The US Congress asked our first president, George Washington, to set aside a "Day of Publik Thanksgivin"in 1789. President Washington chose the last Thursday in November [November 26th].
President Abraham Lincoln called for a day of public thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November in 1863 [November 26th]. When 1939 rolled around, the last Thursday in November [November 30th] just so happened to also be the last day of the month. Economic concerns about Christmas shopping caused Franklin D. Roosevelt to re-think the date for the holiday. What did he do?
Find out. Read more about how we came to eat turkey and stuffing, have the Macy's Parade, and watch some football games on the 4th Thursday in November in the web page "Congress Establishes Thanksgiving" from the National Archives.