Then there’s the myth of how the presidential pardon of a turkey started with Abraham Lincoln when his son begged his dad to save the animal. Actually, it did not. The tradition goes all the way back in history to 1989, when President George H.W. Bush officially pardoned the first one. According to a perhaps apocryphal story, in 1863, Lincoln’s 10-year-old son, Tad, supposedly became fond of a turkey given to the family for a holiday feast. Tad named the turkey Jack and begged his father to save the animal. Lincoln did. The only problem with that as a Thanksgiving story is that Tad’s plea was to save the Christmas turkey!

 

And, finally, you may hear people say that turkey makes them tired. No, it does not. Turkey contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is thought to have a sedative effect. As it turns out, turkey does not have any more tryptophan than other foods, including chicken, and even if tryptophan did induce tiredness, there is not enough in turkey to do so. So if you are tired after eating Thanksgiving dinner, do not blame the turkey.