Thanksgiving Day is observed each year in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. The observance is a time when families and friends gather and give thanks for many reasons, each often as different as each person who gathers around the table.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that many acknowledge today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. However, it wasn’t until 1863, amid the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.