REGION — Here are few facts about turkeys that you might not have known. One of the first meals ever eaten by human beings off-planet, which involved the astronauts circling the moon on Christmas Eve 1969, was contained in foil packets and consisted of roasted turkey and trimmings normally associated with a turkey dinner. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the surface of the moon at the time, and had packaged turkey with them, but it’s not clear if they ate it.
Turkey fossils in the United States and Canada date back more than five million years.
Several historians say it’s possible the Pilgrims ate wild turkey at the first Thanksgiving. It’s more likely, however, they ate venison, pheasant, goose and duck.
And as everyone knows, Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter and told her he thought the wild turkey should be the official bird of America, instead of the bald eagle. He wrote of the eagle, “He is a Bird of bad moral Character,” but of the wild turkey he wrote, “For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.”