A national holiday commemorating the harvest reaped by the Plymouth
Colony in 1621, after a winter of great starvation and privation.
In that year, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving,
and a feast was shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native
Americans. After the American Revolution, the first national Thanksgiving
Day, proclaimed by George Washington, was November 26, 1789. Abraham
Lincoln, urged by Sarah J. Hale, revived the custom in 1863, appointing
as the date the last Thursday of November. In 1939, 1940, and 1941,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday
in November. In 1941 Congress passed a joint resolution that Thanksgiving
should fall on the fourth Thursday of November.