It's not about the Pilgrims?by Jacque' Stoddard on 11/20/14
A little history on why we celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November.
Over the course of our history, Americans have marked many important events with a day of thanks. Indeed the Pilgrims celebrated great harvests with Native Americans, but that has nothing to do with Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation or why we have celebrated Thanksgiving day from 1863 to the present.
The importance of this day has been clouded by images of a colonial event. There is no longer talk in our schools about the importance of why Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday.
For over fifty years there were no special days of thanksgiving declared by any U.S. Presidents.
In 1863 President Lincoln declared that the forth Thursday in November be a national day of thanksgiving and reflection in post-Civil War America to celebrate the unity of our great Republic. He proclaimed that the day be marked as a day of significance to honor the Union Army and thank God for the preservation of the United States of America.
From 1863 until 1939 the date was faithfully observed. In 1939, towards the end of the great depression, President Roosevelt changed the date to the third week in November in hopes of stimulating the economy with early sales. Congress strongly objected to the presidential overreach and in 1941 Roosevelt conceded.
Congress reset Thanksgiving Day to the fourth Thursday in November, permanently. Let us never forget the many Americans who fought and died to keep our great Republic one nation under God.