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Topics in Chronicling America - Thanksgiving

After several years of grueling Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaims the last Thursday of November 1863 to be set aside as a day of Thanksgiving in order to create a sense of unity in the broken country. The tradition became widespread in the 1870s, and to this day, people all across the United States celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • October 3, 1863. President Abraham Lincoln proclaims Thanksgiving a national holiday, to be celebrated the last Thursday of November.
  • Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving is celebrated.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner, turkey, thanks, thankful, football, Thanksgiving proclamation
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 9, 2016
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