On this day in 1789 President George Washington proclaimed this date (Thursday 26 November) to be the first national Thanksgiving Day holiday. Over time, National Thanksgiving days were periodically proclaimed by presidents, until in 1863 Abraham Lincoln inaugurated the practice of annually setting the fourth Thursday in November aside for Thanksgiving Day. To see Washington's proclamtion click here . To read a little more about the establishment of an "official" day of thanksgiving go to this page. To read about the year there were 2 Thanksgivings, visit this page.