(This post originally appeared on our blog November 23, 2011)
We know that the tradition of Thanksgiving has been celebrated since colonial days. But do you know how it became a Federal Holiday?
The first post-nationhood proclamation on record was made by George Washington on October 3, 1789. This marked the first time that Thanksgiving was officially recognized by the U.S. Government.
After that, Thanksgiving was proclaimed by presidents sporadically until Abraham Lincoln took office; since then it has been an annual affair. Lincoln proclaimed it in 1861, and after that the holiday was observed annually on …