Americans have been giving thanks since long before we were known as Americans. Early colonists celebrated their harvest as early as 1621, with a three-day-long festival involving both natives and newcomers. President George Washington named Nov. 26, 1789 as a day of thanksgiving devoted to: “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” And President Abraham Lincoln created the modern Thanksgiving Day tradition when he announced, in 1863, that the third Thursday of November would henceforth be celebrated as an official national holiday.
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