The meaning and celebration behind Thanksgiving has seen its far share of changes since 1621, when Governor William Bradford and the Pilgrims held the “first Thanksgiving” with the colony’s Native American allies. The original celebratory feast came after Pilgrim settlers managed to have their first successful corn harvest and the establishment of the Plymouth colony; thanks in part to their Native American allies. However, the Pilgrims did not hold their second Thanksgiving celebration until 1623.

Thanksgiving Revives During American Revolution

After 1623, there is very little record on what happened to the Thanksgiving concept until the American Revolution. It is known that the Continental Congress did designate at least one or more Thanksgiving celebrations per year during the American Revolution. In 1789, President George Washington announced the first official Thanksgiving celebration by the government of the United States. John Adams and James Madison would later follow suit and have designated days of appreciation and thanks. However, it would still be some time before Thanksgiving becomes an official recognized holiday.

New York: First State To Adopt Thanksgiving Holiday

In 1817, New York was the first state to officially adopt and recognize an annual Thanksgiving holiday. It was not until President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863 that Thanksgiving became a nationally recognized holiday. President Lincoln scheduled the holiday on the last Thursday of November and it was celebrated every year, until 1939.

Between 1939 and 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to change the status quo and move up the Thanksgiving holiday a week. The hope was to help increase retail sales during the tail end of the Great Depression. However, the change was met with resistance and opposition. Bowing to the public pressure and outcry, President Roosevelt signed a bill restoring Thanksgiving to the last Thursday in November in 1941.

Thanksgiving 2016: A Day To Be Thankful For What We Have

It has been a tough year for Americans, thanks largely to an incredibly negative presidential election that has divided our nation. However, Thanksgiving is a great time to step back from all the negative press and the commercialization to give thanks for the things we do have in our lives. We all have something to be thankful for and it is important to take time and reflect on those things. The team at EmergingGrowth.com would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

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