Thanksgiving: 6 facts to know about how the modern-day holiday came to be

A girl eats while sitting at the dining table during Thanksgiving. |

Every fourth Thursday of November, families across the United States observe the holiday of Thanksgiving, which has existed in some form since America's founding.

The observance has become known for good food, sometimes awkward family gatherings, widespread travel, football games and parades.

While hundreds of millions of Americans have always known Thanksgiving as a federal holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, this was not always the case for the autumn observance.

The following pages highlight six developments that led to Thanksgiving becoming the modern-day observance that Americans know it to be.  

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