First Recognized Thanksgiving Celebration for the Pilgrim colonists in America:
Why did the Pilgrims come to the colonies in America?
To flee religious persecution, find a new home where they could freely practice their faith; gain prosperity and land ownership in the New World.
How many colonists were on the first ship, The Mayflower?
What groups of people attended the celebration?
53 Plymouth colonists, 90 Wampanoag Indians; Chief Massasoit
What did they eat in their Thanksgiving feast?
Swans, geese, duck, shellfish, lobster, pumpkin, deer, corn.
When was the first national day of Thanksgiving held in the United States?
In 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
When did Thanksgiving become an annually recognized national holiday?
1863, at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that all Americans 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 scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year.
What was the driving force behind the selection of the current date for Thanksgiving?
In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. But when met with opposition in 1941, the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.