Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789.
It originated as a harvest festival.
Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
Because Thanksgiving is a federal holiday, all United States government offices are closed and all employees are paid for that day. It is also a holiday for the New York Stock Exchange and most other financial markets and financial services companies.
Since being fixed on the fourth Thursday in November by law in 1941, the holiday in the United States can occur on any date from November 22 to 28. When it falls on November 22 or 23, it is not the last Thursday, but the penultimate Thursday in November. Regardless, it is the Thursday preceding the last Saturday of November.