Which U.S. President made Thanksgiving a national holiday?


Quick Answer

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the U.S. President who established Thanksgiving in 1941 as the national holiday known today, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. While in 1863, Abraham Lincoln established a Thanksgiving holiday on the last Thursday in November, the declaration only applied to the northern states, and it was an act of Congress following the Civil War that made it a national holiday.

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Full Answer

While Franklin Roosevelt declared in 1939 that Thanksgiving was to be moved up to the third Thursday in November, this was derided by many as "Franksgiving," and it was common for families to continue to celebrate at the end of November. It was not until Roosevelt signed the 1941 bill that Thanksgiving was fixed as it is today, sometimes occurring on the last Thursday and sometimes on the second-to-last Thursday of November.

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