Thanksgiving turkey CREDIT Tim Sackton-Flickr
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The Surprising British Military Link To Thanksgiving

In honour of today being Thanksgiving, we took a look back at the American holiday’s surprising link to the British military.

Thanksgiving turkey CREDIT Tim Sackton-Flickr

Picture courtesy of Tim Sackton.

In honour of today being Thanksgiving, we took a look back at the American holiday’s surprising link to the British military.

Although Thanksgiving as it's known today takes place on the 4th Thursday of November, the holiday has its roots in the day of thanks set aside by George Washington in 1789, following the American revolution.

The day originally allocated for the celebration was the 26th of November.

But the day’s military origin goes back even further. During the American Revolution, colonial governors would set aside days of prayer to mark military victories against the British Army.

In 1777, 18 December was set aside as a day of thanksgiving.

This was due in part to the American side’s desperately needing to win against the British in the Battle of Saratoga.

American Revolutionary War

All 13 colonies celebrated on 18 December while Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont sponsored additional thanksgiving observances on separate days.

But it was Washington’s proclamation that really established the day as a set annual event.

In his proclamation, he declared that thanks should be given to God for protecting American’s before the Revolution, and for aiding them in achieving independence and establish their own government.

Newspapers all over the new nation published the declaration, and celebrations were held nationally.

Idaho Guard hosts Thanksgiving dinner
The Idaho Guard hosted a Thanksgiving dinner last year.

The name 'Thanksgiving' did not come into existence until the Civil War, when President Lincoln declared that this day should have national observance.

Essentially, Thanksgiving was intended as a day to celebrate the country’s military victories.

But now it’s a time for families all over America to come together and give thanks for all they have been grateful for that year.

The day has certainly retained its importance where the US military is concerned.

Despite the fact that troops might be apart from their loved ones, they are holding charity lunches for their communities and sending messages to their families.