Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789. When 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.

Turkey is the most common main dish of a Thanksgiving dinner, to the point where Thanksgiving is sometimes colloquially called “Turkey Day".The use of the turkey in the US for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln's nationalization of the holiday in 1863. Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no "Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day," and Benjamin Franklin had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon, but turkey was uncommon as Thanksgiving fare until after 1800. By 1857, turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England.