In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced a dilemma. He was responsible for declaring the last Thursday of November to be a day of Thanksgiving—something American presidents had done since Abraham Lincoln began the tradition. But November of 1939 had five Thursdays, which would shorten the holiday shopping season. Retailers still struggling from the Great Depression encouraged him to move Thanksgiving earlier by a week. To the country’s shock, Roosevelt agreed. For the next three years, some states recognized the federal government’s new Thanksgiving date, while others defiantly stuck with the old one.
Roosevelt had rejected previous requests to change the date of Thanksgiving, fearing that he would foil local plans and disrupt football schedules. But according to The New York Times, due to the urging of “department stores, general stores, small stores, and almost every kind of store,” Roosevelt announced on April 14, 1939, that Thanksgiving would be on November 23 instead of the expected November 30.
Angry Americans sent Roosevelt thousands of letters and telegrams about the breach of tradition and their disrupted schedules. An anguished calendar maker from Salem, Ohio, wrote in a letter to the White House that the decision would cause “untold grief” in the industry, since 1939 calendars and many 1940 calendars had already been printed. Just as the White House had predicted, football schedules were scrambled, leading some coaches to vow to vote Republican.
Things quickly became partisan. Several states ignored the presidential proclamation due to tradition or convenience, and others ignored it to snub Roosevelt, a Democrat. This muddled schedules even more….
I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Latest posts by Sasha Harriet (see all)
- How to Set Up and Optimize the Steam Link for In-Home Game Streaming - February 24, 2018
- Why Do Animals Have Such Different Lifespans? - February 24, 2018
- Good News in History, February 24 - February 24, 2018
More from Around the Web