In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving.
Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday. (Which no doubt lead to Black Friday).
114.7 million - number of households across America, many of which will be serving turkey dinner on this day.
254 million - The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2012. That is up 2 percent from the number raised during 2011.
672,370 tons - The 2012 production of snap (green) beans in the United States. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (309,010 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
768 million pounds - The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2012. Wisconsin is estimated to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 450 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 210 million).
1.1 billion pounds - Total production of pumpkins in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2011. Illinois led the country by producing an estimated 520 million pound. California, Pennsylvania and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds.
Source: United States Census Bureau