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The History of How Thanksgiving Came to Be

An overview of this national holiday’s origins

The history of how Thanksgiving came to be can be seen in different lights depending on who you are and what your background is. Nonetheless, it’s still an annual tradition that’s practiced globally.

The original date of the actual holiday was really supposed to be on the last Thursday of November, however, due to President Roosevelt wanting to drive sales in retail during the gloomy days during the Great Depression, he decided to push the date back by one week. Therefore, making the yearly tradition happening on the third Thursday of the month instead. Even though it’s pretty much a well known fact that Thanksgiving Day doesn’t always land on the exact third Thursday of every year, it’s still nationally celebrated in honor of the blessings everyone has received in the past year(s).

Sarah Josepha Hale was a writer, editor, and the author of the popular children’s book “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and ended up writing several letters to all of the positions within the government back in 1827 campaigning for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday. After 36 years of Sarah sending in her opinions on the topic, President Abraham Lincoln eventually gave in and declared Thanksgiving to become a nationally celebrated holiday. New York was actually the first of many states to adopt the tradition, thus, leading a trail for the remaining 49 states to eventually adopt the tradition as well.

The true governmental standpoint behind the symbolization for Thanksgiving was from President George Washington in 1789 saying that “Americans should express their gratitude for a happy ending to the Independence War and the successful ratification of the Constitution.” Present day, we celebrate Thanksgiving to give thanks for all that we are grateful for, to spend time with members of our family from near and far, eat some delicious food together, take some naps, watch or play some sports, and really to just enjoy the day with loved ones.

No matter how the origin of the holiday started, the world is appreciative of it simply existing and being what it’s currently known for today. That’s for us to be truly thankful for all we have to celebrate the moments and to be with our families. 

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!