What Day Is Thanksgiving in 2021?

·1-min read
Photo credit: LILIBOAS/GETTY IMAGE
Photo credit: LILIBOAS/GETTY IMAGE

In 2020, Thanksgiving looked a lot different for many people—whether it involved gathering at the dinner table with your family over Zoom or having an intimate, outdoor meal with your quarantine pod. This year, we’ll be able to more safely celebrate with family and friends IRL. Since the reunion is a long-time coming, it’s never too soon to start planning your feast. The first step to crafting a stress-free holiday? Knowing what day it actually falls on. Last year, it fell on November 26. Thanksgiving 2021 will take place on November 25.

Why does Thanksgiving always happen on the fourth Thursday of November?

Let’s rewind to when Thanksgiving first became an annual holiday. In 1827, magazine editor and writer Sarah Josepha Hale—who also wrote the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—campaigned to make the celebration a national holiday. For 36 years (yes, 36!), she wrote everyone from governors to presidents calling on them to make Thanksgiving a holiday. This even earned her the nickname “Mother of Thanksgiving.”

Finally, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln did so at the height of the Civil War. He made Thanksgiving the last Thursday in November. It was celebrated annually on that day until 1939 when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it up by a week in an effort to increase retail sales during the Great Depression. Many people weren’t a fan of this, going so far as to dub it "Franksgiving." So Roosevelt ended up signing a bill in 1941 to make Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. The date hasn’t been messed with since!

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