Whether you're happily chatting away or stuck sitting next to a distant relative you suspect might be a mute, here are five fun holiday facts to use for conversation starters at the Thanksgiving table.
1. The Humane Society of the United States reports that Ben Franklin was so impressed with turkeys that he called them "a bird of courage" and suggested that the turkey be the national bird instead of the eagle.
3. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 28 places in the country named "Plymouth" after Plymouth Rock, where the pilgrims first landed -- including Plymouth, Minn. Also, there is a township named "Pilgrim" in Dade County, Mo., and a city named "Mayflower" in Faulkner County, Ariz.
4. According to the Farmers' Almanac, pilgrims and settlers made early pumpkin pies by hollowing out the pumpkin and filling the shell with milk, honey and spices. Then they baked it.
5. In 1924, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was organized by immigrant employees who used floats, bands and animals from the Central Park Zoo. There were no balloons. In 1927, the animals were replaced with the large balloons similar to what you see today.
Do you know of any other little-known Thanksgiving facts?