The Brownists were English Dissenters or early Separatists from the Church of England. They were named after Robert Browne, who was born at Tolethorpe Hall in Rutland, England, in the 1550s. A majority of the Separatists aboard the Mayflower in 1620 were Brownists, and indeed the Pilgrims were known for 200 years as the Brownist Emigration.
Football on Thanksgiving actually dates back to 1876, when the American Intercollegiate Football Association held its first championship game. Within a decade, more than 5,000 club, college and high school football teams began playing on the holiday, with Princeton and Yale's mythic rivalry drawing on average about 40,000-plus fans.
Water aboard ship was likely to become brackish and potentially deadly, while beer remained drinkable. Captain Christopher Jones recognized the need to preserve the dwindling stocks for his sailors on the return journey, so the passengers were encouraged to land near the top of Cape Cod. These instructions did not sit well with the Pilgrims; William Bradford complained that he and his companions "were hastened ashore and made to drink water, that the seamen might have the more beer."
In a letter to his daughter sent in 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the newly independent United States than the bald eagle (which had earlier been chosen by the Continental Congress). He argued that the turkey was "a much more respectable Bird," "a true original Native of America," and "though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage."