Millions of Americans are celebrating the annual Thanksgiving Day holiday with a traditional feast with friends and family.
Thanksgiving, which is held in the United States on the 4th Thursday of November, is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. The day is centered on a meal typically including turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his family handed out Thanksgiving meal supplies to needy Washington residents at a local soup kitchen, Martha's Table, on Wednesday.
In his weekly radio address, broadcast Thursday for the holiday, President Obama expressed hope that next Thanksgiving, many of those who lost their jobs in the recession will be back at work.
But Congressman Mike Pence said in the weekly Republican message that the president's $787 billion stimulus plan is not creating jobs and costs too much.
Both President Obama and Congressman Pence also expressed their gratitude to the U.S. military men and women who are apart from their families this Thanksgiving.
On Wednesday, Mr. Obama granted a presidential pardon to a turkey named "Courage," saving the bird from becoming part of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
In addition to the feast, many Americans are spending the day watching nationally-televised events such as New York City's annual Thanksgiving Day parade, sponsored by Macy's department store, complete with musical performances, elaborate floats and giant inflatable cartoon characters.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is seen as the start to the holiday shopping season, with many stores offering big discounts and opening in the pre-dawn hours for a rush of shoppers.