Thanksgiving at Plymouth Leads To Abraham Lincoln’s Declaration of National Holiday In 1863

history of thanksgiving

ABOVE VIDEO: History.com chronicles the history of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, which occurs on the fourth Thursday in November, is based on the colonial Pilgrims’ 1621 harvest meal. The holiday continues to be a day for Americans to gather for a day of feasting, football and family.

(HISTORY) – In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World.

Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday.

Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family.

While today’s Thanksgiving celebrations would likely be unrecognizable to attendees of the original 1621 harvest meal, it continues to be a day for Americans to come together around the table—albeit with some updates to pilgrim’s menu.

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