Sample Essay on Thanksgiving Day in the USA: What? When? Why? How?

If you want to dedicate your college paper to a Thanksgiving Day, this sample will lend some interesting points to disclose.

The smell of a pumpkin pie, cozy blankets, hot chocolate on a rainy day and the Thanksgiving day. These are the essential part of the fall aesthetic. Pair them with a book near a large window, and that would be heaven for many. While everything is quite clear with the plaid blankets and pumpkin spice drinks, the day that is so special for the Americans remain so known yet so far-and-away.

Let’s have a closer look at what they call a national day of the annual harvest celebration!

First of all, yes – the Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States of America, which was originally declared by Abraham Lincoln. It was the 16th President of the United States, who actually said publicly about the special holiday on the last Thursday in November. In 1939, the USA President Franklin D Roosevelt set the date in stone with the required improvement of the Congress. It is highly important to mention that nowadays, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated not only in the United States of America but in the Netherlands, Canada, the Philippines, Liberia and Saint Lucia.

So, why do we call this the Thanksgiving day actually? According to some of the researches, the name of the holidays comes from the harvest blessings. The festival began as a day, where everyone had an opportunity to give many thanks for the harvest blessing. At the same time, from the viewpoint of the so-called Native Americans, the Thanksgiving Day is actually about the mourning, which symbolizes the centuries of the tribal cultures erosion as well as the seizure of the land. While these two theories have the right to exist, the majority of people in the USA and far beyond prefer the feeling of thankfulness and enjoy their meal. As for the latter, eating turkey on this special day precedes Abraham’s nationalization of the festival, which was in 1863. According to the historical facts, it was father Alexander Hamilton, who proclaimed in the XIXth century that “No one in the US should ever avoid eating turkey on the Thanksgiving Day!” At the same time, others in the United States of America believe that turkey was actually picked because of its size, which is huge enough to feed many people. Besides, these birds do not serve a purpose like providing milk or laying eggs.

Dating back to the first part of the XXth century, all the presidents of the USA were gifted with the birds mentioned above at Thanksgiving. As a rule, the gifted turkeys were solemnly eaten. It was Ronald Reagan, who “pardoned” the turkey for the first time in 1987. Later, George HW Bush turned this ritual into a long-lasting tradition in 1989.

How about now?

On this day, people all over the United States gather with their families and friends in order to enjoy delicious food, drinks, and American football games on TV, of course! Major American cities also have colossal parades with huge balloons, street bands, and floats. The most well-known one is held in the New York City and is called “Macy’s Day Parade.”


  1. The Book of Holidays, by J. Walker McSpadden, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, 1958, pages 171-172.
  2. Smith, Andrew F. Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History. (Columbia University Press, 2009).
  3. Bradford, William. Of Plymouth Plantation: Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement.(Dover, 2006).
  4. The Book of Holidays, by J. Walker McSpadden, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, 1958, pages 171-172.
  5. Ferris, Jean  Leon  Gerome,  The  first  Thanksgiving  1621  /  J.L.G.  Ferris. Cleveland, Ohio:  The  Foundation  Press,  Inc,  ca.  1932.
  6. All About American Holidays, by Maymie R. Krythe, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1962, pages 232-233.
  7. The Princeton  (Princeton,  Minn.),  Nov.  26,  1914.  Chronicling  America:  Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress.