Which U.S. president made Thanksgiving a national holiday?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several times in U.S. history where by Thanksgiving Day was designated a holiday. In 1789, Washington set aside November 26 in order to 'give thanks' for the American victory over the British. After that several states recognized a 'Thanksgiving Day', however it was Lincoln in 1863 who declared 'Thanksgiving Day' an annual holiday. Although the war would drag on for another two years, Lincoln believed that the day would serve as a force of reconcilation. While it is true that Lincoln is credited with incorporating Thanksgiving Day into American culture, in was not until a joint resolution of Congress under the F.D.R. administration in 1941 that Thanksgiving Day was nationally designated a holiday celebrated the last Thursday in November.

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