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The President Who Made Thanksgiving a National Holiday

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Learn about the president who established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

description: an image of a thanksgiving feast with a diverse group of people gathered around a table, enjoying a meal together.

There's a lot you may not know about Turkey Day! Check out these Thanksgiving trivia facts to learn all about the history of the holiday. From its humble beginnings to becoming a cherished national holiday, Thanksgiving has a fascinating story. But do you know which president played a crucial role in making Thanksgiving a national holiday? Let's dive into the history and find out!

The first Thanksgiving celebration is believed to have lasted for three days. It took place in 1621 and was a gathering of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans. While turkey is now synonymous with Thanksgiving feasts, the menu of the first Thanksgiving included other meats like venison and wildfowl.

Fast forward to the 19th century when Thanksgiving started gaining recognition as a national holiday. It was President Abraham Lincoln who officially established Thanksgiving as a national holiday. In 1863, during the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November as a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father."

However, Lincoln wasn't solely responsible for the establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. The credit also goes to Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential writer and editor, who tirelessly lobbied for it. Hale's efforts spanned several decades, and she even wrote the famous nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Moving forward in time, Thanksgiving also holds significance beyond being a day of gratitude and feasting. The day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday," has become the unofficial first day of holiday shopping in the United States. It's a day when retailers offer significant discounts, and people flock to stores to kick off their holiday shopping.

Additionally, presidents have often used Thanksgiving as an opportunity to bring the nation together. During times of division and strife, leaders have emphasized the importance of unity and gratitude. By delivering speeches and participating in community service, presidents have sought to reunite the country during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In conclusion, the president who made Thanksgiving a national holiday was Abraham Lincoln. However, it is essential to acknowledge the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale in advocating for the establishment of this cherished holiday. Thanksgiving continues to be a time of togetherness, gratitude, and reflection on the blessings of the year. So, as you gather around the table with loved ones, remember the history behind this national holiday and cherish the traditions that have been passed down through generations.

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