1541: Spanish Explorers Hold a Feast But some historians claim that the Spanish founders of St. Augustine, Florida shared a festive meal with the native Timucuan people when their ships came ashore way back in 1565. READ MORE: Did Florida Host the First Thanksgiving? READ MORE: Who Was at the First Thanksgiving? November 23, 1775: Boston Patriots Call for Thanksgiving READ MORE: Who Were the Sons of Liberty? December 18, 1777: 13 Colonies Celebrate a Thanksgiving November 26, 1789: George Washington Calls for Day of Thanksgiving November 1846: Sarah Josepha Hale Lobbies for National Holiday READ MORE: How the 'Mother of Thanksgiving' Lobbied for a National Holiday Sarah Josepha Hale. Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images October 3, 1863: Lincoln Proclaims Thanksgiving Holiday November 30, 1876: First Thanksgiving Football Game READ MORE: Why Do Americans Watch Football on Thanksgiving? November 27, 1924: First Macy's Parade November 23, 1939 - FDR Moves the Date November 19, 1963: First Turkey Pardon While Kennedy was the first to send a gift turkey back to the farm, it was President George W. Bush in 1989 who began the annual White House tradition of officially pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey. READ MORE: A Brief History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon Get the history behind the holiday. Access hundreds of hours of commercial-free series and specials with HISTORY Vault.