Asked in

Who issued the first proclamation making Thanksgiving an annual holiday?


User Avatar
Wiki User
November 24, 2015 11:20PM

George Washington declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1789.

However, the Continental Congress (president John Hanson) made the first actual national proclamation on March 16, 1776. The following year, a national day of prayer and thanksgiving was observed on December 16, 1777. The date of Thursday, November 26, 1789 was the date used by Washington, following the precedent of Thursday, November 28, 1782.

The annual observance was established by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, and observed each year since then.