Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541 - 2001
  October 3, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day. The decree only technically affected the District of Columbia and federal employees but governors throughout the Union followed suit with similar state proclamations.

Lincoln issued a similar proclamation in 1864. With the exception of Andrew Johnson designating the first Thursday in December as Thanksgiving Day 1865 and Ulysses Grant choosing the third Thursday for Thanksgiving Day 1869, U.S. presidents maintained the holiday until Franklin Roosevelt broke with tradition in 1939.

Three-Quarter View of Lincoln, Facing Left
A Daguerreotype Portrait of President Abraham Lincoln.
 
previous  
navbar piece 1541 1564 1607 1610 1621 1630 1775 1777 1789 1815 1846 1850 1856 1861 navbar piece
navbar piece 1863 1864 1876 1917 1921 1924 1934 1939 1941 1942 1947 1963 1972 2000 2001 navbar piece