Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541 - 2001
September 28, 1863
Magazine editor Sarah Hale wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln encouraging him to proclaim a national Thanksgiving Day. This was part of Hale's seventeen-year campaign to establish Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.

Hale included an editorial she wrote for her Lady's Book magazine and explained that a "national feeling of Thanksgiving" would benefit the country in the midst of the Civil War:

The influence of these state seasons of sacred remembrances, high aspirations, and tender . . . rejoicings would not only be salutary on the character of our own citizens, but the world would be made better . . . . If the germ of good feeling be ever so deeply buried under 'the cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life,' it may be brought out by sympathy and vivified by culture and effort.

Personal Handwriting of Sarah Hale, Black Ink on White Paper
Sarah Hale's September 28, 1863 Letter to President Lincoln.
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