Thursday is a weird day for a holiday, right? Sure, some companies give their employees the Friday after Thanksgiving off, but many don’t, which means many Americans are lugging their turkey-filled bodies back to work after inhaling every piece of food in sight the day before. A famed publisher even wrote to President Herbert Hoover in 1929, asking him to *please* move the holiday to Friday so we all get a three-day weekend for “thanksgiving, rest, pleasure and recreation” -- amen, F.B. Haviland.
Historians don’t know exactly which day the legendary first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and native Americans fell on, and it actually happened in October, not November, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. So why do we observe Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November?
The Farmer’s Almanac goes on to say that Thursday was a special day for Puritan colonists in New England, with ministers giving a religious lecture on Thursday afternoons, so that could have contributed to the Thursday Thanksgiving traditio (although, for a brief five-year period in the 1600s, Thanksgiving was held on Nov. 25).
At any rate, Thanksgiving has been held on the a Thursday in November since George Washington’s presidency , and President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 that Thanksgiving would be held the last Thursday of November (later amended to the fourth Thursday due to a kerfuffle between Franklin D. Roosevelt, several states and business leaders regarding the holiday shopping season).