The history of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation notes “there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.”

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national holiday in 1863. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping.

1. Nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

2. White meat is generally preferred in the United States, while other countries choose dark meat, which has more calories and fat. A typical turkey has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark.

3. Turkey consumption has nearly doubled over the past 25 years. In 2012, per capita consumption of turkey was 16 pounds, compared to 8.3 pounds in 1975.

4. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 at $50.11, a 70-cent increase from the 2014 price. The menu includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk.

5. For more than 30 years, professionally trained turkey experts have staffed a Turkey Talk-Line every November and December, answering more than 100,000 questions. The staff at the other end of the line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL eat soup during the marathon days preceding the big meal and as crunch time arrives on Thanksgiving Day. It’s easy to handle and said to soothe the voice.

The home economists get plenty of serious questions about thawing and cooking the bird, but also queries about how to remove a Chihuahua that had crawled into the cavity of the raw bird and couldn’t be extricated, kids who parked their toy cars in it as Mom turned her back for other preparations, and whether it was safe to use a chain saw to cut it up — the concern was whether chain oil was harmful to eat. (From

6. In a survey of folks age 50 and up, AARP discovered that three-quarters of Thanksgiving Day hosts would welcome a daughter-in-law or son-in-law taking over the celebration, and 6 percent said their in-law had already taken over.