The History of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn  feast that is acknowledged 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. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.History of Thanksgiving

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration centers on cooking and sharing a meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple that has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on the table when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. It is said possibly lobster, seal, and swans were on the original Thanksgiving menu.  Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat Turkey according to the National Turkey Federation.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing more than 50 million viewers on television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

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Taken in part from