When Abraham Lincoln signed a Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863 calling for a day of gratitude on the last Thursday in November, it began an unbroken string of presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations. In 1941, the FOURTH Thursday in November was set as a national holiday by Congress and signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In my previous video and quiz about Thanksgiving, I told you that there were no black hats with buckles, half of the “pilgrims” weren’t Pilgrims and that the first Thanksgiving was really in October. Here are a few more pieces of the picture.
And here is a link to a story I wrote for the New York Times about America’s real first Pilgrims, a group of French settlers in Florida who arrived 50 years before the Mayflower sailed.
A day of “Thanksgiving” was officially proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. It was the beginning of an unbroken string of Thanksgiving proclamation by American presidents. The last Thursday in November became an official national holiday in 1941, signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
THE PLIMOTH PLANTATION historical site also offers a good overview of the Pilgrim story: