Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Holiday History: Lincoln or FDR

By Andrea Boeshaar

A few days ago I heard on TV that President Roosevelt was the one who declared Thanksgiving Day the 4th Thursday in November. My brain sort of short-circuited. I'm an American History buff and I was relatively sure that the Thanksgiving holiday had been celebrated prior to 1942.

And, Ah-ha! I was right -- the TV personality was WRONG. (I just love being smarter than those guys on cable talk shows...ha - !)

Well, he wasn't exactly wrong...

Of course Thanksgiving began in November 1621 with the Pilgrims. They had survived a brutal winter in a new land and, after their first harvest, had a bounty. But it was in 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln declared the last day of November a Federal holiday. He proclaimed:  "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Years later, when FDR took office, he changed the day in November. This angered many traditionalist Americans. In 1941, he admitted his mistake for the deviation and Congress officially made the 4th Thursday in November the holiday once again.

Thanksgiving, therefore, is a Christian holiday. It's a day when we stop and thank God for our many blessings. It's about family and, yes, eating turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin, apple, pecan, and/or sweet potato pies -- and, now, getting Black Friday deals a few hours early. But it's traditionally a day set apart to thank God for America -- the greatest country on earth.

In spite of the hardships my husband and I have faced the past few years, I am truly blessed. My future is bright, because of my faith. I have hope because of Christ. And to share a special gift with readers, I'm offering everyone a free ebook download of Civil War romantic novella, Everlasting Light. This offer is good on Thanksgiving Day 2013 only!

So after thanking God Almighty and enjoying your Thanksgiving Day meal, kick back with a wonderful holiday story about love, loss, and loyalty. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! =)
    Thanks for sharing this e-book!!

  2. Thank you! And I love it when I'm right and the cable guy is wrong, too. lol Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Phooey! I missed the free download because I was busy celebrating the holiday. Hope yours was great!