Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Confusion


A store owner in Kokomo, Indiana hung a sign in his window in 1939 that read: “Do your shopping now. Who knows, tomorrow may be Christmas.” The humorous sign referred to President Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to observe Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November that year, instead of the fourth, in order to extend the shopping season. Since company holidays, school vacations, and college football games were already scheduled, the idea of celebrating a week earlier was not universally popular. Some disliked the idea for political reasons, claiming that it was just another New Deal scheme. In fact, the polls indicated that sixty percent of Americans were opposed to moving the holiday. Since the new date was not legally binding, twenty-three states ignored the presidential declaration, choosing to stick with the traditional day a week later. Oddly, Colorado and Texas officially celebrated on both days.