THE GERLACH-BARKLOW CO.
AUGUST 22, 1939
MR. RUSSELL M. SEARLE, SECRETARY,
ADVERTISING SPECIALTY NATIONAL ASS'N.,
15TH & "G" STREETS, N. W. - RM. 503
DEAR MR. SEARLE: THANKSGIVING DATE
HAD THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE DATE FOR THANKSGIVING BEEN ANNOUNCED TWO YEARS AGO, TO TAKE EFFECT IN 1939, OUR INDUSTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED IT WITHOUT ANY SERIOUS PROTEST, AND THE CHANGE WOULD NOT HAVE AFFECTED OUR CALENDARS.
IF THE PRESIDENT PERSISTS IN HIS ANNOUNCED INTENTION OF PROCLAIMING NOVEMBER 23, AS THANKSGIVING DAY FOR 1939, AND NOVEMBER 21 OR NOVEMBER 14, AS THANKSGIVING DAY FOR 1940, THEN ALL CURRENT CALENDARS WHICH DESIGNATE THE HOLIDAYS WILL BE IN ERROR AND MOST CALENDARS FOR 1940 WILL ALSO BE IN ERROR SINCE SINCE THE GREAT BULK OF OUR ORDERS FOR 1940 HAVE ALREADY BEEN PRINTED, AND MANY OF THEM SHIPPED. ALREADY WE HAVE HEARD FROM SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS WANTING TO KNOW WHAT OUR POLICY IS GOING TO BE IN REGARD TO DESIGNATING THE 1940 HOLIDAY AND WE CAN EXPLAIN ONLY THAT OUR 1940 CALENDAR PADS ARE PRINTED WITH NOVEMBER 28, INDICATED AS THANKSGIVING.
LOCALLY, SUCH MERCHANTS AS I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTACT, ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THEIR CHRISTMAS SALES WOULD NOT BE MATERIALLY AFFECTED BY ADVANCING THE DATE OF THANKSGIVING. WHILE I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ANY STATISTICS ON THIS SUBJECT COMPARING THOSE YEARS IN WHICH THANKSGIVING FALLS ON THE 24TH WITH THOSE YEARS IN WHICH THANKSGIVING FALLS ON THE 30TH OR STILL EARLIER, I CANNOT FIND ANY PARTICULAR SENTIMENT IN FAVOR OF MAKING THE PROPOSED CHANGE.
IN VIEW OF THE SITUATION I HOPE THAT PRESIDENT CAN BE INDUCED TO PROCLAIM THE USUAL TIME-HONORED DATE - THE LAST THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER - FOR THANKSGIVING THIS YEAR AND IN THE FUTURE.
VERY YOURS TRULY,
SIGNED: - E. J. BARKLOW, VICE PRES.
CC TO STANWOOD-HILLSON CORP.
State Archives of Florida: Series 368, Box 91, Folder 5
Letters between Russell M. Searle, E.J. Barklow, President Franklin Roosevelt, S. Hillson, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Florida Governor Fred P. Cone regarding the Thanksgiving proclamation made by President Roosevelt moving the date of the holiday up one week.
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.