Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate the national Thanksgiving holiday. Rich in symbolism and legend, Thanksgiving is a day of remembrance, thanks, and festivity celebrated amongst family and friends with a large meal. Most people are off work as many businesses and places of employment are closed, along with banks and federal, state, and local government offices, including the U.S. Postal service.
The day is supposedly modeled on a harvest feast held in October 1621 by Pilgrims and Native Americans in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, historians have shared a much different version of events. Thanksgiving was not proclaimed a national holiday until 1863. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. Every president following Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, but it wasn’t until 1942 that an official date was set. President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated every fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving.
Today, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for travel. According to Travel and Leisure, an estimated 54 million people are expected to trek 50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend. Many cities hold parades on Thanksgiving Day, such as the famous Macy’s Day Parade in New York City. The National Football League schedules multiple games for the day, and the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be available on Apple TV.
Many healthcare professionals don’t have the luxury of taking off for the holidays, so if you’re working this Thanksgiving, try to take a moment to celebrate with colleagues and give thanks for the abundance in your life.