Origins of Thanksgiving – George Washington’s Impact

This will be something you can share at the Thanksgiving table to impress your family and friends.  It may help you distract from “other current day events” and create some SAR themed conversation.

In our early years of schooling, we learned of the pilgrims having Thanksgiving.  My young memories are clouded with images of pilgrims on the shore, eating a turkey leg in one hand and fighting off the Natives with the other.

What were the origins of “Thanksgiving”?

Excerpts of the below were from a recent article published by the foundation.

“Thank Days”

In the 1700’s, Colonists often established “Thank Days” to mark certain occasions. These one-time events could occur at any time of the year and, emphasizing prayer and spiritual reflection, were usually more solemn than the Thanksgiving we observe today.

Thanksgiving was not made a legal holiday until 1941 when Congress named the fourth Thursday in November as our national day of thanks.

“George Washington’s Influence”

George Washington led the charge to make this day of thanks a truly national event.

Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789

On October 3, 1789, George Washington issued his Thanksgiving proclamation, designating for “the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving” to be held on “Thursday the 26th day of November,” 1789, marking the first national celebration of a holiday that has become commonplace in today’s households.

There you have it!

Wishing you all a terrific holiday season! 

We really do have a lot to be thankful for.

For more information you can read the full article published by the Mount Vernon Foundation.  The link is below:

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