The story of Thanksgiving's creation as a holiday is itself inspirational, as it was brought into being largely through the determination of one woman, Sarah Hale. Hale undertook a 17-year letter writing campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday observed in all states.
Before Hale, Thanksgiving was not a fixed holiday but rather an informal tradition. Presidents would select a day and make it known that it would be a day of thanksgiving and community.
Hale lobbied five separate presidents for a set date until finally her request was granted by president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln congratulated her tenacity and immortalized the holiday as part of American culture.