Turkey Trivia

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Turkey has been an American culinary staple for centuries with a substantial impact on our history, traditions, and economy. It was Benjamin Franklin who once proposed the turkey to be our national bird, an argument that could today be backed by the turkey industry’s reported 440,000-plus jobs and $109 billion total economic impact.

With a more lighthearted Back Page this issue, we pose the below questions to you, our TEI family. If you’re stumped, or to see if you’ve earned your turkey expert designation, you can find the answers by scrolling down to the end of this page. Happy feasting!

  1. What early 19th-century novel and its author are largely credited with identifying turkey as the main entrée in a Thanksgiving feast?

  2. In October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as an official holiday. In that same year, his son Tad argued that a turkey, which had been gifted to Lincoln shortly after the proclamation, should not be eaten but kept as a pet, to which Lincoln agreed. What did Tad name that turkey?

  3. Who was the first US president to officially pardon a Thanksgiving turkey, and in which year did he do so?

  4. According to the National Turkey Federation’s Turkey Feeds America project, an economic study venture that captures the economic impact of the US turkey industry, how much, in billions, does the turkey industry generate in annual taxes?
















Answers: 1. Northwood by Sarah Josepha Hale; 2. Jack; 3. President John F. Kennedy, 1963; 4. $8.5 billion

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