Thanksgiving 2019 – November 28, 2019

Thu Nov 28

What is Thanksgiving?

 
America’s Thanksgiving holiday, born in the 1500s, mythologized in 1621, and observed even during the bleakest hours of the Civil War, now stands as one of the nation’s most anticipated and beloved days — celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in November (November 28, 2019). Perhaps no other nonsectarian holiday has more tradition. Family, friends, food, and football have come to symbolize Thanksgiving — a rare celebratory holiday without an established gift-giving component. Instead the day urges all of us to be grateful for things we do have.

History of Thanksgiving

This story doesn’t necessarily start with Pilgrims. 
 
Evidence shows that Spanish explorers and settlers held thanksgiving services during the late 1500s in what is now Florida and New Mexico. Thanksgivings also took place in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown holding a thanksgiving in 1610.
 
The ‘First’ Thanksgiving
 
It wasn’t until a decade later that the Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, arrived in the New World. They celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The gathering included 50 people who were on the Mayflower (all who remained of the 100 who had landed) and 90 Native Americans. The feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World, along with young daughters and other servants.   
 
Revolutionary times
 
During the war the Continental Congress appointed one or more thanksgiving days each year, each time recommending to the executives of the various states the observance of these days in their states. George Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces, proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga.
 
The Continental-Confederation Congress, the legislative body that governed the United States from 1774 to 1789, issued several “national days of prayer, humiliation, and thanksgiving.” This would eventually manifest itself in the established American observances of Thanksgiving and the National Day of Prayer today.
 
In 1789 New Jersey congressman Elias Boudinot proposed that the House and Senate jointly ask President Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for “the many signal favors of Almighty God.” Washington then created the first U.S. government-mandated Thanksgiving Day. It read in part: “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of thee States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
 
The holiday would remain inconsistent for decades.
 
Civil War
 
President Lincoln, the war, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day in 1863, to be celebrated on November 26 — the final Thursday of the month. Secretary of State William H. Seward wrote the proclamation that read in part:
 
“In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict.     
 
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
 
The U.S. has observed Thanksgiving ever since.
 
Future presidents followed Lincoln’s example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared November’s fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. FDR thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas — and help bring the country out of the Depression. A 1942 law — making the fourth Thursday a federal holiday — has stood ever since

Thanksgiving 2019 - Survey Results

 

Thanksgiving 2019 timeline

1939

'Franksgiving'

President Franklin Roosevelt, in an effort to jolt the nation out of the Great Depression, moved the holiday (potentially) up a week — to the fourth Thursday in November. Thus the holiday can fall as early as November 22  — guaranteeing merchants as much as a week of extra shopping time before Christmas.

1863

Wartime celebration

President Lincoln, during the Civil War, urges Americans to ask God to “commend to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He schedules Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. Magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, known as “the Mother of Thanksgiving,” had encouraged politicians to do this since 1827.

1789

A revolutionary idea

President Washington issues the U.S. government’s first Thanksgiving proclamation — calling on Americans to express gratitude for the new nation and the Constitution.

1621

Pilgrim feast

Plymouth colonists and Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe share an autumn harvest feast. It’s one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies — and the one most Americans (especially kids) look to as the beginning of the modern tradition.

1565

America’s (other) first Thanksgiving

Religious scholars argue that Catholic Spanish explorers held a “Mass of Thanksgiving,” in Saint Augustine, Florida — the oldest settlement in the U.S. This would be the first communal thanksgiving celebration in the first permanently settled European colony on American soil.

Thanksgiving Statistics

57% of people will spend Thanksgiving at home this year
 
Whether they’re hosting or unable to make it out to see the rest of their family, 57% of Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the comfort of their own home. It’s not easy being the Thanksgiving host: you have to prepare all of the dishes that no one else claimed, make sure there’s plenty of space to hold all of your guests, and hope that people will stay afterwards to help clean up (we’re thankful for you, clean up crew)! So if you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving get together, be strong — the wave will be over soon! And if you’re unable to make it to your family’s place for the holiday, then you can always prepare your own miniature Thanksgiving meal right at home. 
 
88% of Americans eat Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner
 
The tradition of eating turkey for Thanksgiving is as American as….well…the apple pie you’ll probably eat right after the turkey (pumpkin and sweet potato are also great choices). It’s so apart of Thanksgiving in fact, that even some vegan/vegetarian participants might throw in a specially made tofurkey to not stray too far from tradition. A perfectly cooked turkey takes hours, patience, and lots of hoping that it doesn’t dry out! Your turkey can make or break the entire Thanksgiving meal, so it’s best to be prepared and get your timing right…no pressure.
 
4% of people travel to have Thanksgiving with their friends
 
There’s the family that you’re born with and the family that you choose, and sometimes you might have a better relationship with the latter than you do with the former. But family is what you make it, and traveling to spend Thanksgiving with good friends, good laughs, and good company is essentially what the holiday is all about. We’re thankful for the friends who always have our backs no matter what and support us through life’s ups and downs. Here’s to you and happy Friendsgiving! 

Thanksgiving 2019 FAQs

Why is Thanksgiving so late 2019?

Future presidents followed Lincoln’s example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared November’s fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. FDR thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas — and help bring the country out of the Depression. A 1942 law — making the fourth Thursday a federal holiday — has stood ever since.

Why is Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in 2019?

President Franklin Roosevelt declared November’s fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. FDR thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas — and help bring the country out of the Depression.

What week number is Thanksgiving 2019?

Thanksgiving 2019 is on week number 48

Thanksgiving 2019 Activities

  1. Volunteer

    Before sitting down to enjoy a nice warm meal at home, invite the family to join you to serve the community by volunteering at a local shelter. It's a great way to give back to those less fortunate and provides an opportunity for the whole family to do something good.

  2. Bake a pie

    Pies are a one of the classic Thanksgiving staples. Pecan, pumpkin, apple, cherry — you literally cannot go wrong. Preheat the oven, throw on an apron, and get cooking!

  3. Start a take-out tradition

    Cooking a Thanksgiving meal can take hours. Lots of restaurants serve Thanksgiving dinners. Or start a new tradition by ordering take out! It can be the Chinese restaurant down the street, Indian curry, even your favorite pizza place. And tip well! The day is all about being grateful.

Why We Love Thanksgiving 2019

  1. The food

    Traditional Thanksgiving dinners generally includes turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, buttered vegetables, warm pumpkin pie, and other indulgent foods. But honestly, anything goes as we approach the 2020s. Vegan’s just fine too.

  2. Family and friends

    Thanksgiving is a time when friends and family gather to express gratitude. For some people, it's an occasion to be with family you don't see often. For others, it's a time to get all their friends (Friendsgiving!) together for food and fun.

  3. 4-day weekend

    Americans look forward to their extended holiday weekend right around the time Halloween ends. Thanksgiving Day starts a mini work/school vacation that also includes Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#Thanksgiving #Friendsgiving #Thankful #Imthankfulfor #Foodporn