Did you know?
George Washington issued a decree proclaiming a national day of thanksgiving in 1789. It was to be "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Abraham Lincoln set the national day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday of November in 1863, "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Read the texts of these decrees here.
Thanksgiving was made a national holiday in 1941, when Congress passed a decree and Franklin D. Roosevelet signed it, establishing Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November. Read more here (it's interesting to note the economic considerations in the decision - a great segway from conversations about the economy today!)
Other fun Thanksgiving sites
- Here's a fun quiz about the history of Thanksgiving you can take with your children (sponsored by FamilyEducation - some advertisements).
- The First Thanksgiving - for kids who've ever wondered what the pilgrims ate at the first Thanksgiving (from The History Channel).
- Mayflower Myths (The History Channel).
- Thanksgiving Fun Facts (The History Channel).