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Fixing the date of the holiday; Thanksgiving Day

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Posted 11-15-2011 at 02:45 PM by lauriebear

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sara Josepha Hale) to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.
It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November.

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  1. Old Comment
    Jeff Westover's Avatar
    Good information on Thanksgiving on these last two posts, Lauriebear!

    When Roosevelt changed the date in the name of boosting the economy it was very controversial and actually ticked off a few folks. That year he did it there were actually TWO Thanksgivings -- those who observed the changed date, and those who stubbornly kept the original date. It was one of the few times where the public vociferously demonstrated against FDR.
    Posted 11-15-2011 at 05:54 PM by Jeff Westover Jeff Westover is online now
  2. Old Comment
    lauriebear's Avatar
    Thanks Jeff, I love looking up about Thanksgiving - it is one of my favorite days, I look forward so much to it. I love that we can research things we love and post it in our blogs!!!
    Posted 11-16-2011 at 02:40 PM by lauriebear lauriebear is offline
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