SARASOTA RETAIL MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION
October 26, 1939
Hon Fred P. Cone, Governor
State of Florida
Dear Governor Cone:
At a meeting of the Sarasota Retail Merchants Association last Monday night, it was decided to adhere to the date set by President Roosevelt for Thanksgiving Day-that is November 23rd.
Sarasota Retail Merchants Assn.
[Signature] PM Birmingham
State Archives of Florida: Series 368, Box 91, Folder 5
P.M. Birmingham, secretary of the Sarasota Retail Merchants Association, relays to the governor that the association will be celebrating Thanksgiving on November 23, as proclaimed by President Roosevelt.
October 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.