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Old FACTS of Thanksgiving Day

Published November 30, 2007        by Nicole

The harvest festival of Thanksgiving - in Canada, the second Monday in October - has wandered around the calendar more than most holidays:

  • The first North American celebration was in Canada's eastern
    Arctic in 1578, by explorer Martin Frobisher.
  • New England's Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in autumn 1621, 'with turkey, squash, and pumpkin. This festival was brought to
    Canada as early as 1750. Abraham Lincoln made it an official
    U.S. holiday in 1863.
  • From 1819 to 1921, Canada's official Thanksgiving was November 6. In 1931, it reverted to the second or third Monday in October, except for 1935 when it was held on a Thursday. In 1957,
    Ottawa formalized the present date.