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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Nov. 27, 2008 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

White House apologizes for Hanukkah cards

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A Bush administration spokeswoman said the invitations to this year's White House Hanukkah reception bore images of Christmas trees due to a "staff mistake."

Press Secretary Sally McDonough said staff members erred in failing to print separate cards for invitations to the different holiday events at the White House, CNN reported Thursday.

The cards, which were sent to U.S. Jewish leaders, are emblazoned with an image of the White House Christmas tree being pulled by a horse-drawn cart with a Christmas wreath tacked on to the White House in the background.

"Mrs. Bush is apologetic, It is just something that fell through the cracks," McDonough said.

She said the intended Hanukkah invitations, which bear the image of a menorah given to the White House during the Harry Truman administration, would be sent out Thursday.


Kindergartners give turkey tips

SANTEE, Calif., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Kindergartners at a Santee, Calif., school estimate it takes minutes to cook a Thanksgiving turkey and hours to bake the pumpkin pie.

Kindergartners at Hill Creek Elementary say you should hunt your own turkey, pluck the feathers, chop off the gobbler, take off the beak and the eyes, cover it in turkey sauce and throw it in the oven for about nine minutes, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

For the best pumpkin pie, visit a local farm to find the biggest, tastiest pumpkin, and when you get it home, "wash your hands with soap. And if you sneeze, you have to wash again," said 5-year-old Rachel Bevis, who recommends baking the pie seven hours.

As for the potatoes, make sure you have more than one and then smash them with a thing with a handle, said kindergartners Julia Cosalan and Gabriel Jagab.

"If you just put one potato, everyone will fight over it," Cosalan said.


Original Thanksgiving site up for debate

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Residents in Florida, Texas and Virginia are among the groups saying their state was the site of the first true Thanksgiving feast.

While the traditional U.S. belief regarding the historical pilgrim meal places it in Plymouth, Mass., residents of places such as Charles City, Va., beg to disagree, the Cleveland Plain Dealer said Thursday.

"We know that we're the first official Thanksgiving," Tammy Radcliff, the office manager of Charles City's Berkeley Plantation, said. "We know, yes we do."

Charles City historians claim that while Plymouth Rock dates its Thanksgiving feast back to 1621, the Virginia site enjoyed a similar celebration on Dec. 4, 1619.

Meanwhile, Grace Sanchez of the El Paso Mission Trail Association in Texas, is offering evidence she says proves her state enjoyed the first Thanksgiving in 1598.

The Plain Dealer said the Texas theory revolves around Spanish explorer Juan de Onate and his expedition's celebratory meal upon finding the Rio Grande.

The newspaper said Florida has also thrown its hat into the ring, saying Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles was behind the first Thanksgiving celebration on Sept. 8, 1565, after arriving in the southern state.


Astronauts have Thanksgiving in space

HOUSTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Thanksgiving in space is an unusual place for the traditional feast but it was still turkey, stuffing and yams for U.S. and Russian astronauts, NASA said.

Taking time off before the Endeavour begins its undocking procedure to return to Earth, the 10 gathered in a roomy module called Harmony aboard the International Space Station for their Thanksgiving dinner, The Houston Chronicle reported.

On the menu were smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans and mushrooms, candied yams, cranapple dessert and tea.

The seven U.S. astronauts leave for home Friday. They originally were to return before Thanksgiving but NASA's decision to extend the mission delayed departure.

"It gives us a moment to pause and reflect just how fortunate we are as a country and as global community," Chris Ferguson, Endeavour's commander, said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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