Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving in the United States

This morning a friend of mine sent me an email containing a Proclamation from a United States President declaring Thanksgiving a National Holiday.  So that got me thinking...What is the real history of Thanksgiving, as we celebrate today?  My google quest began...Here is the annotated version...

When we think of the holiday Thanksgiving, we think the holiday was first celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621 in Massachusetts.  This day was not a holiday for them, however, it was a gathering thanking God for their was a religious day.  Their gathering lasted 3 days,  and did include the Native Americans that helped them survive their first, very difficult,  year here.  They did not repeat the celebration the following year.

The next Thanksgiving celebration was held June 29, 1629, as proclaimed by the governing council of Charleston Massachusetts in recognition of the colonists' recent victory over the "heathen natives".   

In October of 1777,   all 13 colonies joined in a  Thanksgiving celebration, celebrating the victory over the British at Saratoga.

In 1789,  George Washington proclaimed A National Day of Thanksgiving, which Thomas Jefferson later opposed.

It was the efforts of a magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale,  that promted President Abraham Lincoln to proclaim the last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving.  Every year since then, each President has maintained that proclamation.

In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt changed the day Thanksgiving was celebrated in order to provide more time for shopping before Christmas.  This is when we now celebrate Thanksgiving...The fourth Thursday of every Novermber.

I didn't know that...did you?
So how do you celebrate Thanksgiving, and what is you are thankful for?

Source:  The Thanksgiving Story  You can read the full version of Thanksgiving here, along with The Proclamations of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Wishing you all an AWEsome Day, and a Blessed Thanksgiving!


  1. Thanks, Michele for posting your research on Thanksgiving.

    I feel thankful for eyes that can see, and fingers that can work & play, and for a mind that can entertain me with ideas, hopefully for the rest of my life.

    I feel thankful for the beauties of nature, and that we live in an area of the planet that is relatively peaceful.

  2. I enjoyed reading this article and the sentiment. Thank You!


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