Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

Native Americans hunted wild turkeys, which were often used in celebrations

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As you finish off your last drumstick, have you ever wondered why turkey, and not some other bird, adorns the Thanksgiving Day table?

We were instructed in school that turkey was on the table when the Pilgrims in Plymouth sat down for the First Thanksgiving in 1621. Guy McLain, the executive director of the Museum of Springfield History, told 22News that turkey was the bird of choice among Native Americans at the time.

“The Native Americans definitely hunted the bird and used it for their feasts, their celebrations, and as a food source,” McLain said.

And as you polish off that last slice of turkey, do you know how the bird got its name?

“The reason it has the name ‘turkey,’ is because everyone thought that it was similar to a waterfowl that was imported from the Middle East, Constantinople, which of course, is Turkey,” McLain said.