When Did Thanksgiving Become A National Holiday ?
Thanksgiving Day has a long history. In fact, this day was celebrated even before America got independence. The Native Indians are credited for beginning this tradition way back in 1621. Governor John Winthrop in 1630 declared a day of thanksgiving in his Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Before independence, this day assumed national importance because it brought in a lot of harmony and peace in the region. It united the citizens together against the colonial rule. The tradition of thanksgiving took a beating a year after America got independence. George Washington, the then American President declared November 26, 1789 as a day for offering “thanksgiving and prayer”. Washington also stated that it was incumbent on all nations to offer their gratitude and prayer to Lord Almighty for having bestowed them with bounty and grace.
At the time of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress suggested that Thanksgiving Day be declared a national holiday. Unfortunately, this day was mainly celebrated for passing the Presidential Proclamation year after year. It was not largely successful in getting a national holiday status.
New York in 1817, made the Thanksgiving Day an annual ritual. Other states in the country soon followed and numerous states started observing Thanksgiving Day as a national day for offering prayers. Sarah Joseph Hale in the year 1827 led from the front and pressurized several Presidents into declaring the day as a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln is believed to have revived the tradition 45 years later. He declared his Presidential Proclamation and confirmed the day as a national holiday.
More Articles :