Fun Holiday Facts

Impress your family with all your new knowledge about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

Here are some fun facts about three upcoming holidays. I chose the three because information about them was readily accessible. Feel free to add your own fun facts about any holidays in the comment box below.


  1. Roughly 280 million turkeys are sold for U.S. Thanksgiving celebrations (from WHSV in Virginia). 
  2. Minnesota produced the most turkeys in 2010 (from National Geographic). 
  3. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday (from National Geographic).
  4. President Franklin Roosevelt established Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November (from National Geographic).
  5. Three cities are named after turkeys: Turkey, TX (population in 2010: 445), Turkey Creek, LA (362), and Turkey NC (272) (from the U.S. Census Bureau). 


  1. Live Christmas tress grow to their typical height of about seven feet between four and 15 years. But seven years is the usual growing time (from the National Christmas Tree Association). 
  2. Decorated Christmas trees were recorded in 1510 in Latvia. "Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then set fire to it. The rose was used for many years and is considered to be a symbol for the Virgin Mary" (from the National Christmas Tree Association). 
  3. Sears, Roebuck & Company offered the first artificial Christmas trees about 1883. Customers could buy 33 limbs for 50 cents or 55 limbs for $1 (from the National Christmas Tree Association). 
  4. The lighting of the first National Christmas Tree was on Dec. 24, 1923 under President Calvin Coolidge (from the Library of Congress).
  5. Christmas Day has been a U.S. federal holiday since 1870 (from the History Channel). 

New Year's 

  1. According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year's Day than on any other holiday throughout the year (all from ).
  2. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year's Day as a symbol of good luck for the upcoming year.
  3. The Time Square New Year's Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks. The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
  4. Because of wartime restrictions, the New Year's Eve ball was not lowered in 1942 and 1943.
  5. Throughout the year, visitors to Times Square in New York City write their New Year's wishes on pieces of official Times Square New Year's Eve confetti. At the end of the year, the wishes are collected and added to the one ton of confetti that showers the crowd gathered in Times Square in celebration of the New Year.
Julie November 15, 2011 at 11:16 PM
248 million turkeys were expected to be raised in 2011, which is 2% more than were raised in 2010. (Source: USDA) Julie http://www.american-history-fun-facts.com
Michael Stone (Editor) November 16, 2011 at 02:00 AM
Good one, Julie. Perhaps a sign of a rebounding economy?


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