Thanksgiving

I am drinking coffee on Monday morning as I get ready to go back to work after a long weekend. The fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day in the US. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on a different date and to the surprise of many Americans other countries skip the celebration altogether.

The following brief history of the holiday comes from the National Archives:

Washington, DC…On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as an official holiday of "sincere and humble thanks." The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution. On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a nationwide holiday to be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November. In the midst of a bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued a Presidential Proclamation in which he enumerated the blessings of the American people and called upon his countrymen to "set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of "Thanksgiving."

In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November to lengthen the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy still recovering from the Depression. This move, which set off a national debate, was reversed in 1941 when Congress passed and President Roosevelt approved a joint house resolution establishing, by law, the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Thus the holiday is directly linked to the three men oft considered as the country’s best presidents.

With Thanksgiving falling in a Thursday, many companies give their employees Friday as a holiday, hence the four day weekend.

Thanks to the American Presidents’ Blog for the link

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Published in: on 30 November, 2009 at 7:22  Leave a Comment  

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