November 22, 2012 - Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.

In past years, I have talked about:

Did you know...?

  • The first Thanksgiving was eaten without forks. People had spoons, knives, and of course fingers, but the Pilgrims hadn't brought along forks.

  • People in Canada, who celebrate their own Thanksgiving in October, call ours “Yanksgiving.”

  • We have Thanksgiving to thank for TV dinners. (A TV dinner is a frozen dinner that has multiple dishes in a partitioned heating tray.) Way back in 1953, Swanson had a whole lot of frozen turkey left over after Thanksgiving. (To be exact, 260 tons of frozen turkey!) Needing to find SOMETHING to do with all that turkey, someone at Swanson invented the TV dinner.

  • The first meal in space was a turkey dinner. Thanksgiving has been celebrated (complete with turkey dinners) by astronauts on several space shuttles.

Also, today is the anniversary of an eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1842.

Some people reading this headline might protest, “1842?? Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980! I was alive when it happened, I should know!”

However, like most other active volcanoes, Mount Saint Helens has erupted many, many times. It began to grow and erupt 37,600 years ago and kept up sporadic activity until around 6500 BCE. It went dormant for 4,000 years but began to erupt again around 2500 BCE. The volcano was active for 400 years or so and then dormant for 400 years, on and off, off and on, 300 years here and 700 years there, until the year 800 CE. There were several eruptions in the 1500s, and again in the 1600s, and yet again in the 1800s.

Which brings us to the eruption on this date in 1842. A man named the Reverend Josiah Parrish, living in Oregon, saw a column of steam and ash blasting into the sky. Ash reached areas about 50 miles (80 km) away, but there was no reported loss of property or life (and not too many people living in the area, of course!).

Mount Saint Helens continued to spit ash and belch steam, ending with a small eruption in 1857. And then the volcano sat there very quietly, very well behaved, until the devastating eruption of 1980.

Also on this date:


  1. It was good to come across your blog on Thanksgiving day. Would love to visit your blog again.
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