We associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims who made their way to America following persecution from the Church of England. Their initial time in America was harsh, half of the settlers died. But, the Pilgrims were blessed by Indians who helped them, and they eventually reaped a bountiful harvest. Having reason to celebrate, the governor of Plymouth Colony called for a three day festival that included ninety Indians. The feast included giving thanks to God and became the first Thanksgiving celebration in America.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally since 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington and it became a federal holiday in 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Page sponsored by Collin County Lincoln Society