How And When Did Thanksgiving Become An Official Holiday As The Fourth Thursday In November?
It was December 26, 1941, under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the United States Congress officially declared the fourth Thursday of every year’s November as a national holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Since then, for Americans, the 4th Thursday of each year’s November month became a static holiday for their Thanksgiving celebration.
Although, long ago, in 1863, via a proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln also declared the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday for Thanksgiving day.
But after he died, the official Thanksgiving celebration day remained unstable.
For example, in 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation to celebrate it on the first Thursday in December.
This instability remained till 1941.
Why Did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Have To Declare Thanksgiving A National Holiday?
In 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt became the United States president.
However, the date for the Thanksgiving celebration was still dependent upon the president’s proclamation.
The American public was unhappy with the unstable date.
It continued till 1941.
Finally, on 26th November 1941, the United States passed a bill. The bill made the fourth Thursday in November a legal national holiday for Thanksgiving.
Did You Know?
1. In the United States, there is a tradition of ‘Pardoning Turkey’. In this tradition, the US president pardons a turkey bird by not letting it end up on anyone’s dinner table.
It is said that the tradition started during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. On November 14, 1989, George H. W. Bush officially granted the presidential pardon tradition.
2. First Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. Since then, historians have had no reliable information on whether the turkey was eaten during the first Thanksgiving celebration or not. However, for so long, turkey is the main decoration on the Thanksgiving dinner table.
3. Sarah Josepha Hale is known as the mother of Thanksgiving. She was the first person who wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.