Written By Vincent Staich
Thanksgiving is one of the first ever holidays. The first Thanksgiving was in 1621. It was a gathering between the Indians and pilgrims. It greatly strengthened the relationship between the Indians and the pilgrims and mostly stopped the fighting between them.
The next big step towards the holiday we know and love came more than a century later. A little while after the Constitution was signed, George Washington signed a proclamation that called for a holiday like Thanksgiving: “Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public Thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’" This was simply a request, so an official holiday wasn’t established, Later presidents believed strongly in the separation of church and state, so they considered a holiday to thank God as inappropriate.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be observed on the fourth Thursday of November. Ever since that, Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday that happens on the fourth Thursday of November, with one exception. President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it to the third Thursday for 1939, 1940, and 1941 to boost the economy, then returned it to the fourth Thursday for 1942. It has stayed there ever since.
As you can see, Thanksgiving has evolved throughout the ages. However, one thing has remained the same. The reason Thanksgiving is so late in the year is because it happens after farmers collect their harvest. They give thanks for a good harvest. This was one of the biggest moments that made Thanksgiving what it is today. Thanksgiving will continue to evolve and change, so don't be so surprised if you end up seeing Thanksgiving different. Maybe it will move to the third Thursday again. It's not too far off from changing.