July 8: 1630: Governor John Winthrop [Massachusetts Bay Colony] documented a celebration in his records: "We kept a days of thanksgiving in all the plantations."June 29, 1671: a celebration of thanksgiving at Charlestown, Massachusetts by order of its town council.October 3, 1789 President George Washington signs a decree appointing November 26, 1789 as "a Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer." You can read the original as published on October 14 that year in the Massachusets Centinel newspaper or a transcribed copy.
1827: Sarah Josepha Hale begins 36 years of lobbying American Presidents to officially declare an annual national celebration of Thanksgiving and prayer.
October 3, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln issues his Thanksgiving Proclamation setting the last Thursday of November for annual celebration nationwide. [Note: Some previous Presidents had done individual year proclamations.] 1939: President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the 4th Thursday of November as the official holiday. 1941: Congress approved Roosevelt's date as a national holiday.