Thanksgiving is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November in the United States. This festival originates when in 1620 Pilgrim Fathers depart from the English city of Plymouth aboard the Mayflower. After more than two months of sea crossing, they land in the present state of Massachusetts and found the city of Plymouth. The beginnings are difficult, not being accustomed to the climate of the new world, the first harvests are disastrous and half of the Pilgrim Fathers perish during the first winter.
Seeing the settlers' troubles, a Native American named Squanto from the Wampanoag tribe taught them about growing corn, extracting maple sap, fishing and recognizing the region's poisonous plants. From the first harvest of corn in November 1621, success is at the rendezvous. The governor of the colony decides to organize a big celebration to which are invited the Amerindians who bring them turkeys and wild pigeons as gifts.
Afterwards, Thanksgiving is celebrated according to the states at different dates. It was in 1863, at the height of the American Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln formalized Thanksgiving as a national holiday and fixed the celebration on the last Thursday of November. The latest change comes in 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt shifts Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November to allow more time for Christmas shopping.