Thanksgiving Day, on Thursday Nov. 22, follows a tradition started by the Pilgrim fathers at Plymouth, Mass., in 1621.
But, according to researchers at Hallmark Cards, Thanksgiving was not always a national celebration. For 150 years after the Pilgrims, it was observed only sporadically.The day was officially proclaimed by President George Washington in 1789, just for that year, and once again in 1795. President Thomas Jefferson actively opposed Thanksgiving during his two terms, 1801-1809. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made the present date for Thanksgiving official, but on two later occasions President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it. In 1941, a joint Congressional resolution set the fourth Thursday in November as the permanent Thanksgiving date.