Thanksgiving Eagle, You Mean They Did Not Eat Turkey?

Thanksgiving Infographic

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I thought I’d go light on the text and heavy on the picture with an infographic. I always assumed that some of the things we celebrate at Thanksgiving were things that have been altered or revised over the years. I know some people don’t like turkey, some in my family don’t. How do you think they’d react (being endangered and American mascot aside) to being served eagle for Thanksgiving?  In fact, some say that turkey was not even served the first year. I also can’t imagine it lasting for three days. We get enough of the food as it is, but can you imagine three days of feasting? Finally, while much has changed regarding the holiday over the years, I find it amusing that the Detroit Lions have always been, and still are hapless (no offense to Lions fans). I hope that everyone has a safe and satisfying Thanksgiving.

Some Thanksgiving Facts

Browse more data visualization.


What was the most surprising “fact’ that stands out to you from the Thanksgiving infographic? What traditions do you have that you celebrate on Thanksgiving?





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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. You can connect via Twitter / Facebook.

50 comments on “Thanksgiving Eagle, You Mean They Did Not Eat Turkey?

  1. Do we really know these to be fact? I’m always skeptical but the jingle bells “fact” caught me off guard. My favorite part of that graphic: “Gobble. The End” made me laugh for some reason. We don’t really have any special traditions that are family only, just do whatever pretty much. This year we’re not even cooking – going out. And by “we” I mean 4 people.
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  2. I didn’t know Madison decided on 2 Thanksgivings in 1 year! How awesome…you get the day off (well, probably not back then) and you get to stuff your face. What a great president. lol.

    I also can’t believe that ate Eagle; that’s just too weird for me to think about! Although it’s very possible, but they’d be much harder to hunt down than the fat/lazy/slow turkeys.
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    • I did not know that either Jason. Another day to feast must’ve been awesome. ;)

      I thought the same exact thing about the eagle. Turkeys make much more sense to me to hunt.

    • Thanks Grayson. I could not agree more with your sentiment. Now Walmart is in the news because they’re ticked that their employees don’t want to work on the Holiday.

      I am not certain I’d eat eagle, probably the whole nation’s national bird and everything.

    • I know, it was to me as well. You know, I am not a big pumpkin pie fan. I think it has to do with the consistency. I’ll take a pumpkin muffin or cake anytime, but the pie I can do without.

    • Thanks John! I totally agree about eating an eagle. I don’t that I’d physically have a problem with trying it but mentally would be hard to get past it.

      You have a Happy Thanksgiving as well!

  3. Bah, couldn’t they have left out the Lions losing every year. It’s hard enough to watch it. A lot of my co-workers go to the game and have a blast.
    And on a bright side, a few years ago they took the bald eagle off of the endangered species list. Though I doubt most people would want to eat them.
    Have a Happy T-day John.
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    • I know, I debated whether or not to say something about it but I could not pass it up. Although, my Cowboys are unfortunately not doing much better.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving Justin!

    • Same here. We don’t have a whole lot of traditions either. I actually can’t stand pumpkin pie, I think it has to do with the consistency. But, I’ll take pumpkin bread, muffins or cake anytime. :)

    • It is. Although, I imagine that he did it to encourage people to shop and spend money to help the economy as we were still in the middle of The Great Depression, so there was a valid reason behind it.

    • I know it was a bit surprising. Though, I am not certain I entirely buy it. I am sure there probably are some sort of Turkey day songs out there, but are probably rather old.

    • Yea, but there was a much better reason back then. We were still in the middle of The Great Depression and thus it was hoped it would help stimulate the economy. A bit more of an honorable reason then the commercialization that it is now.

  4. I’m not surprised they ate eagle – not turkey – at the first Thanksgiving. When our Founding Fathers were debating which bird to make our national symbol, there was a large party that thought it should be the turkey, which is apparently a much “smarter” bird than the eagle, which is apparently rather dumb, despite it’s majestic look.
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    • Yea, I don’t know that it’s really surprising to me…especially knowing our history. The thing that surprises me is that they could catch it and catch enough to eat it. I’d imagine that eagle would be tough to hunt, but then again I am not really much of a hunter. Thanks for stopping by!

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