Quiz: You think you know Thanksgiving history? Prove it

·3 min read

This is a Thanksgiving history quiz from James Toedtman, a retired journalist living in Savannah.

The Pilgrims gathered together 400 years ago this month to give thanks for surviving their transatlantic voyage and surviving the first year in North America. Here are a few questions to test your knowledge of this day of gratitude, which has been celebrated since George Washington declared Nov. 26, 1789 as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” and on the fourth Thursday of November since 1942.

1. Georgia’s first “Day of Publick Thanksgiving” was celebrated on July 25, 1742. Why?

a) Gov. James Oglethorpe had signed a treaty with the Yamacraw leader Tomochichi;

b) religious leaders gave thanks that Hurricane San Judas Tadeo passed Georgia;

c) a Georgia colonial fleet defeated an invading Spanish armada at Cumberland Island;

d) local religious leaders celebrated the 250th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America.

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for Americans.
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for Americans.

2. Which of the following settlements never claimed to have America’s first Thanksgiving feast?

a) Christopher Columbus’ colony at Salt River Bay, St. Croix, 1493;

b) St. Elizario, Texas, in 1598;

c ) St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565;

d) Berkeley Plantation, Virginia; 1619;

e ) Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, 1621

3. What is the first line of the hymn that the Plymouth settlers likely sang during their Thanksgiving celebration?

a) We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;

b) Over the river and through the woods;

c) Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

d) All people that on earth do dwell.

4. Live turkeys have been presented to the White House every November since 1947. Who was the first president to pardon a turkey?

a) Harry S Truman;

b) John F. Kennedy;

d) Jimmy Carter;

e ) Ronald Reagan

5. After a stormy, freezing 66-day trans-Atlantic voyage, the small band of settlers, several wives and children reached America. What was their original destination?

a) Chesapeake Bay;

b) Delaware Bay;

c) Hudson River;

d) Plymouth Rock.

6. There were 102 passengers when the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth. How many survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving?

a) 52;

b) 62;

c) 72;

d) 82.

7. In the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” what did Standish ask John Alden to do?

a) Loan him a tie;

b) write a love letter for him;

c) propose to Priscilla Mullins in Standish’s name;

d) Lead a return voyage back to London.

8. According to bylaws of James Oglethorpe’s original Savannah colony, what group of people were specifically prevented from settling here?

a) Catholics;

b) lawyers;

c) pirates;

d) Methodists;

e) preachers

9. Because of the COVID pandemic, Black Friday foot traffic and in-store sales fell 22% last year. But Cyber Monday sales soared. Online sales totaled $6.6 billion in 2017. How high was that figure in 2020?

a) $7-9 billion;

b) $9-11 billion;

c) $12-14 billion.

10. Which one of the following retailers has so far survived the reshaping of American retailers and will have stores open the big Thanksgiving shopping weekend?

a) FAO Schwarz;

b) Toys R Us;

c) F.W. Woolworth;

d) Lord & Taylor;

e) Brooks Brothers.

11.Which of the following was likely NOT on the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving dinner table?

a) wild turkey;

b) fish;

c ) venison;

d ) knives;

e) forks.

12. Squanto, the Native American and neighbor, befriended the Pilgrims, who had set their colony on his tribe’s summer campground. His friendship, especially during the first winter, is sometimes credited with saving the colony. Which of the following is NOT true?

a) He was a member of the Patuxent tribe;

b) he had been captured by an English adventurer and spoke English;

c) he taught pilgrims to use fish as fertilizer for growing corn;

d) he was chief of his tribe.

ANSWERS: 1-c; 2-a; 3-d; 4-b; 5-c ; 6-a; 7-c; 8-b ; 9-b; 10-e; 11- e; 12-d

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Thanksgiving history quiz to test reader knowledge about holiday

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