Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November. It commemorates the giving of the Thanksgiving Address by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, during the American Civil War, and celebrates traditional aspects of American culture such as family unity, agriculture, and the harvest.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. The custom of Thanksgiving was continued by other groups of settlers and became an annual event. In 1789, George Washington proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be observed on November 26. After Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday of November. In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it to the fourth Thursday to extend the Christmas shopping season.
The modern Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in religious and cultural traditions from Europe and North America. The English settled in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and established the first permanent British colony in North America. The Puritans, who settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620, were big on thanksgivings. They believed that God had helped them survive their perilous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and establish their new homes.
Over time, various religious denominations developed their own prayers and celebrations of thanksgiving. In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale—editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular women’s magazine—launched a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote letters to governors, congressmen, and presidents, asking them to support her cause. Hale’s campaign was successful, and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving.
Since then, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks for blessings received during the year. Traditions include gathering with family and friends for a feast that includes roast turkey or ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pie, and coffee or tea. Some people also attend religious services or perform acts of charity during Thanksgiving Day.
Whatever your plans are, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from Zagline.