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RETAIL MERCHANT'S DIVISION OF THE FORT LAUDERDALE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
OCTOBER 16, 1939
Governor Fred P. Cone
Subject: Thanksgiving Day Observation.
My dear Governor Fred:
This is to advise you of action taken by the Retail Merchant's Division of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
We had first planned to observe November 30, as per your proclamation. We now find that Miami, Hollywood, and other cities in our area and in the state plan to observe November 23.
This letter is to urge you to reconsider the setting of the official state date for November 30, and seriously to consider making the Thanksgiving date this year November 23.
RETAIL MERCHANT' DIVISION
[Signature] Edward Carroll
Edward Carroll, Chairman
State Archives of Florida: Series 368, Box 91, Folder 5
Edward Carroll, chairman of the Retail Merchants' Division of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, urging the governor to reconsider the date selected for Thanksgiving. Miami and the surrounding area would not observe the holiday on the date proclaimed by the governor.
October 16, 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.