Lincoln’s proclamation made Thanksgiving official

The first Thanksgiving is often associated with the Pilgrims. Over two centuries later, President Lincoln was the first to make it official.

The official designation of 1863 is the most lasting of the nine proclamations for a day of thanks issued by Lincoln during his presidency.

The idea of a thanksgiving was nothing new. On Oct. 3, 1789, George Washington had issued a proclamation for a day of thanksgiving, scheduled for November 26 of that year. It had been celebrated on various days throughout the nation, as many states had their own designations.

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