But the changing date each year keeps things interesting.
So… when is Thanksgiving 2021?
Why does the date change every year?
This year, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Nov. 25.
Turkey. Football. Giving thanks.
We know it’s a Thursday, and we know it’s in November — but some Americans are still left asking, “When is Thanksgiving?”
The holiday is always on the fourth Thursday in November.
It was Abraham Lincoln who originally decided to mark the holiday by day, rather than a specific date, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. After the Civil War’s successful Battle Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, he called upon Americans to observe the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”
Nearly a century later, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed things up, moving Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November with a Presidential Proclamation. This was done to extend the shopping season ahead of Christmas —a strategic move as the country was inching out of the Great Depression in 1939 — but many Americans opted out of changing tradition. 32 states issued their own proclamations to align with Roosevelt, according to the The Center for Legislative Archives, while 16 states refused to accept the change.
Because of that discrepancy and to avoid further confusion, in 1941, Congress established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday every November. There was talk of making it the “last” Thursday, but lawmakers wanted to account for the years where November would have five Thursdays.
Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @rashikajpr.