United States celebrates Thanksgiving Day

United States celebrates Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving 2016 is November 24, giving Americans a chance to take a pause and share what they are thankful for.

For many, it includes going through the same traditions year after year.

You might enjoy getting up early to watch the parades on television, going out to see parades in person or heading out to a football game.

For each tradition, there’s a story for how it began.

Much of what we know about that first Thanksgiving also comes from Mourt’s Relation: A Relation or Journal of the Beginning and Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plimouth in New England, which was written by Edward Winslow and Bradford.

Although President George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1789, it wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln declared it a federal holiday in 1863 that it was given official status. The declaration came during the height of the civil war.

Abraham Lincoln Online notes that Lincoln was inspired to do so after magazine editor Sarah Josephna Hale sent a letter to him in September 1863, asking that Thanksgiving be made a fixed national holiday.

Just days after receiving Hale’s letter, Lincoln issued his proclamation. In it, he made his case for a day in which all Americans worldwide can pause for a day of thanks.

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