Friday, November 27, 2009

FDR Moved Thanksgiving - Citizens Not Thankful

Today's Chinese Proverb: Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly.

Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the week of Thanksgiving celebration in 1939? That year, in 1939, the month of November held five Thursdays. So, Thanksgiving was to fall on November 30. According to an interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal, Roosevelt and the lobby of the Retail Dry Goods Association decided the shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was too short. So, along with other decisions Roosevelt took upon himself to proclaim, he changed the date that year. That year Thanksgiving was moved a week back. The hope was to nudge the economy and increase holiday sales.

As you might imagine, all hell broke loose. This story was front page news, of course, and the public wasn't having it. I guess you could call it a form of today's outcry from the Tea Party movement. Everyone from the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts - home of the Pilgrams and the first Thanksgiving - to college football coaches voiced displeasure in the move.

Roosevelt claimed Thanksgiving was not a proclaimed national holiday. He said it was not set by a federal law, therefore, it was the choice of the president's to pick a date. This left the individual states to ratify the president's decision. The states were divided on this decision and twenty-three states decided to stick with the original tradition and twenty-two adopted FDR's date. Texas, Mississippi and Colorado chose to celebrate both dates.

As with most of FDR's economic decisions, this one also turned out to be wrong. As Roosevelt continued on the next two years moving the date of Thanksgiving, it became apparent that the result was not as anticipated. The federal government reported no boost in result sales.

"On December 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a joint resolution passed by Congress making Thanksgiving a national holiday and mandating that it be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am thankful that idiot liberal schools don't teach about Thomas Jefferson anymore. Rather paint our founders to be "Racist slave owning white men"
I’m thankful for Obama getting on his knees and bowing, apologizing to the whole freaken world so that maybe, just maybe they will like us and not crash Airplanes into our buildings and not kill us anymore. Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all even you Marxist’s Turkeys..