We hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.
1. What year was the celebration that is most commonly considered to be the first Thanksgiving?
A: 1621. This is the celebration that people most often talk about when they are talking about the “first” Thanksgiving. But there are others that are claimed to be the first Thanksgiving. There was another celebration in Plymouth in 1623 and one in Boston in 1631 that people claim was the actual first Thanksgiving.
2. How long did the first Thanksgiving celebration last?
A: Three days. It was celebrated much earlier than our current celebration, possibly in late September. There were about 50 European settlers and around 90 native Americans who attended the 3-day feast.
3. Under which president did Thanksgiving become an annual holiday?
A: Abraham Lincoln. The U.S. has celebrated Thanksgiving off and on since 1774. In 1789 George Washington made a proclamation that the country would celebrate a day of thanksgiving to God on November 26th. Some presidents after him continued the tradition, declaring different days of Thanksgiving. But it wasn’t until a proclamation by Lincoln in 1863 that the last Thursday of November became the official Thanksgiving holiday.
4. In what year did both the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and America’s Thanksgiving Parade start?
A: 1924. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was started by Louis Bamberger in Newark, New Jersey but was transferred to New York City where it is now held by Macy’s. America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit was inspired by Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, Ontario.
5. Which president was the first to give a turkey a presidential pardon?
A: Ronald Reagan. John F. Kennedy was the first president on record for unofficially sparing a Turkey in 1963. The Reagan administration in 1987 gave the first official presidential pardon to a turkey as a joke. The turkey was spared and put into a petting zoo. George H. Bush made it an annual tradition in 1989 and each president since has carried on the tradition.
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