Civil War origins, turkey-less first meal: 7 interesting facts about Thanksgiving

Abraham Lincoln's proclamation

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America |

In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation credited with beginning the annual trend of late November proclamations.

Lincoln issued the proclamation on Oct. 3, 1863, a few months after the Battle of Gettysburg, generally considered the turning point of the national conflict.

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy," read the proclamation.

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

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