Thanksgiving: Washington started it, Lincoln cemented it and FDR commercialized it

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What does the nursey rhyme "Mary had a Little Lamb" have to do with the Battle of Gettysburg and Black Friday? All three are directly related to the history of Thanksgiving.

Many people assume that Thanksgiving has remained the same since that first meeting between the Wampanoag Native American tribe and the Pilgrims. It hasn't. The truth is, if not for a few incredibly important events, we would not celebrate one of the most American holidays at all.

George Washington was the first President to have an official Thanksgiving, as approved by Congress in 1777, but it was not yet the annual celebration that we know it as today. In 1789, Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving in celebration of the newly formed United States.

RELATED: George Washington Throws Traditional Thanksgiving for a Loop

John Adams followed the tradition.

But Thomas Jefferson, as third President, felt that Thanksgiving violated the separation of church and state. Presidents upheld this view until 1863, the third year of the Civil War. The same year as the Battle of Gettysburg. The year that more than 100,000 soldiers died in the fight between the North and the South.

In part we can thank novelist and poet Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who wrote "Mary had a Little Lamb" for making Thanksgiving the holiday that it is. For twenty years, Hale maintained a letter-writing campaign to have Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday. She wrote letters to 5 presidents and many more governors. Nobody responded.

Then came April 12, 1861, the beginning of the Civil War. Hale saw the need for a national day of thanksgiving as more important than ever before. She believed that it could bring our divided country back together.

A couple years later, one of Sarah Hale's letters landed on President Lincoln's desk. Days later, on October 3, 1863, in honor of the Union's victory at Gettysburg, Lincoln declared that the final Thursday of November be observed indefinitely as a national holiday of Thanksgiving.

In this 1863 proclamation, Lincoln called on Americans "in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

The proclamation was also published several weeks later in Harper's Weekly on October 17, 1863.

Harold Holzer, historian and chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation describes Lincoln as "the father of the whole idea of a nation giving thanks for its advantages and privileges of living in a democracy like this," he said.

The proclamation offers a number of reasons to be thankful:

The civil war that so recently closed among us has not been anywhere reopened; foreign intervention has ceased to excite alarm or apprehension; intrusive pestilence has been benignly mitigated; domestic tranquility has improved, sentiments of conciliation have largely prevailed, and affections of loyalty and patriotism have been widely renewed; our fields have yielded quite abundantly, our mining industry has been richly rewarded, and we have been allowed to extend our railroad system far into the interior recesses of the country, while our commerce has resumed its customary activity in foreign seas. These great national blessings demand a national acknowledgment.

Following Lincoln's proclamation, Thanksgiving was still by no means the reliable holiday that we know it as today. It had no permanent fixed date, and it was often up to state governors whether or not any given state would celebrate the holiday.

During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November, in order to encourage shopping the following day—in other words, FDR created Black Friday.

Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November, in order to encourage shopping the following day—in other words, FDR created Black Friday.

It wasn't until 1942, however, that Congress passed a law that made Thanksgiving an official holiday nationwide, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving has itself undergone a uniquely American struggle, and, in doing so, revealed its own distinctly American spirit. We are lucky that it has outlasted those struggles, and it is important to be thankful for the very holiday that designates a day for gratitude, a day of thanksgiving.

Five times Glenn had J.D. Vance on his show and where he stands on key issues

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We finally have an answer to the long-awaited question of who Trump will pick for his running mate, and it's none other than Ohio Senator and friend of the show, J.D. Vance. At the RNC in Milwaukee, Trump officially accepted the party's nomination as the Republican candidate and announced J.D. Vance as his running mate.

Glenn has had Senator Vance on the show several times to discuss everything from DEI to the Southern Border. If you are looking to familiarize yourself with the next potential Vice President, look no further, here are five conversations Glenn had with Trump's VP pick:

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How RFK's example can help our nation in the wake of Trump's attack

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How did you feel last Saturday when you heard the news that a former president of the United States narrowly avoided an assassin's bullet by a mere few inches? Were you angry at the media for their constant demonization of Trump and his conservative contingency? Did you blame the left for curating a political climate that fostered an assassination attempt?

In his immediate reaction to the news, Glenn pointed us back to a similar moment in American history: April 4th, 1968—the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

"The best speech I've ever heard given was by RFK Sr. on the day Martin Luther King was killed" - Glenn

Robert F. Kennedy, the father of current independent presidential candidate RFK Jr., was en route to Indianapolis when he heard the terrible news. His security team, expecting violent outrage across the country, asked RFK Sr. to turn around and head back to safety. But as Glenn said, RFK Sr. believed in the good in people and demanded to give his speech. He arrived in Indianapolis Park late in the day, and he addressed the crowd of predominantly black campaign supporters.

There were no riots in Indianapolis that night.

The message RFK Sr. gave that night wasn't one of vengeance, hatred, or hopelessness, but of calm and goodness. He appealed to the best in people. He called for people to set aside their differences, anger, fear, and confusion and instead express love and compassion towards one another. RFK Sr. asked for wisdom and the pursuit of justice so that we might be resolute in our unity as the country faces another difficult chapter.

What we need in this country is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another.

Glenn has made a similar plea to our nation—a plea for unity and not to lash out in fear and anger. Don't use this time to blame your friends and family who disagree with you politically for what happened or to tell them "I told you so!" Instead, reach out with compassion and grace. This is a turning point in American history. Let's turn it upward, away from hatred and violence and towards unison and compassion.

Fortunately, President Trump walked away from his attempted assassination with very minor injuries. The bullet that wounded Trump's ear could have just as easily ended his life, and his survival is nothing short of a miracle.

Sadly, that miracle didn't extend to everyone attending Trump's ill-fated Pennsylvania rally. Three other people were shot. David Dutch and James Copenhaver, both Pennslyavia residents, are thankfully in stable condition. Corey Comperatore, however, tragically died after being shot while protecting his wife and daughter from the hail of gunfire.

“Corey died a hero."

Camperatore, a 50-year-old loving father and husband from Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania leaves behind his daughter Allyson, his wife Helen, sister Dawn, and many other friends and family. Camperatore was a man of service, having spent 43 years as part of the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company and had worked his way to becoming the fire chief when he stepped down to spend more time with his daughter.

Corey Comperatore's firefighting gear outside the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company. The Washington Post / Contributor | Getty Images

Corey's friends and family have nothing but good things to say about him, and judging by their testimonies, Corey's final heroic act was consistent with how the volunteer firefighter lived his life.

According to many people who knew Compertore, he was a true patriot who loved his country. He was a fan of President Trump. Compertore was very excited to attend Saturday's rally, which he expressed in his last social media post.

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During his speech addressing the shooting, President Biden expressed his condolences to the Comperatore family, stating that "He was a father. He was protecting his family from the bullets that were being fired.”

Democrat Mutiny? These prominent Progressives and Democratic leaders DEMAND that Biden withdraw

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Biden is still taking hard blows from both sides of the aisle after his abysmal performance in last month's presidential debate. As Glenn pointed out in his post-debate coverage, Biden came across as so incompetent that it has made many Americans scared that, should the country face a major threat, Biden would be unable to respond to it. This includes many Democrats, who are finally admitting that Biden isn't as fit as they have been claiming for the last four years.

Many names have already been suggested as potential replacements for the Democratic nominee, but many people, including some Democrats, don't believe Biden should even stay in office for the election. Here are some prominent progressives and Democratic lawmakers who have called for President Biden's resignation:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

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Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Arizona)

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Rep. Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)

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Rep. Mike Quigley (Illinois)

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Rep. Angie Craig (Minnesota)

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Rep. Adam Smith (Washington)

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Rep. Mikie Sherrill (New Jersey)

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Rep. Pat Ryan (New York)

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Rep. Hillary Scholten (Michigan)

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Senator Peter Welch (Vermont)

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)

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BONUS: Actor George Clooney

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