The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. The meal was a celebration of the Pilgrim's first harvest, and it was shared with the Wampanoag native Americans.
The practice of a Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the harvest continued throughout the colonies, although each settlement chose its own day, and the feast was not always an annual event. President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789 to celebrate the end of the American Revolution. President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a permanent national holiday in 1863, and the feast day has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November since 1941.