Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

When Is Thanksgiving Day and Why It Is So Late This Year?

  • Arden is a Senior Country Music Journalist for Country Thang Daily, specializing in classic hits and contemporary chart-toppers.
  • Prior to joining Country Thang Daily, Arden wrote for Billboard and People magazine, covering country music legends and emerging artists.
  • Arden holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, with a minor in Music Studies.

“What day is Thanksgiving?” and “When is Thanksgiving Day?” are the top questions holiday enthusiasts always search on the internet. This year, November’s month begins on a Sunday, meaning the fourth Thursday of the month will fall on November 26. So thanksgiving day is on the 26th of November 2020.

Thanksgiving Day is one of the most popular national holidays in the United States, and its celebration is indeed quite extensive! But while you are wondering what to do and how you would observe such a festivity, it might come to you as a surprise that Thanksgiving Day will occur a bit later than usual this year. 

As it turns out, Thanksgiving Day is so late this year that it has become utterly historic and poses a significance. Most noteworthy, the account of the contemporary Thanksgiving dates back to 1939 when then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt determined to do away with the tradition and shake it up for Capitalism.

In fact, celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November had started all the way back the time of Abraham Lincoln. However, according to TIME Magazine, the calendar had become odd in 1939, as the month of November during that year began on a Wednesday. Hence, there was a total of five Thursdays as opposed to having only four.

In order to clear things up and put everything into place, Roosevelt decided to move the national holiday to the second-to-last Thursday of the month. As a result, many have raised brows and were unhappy with the decision. But Roosevelt was left unfazed by the people’s reaction. Instead, he justified his statement with a “pro-shopping” response. He said that his decision was based on how merchants would have more time to shop since Christmas Day is just almost a month away. As a result, this gave birth to “Black Friday,” which has become a consumer craze that started almost 80 years ago.

The year 1940 came, and the change to the second-to-last Thursday of the month (November 21) took effect and became the official Thanksgiving Day. The following year, however, Roosevelt reportedly confessed that the shift in the date was a mistake. But the calendars were already published with the third Thursday as Thanksgiving Day, so it was already too late to switch it back.

As 1941 came to an end, Roosevelt decided to make the final change. He then signed a bill making the fourth Thursday of November the official Thanksgiving Day. This is regardless of if it is the last Thursday or not.

Thanksgiving Day & How It Started

Before the basting and roasting of the turkey and preparing your sweet hot pies, Thanksgiving was all about lobsters, seals, and swans on the menu. But how did this festivity begin, and what was that to be grateful for?

The first Thanksgiving Day dates all the way back to 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians took part in an autumn harvest feast together. This started as the first of the celebrations that paved the way to its continuing celebration until today. In addition, for almost two centuries, days of observing Thanksgiving depended on every colony and state. However, things began to change in 1863, during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed that national Thanksgiving Day be observed every November of the year.

The First Celebration: Plymouth Thanksgiving

Carrying over a hundred passengers, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, in September 1620. An assortment of “religious separatists” was onboard, attempting to find a new home where they could openly and freely practice their faith and belief. Also with them are individuals they have lured, promising prosperity and land ownership as they head to the New World.

After the perfidious and unbearable journey that went on for 66 days, the ship anchored on the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their actual and intended landing place, which is at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month passed, and they successfully passed by Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are commonly called and known, started establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout the journey, the life of those on board the ship was rather perilous. The first vicious winter broke, and most of the colonists endured the biting chills. In addition, they were exposed to outbreaks of contagious diseases that resulted in a number of deaths. The first spring rose, and only half of these passengers lived to experience it in the place where they once called New England. Then the month of March came, and the colonists decided to move ashore. They were gratefully received by an Abenaki Indian who greeted the group in English.

After a few days, the Abenaki Indian returned and brought with him another Native American named Squanto, who later taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land where now they call home. Also, Squanto taught them to plant corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish, and stay away from poisonous plants. Moreover, he aided the settlers to forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe.

November of 1621 came, and the Pilgrims had their first successful corn harvest. Governor William Bradford arranged a celebratory feast and requested a group of Native Americans and the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. The festival lasted for three days. Although the Pilgrims themselves did not call it “thanksgiving,” it is totally believed as the “first Thanksgiving” in its history. While there is no exact record of what the first Thanksgiving Day menu was, much of what we know about the celebration comes from an account of one Pilgrim whose name was Edward Winslow. He chronicled that during the feast, they gathered and partook on fruits, served fowls, and even killed five deer. And his final words in his account says,

“And although it is not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Latest Stories

Alan Jackson Sings a Heartfelt Cover of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

Alan Jackson Sings a Heartfelt Cover of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

Debuting his gospel album on February 28, 2006, Alan Jackson made his own rendition of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen H. Lemmel. The song was featured as the ...

Tori Kelly Reminds Us That We Are “Never Alone” With Jesus

Tori Kelly Reminds Us That We Are “Never Alone” With Jesus

In 2018, American singer Tori Kelly released a gospel song titled “Never Alone” as part of her album Hiding Place.  The song instantly became one of Tori Kelly’s greatest hits, ...

FloydFest 2024: What You Need To Know

FloydFest 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:FloydFest Horizon 2024Festival Duration:July 24-28, 2024 2024Venue:5826 Floyd Highway FestivalPark in North Check, VirginiaPerformers Include:Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Black Pumas, Charley Crockett, Sierra Ferrell, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets ...

FairWell Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

FairWell Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:FairWell Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 19-21, 2024Venue:Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Central Oregon, OregonPerformers Include:Kacey Musgraves, Caamp, Billy Strings, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Deschutes County Fairgrounds is gearing up ...

Post Malone and Blake Shelton's “Pour Me A Drink,” the Collab of the Century

Post Malone and Blake Shelton’s “Pour Me A Drink,” the Collab of the Century

In 2024, American rapper Post Malone released the country bop “Pour Me A Drink,” featuring country superstar Blake Shelton – and let’s say, it was far beyond what people expected. ...

Country Singer Mark Chesnutt In Recovery After Emergency Heart Surgery 

Country singer Mark Chesnutt from Beaumont, Texas, shared a health update on his Instagram account following an emergency heart surgery earlier in June 2024. In his post, he wrote, “Well ...

Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose Trade Abuse Allegations in Divorce Battle

Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose Trade Abuse Allegations in Divorce Battle

Billy Ray Cyrus claims estranged wife, Firerose, has verbally, emotionally, and physically abused him during their seven-month marriage. The claims came about after Firerose filed a response to Cyrus’ divorce ...

Sonny James' Timeless Cover of the Classic Hit “Young Love”

Sonny James’ Timeless Cover of the Classic Hit “Young Love”

In 1957, legendary country singer Sonny James released one of the timeless covers of the classic hit song “Young Love.” The song was originally released by Ric Cartey and Jiva-Tones ...

Best Country Fiddler Doug Kershaw’s Performance of “Diggy Diggy Lo”

In 1969, Doug Kershaw released his solo version of the hit song “Diggy Diggy Lo,” which surprised fans. The song was originally released by Doug and his brother Rusty in ...

Rock the South 2024: What You Need To Know

Rock the South 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Rock the South 2024Festival Duration:July 18-20, 2024Venue:York Farms in Cullman, AlabamaPerformers Include:Eric Church, HARDY, Jelly Roll, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here The biggest party in the South, Rock ...