By Air Force Life Cycle Management Public Affairs
/ Published November 24, 2021
Historians point to a gathering of Plymouth colonists and Native Americans in 1621 as one of the first American Thanksgiving celebrations. In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a national holiday each November. Congressional action in 1885 made Thanksgiving a paid federal holiday.
Originally, the holiday held many religious connotations. Today, Thanksgiving is more secular and Americans gather with friends and family to enjoy a bounty of turkey, traditional sides and desserts. Parades and football have become synonymous with the holiday, as has thanking troops serving away from home during the season. It is common for the president, defense secretary and other top leaders to make surprise visits to troops stationed overseas to thank them for their sacrifice of serving away from family during the holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at AFLCMC!