"THE SHOPPING CENTER OF SOUTH FLORIDA"
September 26, 1939.
Hon. Fred P. Cone, Governor,
State of Florida,
Dear Governor Cone:
I know that you have received numerous requests from merchants in both sections of the State in regard to a Thanksgiving proclamation and I wish to express our views regarding this Day.
There is no question but what the early date would be more advantageous from any viewpoint, the most important of which is the addition of extra people way in advance of the date that people are usually put on. It would also spread out the holidays as to make it easier on employees and employers alike. By crowding the pre-holiday selling into a shorter space of time, it not only works a hardship on everyone concerned but affects general economic conditions. We realize the colleges prefer the later date because of the football schedules, but as these football schedules may be played at night, it should not seriously affect the football situation, as the night games should draw a larger attendance than the game days.
Very truly yours,
MAAS BROTHERS, INC.
[Signature] JA Waterman
By: J. A. WATERMAN,
State Archives of Florida: Series 368, Box 91, Folder 5
J.A. Waterman, president of Maas Brothers, requesting that the governor select an earlier date for the Thanksgiving holiday.
September 26, 1939
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation moving the Thanksgiving holiday from the last Thursday of November to the second to last Thursday of the month to extend the holiday shopping season. The holiday was changed from November 30, the last day of the month, to November 23. Thirty-two states issued similar proclamations, but 16 states refused to make the change. Florida Governor Fred P. Cone decided not to move the date forward and left the holiday on its traditional day. The governor's decision received both praise and opposition, with many wanting to keep with tradition, while others criticized the governor for creating confusion throughout the state. Many Florida organizations chose one date to celebrate the holiday, while others recognized both days as Thanksgiving. The dispute remained unresolved in 1940 and 1941. The issue was finally settled on December 26, 1941, when President Roosevelt signed a joint resolution declaring the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.