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Thanksgiving has been observed in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November since 1942. (Associated Press)


Thanksgiving has been observed in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November since 1942, meaning the holiday can be as early as Nov. 22 and as late as Nov. 28.

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Thanksgiving in 2016 will be on Nov. 24. It will be on Nov. 23 in 2017. See below for a list of dates from 1990 through 2020.


Thanksgiving wasn't always observed on the fourth Thursday of November. For decades, it was on the last Thursday of November. Then, for a short time, it was on the second to last Thursday.


Here's the history of Thanksgiving in the United States, with the aid of information from the National Archives:


Nov. 26, 1789: President George Washington, in response to a request from Congress, declared this date a Day of Publick Thanksgivin .


1863 - 1938: In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November. This was followed for the next 75 years.


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President Franklin D. Roosevelt, shown carving a turkey during a 1933 Thanksgiving dinner for polio patients, moved up Thanksgiving in 1939-41 to extend the holiday shopping season.


1939 - 1941: President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday in November in 1939, in an effort to extend the shopping season before Christmas. Otherwise, the 1939 Thanksgiving would have fallen on the last day of the month, Nov. 30.


As a result of the change, Thanksgiving was as early as Nov. 20, in 1941. However, some states did not follow the national lead, creating different Thanksgivings.


1942 - present: Congress and President Roosevelt in late 1941 established the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, beginning in 1942, a tradition that has not changed since.


November 26, 2020November 28, 2019November 22, 2018November 23, 2017November 24, 2016November 26, 2015November 27, 2014November 28, 2013November 22, 2012November 24, 2011November 25, 2010November 26, 2009November 27, 2008November 22, 2007November 23, 2006November 24, 2005November 25, 2004November 27, 2003November 28, 2002November 22, 2001November 23, 2000November 25, 1999November 26, 1998November 27, 1997November 28, 1996November 23, 1995November 24, 1994November 25, 1993November 26, 1992November 28, 1991November 22, 1990November 23, 1989November 24, 1988November 26, 1987November 27, 1986November 28, 1985November 22, 1984November 24, 1983November 25, 1982November 26, 1981November 27, 1980November 22, 1979November 23, 1978November 24, 1977November 25, 1976November 27, 1975November 28, 1974November 22, 1973November 23, 1972November 25, 1971November 26, 1970November 27, 1969November 28, 1968November 23, 1967November 24, 1966November 25, 1965November 26, 1964November 28, 1963November 22, 1962November 23, 1961November 24, 1960November 26, 1959November 27, 1958November 28, 1957November 22, 1956November 24, 1955November 25, 1954November 26, 1953November 27, 1952November 22, 1951November 23, 1950November 24, 1949November 25, 1948November 27, 1947November 28, 1946November 22, 1945November 23, 1944November 25, 1943November 26, 1942November 20, 1941November 21, 1940November 23, 1939November 24, 1938November 25, 1937November 26, 1936November 28, 1935November 29, 1934November 30, 1933November 24, 1932November 26, 1931November 27, 1930November 28, 1929November 29, 1928November 24, 1927November 25, 1926November 26, 1925November 27, 1924November 29, 1923November 30, 1922November 24, 1921November 25, 1920November 27, 1919November 28, 1918November 29, 1917November 30, 1916November 25, 1915November 26, 1914November 27, 1913November 28, 1912November 30, 1911November 24, 1910November 25, 1909November 26, 1908November 28, 1907November 29, 1906November 30, 1905November 24, 1904November 26, 1903November 27, 1902November 28, 1901November 29, 1900

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