- Thanksgiving Page

In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim's fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.

The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.

The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.

In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.

Turkey Size (lbs.)
Refrigerator (Days)
Cold Water (Hours)
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What is the best way to thaw a turkey? There are three ways to safely thaw a turkey, but refrigerator thawing is recommended. Defrost the turkey in its original wrapper on a tray in the refrigerator 24 hours for every 5 pounds. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.

You may also place the wrapped turkey in the sink and cover it completely with cold water. This method requires about 30 minutes per pound. Change the water every 30 minutes to make sure it stays cold.  If the wrapping is torn, place the turkey in another plastic bag, close securely, and then place in water.

For thawing, in the microwave, check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size of turkey that will fit into your oven, the minutes per pound and the power level to use for thawing. Cook immediately after thawing.

© 2008 -
The famous Eric Thornton Thanksgiving Gantt Chart has been frequently requested and
is now available here:

To assist with your holiday planning, a chart for thawing times may be found
at the bottom of this page