The Thanksgiving holiday has been around for over four centuries. It was made an official holiday on the fourth Thursday in November in 1941. Nowadays, the holiday is celebrated as a family get together more than a celebration of the fall harvest.
Thanksgiving was first celebrated by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and the Teya people on May 23rd in 1541. Coronado and his crew feasted with the natives after finding food in what is now Texas. After that date, Thanksgiving was celebrated sporadically, mostly whenever explorers from other continents landed and found an abundance of food.
It wasn't until 1863 that Thanksgiving was celebrated annually. President Lincoln delclared the last Thursday in every November to be Thanksgiving. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that Thanksgiving would now be the next to last Thursday in November because he thought it would give merchants more time to sell goods before Christmas.
Nowadays, Thanksgiving is celebrated the same as it was from 1541, a gathering of friends and family in celebration, regardless of the date.
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"The History of Thanksgiving and its celebrations." Thanksgiving on the Net - The Story. 20 Dec. 2005 <http://www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/story.htm>.