Turkey Time

November 22nd, 2010 by Sarah Laleman Ward

It’s Thanksgiving week! What does that mean besides the fact that we all get a long weekend? Usually family, friends and lots and lots of food. Oh, and the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So read on, and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend.

First, the food:

I’m sure someone has said to you (if you are a turkey-eater) that Thanksgiving turkey makes you sleepy because of the presence of tryptophan in the bird. Well, my friends, have I got news for you! It’s not true. Thanks to the good folks at Snopes.com, you can read up on this Thanksgiving myth so you can dispel it once and for all, impressing your family with your investigative prowess. Turns out what makes us sleepy on Thanksgiving is overeating in general, and the turkey is not to blame.

Snopes is a great, free place to turn to if you are tired of getting drawn into email chains/Facebook posts proclaiming some wild rumor that turns out to be a hoax. Snopes claims to be “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation,” so next time someone makes a wild claim on Facebook, check Snopes before widely re-posting, and again impress everyone with your sleuthing.

And now, the parade!

For all the definitive information on this year’s parade, check out this site from Macy’s. You can find out where and when the giant balloons will be inflated (I went last year and it was fun!) as well as some information about the parade’s history. Did you know, in fact, that the parade has only been around since 1924, and that at first it was called the Macy’s Christmas Parade?

I did some digging in our databases, in particular the New York Times Historical database, and ARTstor, and unearthed a few treasures from parades past.

Here’s an excerpt from the Macy’s ad for the very first parade – there’s a lot going on! For the full ad, click the picture (log-in required if off-campus):

And here is an ad from the New York Times following the first parade, thanking those in attendance and announcing that the  parade will now be an annual event (history in the making, folks. to see the full ad, click the image, and log-in in required if off-campus):

In ARTstor, there are tons of great images from parades past, and these are some of my favorites, just because they are slightly menacing:

Creator: Elliott Erwitt; Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos, ©Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos

Creator: Eve Arnold, Image and original data provided by Magnum Photos, ©Eve Arnold / Magnum Photos

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