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Top 10 US Holidays—Thanksgiving Day
In the United States, Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday in November. It is one of the six major federal holidays that are celebrated all across the country every year. The holiday dates to the Civil War, which was when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that they should celebrate Thanksgiving on November 26, 1863.
Of course, most Americans date Thanksgiving all the way back to what is known as "The First Thanksgiving," which was a meal given by the European settlers to the Native Americans as a gesture of thanks because they helped them get through their first winter in the new land alive. That first Thanksgiving in 1621 lasted for three days.
Throughout the history of the United States, presidents often proclaimed various days to be days for Thanksgiving, although it did not become an official holiday until President Lincoln's declaration in 1863.
Today Americans also celebrate Thanksgiving with a big feast, and the usual fare is turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes as well as cranberry sauce and other popular dishes. The day is generally spent with family, and it is one of the busiest times for travel throughout the year. The extra-long weekend makes it easier for people to travel to be with family.
Another big tradition for Thanksgiving is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been held every year since 1924 in New York City. NBC has carried the broadcast rights to the parade for many years.
Government offices and most businesses are closed for Thanksgiving, and many businesses (other than retail stores) remain closed the day after, which is known by most Americans as Black Friday, one of the busiest days for holiday shopping throughout the entire year in the United States.