When Did Thanksgiving Become A National Holiday In The US?
In 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the United States of America.
On October 3rd, 1863, via a Presidential proclamation, the United States’ 16th President Abraham Lincoln declared it.
That year, for the first time, Americans celebrated it on November 26th, the last Thursday of the month as a national holiday.
Abe’s primary purpose via the event was to unify his nation once again during the time of the bloody Civil War.
After, this declaration, Thanksgiving became the third national holiday in the country after Washington’s birthday and Independence day.
Who Convinced President Abraham Lincoln To Take The Initiative?
An American writer Sarah Josepha Buell Hale convinced Lincoln to take the initiative.
Before getting success, she tried for more than 17 years to convince different US Presidents to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Her advocacy for Thanksgiving began around 1846.
However, all her attempts failed to convince even a single President.
Finally, in 1863, during the time of the Civil War, she wrote a letter to President Lincoln.
President Lincoln was already finding a way to make the condition better because the ongoing Civil War killed almost a million people.
Therefore, when he received her proposal, he saw it as an opportunity.
As a result, on October 3rd, 1863, via a Presidential proclamation, he declared it a national holiday for the year.
Ironically, after he died, the celebration remained unsteady for around 78 years.
When Did Thanksgiving Become A Steady National Holiday In The United States?
It was on December 26th, 1941, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a resolution to make Thanksgiving a permanent national holiday in the country.
Before Franklin Roosevelt, its date and day were unsteady and every year President had to issue a proclamation to declare a holiday on Thanksgiving day.
Americans were quite unhappy with that ongoing system. That’s why finally, Franklin Roosevelt had to take the initiative to make it a permanent federal holiday.