Holiday highlights: Fun facts about celebrations

Holiday Highlights

Year National Family Literacy Day, Nov. 1, was established: 1994

Difference in the number of words heard by children of professional parents before age 4 and those heard by children of parents on welfare: 30 million

Difference in IQ scores at age 3 between both groups, with offspring of talkative professionals scoring higher: 25

Projected completion date for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC, under construction since November 2010: November 2012

Percent of Americans who say their favorite aspect of Thanksgiving is having the day off work: 38

Percent who say it’s spending time with their family: 14

Tons of turkey Swanson had left in 1953, after the company overestimated the amount Americans would buy for Thanksgiving: 260

Number of trays Swanson salesman Gerry Thomas ordered to fill with surplus turkey, along with stuffing, sweet potatoes, and peas, to create the first TV dinners: 5,000

Percent of turkeys sold in the U.S. that come from factory farms, where they’re bred to be so meaty they can’t walk: 99

Percent of Americans whose favorite Thanksgiving side dish is potatoes: 53

Percent who favor cranberry sauce: 16

Percent of holiday shoppers who expect to compare prices and buy gifts online: 69

Last day U.S. savings bonds, a favorite holiday gift from grandparents to grandchildren, will be sold in paper form and not electronically: Jan. 1, 2012

Sources:, DAV Magazine, Curve, Time, Newsweek,, WWD, Daily Record