Category Archives: Facts

Mindy Kaling Bio + Facts

Hi everyone, this week as not been not such a great week for my household, in particular my youngest daughter, as she was just getting over her last relapse with her Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME for short), but she has taken a step back. It is hard seeing your child in pain, but unable to do anything for them, its not just her that suffers daily, this is a complex condition that baffles the doctors as they don’t understand, which is why there are so many people out there that don’t receive any help from anyone, and I am afraid to say it but my daughter is one of them.

Anyway, on with today’s blog post. This week is about Mindy Kaling, she turns 42 today she is a talented actress, comedienne and mother, Mindy has become one of television’s funniest talents and is an inspiration and role model for everyone,

Early Life:

Mindy Kaling was born on 24 June1979 in Cambridge, Massachusetts United States, to parents Avu Chokalingam an architect and Dr Swati Chokalingam (nee Roysircar) an obstetrician/gynaecologist. As a child she would be so intrigued by comedy sketches and would pay more attention to such televised shows as Living Color and Saturday Night Live.

Mindy is an American actress, comedian and is known for her off-beat humour, which she displayed in her own project that she created in the popularised “The Mindy Project.” She was a member of the comedy troupe The Dog Day Players and the Rockapellas while attending one of the most distinguished and illustrious schools Dartmouth College, where she majored in theatre and joined an all-female a cappella group. During her time at the college Mindy would create a comic strip for the college newspaper called Badly Drawn Girl, in 2001 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in playwriting.

How her Career Started

Kaling begun her career as an intern for the television show the Late Night with Conan O’Brien aged 19. From there, she moved to Brooklyn and went on to work as a production assistant for Crossing Over with John Edward, Kaling and her best friend wrote a Broadway play called Matt and Ben in 2002. The play was a wondrous hit at the New York International Fringe Festival, it a was named as one of the top ten theatrical events of the year. Kaling caught the eye of Greg Daniels that sane year and was hired to write and perform on the show. She was the only female among a staff of eight. This was the beginning of what would become an exceptional career for her.

Facts

  • Her birth name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam. The name Vera is, according to Kaling, is of the “incarnation of a Hindu goddess.”
  • Kaling’s parents are from India and met while working at the same hospital in Nigeria, they moved to the United States in 1979.
  • Kaling was born to Indian Immigrants Parents Avu Chokalingam and Dr Swati Chokalingam.
  • She went to the prestigious Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge Massachusetts.
  • Mindy attended Dartmouth College and while there, she used to draw comic strip she drew for the school’s newspaper called “Badly Drawn Girl.” She was also a Classics major for much of college, studying Latin, which she had not studied since 7th grade.
  • She joined an improvisational comedy troupe called The Dog Day Players while attending Dartmouth College.
  • She shortened her last name early on in her career when she was still at college as no-one could pronounce it correctly.
  • She was named Mindy after one of the lead characters in a television series called Mork and Mindy, which starred Robin Williams and Pam Dawber according to US Weekly.
  • By the time she reached 33 she had only had four boyfriends, as she didn’t start dating until senior year of college. One of her boyfriends was also her co-star on The Office, whom she met 15 years ago B.J. Novak and Mindy are still close to this day, as best friends, even after the relationship ended.
  • She starred in the Office, which also starred Steve Carell and John Krasinski, who both went on to become a huge star themselves. Kaling received six Emmy Award nominations as a writer and a producer of the show.
  • She got her start in acting on-stage before landing her first TV appearance in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and made her movie debut in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”.
  • From her success on The Office, Kaling went on to develop her own series, The Mindy Project which debuted in 2012. The show made TV history as the first sitcom to star an Indian American.
  • She loves reading books by Jhumpa Lahiri, even naming her Mindy Lahiri character after her.
  • Kaling loved the Simpsons growing up, so much so that she once dressed up as the matriarch Marge Simpson for a photo shoot.
  • The on-set photos in Mindy’s apartment and office are Kaling’s own. There are also photos of Mindy with actors who have been on the show for added realism.
  • Mindy Kaling starred alongside a variety of actors in A Wrinkle in time with the likes of Reece Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Storm Reid and many more…
  • Kaling had her first taste of comedic success with the play Matt and Ben. She wrote and starred in this celebrity spoof about actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon writing the screenplay for the movie Good Will Hunting.
  • Kaling is a single mother to 2 adorable children Katherine Swati Kaling 3 and 9-month-old Spencer Avu Kaling.
  • Mindy wrote and starred in the hit sitcom The Office, before going on to create her on popular television series The Mindy Project.
  • In the 2011 film No Strings Attached, she played the roommate of the main character, Natalie Portman.
  • In 2015 she published a collection of her essays titled Why Not Me?
  • Mindy drew inspiration for the career choice of her character from a place that is really close to home. Mindy’s mother, Swati, who is also a physician. Mindy admitted to getting some of her story ideas from her mother’s real-world career.
  • On top of being an actress, a TV writer, and a producer, Kaling has also written two hilarious memoirs: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns) and Why Not Me? Both books were not only hilarious, but also New York Times bestsellers.
  • Kaling and Witherspoon have worked together on several projects together, not only did they star together in A Wrinkle in Time but are now teaming up again for Legally Blonde 3 where Mindy has signed on to write the screen play along with Dan Goor. Mindy has had a recurring role on Reese’s The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston, and Reece did a cameo on The Mindy Project (2017), which as cemented their BFF.
  • In addition to writing, producing, and starring in her own show, Kaling has tackled other projects as well. She has become one of Twitter’s most popular personalities, with more than 11.6 million followers.
  • She also voices characters in the films Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out.
  • Mindy is a huge fan of writer and director Nora Ephron, who penned classics like You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. But it turns out that Ephron was also a fan of her work too. Ephron had been given Kaling’s first book as a gift, and she wrote Kaling a letter telling her how much she enjoyed it.
  • Kaling was nominated for an Emmy Award along with Greg Daniels for the episode Niagara of the show The Office. Kaling and her co-writers were nominated five times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Kaling also received a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 2010.
  • The Mindy Project has been nominated for three NAACP Image Awards in 2015. Mindy Kaling herself is nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • In 2013, Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.
  • In her best-selling memoir, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” Kaling describes herself as a sensitive and studious child.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you all next week.

The History of the Eiffel Tower

Hi everyone, Today’s post is about The Eiffel Tower as exactly One hundred and thirty-three years ago today construction had first begun on what is now a main attraction in Paris, it has become one of the most visited attractions Paris as to offer. So how did this fine architect structure come to be?

How The Eiffel Tower Come to Be?

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, not just for being the most romantic place to be, but for what it as to offer with its unique features that defines it, in addition to love, lights, art and croissants it is also renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful architectures. From the enchanting Art Nouveau Entrances to its elegant Gothic Cathedrals, the capital city exhibits its French architecture at its finest, which includes the Eiffel Tower amongst its features.

The unofficial emblem of Paris is the most recognizable, being the Eiffel Tower. There are not many that is aware of its unique history and controversial beginnings. Here I will be telling you the story behind the tower that stands so tall over the city, for over a hundred and thirty years.

The Reason Why the Eiffel Tower was Built?

The company Eiffel et Compagnie is owned by French engineer and architect Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel who had designed and constructed the tower for the Exposition Universelle, or worlds’ fair, in 1889.

Gustav was selected from over 100 entries, he and his company were hired to build it, as they wanted it to act as an entrance to the event, where people all around the world would gather to experience its avant-garde attractions, including events from musical shows, theatrical performances and so that they could show off their inventions and anything to do with any scientific findings.

The Design

The idea for the design of the Eiffel Tower was presented to Gustav Eiffel-by-Eiffel et Compagnie engineers Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. They imagined it to be a great pylon, that would consist of four lattice girders which stood apart at the base, and would then come together at the top, and joined together by the metal trusses which would be evenly spaced out.

Gustav had agreed to build upon their vision. Along with his team, he and some top engineers and architects that included Maurice Koechlin, Émile Nouguier, and Stephen Sauvestre, who designed the tower’s signature arches, and imagined it to be three-levels high, a whopping 1,063-foot tower made of wrought iron.

The Architects Maurice Koechlin, Emile Nouguier, Stephen Sauvestre

Eiffel wanted to showcase his engineering skills, by commemorating the French Revolution with his accomplishment, and because the world’s fair would fall one hundred years after its onset. To Eiffel the structure was so much more than its entrance, to him it was “an expression of France’s gratitude.”

The Eiffel Tower Caused Controversy

Even though the design for the fair was given the go ahead, there was some members of the public that was not happy about the design that would stand so tall over the city. Fearing that the line between art and engineering was in danger of blurring the lines, a protest begun featuring composers, artists, writers, architects, and others that were passionate about the untouched beauty of Paris. They filled out a petition (which was named Protestation des artistes contre la tour de Monsieur Eiffel, or “Protest Against the Tower of Mr. Eiffel”). In February 1887, but it was already too late as the construction had already begun on it in January.

The tower opened to the public a few days after the debut of Exposition Universelle in May 1889. Due to the elevators not working until the end of the month, the visitors had to walk all the way up to the top, by climbing its 1,665 steps to the tower. Even though they came across opposition about the tower being constructed, 30,000 people happily made their way up to the top of the tower without using an elevator.

After the Exposition Universelle

The Eiffel Tower was originally intended as a temporary fixture was to be demolished after twenty years. However, in desperation to save it his masterpiece, Eiffel suggested that the tower be used as a radiotelegraph station. His pitch worked, and the tower then became a permanent Parisian fixture, a setting that would become well known across the globe and where people associate the Eiffel Tower as being the epicentre of Paris.

Today, it brings in a staggering 7 million visitors and is one of the most visited paid monument in the world, it remains the tallest building in the City of Lights and continues to captivate the tourists and locals alike with its sky-high silhouette.

32 Facts You May Not Know About the Eiffel Tower

Here are some amazing and interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower.

  • The Eiffel Tower was completed on March 31, 1889. For forty-one years this was the tallest structure in the world, that was until the Chrysler Building was built in 1930 in New York.
  • This is one of the most visited attractions in Paris, welcoming almost seven million visitors a year, with 75% of them being foreigners, making it the most visited monument that you must pay for in the world.
  • Most visitors in percentage are French 10.4%, Italy 8.1%, Spain 8.1%, USA 7.9%, Uk 7.4%, Germany 5.8%, and Brazil 5.5%.
  • It stands tall at 324 metres, which includes its antennas and weighs 10,100 tonnes.
  • During the cold weather the tower shrinks by almost six inches.
  • The Architect and engineer behind the tower was Gustav Eiffel who was also involved in the disastrous attempt by the French Canal in Panama, which damaged his reputation badly because of his failed venture.
  • It is possible to climb all the way up to the top, by climbing its 1,665 steps, but most people would rather take the lift.
  • For eighty-four years the tower was the tallest structure in France, until the construction of a military transmitter in the town of Saissac in 1973.
  • The lifts travel a combined distance of 103,000 km a year – two and a half times the circumference of the Earth.
  • The Millau Viaduct completed in 2004, is taller standing at 343 metres.
  • A con artist named Victor Lustig, had sold the tower for scrap metal on two occasions.
  • Since the tower’s first opened, it has had more than 300 million people that have visited the tower.
  • The construction of it took two years, two months’, and five days. Which was 180 years fewer than Notre Dame, Paris’ other great attraction.
  • It costs 19 euros to take the lift to the top of the tower.
  • Gustav Eiffel had also designed the interior elements of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Gustav died while listening to Beethoven’s 5th symphony.
Architect and Metals Expert Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel
  • In 1905 a local newspaper organised a stair climbing championship at the tower. M. Forestier won, taking three minutes and 12 seconds to reach the second level.
  • Pierre Labric won a bet that saw him cycle down the stairs of the tower in 1923. He was arrested by police.
  • Repainting the tower requires 60 tonnes of paint, which is done every seven years.
  • The tower appears in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill. There is a scene in the Jules Verne restaurant, and a fight in the stairway.
  • There are 80 replicas of the tower scattered around the world, including one is in Las Vegas, Blackpool, England, Sidney, Australia and one at the world theme park in Shenzhen, China.
  • The Eiffel Tower and Margaret Thatcher share the same nickname, La Dame de Fer “The Iron Lady”.
  • A French car manufacturer Citroen had used the tower to place a giant billboard on it between 1925 and 1934. The company’s name was emblazoned on the tower for all to see, using a quarter of a million light bulbs and was put in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest advertisement.
  • In 2008 a woman with a fetish for objects married the Eiffel Tower, changing her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel in honor of her marriage to the tower.
  • The tower comprises of 18,000 metallic parts, joined together by 2.5 million rivets.
  • When the tower reached its 125th anniversary of when it was completed the British Virgin Islands marked the occasion, by a special tower shaped $10 coin.
  • The tower sways around six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches) in the wind.
  • The names of each of the 72 engineers, scientists and mathematicians can all be found engraved on the side of the tower, each one contributed to the structure you now see.
  • Gustav had kept a small apartment on the third floor for entertaining his friends. It is now open to the public.
  • There have been several aviators to have flown their aircraft under the arches of the tower. In 1926 Leon Collet was killed after he tried and failed at attempting it.
  • Have you ever wanted to build your own Eiffel Tower? Well… there is a LEGO set for that: it contains 3,428 bricks.
  • There are 20,00 lightbulbs that are used on the Eiffel Tower to make it shine every night.
The Eiffel Tower shining bright at night.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Stay busy, safe, and well and I shall see you all next week!

The Wright Brothers Day

Hi everyone hope you are all okay. It is not long now until Christmas day, it is almost upon us, only 8 shopping days left, so I hope you have managed to do all your Christmas shopping, as next week will just be horrendous.

Today’s post is about real life brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright also known as the Wright brothers. They were two American Aviation Pioneers who had incredible vision and enormous talent for designing and creating their inventions. They invented the first successful airplane one hundred and seventeen years ago today.

Wilbur and Orville: The Early Years

Orville Wright 4 years and 9 months of age and Wilbur Wright 9 years of age

Wilbur (16 April 1867) and Orville (19 August 1871) were born to parents Milton and Susan Koerner. They belonged to a warm and loving family that would encourage learning, and to always keep on doing. Their family consisted of older brothers Rauchlin and Lorin, and younger sister Katharine.

The Toy Helicopter

Their mother Susan was the daughter of a wagon maker, who made toys for her children and always encouraged their curiosity. Whilst their father Milton was a bishop of the United Brethren Church, which often took him away from home on church business. But he would always keep in contact with his family by writing hundreds of letters home, and would often bring presents from his many trips away, and that gave the children a look at the world beyond their horizon. In 1878, one of the gifts he brought home was a rubber band powered helicopter, the young boys immediately began to build copies of it and would sell them to their friends including handmade kites. Wilbur and Orville always did things together ever since they were small.

The Wright Brothers Helicopter

In 1884, Bishop Wright decided to move his family to Dayton, Ohio, which was the political center of the United Brethren Church. Around the same time, his wife Susan fell ill with tuberculosis. Just out of high school Wilbur put aside going to college, so that he could nurse his sick mother, while Orville started to lose interest in school, instead he learned all he could about the printing business. Their mother Susan Wright’s health declined and died by summer of 1889, and that same year Orville decided to drop out of high school to open his first print shop.

Their Career Path

The Printing Business

In 1890, Wilbur went to join Orville in the printing business, serving as editor for The West Side News, a newspaper that went out weekly to their west Dayton neighborhood. It was a modestly successful business, and to give its residence more, they began a daily, and evening item, in 1891. However, it took a lot of work to keep up with the larger and more established daily newspapers, so after a few months they simply went back to being job printers.

The Bicycle Process
Original Wright Brothers Bicycle

By 1894, the brothers were caught up in the bicycling craze that had swept the nation. They used the money they had got from their printing trade and used it to open their first bicycle shop, at first they just sold and repaired bikes. This soon grew in to a full-time business, and by 1896 they started to build their own brand of bikes. The Wright Cycle Company would soon make a handsome profit. The brothers cared little about money, and by now they were already thinking about trading their wheels for wings.

It was their experiences with bicycles that helped them in their investigation of flight. They would later go on to use their knowledge that they had learned from they’re bicycle business in their airplanes: wheel hubs, chains, ball bearings, sprockets and spoke wire. They would use their experience as cyclist to help with balancing and controlling their aircraft.

The Invention Of The Airplane

In 1896, the newspapers were filled with stories of flying machines. Wilbur and Orville had noticed that these archaic aircraft lacked suitable controls. They would start to wonder how a pilot would balance an airplane in the air just as a biker would balance his bike when cycling on the road. By 1899 The Wright Brothers were so eager to control an aircraft that they devised a simple system plan that twisted or warped the wings of a biplane, which causes it to roll right then left and then restoring it back to level flight. Wilbur and Orville came up with this idea by watching birds in flight. They tested this system by using a kite, then a series of gliders.

Their First Successful Airplane

They made their first test flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the shores of the Atlantic, it’s a place where the strong winds had helped to launch the gliders and it helped that you had the soft sand to cushion yourself when you crashed. Their first two gliders that had flown in 1900 and 1901 were not provided with enough lift, nor were they fully controllable. So during the winter of 1901 and 1902 the brothers built a wind tunnel and organized many experiments on them to determine the best shape for an airplane to stay up in the air. This empowered them to build a glider with enough lift, and enabled them to concentrate on the problem of control. It wasn’t until towards the end of 1902 flying season, that their third glider became the first fully controllable aircraft, with roll, pinch and yaw controls.

It was during the winter of 1902 and 1903, with the help of their mechanic Charlie Taylor, the Wrights finally got to design and build a  gasoline engine that was light enough to propel an airplane. They also designed the first true airplane propellers and build a new powered aircraft. Back at Kitty Hawk, Wilbur and Orville had found themselves in a race. Samuel P. Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, had also built a powered aircraft that was designed after a small unmanned “aerodrome” that he had flown successfully in 1896. To add to their frustrations, the brothers kept being delayed by problems with the propeller shafts as well as the weather, which gave Langley time to check the aircraft twice in late 1903. Both experiments floundered badly, and then Langley left the field to the Wright Brothers. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first assisted, controlled flights in a powered aircraft.

Orville’s Dedication To His Brother

On 30 May, 1912, Wilbur died aged 45 of typhoid fever, which he had contracted after eating some oysters at a hotel in Boston. Orville is the shyer one and less worldly, was devastated by his brothers’ death that he had made the decision to sell the Wright Company as it was too much to bear without Wilbur being there, and made around $1.5 million in the process. He spent the rest of his life tinkering in his workshop, and hanging out with his family and protecting the Wright family legacy.

By the time of Orville’s’ death on 30 January, 1948 he had seen his brother’s invention transform transportation, culture war forever. And to think all there work that they had created, started by two small boys and one toy helicopter and there self believe in each other.

 The Wright brothers are from a mere minority, that were among the blessed few who could combine mechanical ability with intelligence in roughly equal amounts. The brother’s biographer Fred Howard had once wrote. “One man with this dual gift is exceptional. Two such men whose lives and fortunes are closely linked, can raise this combination of qualities to a point where their combined talents are akin to genius.”

22 Amazing Facts

  • Milton and Susan Wright had seven children, that included a set of twins Otis and Ida, but tragically the twins died. Otis was born first and managed to live for 1 week and 6 days and Ida managed 2 weeks and 4 days.
  • Wilbur was the third child and Orville the sixth
  • A toy piqued their passion from an early age.
  • In 1878, when Wilbur was 11 and Orville 7, their father gave them a helicopter-like toy to share. It was based on an invention by Alphonse Pénaud and was made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl the motor. The brothers later said this toy was the beginning of an obsession with flying machines.
  • Their genius was genetic as their mother, Sarah, was very mechanically inclined. Her own father was a carriage maker, and she spent a lot of time in his shop. She made her own appliances as well as toys for her children. The Wright brothers consulted their mother’s advice regularly as they designed their own machines.
  • The brothers shared such a close bond…  Even though the Wright brothers weren’t twins, they certainly lived like they were. They worked side by side six days a week, and shared the same residence, meals, and bank account. They also enjoyed mutual interests, like music and cooking. Neither brother ever married. Orville said it was Wilbur’s job, as the older sibling, to get hitched first. Meanwhile, Wilbur said he “had no time for a wife.” In any case, the two became successful businessmen, scoring aviation contracts both domestically and abroad.
  • One of the newspapers they printed, The Tattler, was for the African-American community in Dayton, Ohio.
  • They decided who would fly first with a toss of a coin. Wilbur won the toss, but his first attempt failed. Orville went second and managed to fly for 12 seconds. 
  • They were autodidacts which is a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.
  • When Neil Armstrong went to the moon he paid homage to the Wright brothers by carrying both a swatch of fabric from the 1903 Flyer’s left wing and a piece of its wooden propeller inside his spacesuit.
  • The Wright brothers were proud Midwesterner that spent their formative years in Dayton, Ohio. Later in life, Wilbur said his advice for those seeking success would be to “pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”
  • Neither of the Wright brothers graduated from high school, but they were undoubtedly bright, neither of them ever earned their high school diploma. Wilbur became reclusive after suffering a bad hockey injury, and Orville dropped out of school.
  • They achieved four successful flights with their first airplane design… The Wright brothers started testing various wing designs and spent the next few years perfecting their evolving vision for a heavier-than-air flying machine.
  • On Dec. 17, 1903, the brothers successfully launch the world’s first airplane. The Wright Flyer I. It was made of spruce and had propellers and a specially designed engine cast mainly from lightweight aluminum. It was the first controlled and powered flying machine that could fly with the weight of humans. From this design, the modern airplane was born.
  • The Wright Flyer I cost about $1000 to make.
  • The Wright brothers only flew together once (though both piloted the planes individually); on May 25, 1910, they took a six-minute flight piloted by Orville with Wilbur as his passenger.
  •  On that same day in May, Orville took his 82-year-old father, Milton, on a seven-minute flight. They flew at a height of about 350 feet.
  • The Wright Brothers made life-sized copies of their beloved helicopter toy with the intention of making an aircraft that would hold them both.
  • The press initially ignored the Kitty Hawk flights, despite their monumental achievement, the Dayton Journal didn’t think the Wright brothers’ short flights were important enough to cover. The Virginia Pilot ended up catching wind of the story, however, and they printed an error-ridden account that was picked up by several other papers. Eventually, the Dayton Journal wrote up an official and accurate story.
  • The Wright brothers established the world’s first test flight facilities (which is now known as Wright Patterson Air Force Base) near Dayton, Ohio. 
  • Ohio and North Carolina often battle over which state is truly the “birthplace of aviation.”

Thank you for stopping by, Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you all back here next week!

How Thanksgiving came to be…

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing okay. Today is Thanksgiving, a day that you celebrate with your loved ones, well… that was the tradition up until this year. Like the rest of this year, everything changed, whereas we once could have gone to friends or relatives or even be the host of Thanksgiving itself. Instead, we have to celebrate it in a different way, whatever way you do choose to spend this day, I am sure you will have a good thanksgiving.

When It All Began

Thanksgiving is now a national holiday that is celebrated in the United States every year on the fourth Thursday of November and its where families all across the U.S. will be gathered around to feast on the turkey, and watch football, while they are waiting to see Santa during the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but have you ever wondered when it all began?

Thanksgivings First Feast

There are different variations of it, this is just one… It was the year 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn feast that would be acknowledged as being the very first Thanksgiving meal with celebrations through the colonies. For more than two centuries Thanksgiving was celebrated by individual states and colonies. It wasn’t until 1863, whilst during the civil war when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day that is to be held as a yearly event in November.

Plymouth

In September 1620 a small ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers, with an assortment of religions seeking a new life and home, where they could freely practice their faith, and there were other individuals, that were lured by the promise of land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable 66 days, they finally dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, but it was too far north and quite away from their intended destination that was at the mouth of the Hudson River. It was one month later when the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims are commonly now known, and they soon began working to establish a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal and vicious winter, most of the colonists had remained aboard the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious diseases. There was a lot of devastation and despair and it cost a lot of lives, as only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining passengers moved a shore, where they were welcomed by a visit from an Abenaki Native American who greeted them in English.

A few days later he returned with another Native American called Tisquantum, who is more commonly known by Squanto who was a member of the Patuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and was then sold into slavery before escaping to London and then returning back to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. The Pilgrims who were weakened by malnutrition and illness, were taught by Squanto everything he knows, on how to cultivate corn, and extract sap from maple trees, catch fish and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers to forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would then go on for more than fifty years and remains one of the sole examples of harmony between the Native Americans and the European colonists.

In November 1621, the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved a success, Governor William Bradford had organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies that would also include Wampanoag Chief Massasoit. It is now best remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving” but the Pilgrims themselves would not have used those terms at that time, the festival celebrations lasted for three consecutive days.

Traditions of Today

In many American households they have lost the religious aspect of the Thanksgiving celebrations, instead it centres more on cooking a beautiful meal and enjoying spending time with family and friends, football, playing games and the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Turkey has become a symbol for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

12 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

  • The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 that included fifty pilgrims and ninety Wampanoag Indians and the celebrations lasted three days. Many historians believe that there were just only five women present at the first Thanksgiving as many women settlers did not survive that difficult first year in the U.S.
  • Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until over 200 years later: Sarah Josepha Hale, the women who actually wrote the classic nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after campaigning for many years by writing letters to make it happen.
  • There was no turkey on the menu at the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • There wasn’t a fork insight as the first Thanksgiving meal was eaten by using spoons and knives. A meal without using a fork is just unimaginable, forks weren’t even introduced to the pilgrims until ten years later and it was not a popular utensil until the eighteenth century.
  • Thanksgiving is the reason behind TV dinners: In 1953, Swanson had a lot of extra turkeys (260 tons to be exact) that was when a salesman who didn’t want them to go to waste, said that they should package it into aluminum trays and include things like sweet potatoes, and hey presto, the very first TV dinner was born.
  • Thanksgiving was almost a fast, not a feast, as the early settlers gave their thanks by praying and abstaining from any food, which was what they had originally planned celebrating their first harvest, that was until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned their fast into a three-day feast.
  • Every year, the President of the U.S. pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner – The first pardon ceremony of a turkey started with President Truman in 1947. President Barack Obama pardoned a 45-pound turkey that was called Courage, who flew him over to Disneyland and served as a Grand Marshal of the park’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Why was Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November? President Abraham Lincoln had begun the tradition of Thanksgiving being on the fourth Thursday in November, but in 1939 President Roosevelt made the decision to move it up a week, he thought that it would help the shopping season during the Great Depression era, but it never caught on, so he changed it back two years later, to the original fourth Thursday in November.
  • In 1924 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began, with around 400 employees marching from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. There were no balloons of any sort there, instead, this parade consists of only live animals from Central Park Zoo.
  • Wild turkeys can only run 20 miles per hour, but only when they are scared. Domesticated turkeys, that are bred are much heavier and can’t run as fast.
  • Turkeys are not the cause for drowsiness or putting you into the dreaded food coma. Scientists say that it is the extra glass of wine you have, along with the high-calorie meal or it could be because you’re relaxing after having a barbaric work schedule that’s more likely to make you feel drowsy.
  • Watching football became a Thanksgiving tradition from 1920 ever since the NFL started the Thanksgiving Classic games, ever since then the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have hosted games on this day. In 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting.

13 Fun Facts about Turkeys

  • The heaviest turkey on record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, weighed 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • The average turkey for Thanksgiving weighs 15 pounds.
  • Californians consume the most turkey in the U.S. on Thanksgiving.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle. In a letter to his daughter, he proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
  • Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving.. 22 million on Christmas and 19 million is consumed at Easter.
  • Turkeys lived more than ten million years ago.
  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
  • In 2012, 253,500,000 turkeys were produced in the U.S.
  • Campbell’s soup created green bean casserole for an annual cookbook about 50 years ago. It now sells $20 million worth of cream mushroom soup.
  • Turkeys can see movement almost 100 yards away.
  • Male turkeys (called tom) gobble. Female turkeys (called hen) make a clicking noise.
  • Baby turkeys goes through name stages during their growth. A baby turkeys are called poult. A sixteen week old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old is called a young roaster, a yearling is a one year old, and from fifteen months and older is called mature.
  • 200 hundred years ago in England turkeys were walked to market in herds. They wore booties on their feet to protect them. Turkeys were also walked to market in the United States.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all and thank you for taking the time to stop by and reading my blog. See you all next week!