Thanksgiving Facts, Traditions & Trivia

Thanksgiving Facts, Traditions & Trivia

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday in November was officially sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday in 1941, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

TDayThe ‘Thanksgiving” event that the Pilgrims had included about fifty Pilgrims and ninety Wampanoag Indians. The Indians may not have been invited per se, but came to see what the celebration was all about, and were welcomed in.

The Pilgrims took their religion very seriously – if the Thanksgiving was actually a religious event, they probably would not have let the Indians (non-Christians) join in. A religious event would have mostly involved praying all day – not celebrating.

The first Thanksgiving probably actually took place in early or mid-October of 1620 -but it was not an annual event for the Pilgrims. Some Texans claim the first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in little San Elizario, a community near El Paso, in 1598, and at the Berkeley Plantation near Virginia’s James River, claims the first Thanksgiving in America was held there on December 4th, 1619.

Unlike today’s feast consisting of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry, etc – the original Thanksgiving menu probably consisted of the following items: duck, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. The pilgrims weren’t really prepared for baking, and didn’t have access to butter, etc, so they did not have pies at the first Thanksgiving.

‘Turducken’ – deboned turkey, duck and chicken nested inside each other then cooked is popular with many families.

Being held on a Thursday, often with no work on Fridays for white collar employees, the extended four day weekend is often a time for families to gather together – the Saturday after Thanksgiving is often a time for high school, college, or locals reunions.

Many people blame the turkey for the sleepiness after the big meal, but chances are it is the trimmings, carbohydrate-rich sides and desserts that allow tryptophan into the body that cause the need for a nap.

The Wednesday night before is actually one of the biggest nights of the year for bars and nightclubs, matching and sometimes surpassing St. Patrick’s Day for consuming alcoholic beverages. Sadly, that also adds to the statistics that say that US deaths spike over Thanksgiving.

Today’s traditions often include: pre-meal snacks, the children’s table, NFL football, scheduled with traditional rivals, radio stations begin playing Christmas music, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (televised nationwide), The Dunkin Donuts Parade (in Philadelphia, a continuation of the first Turkey day Parade, started in Philly in 1920) – the Parade is also the official introduction of Santa Clause for the Holiday Season.

Another tradition is ‘making a wish’ – breaking the wishbone of the bird, often between a senior and junior member of the family.

Often families take advantage of the time together to play games – indoor and outdoor, and make plans for Christmas. Outside of the distractions of television, it is a popular time to ‘get to know’ other family members better. It is often a good time to learn about the family tree.

Thanksgiving is also the prelude to Black Friday, named because it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year – and the day (hopefully) retail businesses make a significant profit.

Things best not discussed on this day: politics, religion and family gossip.

Recent presidents have pardoned turkeys in the days before Thanksgiving. 2014’s lucky duo (officially pardoned and the alternate) were Cheese and Mac. Both came from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio. Prior pardoned birds were:
1999 – Harry
2000 – Jerry
2001 – Liberty
2002 – Katie (the first pardoned female turkey) and Zack
2003 – Stars and Stripes
2004 – Biscuit and Gravy
2005 – Marshmallow and Yam
2006 – Flyer and Fryer
2007 – May and Flower
2008 – Pumpkin and Pecan
2009 – Courage and Carolina
2010 – Apple and Cider
2011 – Liberty and Peace
2012 – Cobbler and Gobbler
2013 – Popcorn and Caramel
2014 – Cheese and Mac

Abraham Lincoln actually spared a turkey named “Jack” from becoming the main dish in the Presidential holiday meal.

The obligatory Thanksgiving Joke:
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, ‘Do these turkeys get any bigger?’

The stock boy replied, ‘No ma’am, they’re dead.’

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#SDCC 2014 Early News # 1 Rumors Abound

Antman(PCM) So far at Comic-Com International (#SDCC) we’ve learned the following:

  • It looks like Paul Rudd and/or Michael Douglas could be Giant-Man as well as Ant-Man in the upcoming film…. but who will but who will be who(m)?
  • Robert Downey Jr is is serious talks about Iron Man IV
  • Sharnado 2 (The Second One) will have many cameos
  • Dwayne Johnson may either going to be Shazam! or his nemesis, Black Adam in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Film
  • The Star Wars Darth Vader Hot Wheels car features a 526-horsepower 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 engine from ChevroletDarthCar
  • DC let us see another (dark) closeup of Ben Afflec’s Batman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is coming to theaters this December.
    Word is “Smaug will be a Killing Machine”BatHob
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What is an Online Cash or Direct Deposit ACH Loan?

Dollars(Sponsored) Cash loans online are a recent phenomenon that emerged with the prominence of e-commerce. An online cash loan is a payday loan, or cash advance, that is applied for, processed, and funded entirely electronically through an ACH. A consumer is able to conveniently apply for a loan with internet access and does not have to physically walk or drive to a local payday loan store to get the funds they need. This provides the consumer with more choices, as there are many online lenders to choose from, compared to the restrictions of local payday loan stores.

With an online cash loan, funding and payments are facilitated entirely electronically through ‘ACH’ or ‘Automated Clearing House’. This is a mechanism by which mass wire transfers are used by businesses to credit and debit customers directly through the customers bank account. The ACH process acts as a brokered wire service for which the business, or in this case the payday lender, pays a fee for the service.

Many consumers prefer an online loan, not only for the convenience, but also for the inherent anonymity it provides. Many consumers do not like to have to eschew their privacy by physically walking into a payday loan store to receive a cash advance. The majority of consumers prefer to keep their personal financial decisions private. An online cash loan provides this privacy element.

Sponsored By:

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Tax Freedom Day

(PCM) Tax Freedom Day is the day that the money that you earn that particular year, on average, stops going into the government’s pocket and starts going into yours.

Tax Freedom Day By Year:
April 21, 2014
April 18, 2013
April 13, 2012
April 12, 2011
April 9, 20101tax
April 8, 2009
April 16, 2008
April 24, 2007
April 26, 2006
April 21, 2005
April 15, 2004
April 14, 2003
April 17, 2002
April 27, 2001
May 1, 2000

Clay by Taylor Zitman

► The earliest known tax was implemented in Mesopotamia over 4500 years
ago, where people paid taxes throughout the year in the form of livestock, which
was the typical currency at the time.

► If you steal something, it technically counts as income, and is taxable.

► The U.S. tax code contains 7,000,000,000 words. If you are counting zeroes, that is t 7 BILLION not Million. The Bible, called by many the greatest book of all time, has well under a million. The Gettysburg Address has 269 words, and that is often called the greatest speech ever written. The greatest love letter of all time, Tarzan’s to Jane had only 97 words.

► The first income tax was created in 1861 during the Civil War to finance the war effort.

► In 1894 Congress passed the Wilson-Groman tariff which was an income tax at the rate of 2% for income over $4,000 but it was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1895.

► In February of 1913 the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified to the Constitution, granting Congress the power to collect taxes on personal income. The one page 1040 form was introduced the following year. Today, (2012) it is 174 pages.

► The “easiest” tax form (1040EZ) has 33 pages of instruction.

► Six states have no individual income taxes: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington

► Richard Nixon signed the Tax Reform Act of 1969, which essentially eliminated taxes for those living in poverty and raised taxes on certain rich groups by closing loopholes. However, during his presidency he also reduced the highest rates for the richest Americans from 70% to 50%.

► The first e-file (electronic transmission of a tax return) took place on January 24, 1986.

► The “Presidential Campaign Fund” check-box was created in the 1972 in order to fund presidential elections. Since the inception of that check-off, over a billion dollars has been distributed to about a hundred primary election presidential candidates. The amount is deducted from any refund you may be due. In order to qualify, a candidate must get at least 5% of the vote.

► Car accidents have jumped consistently 6% on Tax Day over the past 30 years.

► Lady Godiva, was an 11th century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who took a famous naked horse ride through the streets of Coventry in order to get her husband to lower taxes on the locals.

► Pennslvania’s alcohol tax was designed to help the city of Johnstown, which had a devastating flood in 1936. Although Johnstown is in fine shape today, that tax is still collected to the tune of $200,000,000 a year for the Keystone State.

► Over the last decade it is estimated that the tax code was amended or revised over 4,000 times, more than one change a day!

► New York costs 49 cents per gallon of gasoline in taxes, and $4.35 for a pack of cigarettes.

► Married, childless people who rent their homes and earn an average to slightly above average salary get the fewest standard tax breaks.

► Effective in 2006, the Treasury Department said it will no longer collect a 3% federal excise tax on long-distance calls. The tax was imposed in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War. The treasury said it was conceding its battle to uphold the tax after five appeals courts declared it illegal.

► President Nixon made it commonplace for presidents to publicly release their tax returns. Gerald Ford’s tax returns are not public, but following Jimmy Carter, every US president and major US political figure has released their tax returns.


► If you are eligible for a tax deduction with moving expenses, you can usually include the costs for your pet’s move as well.

► If need to pay a babysitter while you are working without pay to a charitable organization, you can probably deduct the cost of the sitter.

► If you have a pet, like a junkyard dog, who works performed duties at your business, you can deduct the cost of feeding the pet/employee.

► Medical expenses for smoking cessation programs, nicotine patches and stop-smoking aides can be deductible.

► If you have a home office, you can deduct the cost of lawn care if you have costumers come to the location. The IRS scrutinizes home office expenses, however, so be very, very honest with any home/business expenses.

► Most legal things you do to attract new customers can be deducted. I suppose that would include beer.

► American taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours working to comply with federal taxes each year, more than it takes to produce every car, truck, and van in the United States in a year.

► The IRS employs 114,000 people; that’s twice as many as the CIA and five times more than the FBI.

► 60% of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return.

► It is expected that Tax Freedom Day will be considerably later in 2013. Stay tuned…


In the late 1500s, Japan’s taiko, Hideyoshi abolished taxes on some things, like seafood, but imposed a tax of 67% on all rice crop yields, which was all that many people had. In some cases, he gave some back so families wouldn’t starve.

In the early 1800s, women of some low castes in India had to pay a tax called mulakkaram (“breast tax”) if they wanted to cover their chests when they went outside of their homes. This type of modesty was considered a privilege of upper caste ladies.

In 1840, a woman in the town of Cherthala refused to pay the tax. In protest, she cut off her breasts and had them presented to the tax collectors. She died, but the tax was repealed.

Between 1365 and 1828, the Ottoman Empire levied what may have been the cruelest tax in history. Christian families living within Ottoman region had to give their sons to the government in a process called the ‘devshurmeh’. Every four years, government officials would travel throughout the country, choosing boys and young men between 12 and 20 years old, to be converted to Islam and became the personal property of the sultan, usually as soldiers.

The rule of first night “jus primae noctis” – that a king or local lord could spend a night with the presumed virgin bride before the wedding was probably just a medieval myth, although there was a ‘culagium’ which was an official permission from the local authority for the serfs to marry. This developed into what we would now call a marriage license/fee/tax.

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WBC Founder Fred Phelps Passes Away

fred(PCM) Fred Phelps, who founded the Westboro Baptist Church, died late Wednesday evening, March 19, 2014.

While reports were rampant this week that he was at death’s door, along with rumors that he had been kicked out of his own church, we last heard official word that was having some health issues last Sunday: “I can tell you that Fred Phelps is having some health problems,” WBC spokesman Steve Drain told the Lawrence Journal-World. “He’s an old man, and old people get health problems.”

Nate Phelps, one of Fred Phelps’ estranged children, wrote a Facebook post on March 15 saying his father was “on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.”

There will reportedly be no public funeral (story) Church member Margie Phelps tweeted “We don’t worship the dead in this church, so there’d be no public memorial or funeral to picket if any member died.”

Many would agree that he caused a lot of needless pain to many American citizens, from fallen soldiers to gays, even to Christian (and non-Christian) religious groups by protesting and picketing at funerals for just about anyone who didn’t see God the same way he did.

Many will celebrate his death, other will let him quietly pass into the darkness. We should keep in mind that he has friends and family, children and grandchildren, who lost a father, grandfather, and friend…

So watch what you may wish to shout at or about him. If you had a family member or friend who derailed themselves from ‘normal’ society – how would you want to be treated while grieving your loss.

Be nice. He’s getting his just rewards, and reacting like the WBC acts, and putting yourselves down to their level, won’t help anybody.

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