On Nov. 23, Americans will celebrate their oldest tradition: the observance of Thanksgiving, which dates back to 1621. The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an opportunity to test your knowledge of the history and customs of the nearly 400-year-old holiday.
1. The first credited Thanksgiving was celebrated at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. How long was the first Thanksgiving feast?
A. One day
B. Three days
C. Five days
D. One week
2. What was the name of the Native American leader of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who forged an alliance with the English settlers and attended the First Thanksgiving feast with 90 of his men?
3. The Pilgrims arrived at what would become Plymouth Plantation aboard the Mayflower. The ship on which they originally set sail was taking on water so the passengers and crew transferred to the Mayflower. What was the name of the ship on which the Pilgrims originally sailed?
A. Mary Celeste
B. RMS Carpathia
C. Mary Rose
4. George Washington was asked by the U.S. Congress to establish a day of Thanksgiving. What was the year of America's first Thanksgiving, as designated by the federal government?
5. While Washington declared the first Day of Thanksgiving to be observed by the government, which president made it a national holiday?
A. Theodore Roosevelt
B. James Madison
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. Ulysses S. Grant
6. What is the name of the author and editor who led the national campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday?
A. Sarah Josepha Hale
B. Walt Whitman
C. Jacob Riis
D. Nellie Bly
7. Which common Thanksgiving food likely was not served at the first Thanksgiving?
8. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Thanksgiving would be moved up an entire week, at the request of Fred Lazarus Jr., whose family owned F&R Lazarus in Columbus, Ohio, and the national Federated Department Stores chain. This was done to make the Christmas shopping season longer and more profitable for businesses. What company did Federated eventually own?
A. Lord & Taylor
C. F.W. Woolworth Company
9. Which of America's Founding Fathers wanted the turkey to be America's national bird, rather than the eagle?
A. George Washington
B. Samuel Adams
C. Benjamin Franklin
D. James Madison
10. Which president first pardoned a turkey at the urging of his son, who had taken a liking to the bird and given it the name "Tom"?
A. Theodore Roosevelt
B. Abraham Lincoln
C. Ulysses S. Grant
D. Grover Cleveland
(Answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-B, 5-C, 6-A, 7-B, 8-D, 9-C, 10-B)
Roger L. Beckett is executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.