November 23rd Celebrates Thanksgiving 2023, but What Else Happened on this Day in American History?

November 23rd Celebrates Thanksgiving 2023, but What Else Happened on this Day in American History?

Nov 23, 2023

Because it's Thanksgiving, I feel obligated to write a post that gives a nod to the creation of our Unites States version of the Thanksgiving holiday. But celebrating it the last Thursday of November wasn't made official until 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. Followed by a proclamation by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 changing it to the 2nd to last Thursday, November 23rd of that year.

But that didn't last long. He changed his mind and moved it back in 1941 because of the confusion the change caused!

So as we feast on fantastic food, or rest after!--- let's take a peek at what else happened on November 23rd... before and since?

I'm doing one of my favorite fun posts: another entry into the This Day In History category on the blog.

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President Abraham Lincoln, National Portrait Gallery

Historical summary of November 23rd- history blogger style so you can link out from this post and dig deeper.

1783- For a few short months, Annapolis Maryland becomes the United States Capital. That ends in June of 1784.

1848- The Female Medical Educational Society forms in Boston. See their initial report here. (because I love primary sources you know!)

1859- "Billy the Kid" (who went by William H. Bonney) was born. He was an outlaw that has become legendary in American folklore and there is even a T.V. series you can watch for entertainment. Primary sourced? Ummm not so sure about that.

Sharing his birthday: Franklin Pierce, our 14th U.S. President in 1804; Pop singers Bruce Hornsby, 1954 right here in Williamsburg Virginia and Miley Cyrus, also of Hannah Montana fame, in 1992.

1889- The first jukebox is debuted in San Francisco at the Palais Royale Saloon.

1904- The 1st U.S. Olympic Games are held in St. Louis Missouri- overlapping with another major event: the World's Fair.

1936- An iconic American publication, LIFE, was first published. And the photos that brought the world into our homes began a new perspective on everything from war to pop culture

1948- Chicago Cub and baseball Hall of Famer Hack Wilson passes away at age 48. Also lost to us on November 23rd: baseball catcher Bo Diaz in 1990, crushed by a satellite dish and the amazing Larry Hagman of Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie fame was lost to us in 2012.

1963- President Lyndon B. Johnson declares November 25th an official day of mourning for President John F. Kennedy, who lies in state at the White House. You can read the details here.

Closing it out.

Click the links above to get more information on any of the events I listed and share your November 23rd events in the comments.

The closing words today are about one of Washington's last acts as Commander in Chief, while the capital was in Annapolis for a short period.

For the letter with citations and reference information, click here.

From George Washington to Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 9 December 1783

Philadelphia 9th Decr 1783

My Dear Marqs

I have the honor of introducing to your acquaintance, Doct: Witherspoon President of the College of New Jersey & the bearer of this letter—It is with pleasure I can recommend him to your notice, as a Gentleman well known on this side the water for his Abilities & Literature; I therefore the more readily take the liberty of presenting him to you as worthy of your civilities.

We have just now my Dear Friend closed the military scene by taking possession of New York—I am now on my way to Annapolis to lay my resignation before Congress—from thence I shall retire directly to Mount Vernon, where I anticipate the pleasing moment when I shall embrace My Dr Marqs—being with every sentiment of esteem Yours &ca

G: Washington

CW's Marquis de Lafayette (left) with General George Washington (right)

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There is a huge practical disclaimer to the content on this blog, which is my way of sharing my excitement and basically journaling online.

1) I am not a historian nor an expert. I will let you know I’m relaying the information as I understand and interpret it. The employees of Colonial Williamsburg base their presentations, work, and responses on historical documents and mainly primary sources.

2) I will update for accuracy as history is constant learning. If you have a question about accuracy, please ask me! I will get the answer from the best source I can find.

3) Photo credit to me, Daphne Reznik, for all photos in this post, unless otherwise credited! All photos are personal photos taken in public access locations or with specific permission.