Thanksgiving, a cherished American tradition, has a rich history that's shaped the nation's culture. The holiday has seen many transformations over the years:
1621 - The Inception: The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts, as Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans gathered to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
17th Century - Days of Faith: Early celebrations were predominantly religious, with various colonies and towns observing days of thanksgiving to express gratitude to God.
1777 - Continental Congress: During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress issued proclamations recommending days of thanksgiving to unite the nation during uncertain times.
19th Century - National Holiday: The tireless efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale and President Abraham Lincoln culminated in Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday in 1863, with the last Thursday in November as the chosen date.
20th Century - Date Standardization: After brief controversies in date changes, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November, a tradition upheld today.
Modern Celebrations: Today, Thanksgiving is synonymous with family gatherings, a feast featuring turkey and classic dishes, and the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's a day to express gratitude for life's blessings and togetherness.