Jelly Belly®

Looking for something?

A Brief History of Thanksgiving (part 2)

A Brief History of Thanksgiving (part 2)

Products 2 - 2 of 2
Beyond the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving history tells us that the holiday didn't stick as an annual tradition until the 19th century. Hoping for an official first Thanksgiving Day after being inspired by a pilgrim diary, writer Sara Josepha Hale (famous for creating "Mary Had a Little Lamb") fought to make the day an actual national holiday. Sara campaigned for Thanksgiving traditions, writing letters to politicians for 30 years. Official Thanksgiving Day history can be attributed to Sara, and to President Abraham Lincoln, who in 1863 during the Civil War, announced the nation would celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday every year on the final Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving history changed a bit in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week. This piece of Thanksgiving trivia occurred because the President wished to offer depression-era retailers additional time to make money during the pre-Christmas shopping season. But Thanksgiving Day history changed again, as the move was criticized, so two years later the President signed a bill reinstating the holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving facts involve another President: In 1989 George H.W. Bush granted the first official pardon to a turkey, a quirky Thanksgiving tradition that continues today at the White House.

So Thanksgiving history shows that the holiday didn't originate from just one event. Thanks to the first Thanksgiving and Presidential declarations of a national day of celebration, Thanksgiving traditions typically involve people gathering together on the fourth Thursday in November to celebrate family, friends and food. Thanksgiving traditions also involve watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and football on TV. A little Thanksgiving trivia: An estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed in the United States on the Thanksgiving holiday.

One thing Thanksgiving history tells us is that the day is about appreciating family, friends, community and the bounty of food. Whether celebrating their first Thanksgiving or 50th, people gather to prepare large feasts at Grandma's house, meet friends for dinner at restaurants or volunteer at community centers to cook holiday food for those in need. Thanksgiving traditions include two people breaking the turkey's wish bone, exchanging holiday candy and napping after dinner with a belly full of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. These Thanksgiving facts bring people together once a year to count their blessings, enjoy a delicious meal and spend quality time with loved ones.
Products 2 - 2 of 2