The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs about 16 pounds and is 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. The National Turkey Federation estimated that in 2011, Americans gobble up 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving–that’s almost 3 pounds of poultry per person, according to statistics from the National Turkey Federation.
The first Thanksgiving in 1621 didn’t include mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie or cranberries. Deer, rabbit and squash were served and historians believe that lobster, seal and swan may have been served as well. While fowl was on the menu, the bird of choice was probably not turkey.
A celebration on a specific day every year didn’t occur until President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.