Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is sometimes called American Thanksgiving (outside the United States) to distinguish it from the Canadian holiday of the same name and related celebrations in other regions. It originated as a day of thanksgiving and harvest festival, with the theme of the holiday revolving around giving thanks and the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remaining a Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner traditionally consists of foods and dishes indigenous to the Americas, namely turkey, potatoes (usually mashed or sweet), stuffing, squash, corn (maize), green beans, cranberries (typically in sauce form), and pumpkin pie. Other Thanksgiving customs include charitable organizations offering Thanksgiving dinner for the poor, attending religious services, watching parades, and viewing football games. In American culture Thanksgiving is regarded as the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, which includes Christmas and the New Year.
|Observed by||United States|
|Celebrations||Giving thanks, prayer, feasting, spending time with family, religious services, football games, parades|
|Date||Fourth Thursday in November|
|2020 date||November 26|
|2021 date||November 25|
|2022 date||November 24|
|2023 date||November 23|
|Related to||Thanksgiving in Canada|
Thanksgiving in Norfolk Island
Thanksgiving in Liberia
Thanksgiving in Leiden, Netherlands
Thanksgiving in Saint Lucia
New England and Virginia colonists originally celebrated days of fasting, as well as days of thanksgiving, thanking God for blessings such as harvests, ship landings, military victories, or the end of a drought. These were observed through church services, accompanied with feasts and other communal gatherings. The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Wampanoag Native American people and 53 Pilgrims (survivors of the Mayflower). Less widely known is an earlier Thanksgiving celebration in Virginia in 1619 by English settlers who had just landed at Berkeley Hundred aboard the ship Margaret.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by President George Washington after a request by Congress. President Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", calling on the American people to also, "with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience .. fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation...". Lincoln declared it for the last Thursday in November. On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday in Washington D.C. On January 6, 1885, an act by Congress made Thanksgiving, and other federal holidays, a paid holiday for all federal workers throughout the United States. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was moved to one week earlier, observed between 1939 and 1941 amid significant controversy. From 1942 onwards, Thanksgiving, by an act of Congress, signed into law by FDR, received a permanent observation date, the fourth Thursday in November, no longer at the discretion of the President.
Early thanksgiving observancesEdit
Setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America. The Puritans observed days of fasting to fast and pray for God's favour, as well as days of thanksgiving to thank God for a bountiful harvest, victory and other joyous occasions. Documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century. These days of thanksgiving were celebrated through church services and feasting.
Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607; the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia held a thanksgiving in 1610. On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers celebrated a thanksgiving immediately upon landing at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. The group's London Company charter specifically required, "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantation in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." This celebration has, since the mid 20th century, been commemorated there annually at present-day Berkeley Plantation, ancestral home of the Harrison family.
|The True Story of the First Thanksgiving, American Experience, PBS, November 24, 2015|
Harvest festival observed by the Pilgrims at PlymouthEdit
The most prominent historic thanksgiving event in American popular culture is the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition.
The Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, had settled in land abandoned when all but one of the Patuxet Indians died in a disease outbreak. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, Tisquantum, more commonly known by the diminutive variant Squanto (who had learned English and avoided the plague as a slave in Europe), came in at the request of Samoset, the first Native American to encounter the Pilgrims. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them until he too succumbed to the disease a year later. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit also gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. Massasoit had hoped to establish an alliance between the Wampanoag, themselves greatly weakened by the same plague that extirpated the Patuxet, and the better-armed English in their long-running rivalry with a Narragansett tribe that had largely been spared from the epidemic; the tribe reasoned that, given that the Pilgrims had brought women and children, they had not arrived to wage war against them.
The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most likely time being around Michaelmas (Sept. 29), the traditional time." Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. It included 50 people who were on the Mayflower (all who remained of the 100 who had landed) and 90 Native Americans. The feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World (Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins, Mary Brewster, and Susanna White), along with young daughters and male and female servants. According to accounts by Wampanoag descendants, the harvest was originally set up for the Pilgrims alone; the surviving natives, hearing celebratory gunfire and fearing war, arrived to see the feast and were warmly welcomed to join the celebration, contributing their own foods to the meal.
Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth. The Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists (English Dissenters), are not to be confused with Puritans, who established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony on the Shawmut Peninsula (current day Boston) in 1630. Both groups were strict Calvinists, but differed in their views regarding the Church of England. Puritans wished to remain in the Anglican Church and reform it, while the Pilgrims wanted complete separation from the church.
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they can be used (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterward write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you, partakers of our plenty.
The Pilgrims held a true Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 following a fast and a refreshing 14-day rain, which resulted in a larger harvest. William DeLoss Love calculates that this thanksgiving was made on Wednesday, July 30, 1623, a day before the arrival of a supply ship with more colonists, but before the fall harvest. In Love's opinion this 1623 thanksgiving was significant because the order to recognize the event was from civil authority (Governor Bradford), and not from the church, making it likely the first civil recognition of Thanksgiving in New England.
Referring to the 1623 harvest after the nearly catastrophic drought, Bradford wrote:
And afterward the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with the interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving ... By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine now God gave them plenty ... for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had ... pretty well ... so as any general want or famine had not been amongst them since to this day.
These firsthand accounts do not appear to have contributed to the early development of the holiday. Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation" was not published until the 1850s. The booklet "Mourt's Relation" was summarized by other publications without the now-familiar thanksgiving story. By the eighteenth century, the original booklet appeared to be lost or forgotten; a copy was rediscovered in Philadelphia in 1820, with the first full reprinting in 1841. In a footnote the editor, Alexander Young, was the first person to identify the 1621 feast as the first Thanksgiving.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2021)
Debate over the first ThanksgivingEdit
According to historian James Baker, debates over where any "first Thanksgiving" took place on modern American territory are a "tempest in a beanpot". Jeremy Bang opines that, "Local boosters in Virginia, Florida, and Texas promote their own colonists, who (like many people getting off a boat) gave thanks for setting foot again on dry land." Baker claims, "the American holiday's true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God's providence."
However, the 1619 codification and celebration of an annual thanksgiving according to the Berkeley Hundred charter in Virginia prompted President John F. Kennedy to acknowledge the claims of both Massachusetts and Virginia to America's earliest celebrations. He issued Proclamation 3560 on November 5, 1963, saying: "Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together and for the faith which united them with their God."
The Revolutionary WarEdit
The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777 from its temporary location in York, Pennsylvania, while the British occupied the national capital at Philadelphia. Delegate Samuel Adams created the first draft. Congress then adopted the final version:
For as much as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it had pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these United States to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please God through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, Independence and Peace: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.
And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.
George Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga.
Thanksgiving proclamations in the early RepublicEdit
The Continental Congress, the legislative body that governed the United States from 1774 to 1789, issued several "national days of prayer, humiliation, and thanksgiving", a practice that was continued by presidents Washington and Adams under the Constitution, and has manifested itself in the established American observances of Thanksgiving and the National Day of Prayer today. This proclamation was published in The Independent Gazetteer, or the Chronicle of Freedom, on November 5, 1782, the first being observed on November 28, 1782:
By the United States in Congress assembled, PROCLAMATION.
It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for His gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner, to give Him praise for His goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of His Providence in their behalf; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of Divine goodness to these States in the course of the important conflict, in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs, and the events of the war in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States and those of their allies; and the acknowledgment of their Independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States; Do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe and request the several states to interpose their authority, in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY OF NOVEMBER next as a day of SOLEMN THANKSGIVING to GOD for all His mercies; and they do further recommend to all ranks to testify their gratitude to God for His goodness by a cheerful obedience to His laws and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.
Done in Congress at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.
On Thursday, September 24, 1789, the first House of Representatives voted to recommend the First Amendment of the newly drafted Constitution to the states for ratification. The next day, Congressman Elias Boudinot from New Jersey proposed that the House and Senate jointly request of President Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for "the many signal favors of Almighty God". Boudinot said he "could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining, with one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings he had poured down upon them."
As President, on October 3, 1789, George Washington made the following proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America:
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States 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. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
On January 1, 1795, Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day to be observed on Thursday, February 19.
President John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
James Madison renewed the tradition in 1814, in response to resolutions of Congress, at the close of the War of 1812. Caleb Strong, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, declared the holiday in 1813, "for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer" for Thursday, November 25 of that year.
Madison also declared the holiday twice in 1815; however, neither of these was celebrated in autumn. In 1816, Governor Plumer of New Hampshire appointed Thursday, November 14 to be observed as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Governor Brooks of Massachusetts appointed Thursday, November 28 to be "observed throughout that State as a day of Thanksgiving".
A thanksgiving day was annually appointed by the governor of New York, De Witt Clinton, in 1817. In 1830, the New York State Legislature officially sanctioned thanksgiving as a holiday, making New York the first state outside of New England to do so.
In 1846, Sara Josepha Hale began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, to be held on the last Thursday in November. She wrote to presidents, members of Congress, and every governor of every state and territory for the next seventeen years to promote the idea, as well as popularizing it in her books and editorials. Hale hoped that Thanksgiving, as a national holiday, would foster the “moral and social reunion of Americans.” She also proposed that churches mark the holiday by collecting funds for the purchasing of slaves and their education and repatriation back to Africa. By 1860 proclamations appointing a day of thanksgiving were issued by the governors of thirty states and three territories.
Lincoln and the Civil WarEdit
In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the 26th, the final Thursday of November 1863. The document, written by Secretary of State William H. Seward, reads as follows:
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, the order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. The population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Highest God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States. The holiday superseded Evacuation Day, a de facto national holiday that had been held on November 25 each year prior to the Civil War and commemorated the British withdrawal from the United States after the American Revolution.
Post-Civil War eraEdit
On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Holidays Act that made Thanksgiving a yearly "appointed or remembered" federal holiday in Washington D.C. Three other holidays included in the law were New Years, Christmas, and July 4. The law did not extend outside of Washington D.C., while the date assigned for Thanksgiving was left to the discretion of the President. In January 1879, George Washington's Birthday, February 22, was added by Congress to the federal holidays list. On January 6, 1885, a Congressional act expanded the Holidays Act to apply to all federal departments and employees throughout the nation. Federal workers received pay for all the holidays, including Thanksgiving.
During the second half of the 19th century, Thanksgiving traditions in America varied from region to region. A traditional New England Thanksgiving, for example, consisted of a raffle held on Thanksgiving Eve (in which the prizes were mainly geese or turkeys), a shooting match on Thanksgiving morning (in which turkeys and chickens were used as targets), church services—and then the traditional feast, which consisted of some familiar Thanksgiving staples such as turkey and pumpkin pie, and some not-so-familiar dishes such as pigeon pie. The earliest high school football rivalries took root in the late 19th century in Massachusetts, stemming from games played on Thanksgiving; professional football took root as a Thanksgiving staple during the sport's genesis in the 1890s, and the tradition of Thanksgiving football both at the high school and professional level continues to this day. The Southern United States had long resisted adopting the holiday before largely accepting it with the increased influence of football on the day.
In New York City, people would dress up in fanciful masks and costumes and roam the streets in merry-making mobs. By the beginning of the 20th century, these mobs had morphed into Ragamuffin parades consisting mostly of children dressed as "ragamuffins" in costumes of old and mismatched adult clothes and with deliberately smudged faces, but by the late 1950s the tradition had diminished enough to only exist in its original form in a few communities around New York, with many of its traditions subsumed into the Halloween custom of trick-or-treating.
1939 to 1941Edit
Abraham Lincoln's successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with this tradition. November had five Thursdays that year (instead of the more-common four), Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish the holiday on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr., founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy's), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving to a week earlier to expand the shopping season, and within two years the change passed through Congress into law.
Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to November 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and November 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving". Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt's change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays.
In 1940 and 1941, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt declared the third one as Thanksgiving. As in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date.
1942 to presentEdit
On October 6, 1941, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942. However, in December of that year the Senate passed an amendment to the resolution that split the difference by requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November to prevent confusion on the occasional year when November has five Thursdays. The amendment also passed the House, and on December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law and fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November.
Traditional celebrations and solemnitiesEdit
The poor are often provided with food at Thanksgiving time. Most communities have annual food drives that collect non-perishable packaged and canned foods, and corporations sponsor charitable distributions of staple foods and Thanksgiving dinners. The Salvation Army enlists volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of people in different locales. Additionally, pegged to be five days after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, a celebration of charitable giving.
Foods of the seasonEdit
Turkey, usually roasted and stuffed (but sometimes deep-fried instead), is typically the featured item on most Thanksgiving feast tables. 40 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving Day alone in 2019. With 85 percent of Americans partaking in the meal, an estimated 276 million Americans dine on the festive poultry, spending an expected $1.05 billion on turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2016.
Mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various fall vegetables, squash, Brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie are among the side dishes commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. Green bean casserole, invented by an employee of the Campbell Soup Company in 1955, is a "staple" of the dinner. All these are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived. Turkey may be an exception. In his book Mayflower, Nathaniel Philbrick suggests that the Pilgrims might already have been familiar with turkey in England, even though the bird is native to the Americas. The Spaniards had brought domesticated turkeys back from Central America in the early 17th century, and the birds soon became popular fare all over Europe, including England, where turkey (as an alternative to the traditional goose) became a "fixture at English Christmases". The Pilgrims did not observe Christmas, as they could find no evidence in the scriptures as to when such a holiday should be celebrated and felt its December scheduling was a spurious Roman Catholic invention.
As a result of the size of Thanksgiving dinner, Americans eat more food on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
Thanksgiving dinners tend to be shorter when the participants have political differences.
In 2021,Inflation is hitting Thanksgiving hard this year.Thanksgiving dinner will cost an extra 14% this year, more than double the inflation rate for U.S. food prices.
Thanksgiving was founded as a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose. A 1541 thanksgiving mass was held by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his expedition of 1,500 men at Palo Duro Canyon in what is today the Texas Panhandle. A thanksgiving took place after the victory in the 1777 Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. In his 1789 National Thanksgiving Proclamation, President Washington gave many noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including "for the civil and religious liberty", for "useful knowledge", and for God's "kind care" and "His Providence". After President Washington delivered this message, the "Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks".
The tradition of giving thanks to God is continued today in many forms, most notably the attendance of religious services, as well as the saying of a mealtime prayer before Thanksgiving dinner. Many houses of worship offer worship services and events on Thanksgiving themes the weekend before, the day of, or the weekend after Thanksgiving. At home, it is a holiday tradition in many families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace (a prayer before or after a meal). The custom is portrayed in the photograph "Family Holding Hands and Praying Before a Thanksgiving Meal". Before praying, it is a common practice at the dining table for "each person [to] tell one specific reason they're thankful to God that year". While grace is said, some families hold hands until the prayer concludes, often indicated with an "Amen".
Joy Fisher, a Baptist writer, states that "this holiday takes on a spiritual emphasis and includes recognition of the source of the blessings they enjoy year round—a loving God." In the same vein, Hesham A. Hassaballa, an American Muslim scholar and physician, has written that Thanksgiving "is wholly consistent with Islamic principles" and that "few things are more Islamic than thanking God for His blessings". Similarly many Sikh Americans also celebrate the holiday by "giving thanks to Almighty".
Penitence and prayerEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2021)
Thanksgiving is included in the Revised Common Lectionary, which provides scriptures for Thanksgiving services. It is the last entry on the liturgical calendar before the start of Advent the following Sunday.
Since 1924, in New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually every Thanksgiving Day from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Macy's flagship store in Herald Square, and televised nationally by NBC. The parade features parade floats with specific themes, performances from Broadway musicals, large balloons of cartoon characters, TV personalities, and high school marching bands. The float that traditionally ends the Macy's Parade is the Santa Claus float, the arrival of which is an unofficial sign of the beginning of the Christmas season. It is billed as the world's largest parade.
The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade is the Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which launched in 1920 and takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia's parade was long associated with Gimbels, a prominent Macy's rival, until that store closed in 1986. Its current sponsors are WPVI-TV, the channel 6 ABC affiliate in Philadelphia; and Dunkin' Donuts donut chain.
Founded in 1924, the same year as the Macy's parade, America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is one of the largest parades in the country. The parade runs from Midtown to Downtown Detroit and precedes the annual Detroit Lions Thanksgiving football game. The parade includes large balloons, marching bands, and various celebrity guests much like the Macy's parade and is nationally televised on various affiliate stations. The Mayor of Detroit closes the parade by giving Santa Claus a key to the city.
There are Thanksgiving parades in many other cities, including:
- Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade (St. Louis, Missouri)
- America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
- Belk Carolinas' Carrousel Parade (Charlotte, North Carolina)
- Celebrate the Season Parade (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade (El Paso, Texas)
- H-E-B Holiday Parade (Houston, Texas)
- Chicago Thanksgiving Parade (Chicago, Illinois)
- Santa Claus Parade (Peoria, Illinois), the nation's oldest, dating to 1887 and held the day after Thanksgiving
- Parada de los Cerros Thanksgiving Day Parade (Fountain Hills, Arizona)
- UBS Parade Spectacular (Stamford, Connecticut)—held the Sunday before Thanksgiving so it doesn't directly compete with the Macy's parade 30 miles (48 km) away.
Most of these parades are televised on a local station, and some have small, usually regional, syndication networks; most also carry the parades via Internet television on the TV stations' websites.
Several other parades have a loose association with Thanksgiving, thanks to CBS's now-discontinued All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage. Parades that were covered during this era were the Aloha Floral Parade held in Honolulu, Hawaii every September, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Opryland Aqua Parade (held from 1996 to 2001 by the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville); the Opryland parade was discontinued and replaced by a taped parade in Miami Beach, Florida in 2002.
For many years the Santa Claus Lane Parade (now Hollywood Christmas Parade) in Los Angeles was held on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. In 1978 this was switched to the Sunday following the holiday.
American football is an important part of many Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, a tradition that dates to the earliest era of the sport in the late 19th century. Professional football games are often held on Thanksgiving Day; until recently, these were the only games played during the week apart from Sunday or Monday night. The National Football League has played games on Thanksgiving every year since its creation except during World War II. The Detroit Lions have hosted a game every Thanksgiving Day from 1934 to 1938 and again every year since 1945. In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys, who had been founded six years earlier, adopted the practice of hosting Thanksgiving games. The league added a third game in prime time in 2006, which aired on the NFL Network, then moved to NBC in 2012. The third game has no set site or team, providing an opportunity for all teams in the league to host a Thanksgiving game in the future.
For college football teams that participate in the highest level (all teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, as well as three teams in the historically black Southwestern Athletic Conference of the Championship Subdivision), the regular season ends on Thanksgiving weekend, and a team's final game is often against a regional or historic rival, such as the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, the Oregon–Oregon State football rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State, the Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State, and Michigan and Ohio State playing in their rivalry game. Most of these college games are played on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, but usually one or two college games are played on Thanksgiving itself. The lower divisions of the game, including all of Divisions II and III, the NAIA, club football and the rest of the Championship Subdivision (except the Ivy League, whose season ends before Thanksgiving,) are in the midst of playoff tournaments over Thanksgiving weekend.
Some high school football games (which include some state championship games), and informal "Turkey Bowl" contests played by amateur groups and organizations, are frequently held on Thanksgiving weekend. Games of football preceding or following the meal in the backyard or a nearby field are also common during many family gatherings. Amateur games typically follow less organized backyard-rules, two-hand touch or flag football styles.
College basketball holds several elimination tournaments on over Thanksgiving weekend, before the conference season. These include the Anaheim-based Wooden Legacy, the Orlando-based AdvoCare Invitational, and the Bahamas-based Battle 4 Atlantis, all of which are televised on ESPN2 and ESPNU in marathon format. The NCAA owned-and-operated NIT Season Tip-Off has also since moved to Thanksgiving week. This is a relatively new phenomenon, dating only to 2006. The National Basketball Association also briefly played on Thanksgiving, albeit in the evening, with a doubleheader airing Thanksgiving night on TNT, a practice that ran from 2009 to 2011; the Atlanta Hawks hosted the early game each year, while the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the late game in both 2010 and 2011 (both of the 2011 NBA Thanksgiving games were canceled due to a labor dispute). The NBA has not scheduled any Thanksgiving games since then, mainly due to the move of the NFL's primetime Thanksgiving game to NBC.
Though golf and auto racing are in their off-seasons on Thanksgiving, there are events in those sports that take place on Thanksgiving weekend. The Turkey Night Grand Prix is an annual automobile race that takes place at various venues in southern California on Thanksgiving night; due in part to the fact that this is after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar Series have finished their seasons, it allows some of the top racers in the United States to participate. In golf, Thanksgiving weekend was the traditional time of the Skins Game from 1983 to 2008; the event was canceled in 2009 due to a lack of sponsorship and a difficulty in drawing star talent. In 2018, golf returned to Thanksgiving weekend with The Match, a one-round match play contest between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played on pay-per-view. The Match held another competition Thanksgiving weekend in 2020, in addition to two other contests under the brand outside the Thanksgiving season, and returned to Thanksgiving weekend in 2021 with a match between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
The world championship pumpkin chunking contest was held in early November in Delaware and televised each Thanksgiving on Science Channel, but the event was mired in liability disputes following injuries at the events in the 2010s; it has been held only once since 2016, a 2019 contest in Illinois that had far fewer competitors and ran a financial loss.
In ice hockey, the National Hockey League announced, as part of its decade-long extension with NBC, that they would begin airing a game on the Friday afternoon following Thanksgiving beginning the 2011–12 NHL season; the game has since been branded as the "Thanksgiving Showdown". (The Boston Bruins have played matinees on Black Friday since at least 1990, but 2011 was the first time the game was nationally televised.) The NHL had played games on Thanksgiving itself, usually scheduling games involving Canadian teams (but not always, as was the case in 2016, when the league scheduled a nationally televised game Thanksgiving night between two American teams on the West Coast). In Canada, Thanksgiving is in October, although no games were scheduled in 2011 and only one was scheduled in 2012 (both the Thanksgiving Showdown and the lone Canadian game on U.S. Thanksgiving were canceled as a result of a labor dispute in 2012); as a result of the effective day off, almost all the league's teams play the day after Thanksgiving.
Professional wrestling promotions have typically held premier pay-per-view events on or around the time of Thanksgiving. This trend began in 1983 when Jim Crockett Promotions, the largest promoter in the National Wrestling Alliance, introduced Starrcade. Starrcade, later incorporated into World Championship Wrestling, moved off Thanksgiving in 1988; the year prior, the rival World Wrestling Federation had introduced Survivor Series, an event that continues to be hosted in November to the present day.
Many American cities hold road running events, known as "turkey trots", on Thanksgiving morning, so much so that as of 2018[update], Thanksgiving is the most popular race day in the U.S. Depending on the organizations involved, these can range from one-mile (1.6 km) fun runs to full marathons (although no races currently use the latter; the Atlanta Marathon stopped running on Thanksgiving in 2010). Most turkey trots range from between three and ten miles (5–16 km).
In soccer, Major League Soccer announced in 2021 that a MLS Cup Playoffs match will be held on Thanksgiving for the first time, with a Conference Semifinals match for the 2021 Playoffs to be held on that day. The match is expected to be a Western Conference Semifinal match between the Colorado Rapids and the Portland Timbers. While the MLS Cup Playoffs were usually held from October to December, no MLS match held on a Thanksgiving Day before 2021. No MLS Cup Playoff match is expected to take place in Thanksgiving in 2022 to avoid conflicts with the 2022 FIFA World Cup which also begins days before Thanksgiving.
While not as prolific as Christmas specials, which usually begin right after Thanksgiving, there are many special television programs transmitted on or around Thanksgiving, such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, in addition to the live parades and football games mentioned above. In some cases, television broadcasters begin programming Christmas films and specials to run on Thanksgiving Day, taking the day as a signal for the beginning of the Christmas season.
"Alice's Restaurant", an 18-minute monologue by Arlo Guthrie which is partially based on an incident that happened on Thanksgiving in 1965, was first released in 1967. It has since become a tradition on numerous classic rock and classic hits radio stations to play the full, uninterrupted recording to much fanfare each Thanksgiving Day, a tradition that appears to have originated with counterculture radio host Bob Fass, who introduced the song to the public on his radio show. Another song that traditionally gets played on numerous radio stations (of many different formats) is "The Thanksgiving Song", a 1992 song by Adam Sandler.
Prominent radio host Rush Limbaugh had an annual tradition known as The Real Story of Thanksgiving, in which he gave his interpretation of the Thanksgiving story on his program the day before Thanksgiving. The public radio series Science Friday broadcasts coverage of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies on the day after Thanksgiving.
Football play-by-play is also available on the radio, with local radio stations carrying high school football matches and the NFL on Westwood One Sports carrying the professional games.
The President of the United States has received a Thanksgiving turkey every year since 1873; for the first 41 years, the turkey was provided by Westerly, Rhode Island turkey kingpin Horace Vose. In 1947, in what began as a lobbying ploy to get President Harry Truman to stop rationing turkey for foreign aid, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. John F. Kennedy was the first president reported to spare the turkey given to him (he said he did not plan to eat the bird); by the late 1970s, most of the turkeys were being sent to petting zoos, while the dressed turkeys are usually sent to a charity such as Martha's Table.
Some legends date the origins of pardoning turkey to the Harry Truman administration or even to Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son's Christmas turkey; both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches, but neither has any evidence in the Presidential record. In more recent years, two turkeys have been pardoned, in case the original turkey becomes unavailable for presidential pardoning.
George H. W. Bush made the turkey pardon a permanent annual tradition upon assuming the presidency in 1989, a tradition that was possibly inspired in part by a joke his predecessor Ronald Reagan had cracked during the 1987 presentation and has been carried on by every president each year since. After stints at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, Virginia (1989 to 2004), the Disney Resorts (2005 to 2009), Mount Vernon (the estate of George Washington, 2010 to 2012), and Morven Park (the estate of Westmoreland Davis, 2013 to 2015), turkeys have lived the remainder of their lives in the care of agricultural departments of major universities. The turkeys rarely lived to see the next Thanksgiving due to being bred for large size; this gradually improved over the course of the 2010s as Morven Park and the universities have been more aggressive in maintaining the turkeys' health.
Vacation and travelEdit
On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner. Consequently, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers (78% as of 2007) are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve (also known as Blackout Wednesday), the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs as many college students and others return to their hometowns to reunite with friends and family.
Criticism and controversyEdit
Much like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is observed by some as a "National Day of Mourning", in acknowledgment of the genocide and conquest of Native Americans by colonists. Thanksgiving has long carried a distinct resonance for Native Americans, who see the holiday as an embellished story of "Pilgrims and Natives looking past their differences" to break bread. Professor Robert Jensen of the University of Texas at Austin is somewhat harsher: "One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting." Some of the controversy regarding Thanksgiving has been used to justify the Christmas creep (the act of putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving). Those who sympathize with this view acknowledge it as a small minority view; author and humanist John G. Rodwan, who does not celebrate Thanksgiving, noted "If you put forth the interpretation (...) that touches on the dishonorable treatment of the native population that lived in what became the United States, then you are likely to be dismissed as some sort of crank(.)"
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for—annually, not oftener—if they had succeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months, instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceeived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual compliments.
Since 1970, the United American Indians of New England, a protest group led by Frank "Wamsutta" James has accused the United States and European settlers of fabricating the Thanksgiving story and of whitewashing a genocide and injustice against Native Americans, and it has led a National Day of Mourning protest on Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the name of social equality and in honor of political prisoners.
On November 27, 1969, as another notable example of anti-Thanksgiving sentiment, hundreds of supporters traveled to Alcatraz on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the Occupation of Alcatraz (which had started a week earlier and lasted until 1971) by Native Americans of All Tribes. The American Indian Movement and the Native American Church (peyote religion) both also hold a negative view of Thanksgiving; the AIM has used it as a platform for protest, most notably when they took over a Mayflower float in a Thanksgiving Day parade. Some Native Americans hold "Unthanksgiving Day" celebrations in which they mourn the deaths of their ancestors, fast, dance, and pray. This tradition has been taking place since 1975.
The perception of Thanksgiving among Native Americans is not, however, universally negative. Tim Giago, founder of the Native American Journalists Organization, seeks to reconcile Thanksgiving with Native American traditions. He compares Thanksgiving to "wopila", a thanks-giving celebration practiced by Native Americans of the Great Plains. He wrote in The Huffington Post: "The idea of a day of Thanksgiving has been a part of the Native American landscape for centuries. The fact that it is also a national holiday for all Americans blends in perfectly with Native American traditions." He also shares personal anecdotes of Native American families coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Members of the Oneida Indian Nation marched in the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a float called "The True Spirit of Thanksgiving" and have done so every year since.
In the early part of the twentieth century, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism (4A) opposed the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, offering an alternative observance called Blamegiving Day, which was in their eyes, "a protest against Divine negligence, to be observed each year on Thanksgiving Day, on the assumption, for the day only, that God exists". Citing their view of the separation of church and state, some atheists in recent times have particularly criticized the annual recitation of Thanksgiving proclamations by the President of the United States, because these proclamations often revolve around the theme of giving thanks to God.
The move by retailers to begin holiday sales during Thanksgiving Day (as opposed to the traditional day after) has been criticized as forcing (under threat of being fired) low-end retail workers, who compose an increasing share of the nation's workforce, to work odd hours and to handle atypical, unruly crowds on a day reserved for rest. In response to this controversy, Macy's and Best Buy (both of which planned to open on Thanksgiving, even earlier than they had the year before) stated in 2014 that most of their Thanksgiving Day shifts were filled voluntarily by employees who would rather have the day after Thanksgiving off instead of Thanksgiving itself. By 2021, retailers had largely abandoned efforts to hold Thanksgiving doorbusters and returned their focus to Black Friday proper. Blue laws in several Northeastern states prevent retailers in those states from opening on Thanksgiving. Such retailers typically opened at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving.
Journalist Edward R. Murrow and producer David Lowe deliberately chose Thanksgiving weekend 1960 to release Murrow's final story for CBS News. Entitled Harvest of Shame, the hour-long documentary was designed "to shock Americans into action" in regard to the treatment of impoverished migrant workers in the country, hoping to contrast Thanksgiving dinner and its excesses with the poverty of those who picked the vegetables. Murrow acknowledged the documentary portrayed the United States from a hostile perspective and, when he left CBS to join the United States Information Agency in 1961, unsuccessfully tried to stop the special from being aired in the United Kingdom.
Since being fixed on the fourth Thursday in November by law in 1941, the holiday in the United States can occur on any date from November 22 to 28. When it falls on November 22 or 23, it is not the last Thursday, but the penultimate Thursday in November. Regardless, it is the Thursday preceding the last Saturday of November.
Because Thanksgiving is a federal holiday, all United States government offices are closed and all employees are paid for that day. It is also a holiday for the New York Stock Exchange and most other financial markets and financial services companies.
Table of dates (1946–2057)Edit
The date of Thanksgiving Day follows a 28-year cycle, broken only by century years that are not also a multiple of 400 (2100, 2200, 2300, 2500 ...). The cycle break is an effect of the leap year algorithm, which dictates that such years are common years as an adjustment for the calendar-season alignment that leap years provide. Past and future dates of celebration include:
|November 22||November 23||November 24||November 25||November 26||November 27||November 28|
|week 47||week 47||week 47||common year week 47, leap year week 48||week 48||week 48||week 48|
Days after ThanksgivingEdit
The day after Thanksgiving is a holiday for some companies and most schools. In the last two decades of the 20th century, it became known as Black Friday, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and a day for chaotic, early-morning sales at major retailers that were closed on Thanksgiving. A contrasting movement known as Buy Nothing Day originated in Canada in 1992. The day after Thanksgiving is also Native American Heritage Day, a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
Small Business Saturday, a movement promoting shopping at smaller local establishments, takes place on the last Saturday in November, two days after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is a nickname given to the Monday following Thanksgiving; the day evolved in the early days of the Internet, when consumers returning to work took advantage of their employers' broadband Internet connections to do online shopping and retailers began offering sales to meet the demand. Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
- "A Hymn of Thanksgiving" (1899), composed and written by Fanny J. Crosby and Ira D. Sankey.
- "Alice's Restaurant", a song by Arlo Guthrie on his 1967 album Alice's Restaurant, based on a true incident in his life that began on Thanksgiving Day, 1965.
- "Bless This House" (1927), a song composed and written by May Brahe and Helen Taylor.
- "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" (1844), an English hymn written by Henry Alford.
- "For the Beauty of the Earth" (1864), an English hymn written by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint.
- "Hold My Mule" by Shirley Caesar (c.1980), later remixed as "You Name It" ("U Name It")
- "Now Thank We All Our God" (c.1636), a hymn of German origin written by Martin Rinkart.
- "Simple Gifts" (1848), a Shaker hymn attributed to Joseph Brackett.
- "Thanksgiving", a song by George Winston on his album December (1982).
- "The Thanksgiving Song", a song by Adam Sandler on his album They're All Gonna Laugh at You! (1994).
- "Thanksgiving Day Parade", a song by Dan Bern on his album New American Language (2001).
- "Thanksgiving Day", a song by Ray Davies on his album Other People's Lives (2006).
- "We Gather Together" (1597), a hymn of Dutch origin written by Adrianus Valerius.
- "We Plough the Fields and Scatter" (1782), a hymn of German origin written by Matthias Claudius.
- Counihan, Carole (October 18, 2013). Food in the USA: A Reader. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-135-32359-2.
Football games are scheduled and televised throughout the nation; an elaborately constructed, now traditional Macy's parade may be viewed. There are special services, which some attend, and turkeys and other foods are given by churches and other charitable organizations to the poor.
- Brown, Tanya Ballard (November 21, 2012). "How Did Thanksgiving End Up On The Fourth Thursday?". NPR.
- Forbes, Bruce David (October 27, 2015). America's Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories. University of California Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-520-28472-2.
However, Puritans did participate in occasional days of fasting and days of thanksgiving, sometimes declared by the Church of England but developed even further by the Puritans. ... A day of thanksgiving might be declared to celebrate and thank God for particular military victory, or good health following a wave of disease, or an especially bountiful harvest that saved people from starvation. ... The annual days of thanksgiving consisted mainly of worship services and family dinners, and this was repeated over the years.
- "Thanksgiving Day". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Bradford 1952, pp. 85–92.
- Winslow, Edward (1622), Mourt's Relation (PDF), p. 133, retrieved November 20, 2013,
many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted
- "Primary Sources for 'The First Thanksgiving' at Plymouth" (PDF). Pilgrim Hall Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
The 53 Pilgrims at the First Thanksgiving
- "The First Thanksgiving". National Geographic. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Frank, Priscilla (November 28, 2013). "Christie's Is Selling The Proclamation That Established Thanksgiving, Signed By George Washington". HuffPost. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- "Proclamation of Thanksgiving (October 3, 1863)". Abraham Lincoln Online. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- President Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of October 3, 1863 (Presidential Proclamation 106). Series: Presidential Proclamations, 1778–2006. National Archives and Records Administration (United States). Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- Statutes at Large 1871.
- Stathis 1999, pp. 6–7.
- Belz 2017.
- Straus 2014, pp. 1–2.
- "The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings". Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Marist College. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Straus 2014, pp. 4–5.
- "Teacher's Guide: Primary Source Set: Thanksgiving" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541–2001". Library of Congress.
- Davis, Kenneth C. (November 25, 2008). "A French Connection". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Morill, Ann "Thanksgiving and Other Harvest Festivals" Infobase Publishing, ISBN 1-60413-096-2 p.33
- "The First Thanksgiving". National Geographic. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Dowdy, Clifford (1957). The Great Plantation. Rinehart and Co. pp. 29–37.
- Woodlief, H. Graham. "History of the First Thanksgiving". Berkeley Plantation. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- "The True Story of the First Thanksgiving". American Experience at PBS. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Hedgpeth, Dana (November 4, 2021). "This tribe helped the Pilgrims survive for their first Thanksgiving. They still regret it 400 years later". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- Globe, Sheryl Julian, The Boston. "History Is Served". chicagotribune.com.
- Johnson, Caleb. "Women of Early Plymouth". MayflowerHistory.com. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Banner, David. "Boston History—The History of Boston, Massachusetts". SearchBoston. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- Kennedy, Lawrence W. (1994). Planning the city upon a hill: Boston since 1630. University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0-87023-923-6.
- "Separating the Pilgrims From the Puritans (Published 1999)". The New York Times. October 24, 1999. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- Bradford 1952, p. 90.
- "Let's Talk Turkey: 5 myths about the Thanksgiving holiday". The Patriot Ledger. November 26, 2009. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- Dexter, Henry Martyn (1865). Mourt's Relation Or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth. J. K. Wiggin. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Bradford 1952, pp. 120–121.
- Bradford 1856, pp. 135–136.
- Love, William DeLoss (1895). The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England. Houghton, Mifflin. p. 84.
- Bradford 1856, p. 142.
- Winslow, Edward (1624). "Good Newes from New-England: or, A true relation of things very remarkable at the plantation of Plimoth in New-England—Together with a relation of such religious and civil laws and customers, as are in practice amongst the Indians" (PDF). MayflowerHistory.com. Retrieved November 28, 2013., original at 
- Bradford 1952, p. 132.
- Baker, James W. (2009). Thanksgiving: the biography of an American holiday. UPNE. p. 273. ISBN 9781584658016.
- Bangs, Jeremy (September 2005). "The Truth About Thanksgiving Is that the Debunkers Are Wrong". History News Network. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "John F. Kennedy XXXV President, Thanksgiving Proclamation, Nov. 5, 1963". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- "Thanksgiving". George Washington's Mount Vernon. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Library of Congress (June 4, 1998). "Religion and the Congress of the Confederation, 1774–89". Library of Congress.
- Ellis Sandoz. Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America. University of Missouri Press. 2013. p40
- compiled from authentic materials by Joseph Gales, Senior (1834), The Annals of the Congress, The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, 1, Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, pp. 949–950
- "Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789". George Washington Papers. Library of Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2008.
- Hillstrom 2008, p. 97. sfn error: no target: CITEREFHillstrom2008 (help)
- Jefferson, Thomas (January 1, 1802). ""Letter to the Danbury Baptists"". Library of Congress Information Bulletin. 57.
- Strong, Caleb (October 15, 1813). "The Weekly Messenger Newspaper—October 15, 1813". 1812 History. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- [Zanesville Express, October 31, 1816.]
- Smith, Andrew F. "N.Y.'s place in Thanksgiving lore: How Gotham is as central to our modern conception of the holiday as New England". nydailynews.com. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- Smith, Andrew F. (November 1, 2003). "The First Thanksgiving". Gastronomica. 3 (4): 79–85. doi:10.1525/gfc.2003.3.4.79.
- "Transcript for Abraham Lincoln Thanksgiving Proclamation 1863" (PDF). National Archives.
- Rodwan, Jr., John G. (November 20, 2010). "No Thanks". Humanist Network News. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- Katrina Trinko; Daniel Davis (November 22, 2018). "The surprising story of the First Thanksgiving". The Daily Signal. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
- Nigro, Carmen. "Thanksgiving Ragamuffin Parade". Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "The Role of Fred Lazarus Jr. in Giving Us Department Stores Like Macy's and Bloomingdale's". ATouchofBusiness.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Macy's, Inc. History—Macy's, Inc". Macysinc.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Kirkpatrick, Melanie (November 24, 2009). "Happy Franksgiving". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Congress Establishes Thanksgiving". The National Archives. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
- "5 U.S.C. 87b. Dec. 26, 1941, ch. 631, 55 Stat. 862". Legal Information Institute. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
- "Thanksgiving Day a Time for Reflection, Gratitude, Sharing". Bureau of International Information Programs. U.S. Department of State. November 23, 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Easton, Kimberley (November 27, 2014). "Annual Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner serves those in need". WLKY. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Jacobson, Susan (November 27, 2014). "Orlando Magic, Salvation Army feed thousands on Thanksgiving". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Shannon-Missal, Larry (November 19, 2015). "Americans Weigh In on Their Favorite Holiday, Most Anticipated Eats, and How they Wash it All Down". The Harris Poll. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- Thanksgiving traditions changing. WDTN. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
- "Today's Turkey Talks Thanksgiving". National Turkey Federation.
- "Americans to spend over $1.05 billion on Thanksgiving turkey this year". finder.com. November 20, 2017.
- History.com Staff (2009), "History of Thanksgiving", History, A+E Networks, archived from the original on January 21, 2018, retrieved November 12, 2017
- Copeland, Shelby (October 24, 2018). "The woman who created the green bean casserole has died". CNN.com. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- Philbrick, Nathaniel (2006). Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Penguin Books. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-14-311197-9.
- "When Americans banned Christmas". theweek.com.
- Corwin, Tom (February 5, 2011). "Super Bowl party food need not send diets crashing". The Augusta Chronicle. Augusta, Georgia. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- Frimer, Jeremy A.; Skitka, Linda J. (2020). "Are politically diverse Thanksgiving dinners shorter than politically uniform ones?". PLOS ONE. 15 (10): e0239988. Bibcode:2020PLoSO..1539988F. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0239988. PMC 7591091. PMID 33108382.
- "Thanksgiving dinners will cost an eye-popping 14% more this year".
- "Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations". Pilgrim Hall Museum. Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Raise the Banners High!: Making and Using Processional Banners. Liturgy Training Publications. 2002. p. 38. ISBN 1568543689.
- Warth, Gary (November 15, 2007). "Many blessings: Throughout history, we have given thanks in various ways". North County Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Put 'Thanks' in Thanksgiving". The Courier. November 8, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Linton Weeks. "Table For One, Please. A Solo Thanksgiving". wgbhnews.org.
- Thanksgiving traditions: A mix of blessings. "The Charleston Gazette". Retrieved November 25, 2013. Archived December 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Celebrating Thanksgiving with the family". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
- Hassaballa, Hesham. "A Muslim Gives Thanks: Few things are more Islamic than thanking God for His blessings". Beliefnet. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Sikhs participate in interfaith celebration of Thanksgiving" (PDF). The South Asian Insider. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Revised Common Lectionary Scripture Citations for Year C, 2021-2022. Vanderbilt University library. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
- "Millions of Revelers Marvel Over Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". CBS Broadcasting Inc. November 24, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "Pilgrims and parades: A brief history of Thanksgiving". Newsworks.org (WHYY). November 24, 2011. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- ONeill, Zora. "America's best Thanksgiving Day parades". Lonely Planet. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
- "Thanksgiving weekend need to know: parade, shopping, football and more". Crain's Detroit Business. November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
- "America's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Detroit Historical Society". detroithistorical.org. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
- "About the Parade". Christmas in St. Louis Foundation. 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade". Sun Bowl Association. 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "H-E-B Holiday Parade". Houston Festival Foundation. 2010. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Santa Claus Parade kicks off the Christmas season in Peoria on Friday". Peoria Journal Star. November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- "Annual Events". Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce. 2010. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Event Calendar". Stamford Downtown Special Services District. 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Aloha fest". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. September 9, 1999. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- Butler, Kevin (November 1989). "CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade Jubilees". TVparty.com. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Adkinson, Tom (November 21, 2000). "Superstars Shine as CBS Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Gaylord Entertainment's Grand Ole Opry; Thanksgiving Parade Coverage to Feature Opryland Hotel | Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc". Ryman Hospitality Properties (Press release). Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Harrison, Scott (November 23, 2018). "From the Archives: Previous Hollywood Christmas Parades". Hartford Courant. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- "Foot Ball". The Evening Telegraph (Fifth ed.). Philadelphia. November 17, 1869. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "The Origins of the Thanksgiving Day Tradition". Detroit Lions. Archived from the original on April 11, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
- Scales, Kristi (November 26, 2014). "Why Do the Cowboys Play on Thanksgiving Day?". 5 Points Blue (Dallas Cowboys). Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- McDonald, Jerry (December 6, 2016). "NFL's Thursday night football: A bad idea that's here to stay". The Mercury News. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Johnson, Richard (November 18, 2018). "Which Power 5 conference usually has the best rivalry week?". SB Nation. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Askeland, Kevin (November 24, 2009). "High school football a tradition on Thanksgiving Day". MaxPreps. CBS Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Mandell, Nina (November 25, 2015). "The unwritten rules of Thanksgiving flag football according to an NFL receiver". USA Today. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "FAQ". Wooden Legacy. ESPN Events. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "AdvoCare Invitational". Walt Disney World. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "Battle 4 Atlantis". Atlantis Paradise Island. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- /humans.txt. "About—NIT Tip-off". NIT Tip-off. ESPN Events. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Brewster, Louis (November 17, 2016). "Turkey Night Grand Prix tradition returns to Ventura Raceway". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "Thanksgiving minus the Skins Game for first time". PGA Tour. November 24, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "Tiger vs. Phil: Who won The Match?". Golf. November 23, 2018.
- Harig, Bob (October 5, 2021). "Fifth edition of The Match to feature Bryson DeChambeau vs. Brooks Koepka over 12 holes in Las Vegas". ESPN. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
- "Local reaction to Punkin' Chunkin' cancellation". WMDT. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Hinton, Dave (November 1, 2019). 'Punkin chunkers' aiming for record books at championships this weekend in Rantoul. Rantoul Press via WDWS/The News-Gazette. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Hinton, Dave (October 29, 2019). Morton-area group glad for Punkin Chunkin's move to Rantoul. Rantoul Press. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
- Durling, Ryan (November 25, 2011). "Bruins vs. Red Wings: A Brief History of the Brand-Spanking New NHL Thanksgiving Showdown". Bostinno. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Molinaro, John (December 17, 1999). "Starrcade, the original "super card"". SLAM! Sports. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Bixenspan, David (November 27, 2013). "Starrcade vs. Survivor Series: The Fight for Thanksgiving That Changed Wrestling". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Wischhover, Cheryl (November 20, 2018). "Turkey trots, America's most popular races, explained". Vox. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "Turkey Trot Tidbits: All About America's Most Popular Holiday Run". ActionHub. November 22, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "Thanksgiving Day Match on FOX and Four ABC Broadcasts Highlight MLS Postseason Schedule". Major League Soccer. September 9, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
- "MLS Announces 2022 Schedule Format & Conference Alignment". Major League Soccer. November 5, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- "As a holiday staple, 'Alice's' lives here evermore—The Boston Globe". Boston.com. November 23, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2015.(subscription required)
- Epstein, Dan (November 24, 2014). "Why Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song" Is a Holiday Classic". Rolling Stone.
- Lord, Jeffrey (November 26, 2013). "Rush Limbaugh Saves the Pilgrims". The American Spectator. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- "The Ig® Nobel Prizes Archive". Improbable Research. January 7, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Storey, Will. "A History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon". The New York Times.
- Edwards, Cynthia (December 5, 2003). "Did Truman pardon a Turkey?". Truman Trivia. Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved September 20, 2006.
- "President Bush Pardons 'Flyer and Fryer' in National Thanksgiving Turkey Ceremony". Office of the Press Secretary. The White House Archives. November 22, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Dizikes, Cynthia (November 27, 2008). "Pumpkin and Pecan off the Thanksgiving menu". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Presidential Turkey Pardon". snopes.com. November 23, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Montanaro, Domenico (November 26, 2014). "Why presidents pardon turkeys—a history". PBS.
- "Five things to know about the turkey pardon". The Washington Post.
- Gendreau, Henri (November 30, 2019). "'They eat quite a bit': Post-pardon, the real lives of Virginia Tech's presidential turkeys". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
- Editors, History com. "Thanksgiving 2020". HISTORY. Retrieved November 23, 2020.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "24 million expected to fly over Thanksgiving holiday period". eTurboNews. November 1, 2010. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- Cody, Karen James (November 13, 2007). "Thanksgiving Holiday Leave Reaches New High; Turkey Stages a Comeback as Employer Holiday Gift". The Bureau of National Affairs. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Ronan, Gayle B. (November 23, 2005). "Bars, restaurants grateful for Thanksgiving Eve". NBC News. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Society, National Geographic (February 1, 2016). "Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning". National Geographic Society. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
- Kirkland, Pamela (November 24, 2019). "For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning". CNN. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
- Weiss, Jana (n.d.). "The National Day of Mourning". Amerikastudien/American Studies. 63 (3): 367–388.
- "Giving thanks, with mixed feelings" by Sarah Parvini. Los Angeles Times. Thursday, November 26, 2015 :: latimes.com/California
- "This is why many Americans don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day". The Independent. November 27, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
- Halford, Macy (November 21, 2010). "When Twain tried to move Thanksgiving". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- Carter, Matt (November 28, 2013). "Thanksgiving is National Day of Mourning for people in historic New England town". occupy.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- DeShonda (May 9, 1973). "American Indian Movement (AIM)—AIM'S Background, Early AIM Activism, Aim And Athletic Mascots, Expanding The AIM Mission". Encyclopedia.jrank.org. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Thanks, or no Thanksgiving". American River Current. November 25, 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- "Alcatraz Is Not An Island". PBS.org. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Giago, Tim (November 17, 2011). "A Day to Give Thanks is part of Native American Tradition". HuffPost. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Virginia (November 25, 2010). "Oneida Indian Nation float in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". Oneidadispatch.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Cheadle, Harry (November 25, 2013). "The Hateful History of Blamegiving Day, the Most Bitter, Godless Holiday of All Time". Vice. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- "Thanksgiving: A Violation of the Separation of Church and State?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Sreenivasan, Hari (November 22, 2012). "How 'Black Friday' Morphed Into 'Gray Thursday'". PBS. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Gustafson, Krystina (October 14, 2014). Macy's to open at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. CNBC. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- [dead link]Best Buy Doorbuster Deals Start at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving and at 8:00 a.m. on Black Friday. Press release. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- Franklin, Jonathan (November 25, 2021). "A complete guide to what is — and isn't — open this Thanksgiving Day". NPR. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
- Blair, Elizabeth (May 31, 2014). "In Confronting Poverty, 'Harvest of Shame' Reaped Praise and Criticism". Weekend Edition Saturday. NPR. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- "Edward R. Murrow, Broadcaster And Ex-Chief of U.S.I.A., Dies". The New York Times. On This Day (column). April 28, 1965. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
- Balough, Brian. "Harvest of Shame, Reviewed in Time, March 31, 1961". HIUS 316: Viewing America, the United States from 1945 to the Present. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
- "Holiday Schedule – Holiday Schedule – SIFMA". www.sifma.org. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
- see e.g. "TimeandDate.com". and "CalendarHome.com" retrieved December 1, 2014
- Lin, Jennifer (November 30, 1985). "Why the Name Black Friday? Uh ... Well ..." The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Crook, Barbara. "Can you say bye to buying one day a year?" Vancouver Sun. September 25, 1991
- "Native American Heritage Day Falling on Black Friday Is 'Poor Taste', Activist Says". Retrieved November 24, 2017.
- Mastrull, Diane (November 21, 2010). "In holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday is small business' rebuttal to Black Friday".
- "'Cyber Monday' Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year". Shop.org.
- "About". Giving Tuesday. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "Shirley Ceaser asks that you drop the twerking from #unameitchallenge". NBC News.
- Belz, Paul H. (December 25, 2017). "How Christmas Got Its Start". Hartfort Courant.
- Bradford, William (1856) [1620–1647]. Charles Deane (ed.). History of Plymouth Plantation. Boston: Little, Brown and Co. OCLC 45416485.
- Bradford, William (1952) [1620–1647]. Samuel Eliot Morison (ed.). Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-43895-5.
- Hillstrom, Laurie Collier (2007). The Thanksgiving book: a companion to the holiday covering its history, lore, ... Omnigraphics. p. 328. ISBN 978-0780804036.
- Love, William DeLoss (1895). The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co. OCLC 277223356.
- Stathis, Stephen W. (February 8, 1999). "Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application" (PDF). www.senate.gov. Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service The Library of Congress.
- Statutes at Large An Act Making the First Day of January, the Twenty-Fifth Day of December, The Fourth Day of July, and Thanksgiving Day, Holidays, Within the District of Columbia. XVI. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1871. p. 168.
- Straus, Jacob R. (May 9, 2014). "Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices" (PDF). Congressional Research Service.
- "American as Pumpkin Pie: A History of Thanksgiving". BackStory with the American History Guys. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. November 16, 2010. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010. An hour-long history public radio program examining the roots of America's Thanksgiving rituals
- Armstrong, Elizabeth (November 27, 2002). "The first Thanksgiving". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
- "Of Harvest, Prayer, and Football: A History of Thanksgiving". RandomHistory.com. October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Thanksgiving". FreeAudio.org. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010. Free audio readings of Thanksgiving proclamations by William Bradford, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln
- "The Background Leading Up To and Story of the First Thanksgiving". The Council of Seven / Royal House of Pokanoket / Pokanoket Tribe / Wampanoag Nation. Retrieved November 26, 2010. Historical perspective from the Pokanoket Tribe
- "The First Thanksgiving". Plymouth, Massachusetts: Pilgrim Hall Museum. Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- T. K. Byron, PhD. "George Washington and the History of Thanksgiving". George Washington's Mount Vernon.