A Brief History of Thanksgiving

 The first Thanksgiving was observed the fall of 1621. Governor Bradford decreed there should be a day of thanks to celebrate harvest.(1)

During colonial days thanksgiving was celebrated after the fall harvest however there was no uniform observance until October 1777. In 1789 George Washington became the first president to declare a Thanksgiving holiday.(2)

Journalist Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for a national observance of Thanksgiving for about forty years. In 1863 in an effort to unite the country President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.(3)

In effort to increase the Christmas shopping season President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November from 1939-1941. Due to public outcry congress passed joint resolution returning Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November. (4)

Notes

  1. Damon Goldsmith, Thanksgiving History, [available on-line http://www.infoplease.com/spot/tgturkey1.html last accessed 17 November 2007. ]
  2. Ibid.
  3. Jerry Wilson, The Thanksgiving Story, [available on-line http://wilstar.com/holidays/thankstr.htm, last accessed 17 November 2007.]
  4. Ibid.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s