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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