djc-1945-11-23-0-008We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! This holiday has been celebrated for several hundred years in America. Many historians believe — but cannot conclusively prove — that the holiday dates from a feast in New England in 1621.

Since that time, there were many Thanksgiving Day feasts celebrated in America, but the dates of the celebration often varied by state and/or city. Gradually, the final Thursday in November became the date for Thanksgiving in most states. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a presidential proclamation declaring this date to be the uniform, national day for Thanksgiving. This date held until 1941, when a joint resolution of Congress formally changed the national holiday to the fourth Thursday in November.

But, some Thanksgiving Days are a bit more significant than others. This advertisement, sponsored by Detroit Jewish businesses, appeared in the Jewish Chronicle on Nov. 23, 1945. It states that Americans had much to be thankful for because of its recent victory in World War II and noted how close the Nazis were to creating an atomic bomb.

Indeed. There was a lot to be thankful for that year.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at

By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist