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7 Fun Facts About Thanksgiving


1. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by Pilgrims and Native Americans over a three day period, not one day.  


2. Turkey might have been a part of the original meal, but was probably not the main course.  Although no actual record was kept, it is believed that venison, stuffed birds, and corn were some of the original items on that first Thanksgiving meal. 


3. President George Washington proclaimed Thursday 26th of November 1789, a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer".  Although, not made a national holiday.


4. Sarah Hale, author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had A Little Lamb", petitioned five Presidents for the creation of a national holiday known today as Thanksgiving.


5. President Abraham Lincoln announced on October 3, 1863 a national day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated on November 26, 1863.   In his speech, he declared the fourth Thursday of November to be considered an official United States Holiday of Thanksgiving.   The only other national holidays at that time were Washington's Birthday and Independence Day.


6. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Thanksgiving holiday to the third Thursday of November to give consumers and businesses a few extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Thanksgiving was moved back to the fourth Thursday in 1941 due largely to pressure from Congress.


7. President George W. Bush pardoned the first turkey in 1989 and this has continued to be a tradition of every United States President since that original pardon.  

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