November 29, 1849 (Thursday)

Thanksgiving day.  Did not go to the store.  Purchased a coat and walked about the forenoon, and in the afternoon in company with Messrs.  Hubbard, Perry & Morgan, visited Barnum’s where the time passed quickly till evening.   Sprained my thumb in trying my strength.  Perfect jam.  Went to the opera in the evening.

Prior to 1863, the President of the United States or, more often, the governor of a particular state chose the date for Thanksgiving each year. Often it was the last Thursday of November, not necessarily the fourth Thursday (November 29 was the fifth Thursday in November 1849). Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, declared Thanksgiving Day to be the last Thursday in November thus making it an official, national holiday. To make the Christmas shopping season predictably longer, the Thanksgiving Day was changed to the fourth Thursday in 1942.

We presume by “store” Nathan means his work place, although this is the first time he has referred to it as such.

Source:

“Thanksgiving (United States).” Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States). Last modified 27 November 2011.

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