While the vast majority of America’s population associate Thanksgiving Day with food feasting, family time, football watching and eating a turkey, most of them have never known that modern celebrations of the holiday have a little resemblance with primary traditions and circumstances of the establishment of this popular feast. Read the following facts to get a better understanding of what Thanksgiving Day is and how it appeared.

Amazing Facts

  • It is believed that Thanksgiving Day dates back to 1621, the year, when Pilgrims survived a harsh winter and were celebrating the first successful harvest together with local Native Americans, who had helped them to get accustomed to the new territory. Though, Pilgrims didn’t have an aim to establish a new holiday and their three day feast of eating and hunting was held on the occasion of simply showing thankfulness for having a rich harvest. The tradition was retrieved in 1789 and developed into annual celebrations, which are observed across the whole America.
  • In 1789, President Washington proclaimed November 26 as the first national holiday, though, the tradition of the annual celebration wasn’t popular until the 19th century.
  • Sara Josepha Hale was the American writer, whose impact, endless efforts and a 30-year campaign concerning the establishment and observance of Thanksgiving Day led to the proclamation of the last Thursday of November as the official date of celebrations, issued by President Lincoln in 1863.
  • In 1939 President Roosevelt made an attempt to change the traditions of the celebration of Thanksgiving Day and suggested rescheduling the holiday to November 23 with the aim to extend a holiday shopping season. However, the suggestion was widely criticized, so in 1941 Roosevelt abandoned his attempts and signed a bill, which officially made the last Thursday of November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day. Since that time, one of the most popular holidays of the USA has been observed annually without changes.
  • In 1989, Thanksgiving Day acquired one more interesting tradition of celebrations, which is known as the First Official Pardon to a Turkey. This tradition was started by President George Bush and continued by all the following Presidents of America.
  • Talking about the traditional menu for Thanksgiving table, its modern composition differs a lot from what was served by Pilgrims in 1620s. While, for our ancestors venison and Indian corn served as main courses, nowadays, they are replaced by a turkey, pumpkin pie and cranberries.

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday, which serves as a bright example of the Americans’ cultural diversity, folk’s unity and ability to preserve traditions. To celebrate it consciously, you should be aware of the history of its origin.