Is Thanksgiving Day A Legal Holiday In The US?
Yes, of course, Thanksgiving day is a legal holiday in the US.
However, before becoming a legal holiday, it had to pass many stages and saw ups and downs for 150 years.
In this post, we will discuss briefly how it became a legal holiday in the United States of America.
Is Thanksgiving Day A Legal Holiday In The US? – First Stage
In 1789, after the victory in the Revolutionary War of Independence, the United States’ first President George Washington issued a proclamation to celebrate Thanksgiving nationally as a day of prayer and giving thanks to the almighty god for giving them the opportunity to live in a free nation.
Via the event, they intended to celebrate the 13 colonies’ victory in the Revolutionary War against Great Britain and the formation of the new democratic nation, the United States of America.
However, Washington didn’t declare it a national holiday. That year, Americans observed it on Thursday 26th of November.
During the time of the 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson, Thanksgiving faced some downtrends as he refused to issue a proclamation to celebrate the event nationally.
Thomas Jefferson saw it as a Christian Puritan culture. However, Jeff was not an anti-Christian nor an atheist.
According to him, the President’s support of the festival would negatively influence the secular character of the newly formed American democracy.
Jefferson also argued that it is the duty of the states to issue proclamations on Thanksgiving, but not of the federal government or President.
At this stage, the festival started seeing some uptrends.
For the first time, in the history of the United States, the 16th President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863.
Lincoln’s administration wanted to calm down the ongoing situation of the bloody Civil War.
That year, when President Lincoln received a letter from an American writer named Sarah Josepha Hale, he saw it as an opportunity.
He issued a presidential proclamation and urged all Americans to come together on the fourth Thursday of November, sit peacefully and enjoy Thanksgiving with a lot of thanks to each other and pray to the almighty god.
Civil War damaged the lives of almost one and a half million people, Lincoln wanted to end it under any circumstances.
After Lincoln’s declaration, it became the third national holiday after Washington’s Birthday and Independence Day.
Is Thanksgiving Day A Legal Holiday In The US? – Fourth & Final Stage
However, after Lincoln died, each year, its celebration date remained unsteady and had to depend upon President’s proclamation.
It lasted till 1941.
American people were quite unhappy with this ongoing system. Therefore, at that time, they demanded President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to decide a specific date for the Thanksgiving celebration.
Finally, on December 26th, 1941, Roosevelt signed in a bill and decided a static day (the Fourth Thursday of November) for the tradition.
Present-day, Thanksgiving is a legal national holiday in the US and it falls on the fourth Thursday of November.