Thanksgiving brings happiness, peace and good will. But our much-loved Thanksgiving feasts, parades and NFL games have also been the scene of some of America’s greatest scandals.
Read on and enjoy some outrageous Thanksgiving moments. But be warned, you might never see it in the same way again!
The Founding Fix
Thanksgiving 1906 saw national outrage over America’s first pro- football betting scandal. The Bullldog’s coach Blondy Wallace is alleged to have fixed a three game series between his team and the Tigers. After the second game this led to a giant bar brawl in the Courtland Hotel.
The public shock at such unsporting game fixing was so severe that barely anyone attended the Thanksgiving final and the players went unpaid. Wallace later sued for libel, before resorting to bootlegging in Atlantic City, and being jailed for tax evasion.
Thanksgiving is also the date of one of America’s most infamous unsolved crimes, described in Chuck Brodsky’s “Ballad of D. B. Cooper”:
It was Thanksgiving eve, back in 1971.
He had on a pair of sunglasses, there wasn’t any sun. He used the name Dan Cooper when he paid for the flight. That was going to Seattle on that cold and nasty night.
‘Mr Cooper’ boarded a Portland plane and once airborne calmly showed the stewardess a bomb and demanded $200,000. At Seattle he took delivery of the cash and released the passengers.
Back in the air he parachuted out over the mountains and was never seen again. But in 1980 three marked cash bundles were found on the Columbia River, even this Thanksgiving treasure hunters are still scouring the river for the lost cash.
Don’t Rain on My Parade
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has been the scene of some giant inflatable mishaps. In 1957 an inflatable Popeye the Sailor sported a 50 gallon hat. But torrential rain that day meant it filled with water, meaning as he turned- a deluge of icy water hit the crowd.
Forty years later a six story Cat in the Hat hit a 72d St and Central Park West lamppost, knocking a woman into a coma until Christmas. On recovery she sued the city for $395 million.
Speaking of lawsuits, no Thanksgiving is complete without a Turkey related claim. The crack of a wishbone means luck. But not to the little company who patented a plastic wishbone. They claimed Sears stole their idea and sued them, calling in a bird-expert from the Florida Museum of Natural History.
He listed seven “pretty blatant” ways Sears had copied their bone and the company won $1.7 million. This is good news for all Thanksgivers, as with an endless supply of plastic wishbone, everyone can be lucky!