How Abraham Lincoln helped shape the modern Thanksgiving holiday

Here's a brief look at how Thanksgiving became the holiday it is today.

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Friday, November 27, 2020
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Here's a brief look at how the celebration came to be the holiday it is today.

For many Americans, it may be hard to feel thankful this Thanksgiving in light of what a tough year it's been.

But that was also the case in 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln first set aside the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of gratitude.

America was right in the middle of the Civil War, thousands of families had lost loved ones and the nation was more divided than ever.

Despite the difficult circumstances, Lincoln believed the nation had reason to give thanks, and called on every citizen to do so.

In his official proclamation, Lincoln offered a prayer on behalf of those grieving lost family members and to heal the wounds of division in America, a prayer that's just as relevant today.