The Thanksgiving holiday or celebration is in fact celebrated in many countries. Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival and celebrates the harvest when it is completed and the work is done. Worldwide, harvest celebrations are observed with different names and at different times depending on the harvest season of the country. Ask questions here about the origin and traditions surrounding Thanksgiving such as foods served, giving thanks, and parades.
Asked in Thanksgiving, US Presidents, Abraham Lincoln
When did Thanksgiving become a national holiday?
President Lincoln signed a proclamation in 1863 asking "all Americans to ask God to "commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife" and to "heal the wounds of the nation." He made the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day. Congress would riot make Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1870. The first official US holidays were declared by Congress on June 28, 1870. New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day were all declared holidays in the first act. George Washington's Birthday was declared a holiday in 1871. Interesting Facts: According to Title 5 of the US Code, neither Congress or the President has the authority to declare a holiday that must be enforced by the states - Federal holidays are only applicable to Federal employees and the District of Columbia. Each state chooses which holidays it will recognize. QUOTE: "The act of June 28, 1870, which was apparently prompted by a memorial drafted by local "bankers and business men," provided that New Year's Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, and "any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fasting or thanksgiving [were] to be holidays within the District." This legislation was drafted "to correspond with similar laws of States around the District,"3 and "in every State of the Union."
Asked in Thanksgiving
When where and how did Thanksgiving originate?
The original Thanksgiving appears to have been an offshoot of the harvest festivals, or harvest-home ceremonies, in England. During these ceremonies, people set aside days specifically for the purpose of thanking God for their plentiful harvest. There were also Thanksgiving harvest festivals in some European nations, such as the Erntedankfest in Germany, a tradition still continued today. It remains hotly debated where and when the first Thanksgiving actually came about. Thanksgiving is traditionally associated with the arrival of the Pilgrims. During the early 17th century, all religion in England was strictly dictated by the government, and all were required to conform to severe religious restrictions. Individual beliefs and independent ways to worship were forbidden, punishable by jailing, torture and even execution. Seeking escape from religious suppression, a group known as the Pilgrims departed England on the ship Mayflower. They arrived at Plymouth Rock in southeastern Massachusetts in December 1620, but due to native hostility, moved further along the coast to Cape Cod, where they were greeted more cordially. These Indians, the Wampanoag, helped the new colony to survive, by showing the colonists how to plant corn (maize) and how to catch alewives, a type of herring, to use as a fertilizer when growing pumpkins, beans, etc. Just under a year later, in 1621 and following a successful harvest, they celebrated their bounty as well as their new freedom with a huge feast - thus was Thanksgiving started. For this first harvest festival, lasting some three days, the colonists invited the Wampanoag people, to show their gratitude. It is believed that the natives also supplied much of the food, particularly venison. It is believed that the first "Day of Thanksgiving" actually occurred before the arrival of the Pilgrims. This festival was completely religious in nature, and did not involve any feasting. On 4 December 1619, a group of settlers from England arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River, now known as Charles City, Virginia. This group dedicated this day of their arrival as a Day of Thanksgiving to God. So it can be seen that, while the US celebrates Thanksgiving based on the Pilgrim festival, towns or countries called days of thanksgiving several years before that event. Those days were usually called to celebrate a specific event, rather than an ongoing celebration. It is even believed that the holiday occurred earlier: some sources say it was celebrated on 8 September 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida. This story has its origins in the fact that Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles invited the Timucua Indians to a celebratory meal in St Augustine after a thanksgiving Mass celebrating his and his crew's safe arrival. This was the first recorded celebration of a meal specifically for thanksgiving. Other claims to the first Thanksgiving include: The 1513 landing of Juan Ponce De Leon in Florida Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's service of thanksgiving in the Texas Panhandle in 1541 Two other claims for thanksgiving observances in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and 1610 There is a Canadian claim that the first thanksgiving was Martin Frobisher's 1576 thanksgiving on Baffin Island. In 1863 Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by President Lincoln. It was officially changed to the fourth Thursday in November when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. Click on the related questions below to find out more about the history of Thanksgiving.
Asked in Thanksgiving
In what year was Thanksgiving declared a national holiday?
The first proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick(sic) Thanksgiving and Prayer." Signed by Washington on October 3, 1789 and entitled "General Thanksgiving," On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for the observance of the fourth Tuesday of November as a national holiday. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy). After a storm of protest, Roosevelt changed the holiday again in 1941 to the fourth Thursday in November, where it stands today.
Asked in Thanksgiving, Dance
What is the traditional Thanksgiving dance?
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What US president made Thanksgiving a national holiday?
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both made proclamations to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, it was not a fixed holiday with states celebrating on different days. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War, on October 3, 1863. He asked that the nation give thanks for the Union on the last Thursday of November. That made the first true national autumn Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26, 1863, recognizing a long-standing New England tradition of placing the holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. He did it partially to help soothe the national mood, which was weary of the Civil War. He declared Thanksgiving again for November 23, 1864. In 1865, his successor, Andrew Johnson, declared a Thanksgiving for December 7, 1865, and presidents traditionally declared a Thanksgiving for every autumn since. (Andrew Johnson was the first to give government employees the day off, making it a legal holiday.) In 1941, Congress passed a bill, and FDR signed it, that fixed the date as the fourth Thursday in November. FDR attempted to move the holiday to the third Thursday in November, but Congress enacted a law to fix the date at the fourth Thursday in November, thus making it an "official" holiday. On November 26, 1941, FDR signed the bill. See the Related Link for a complete time line of the history of Thanksgiving. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1863 with the Thanksgiving Declaration. Thanksgiving was always held on the last Thursday of November that was the day President Lincoln observed the holiday when he declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863; however, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, changed the date of Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November. A law was passed by Congress on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
Asked in Thanksgiving, Commercials, Macy's
What channel is Seattle's Macy's Parade on?
Which American President established Thanksgiving as a national holiday?
President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War, on October 3, 1863. He asked that the nation give thanks for the Union on the last Thursday of November. That made the first true national autumn Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26, 1863, recognizing a long-standing New England tradition of placing the holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. He did it partially to help soothe the national mood, which was weary of the Civil War. He declared Thanksgiving again for November 23, 1864. In 1865, his successor, Andrew Johnson, declared a Thanksgiving for December 7, 1865, and presidents traditionally declared a Thanksgiving for every autumn since. (Andrew Johnson was the first to give government employees the day off, making it a legal holiday.) In 1941, Congress passed a bill, and FDR signed it, that fixed the date as the fourth Thursday in November. FDR attempted to move the holiday to the third Thursday in November, but Congress enacted a law to fix the date at the fourth Thursday in November, thus making it an "official" holiday. On November 26, 1941, FDR signed the bill. See the Related Link for a complete time line of the history of Thanksgiving. George Washington was the first President to declare a national day of Thanksgiving.
Asked in Relationships, Thanksgiving
What is the best theme for unity and Thanksgiving?
Asked in Thanksgiving, Synonyms and Antonyms, Iditarod
What is another name sometimes given for Thanksgiving?
Asked in Dallas Cowboys, Thanksgiving, Fundraising
What is the name of the charity fundraising campaign kicked off by the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day?
Where was the first Thanksgiving in North America?
Why is the Shrek balloon being retired from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade?
Asked in Thanksgiving, New York City, Macy's
How do you get into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
Dancers: In order to participate in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, dancers have to audition and receive an invitation. Auditions for dancers for the 2011 parade were held at New York City's Binary Park on August 27. Any child from 12-16 could audition. Performers pay their own travel expenses plus an $895.00 participation fee. Bands: Bands must fill out an application, which is available at a Related Link below.