Thanksgiving Day in the USA is a time to offer thanks, of family gatherings and holiday meals. A time of turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and holiday parades. And without the bountiful amounts and truly huge diversity from the widest variety of food groups, Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving.
Several Presidents, including George Washington, made one-time Thanksgiving
holidays. In 1827, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale began lobbying several Presidents for the instatement of Thanksgiving as a
national holiday, but her lobbying was unsuccessful until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln finally made it a national holiday with his
1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November. This was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939
(approved by Congress in 1941), who changed it from Abraham Lincoln's designation as the last Thursday in November
(which could occasionally end up being the fifth Thursday and hence too close to Christmas for businesses).
But the Pilgrims'
first Thanksgiving began at some unknown date between September 21 and November 9, most likely in very early October.
The date of Thanksgiving was probably set by Lincoln to somewhat correlate with the anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape
Cod, which occurred on November 21, 1620.