Thanksgiving Trivia Questions

Here is a fun quiz to challenge your family with their Thanksgiving knowledge!

“Freedom From Want”

1. What motivated the Pilgrims to come to America? Religious freedom.

2. How long was the voyage from England to the New World? 66 days.

3. What was the name of the ship the Pilgrims traveled on? The Mayflower.

4. Who was the captain of the Mayflower? Christopher Jones.

5. How many Pilgrims were on the Mayflower? 102.

6. In what month and year did the Pilgrims arrive in America? December 1620.

7. What is the name of the famous rock where the Pilgrims landed? Plymouth Rock.

8. What was the name of the Indian brave who first made contact with the Pilgrims? Samoset.

9. Which Indian taught the Pilgrims how to grow food in the new land? Squanto.

10. Who was the chief of the Wampanoag tribe that was invited to the Pilgrims’ harvest feast? Massasoit.

11. In October of 1777, George Washington declared an “All Colony Thanksgiving” due to what event? The American victory at Saratoga.

12. Thanksgiving became a national holiday due to the efforts of this woman who edited a woman’s magazine called “Godey’s Lady’s Book.” Who was she? Sarah Josepha Hale.

13. Which U.S. President was the first to establish Thanksgiving as a legal national holiday to be held on the 4th Thursday in November? Abraham Lincoln, in 1863.

14. Which U.S. President moved Thanksgiving up one week to help stimulate the Christmas shopping economy? Franklin D. Roosevelt. (But it didn’t go over very well and in 1941 Congress established the federal Thanksgiving holiday to be always on the 4th Thursday in November.)

15. In Canada, they celebrate Thanksgiving in what month? October (the second Monday in October).

16. The term “cornucopia” means what? Horn of Plenty.

17. What part of the turkey is saved and snapped as a superstitious good luck custom? Wishbone.

18. The word turkey is said to come from what Hebrew word? “Tukki,” which means Big Bird.

19. What is the name of the book that Governor William Bradford wrote telling about the troubles and experiences of the Pilgrims? Of Plimouth Plantation.

20. What poet wrote “The Courtship of Miles Standish?” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

21. The town of Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrates what holiday on December 11 every year? Forefather’s Day, in honor of the people who founded Plymouth Colony.

22. True or False? Indian corn is for decoration purposes only and not for eating. True, it is very a very hard variety of corn.

23. Why is the male turkey often referred to as “Tom Turkey?” Thomas Jefferson opposed Ben Franklin‘s idea of naming the turkey as the National Bird. So Franklin mockingly called the turkey “Tom Turkey” after Thomas Jefferson.

24. By the 19th century, celebrating Thanksgiving was thought to have been the origin of what table tradition? Having a kids’ table for the children to sit at.

25. In 1943, Norman Rockwell created his famous “Freedom From Want” illustration by using a Thanksgiving dinner as an example. This illustration first appeared on the cover of which magazine? The Saturday Evening Post.

26. What utensil hadn’t been invented yet when the Pilgrims ate their Thanksgiving meal? Forks.

27. What did the Pilgrims use as plates? Stale bread.

28. Of the original 102 pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower, approximately how many survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving? 50.

29. How many Indians came to the first Thanksgiving? 90.

30. The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in 1621 was believed to have lasted how many days? Three. (They really knew how to throw a party!)

Thanks to the assistance they received from the local Indians, the Pilgrims had a successful first harvest, and they had enough food to put away for the coming winter. Though the Pilgrims didn’t actually call it a “Thanksgiving” feast (and in fact their first Thanksgiving was a formal religious service), the Pilgrims’ harvest feast became a model for our own Thanksgiving celebration.

Did You Know…? It wasn’t the Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving in the New World, it was the Spaniards! Read more:

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