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Stuff You Didn’t Know About “Turkey Day,” Part Two

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 20: Los Angele Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) pass out Thanksgiving meals during Jackson Limousine’s 30th annual turkey giveaway on November 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The limousine company, who accepted donations from several different public organization and citizens, is expected to hand out 10,000 turkeys to people in the community (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Well “turkey day” is finally here. A day we set aside each year to reflect on the things in our lives we are thankful for. Obviously not every event over the past year has been a positive one. However, most of us tend to think positive and to apply more weight to the good things, rather than dwelling on the bad. To keep things light, here are some more tidbits you might not have known about this very special day.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie didn’t make an appearance at the Thanksgiving Day table until the second Thanksgiving. Considering that butter, flour and sugar were not lining Pilgrim grocery store shelves as they are today. I guess they felt something was missing from the first Thanksgiving and seeing all the pumpkins laying around, someone decided to go the extra mile.

The Detroit Lions and Thanksgiving Day Football

Why are we always subjected to the Detroit Lions pro-football team on Thanksgiving Day? The whole thing started back in 1934. G.A. Richards bought the Portsmouth, Ohio Spartans and moved the team to Detroit. In order to convert some fans from the Detroit Tigers baseball team to the Lions, he scheduled a game on Thanksgiving Day with the World Champion Chicago Bears. The game was a sellout, ended up on national radio, and another Thanksgiving Day tradition was born. The only time Detroit did not play on Thanksgiving was a six-year span during World War II.

Black Friday

The term “Black Friday” was first coined in the 1960’s in Philadelphia — then the mall capital of the world. The term refers to stores making enough profit during this single day to end up in the “black” at the end of the year. For many main street retailers it can mean staying in, or going out of, business. It is aptly named the “biggest shopping day of the year.” And there is tons of statistical evidence to make that case. Each year stores seem to open earlier and earlier. People camp out to be first in line to get big screen TV’s and computers at almost “give away” prices. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Look for people with eyes laser focused on their bargain of choice. Do not get between them and their prey.

Cyber Monday Is a Myth

I have to give retailers credit. Why not create another big selling day to compliment Black Friday. We’ll call it “Cyber Monday,” the day when shoppers who still have anything left in their budgets go shopping online. Nice try, but in spite of all the hype and publicity the numbers don’t support Cyber Monday as they do Black Friday. After a few years of tracking we find that more cyber sales are made on other Monday’s in December than on this one “super” hyped shopping day. Not to say that if the myth keeps going it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Retailers can only hope — after all, they did create Black Friday.

Some Final Thoughts

The economy is bad, unemployment is up, more people will be using Food Stamps for their Thanksgiving feast than ever before. On the surface it would seem that finding things to be thankful for would be in short supply. However there are more important things in life than your monetary situation. Be thankful for the good things in your life. Friends, family and that you live in a country with more opportunities than anywhere else on earth. There is always someone worse off than you are. If you can’t help yourself, — help them. Volunteer; donate clothing, anything you can to make life better for someone else will help us all.

I am personally thankful to TownSquare Media for the trust they’ve place in me to write this blog each week and thankful to all of you who take the time to read and comment on it. It’s a job, but it’s also a labor of love.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our great listeners and supporters and make it a point to support the great sponsors that make this blog and our stations possible. Buy local and we’ll all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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