Thanksgiving has been an official holiday since the days of George Washington, who, in 1789, issued the first proclamation of Thanksgiving to honor the new national constitution.
During the early 19th century, numerous states began to observe Thanksgiving on their own, setting different dates state by state.
Around 1860, Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, editor of Codey’s Lady’s Book, mounted a vigorous campaign for a national Thanksgiving Day to be on the same date each year, coast to coast.
On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. On November 26 of the same year, we celebrated the official holiday as a nation.
For the next seven decades, each U.S. President issued his own proclamation confirming the date. Then, in 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt re-set the day as the third Thursday in November. In 1941, a resolution was made to change it to the fourth Thursday of November, and it has remained as such ever since.