Thursday, November 24, 2011

FDR's Thanksgiving-Date FAIL

Interesting little side-note to the NFL's Thanksgiving Day games tradition.

In August 1939, Lew Hahn, general manager of the Retail Dry Goods Association, warned Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins that the late calendar date of Thanksgiving that year (November 30) could possibly have an adverse effect on retail sales. At the time, it was considered bad form for retailers to display Christmas decorations or have "Christmas" sales before the celebration of Thanksgiving.

In keeping with a custom begun by Lincoln in 1863, U.S. Presidents had declared a general day of thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November. By late October of that year, President Roosevelt decided to deviate from this custom and declare November 23, the second-to-last Thursday, as Thanksgiving that year.
  --Ace quoting Wiki

Whaddya know.  Retailer greed accomodated by a Progressive/Lefty Democrat! Who'd a-thunkit?

A lot of states -- Republican-controlled -- refused to follow Franklin's diktat and observed Thanksgiving on the regularly-scheduled day.

In 1941, FDR proclaimed a national day of prayer on the fourth Thursday of November, and this became the national date of observation. 

Eventually. Many states kept the final-Thursday-in-November rule. Texas, for example, continued observing Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November until 1956.

Texas was right.  You can smell the LBJ influence in the 1956 change.


Jim said...

This is indeed an interesting little bit of history.

But why the negativity directed to FDR and LBJ? The original day was arbitrary so what does it matter what day FDR or LBJ proclaimed? And why wouldn't the President, regardless of party, try to accommodate retailers during a recession?

Dad29 said...

Very simple.

FDR and LBJ were conniving skunks who were enemies of the Constitution.

Other than that, no problem!

And don't we hear all day long, every day, that the "Republicans" take the side of the 1%? The banks and merchants?

So: it's evil for (R), but not for (D)?

Be serious.

Jim said...

And don't we hear all day long, every day, that the "Republicans" take the side of the 1%? The banks and merchants?

No. That's a Fox "News" straw man.