History of Thanksgiving

  • Origins of Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 when the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for a harvest
  • Letter was Discovered

    A letter from Edward Winslow was discovered which said the feast that happened in 1621 was the "first thanksgiving". The letter was discovered by historian Alexander Young.
  • Lobbying for Holiday

    Sarah Hale began lobbying to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wanted to make it the last Thursday of November.
  • Thanksgiving becomes National Holiday

    After the Union's victories during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared just a day of thanksgiving. He then received a letter from Sara Hale and agreed to making Thanksgiving a national holiday during the last Thursday of each month.
  • Breaking the Tradition

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the tradition to having Thanksgiving on the next-to-last Thursday of each month. The reason behind the change was to extend the Christmas shopping season by a week.
  • Changes for Good

    President Roosevelt signed legislation making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of each month. This was done to avoid confusion
  • Thanksgiving Becomes Holiday

    General George Washington gave orders to make December 18, 1977 a day for "Thanksgiving and Praise". He did this to celebrate the American Revolution.