History of Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Indians shared an autumn feast that is known today as Thanksgiving. For more than 200 years, Thanksgiving was celebrated by colonies and states; however, it wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday to be celebrated every fourth Thursday in November.

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday in November. Due to this, 32 states issued a similar proclamation, and 16 states refused to accept it. So for two years, half of the country celebrated Thanksgiving on the second to last Thursday in November, and the other half celebrated Thanksgiving the following week.

Florida, Texas, Maine, and Virginia all declare themselves the first site of Thanksgiving; however, Spanish explorers and English colonists celebrated religious services of Thanksgiving long before. However, no one knew about this celebration until the 20th Century because the celebrations were isolated.

Traditions are not the only thing celebrated on Thanksgiving, we also have all the food.

“My favorite food to eat for Thanksgiving is green bean casserole,” stated Haley McClanahan (12).

A Thanksgiving meal usually consists of Turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving began with colonists going out to hunt turkeys or easier prey such as geese or ducks. The Indians contributed too. They would bring fish, eels, shellfish, vegetables, and beer.

“My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with my family and the food,” stated Addison Miller (12).

Thanksgiving is a Holiday that has been celebrated for over 300 years and will continue to be celebrated for many years to come.     

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