The White House Thanksgiving: History Of How Presidents Celebrate The Holiday

By | November 15, 2022

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Thanksgiving has been an American tradition since before the country was actually a country, and over the 200-plus years that the United States has been thriving, Turkey Day has been celebrated in a myriad of different ways by our nation’s leaders. Some presidents went whole-hog---or whole-turkey, if you prefer---and had meals with all the trimmings, while others ignored the holiday completely. Our long list of presidents have celebrated the holiday just as differently as their constituents, which makes for a fascinating look back at the history of White House Thanksgivings. 

George Washington held multiple Thanksgiving celebrations

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President Washington was a man who liked to give thanks. The actual holiday that we know as Thanksgiving wasn't a thing in 1789, but throughout the Revolutionary War, Washington was known for hosting days of giving thanks, so it's not a wild revelation that he issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving.