Thanksgiving by the numbers
Minnesota and North Carolina boast this year's top titles for turkey production. Minnesota expects to raise 44 million birds, with North Carolina right behind at 43 million. Arkansas will raise 26 million; Missouri and Virginia, 24 million each; and California, 19 million. Together, those six states - with 180 million birds - will account for two-thirds of this year's US turkeys.
North Carolina produced more sweet potatoes than any other state in 2000, digging up 555 million pounds of the tubers, followed by Louisiana and California. For cranberry production, Wisconsin takes top place, growing 195 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts.
In 1999, the average American gobbled up 14 pounds of turkey, but only four pounds of sweet potatoes. Between 1980 and 1999, annual turkey consumption jumped 74 percent.
When it comes to city names, towns across America are talking turkey. Eleven townships are named "Turkey," three of them in Kansas alone. According to Census 2000 results, Turkey, Texas, was the most populous of the bird's namesakes, with 494 residents. Turkey Creek, La., was home to 356 people that year, and 262 called Turkey, N.C., their pecking grounds.