Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day
The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 15, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.
No record is found of a Thanksgiving Day between 1872 and 1879.
From 1879 to 1898, both inclusive, it was observed on a Thursday in November. In 1899, it was fixed on a Thursday in October, where it stayed until 1907, with the exception of 1901 and 1904 when the date was fixed on a Thursday in November.
From 1908 to 1921, it was observed on a Monday in October, the exact date being appointed by proclamation.
From 1921 to 1930, the Armistice Day Act provided that Thanksgiving would be observed on Armistice Day, which was fixed by statute on the Monday of the week in which November 11 fell.
In 1931, Parliament adopted an Act to amend the Armistice Day Act, providing that the day should be observed on November 11 and that the day should be known as "Remembrance Day".
Accordingly, the old practice was resumed of fixing Thanksgiving Day by proclamation, and it has been since 1931 on the second Monday of October, with the exception of 1935 where, after Thanksgiving Day had been fixed on October 14, it was decided to hold the general election on that date. A new proclamation was issued deferring the observance to October 24, a Thursday. This resulted in a great deal of controversy and the practice of observance on a Thursday was not pursued in future years.
From 1936 to 1956, inclusive, a proclamation was issued yearly to appoint the second Monday of October as Thanksgiving Day. In 1957, a proclamation was issued fixing permanently Thanksgiving Day on that day, thus eliminating the necessity of an annual proclamation.
Prior to 1867, there had been proclamations issued in Canada, the first one recorded being for 1799. The following is a list of the dates of the proclamations and observance of General Thanksgiving Days, and reasons therefore.
Proclamation and Observance of General Thanksgiving Days and reasons therefore.