Letter from Alice Colvin Wright to Governor Fred P. Cone Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, November 17, 1939

Letter from Alice Colvin Wright to Governor Fred P. Cone Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, November 17, 1939

Transcript

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH
ESSIE CHAMBERLAIN, PRESIDENT
427 NORTH GROVE AVENUE
OAK PARK, ILLINOIS
W. WILBUR HATFIELD, SECRETARY
211 WEST 68TH STREET
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
LOCAL COMMITTEE ON ARRANGMENTS
TWENTY-NINTH ANNUAL MEETING, NOVEMBER 23-NOVEMBER 25
HOTEL PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK CITY
HONORARY CHAIRMAN
HAROLD G. CAMPBELL
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK CITY COORDINATOR
ALICE COLVIN WRIGHT
ABRAHAM LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
GENERAL CHAIRMAN-DUDLEY H. MILES
EVANDER CHILDS HIGH SCHOOL
800 GUN HILL ROAD
NEW YORK CITY
GENERAL ARRANGMENTS
HAROLD A. CLARKE
DEWITT CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL
ENTERTAINMENT-HORTENSE HENENBERG
MUSIC AND ART HIGH SCHOOL
FINANCE-FRANK A. SMERLING
JAMES MONROE HIGH SCHOOL
HOSTESSES-MABEL A. BESSEY
BAY RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL
INFORMATION-VESTA DAVIS
THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL
MEMBERSHIP-CLARA A. MOLENDYK
LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL
PUBLISHERS EXHIBITS-A. H. LASS
BOYS HIGH SCHOOL
REGISTRATION-J. C. TRESSLER
RICHMOND HILL HIGH SCHOOL
SCHOOL EXHIBITS 
MARY H. EASTERBROOK
WALTON HIGH SCHOOL
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY
MAX J. HERZBERG
WEEQUAHIC HIGH SCHOOL
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
SAMUEL STREICHER
PUBLIC SCHOOL NO. 188, BROOKLYN 
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS
BLANCHE M. NASI
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL NO. 99
MANHATTAN
SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS-JESSE GRUMETTE
ABRAHAM LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL
VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS
FRANKLIN J. KELLER
METROPOLITAN HIGH SCHOOL
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
REVEREND WILLIAM R. KELLY
SUPERINTENDENT OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
PRIVATE SCHOOLS-BENJAMIN BURDSALL
FRIENDS SCHOOL, BROOKLYN
COLLEGES-HOMER A. WATT
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
November 17, 1939
Honorable Fred P. Cone
Governor of the State of Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Dear Sir:
President Roosevelt's change of the date set for Thanksgiving has created a very unfortunate situation in the educational world. It has long been traditional for the National Council of Teachers of English to hold its annual convention during the Thanksgiving recess. Since the New York Association of Teachers of English is acting as host to convention, it was necessary for the National Council to set the date to correspond to New York's Thanksgiving vacation.
The result is that the teachers of your state will be prevented from attending the stimulating and profitable meetings of the convention unless they are granted leaves of absence for November 23 and 24.
We, therefore, respectfully urge that you, as a public official interested in the educational values that result from such conferences, make some kind of official pronouncement which will encourage local school boards to grant such leaves of absence to teachers who desire to attend.
Very respectfully yours,
[Signature] Alice Colvin Wright, President
New York City Association of Teachers of English
ACW/mbn

Source

State Archives of Florida: Series 368, Box 91, Folder 5

Description

Alice Colvin Wright, president of the New York City Association of English Teachers, requests that the governor urge local school boards in Florida to let teachers attend the annual convention in New York over the Thanksgiving holiday break. Since Florida did not change the date of Thanksgiving to match the national calendar, New York and Florida had different official Thanksgiving holidays.

Date

November 17, 1939

Creator

Wright, Alice Colvin

Format

Letters (correspondence)

Coverage

Depression Era Florida (1926-1940)

General Note

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.