Thanksgiving History & Little-Known Facts
1- 1- The First Thanksgiving took place after the first Harvest in 1621 when Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts shared a meal with Native American Indians. Historian Michael Gannon believes the First Thanksgiving actually took place in Florida a half century earlier on September 8, 1565 following a religious service in which Spaniards shared a communal meal with a local native tribe.
2- 2- Thanksgiving became a Public Holiday on September 28, 1789. President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26, 1789 to be the Day of Public Thanksgiving. This was the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution.
3- 3- President Abraham Lincoln set a Proclamation in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that Thanksgiving shall regularly be commemorated each year last Thursday of November.
4- 4- President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 changed Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of November to the Fourth Thursday of November as to not shorten the Christmas Shopping Season. Congress set a Fixed Date in October 1941 making Thanksgiving Day a Legal Holiday.
5- 5- The First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was Televised Nationally on NBC in 1924. The original parade was about three times longer than the current 2.5-mile-long parade.
6- 6- Turkey has not always been on the menu at Thanksgiving. The First Ever Thanksgiving in 1621 Native Americans killed five Deer as a gift for the colonists.
7- 7- The President of the United States Pardons a Turkey each year for Thanksgiving. Many people believe that President George W. Bush was the first President to pardon a turkey in 1989. However, President Abraham Lincoln first began this Tradition when his son Tad begged him to write a Presidential Pardon for the Turkey meant for the Family’s Christmas Table.
8- 8- The American Traditional Football Game Featuring the Detroit Lions began in 1934. The Detroit Lions played the undefeated and defending World Champion Chicago Bears Coached and Owned by George Halas. Despite losing the Inaugural Game the Detroit Lions have played every Thanksgiving with the exception of 1939 and 1944.
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