Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Historical Facts

I dug up (she says as she tosses the shovel behind her) some interesting facts about Thanksgiving.

Our national bird is the bald eagle. But did you know Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird?

Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the popular nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. On October 3, 1963, President Abraham Lincoln issued a "Thanksgiving Proclamation" which officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.

Do you enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? It's an annual tradition that actually started in the 1920s. The first parade was in 1924 and was called Macy's Christmas Day Parade even though it was held on Thanksgiving Day.

In 1939, to help bolster retail sales during one of the final years of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving, making it one week earlier than normal. This move created a lot of problems from holiday plans, to football games, college registrars, and calender makers. Twenty-three states observed the non-traditional  date, twenty-two states observed the traditional November 30 date, and three states--Colorado, Mississippi, and Texas--observed both dates.

On December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law, making sure all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Texas was the last state to change its law to match the federal law. In 1956, Texas observed the last Thursday of November for Thanksgiving for the last time.