Monday, November 19, 2012

A Short History of Thanksgiving

1621 - The First Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, sometime in early autumn. Days of thanksgiving were often celebrated prior to that year, but the focus tended to be more about prayer and less on feasting.

1863 - There was no official day to celebrate Thanksgiving until Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. It was celebrated on the last Thursday of the month.

1920 - When the NFL formed in 1920 (then called the American Professional Football Association) six professional games were played. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has scores for every Thanksgiving game played since. Check out this year's schedule to see what teams play this Thursday.

1924 - The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place (see photos of the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades).

1939 - Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to move the traditional date of Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of the month to lengthen the holiday shopping season and boost the economy. It became official in 1941, when a resolution was passed in Congress.

1960's - Newspapers in Philadelphia began referring to the day after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" to describe the rush of crowds at stores.

Of course now that you've read all that, you can't wait to learn more about Thanksgiving, right? Check our catalog for books and movies or America: History and Life to learn more.

Kimbel Library and Bryan Information Commons have special hours for Thanksgiving week, here they are:

Monday November 19th - 8am to 5pm
Tuesday November 20th - 8am to 5pm
Wednesday November 21st - 8am to noon
Thursday November 22nd - CLOSED
Friday November 23rd - CLOSED
Saturday November 24th - Open at 11am, resume 24/7 schedule

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