Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863. In that year, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. He asked citizens to “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise . . . .”
It was not until 1941 that Congress designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day, thus creating a federal holiday.
Turkey became the traditional Thanksgiving fare because at one time it was a rare treat. During the 1830s, an 8- to 10-pound bird cost a day’s wages. Today, they still remain a celebratory symbol of bounty. In fact, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin ate roast turkey in foil packets for their first meal on the Moon.
November 23 (1989)
Low pressure across the Carolinas brought record snow to the East on Thanksgiving Day.
November 25 (1983)
The Great Thanksgiving Blizzard hit Denver, Colo., with 21.5 inches of snow in 37 hours.
November 26 (1987)
On this Thanksgiving Day, snowfall totals in Maine ranged up to 20 inches at Flagstaff Lake. A second storm, over the southern and central Rockies, produced 13 inches at Divide, Colo.
Over the river, and through the wood,
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
(from “The New England Boy’s Thanksgiving Poem”)