Correspondence Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, 1939

Correspondence Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, 1939

Transcript

THE STANWOOD-HILLSON CORPORATION
Calendars and Advertising Novelties
BROOKLINE MASS

AUGUST 31, 1939

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON, D. C.

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:
IN TODAY'S PAPER THERE IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT YOU HAVE DESIGNATED NOV 21ST AS THE THANKSGIVING DATE FOR THE YEAR 1940, AND YOU FURTHER STATE THAT THE CALENDAR MANUFACTURERS ARE EXPECTED TO BE PLEASED BY THE LONG ADVANCE NOTICE.
MR PRESIDENT, THIS WILL NOT HELP CALENDAR MANUFACTURERS SINCE ALL 1940 CALENDARS HAVE BEEN PRINTED AND, IN MY INSTANCES, DISTRIBUTED TO THEIR CUSTOMERS.
WE ENCLOSE TWO CALENDAR PADS INDICATING THAT ALL THE HOLIDAYS ARE PRINTED IN RED. THE 1940 CALENDARS WERE PRINTED BY ALL MANUFACTURERS MONTHS AGO; IN FACT, WE STARTED TO PRINT OUT CALENDARS AS EARLY AS JANUARY OF THIS YEAR, AND MANY OF OUR 1940 CALENDARS HAVE ALREADY BEEN SHIPPED TO OUR CUSTOMERS.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, WE AND OTHER LEADING MANUFACTURERS NOW HAVE OUR SAMPLES READY FOR THE YEAR 1941. THE NATURE OF THE CALENDAR BUSINESS IS SUCH THAT THE CALENDAR MANUFACTURER HAS TO START WORK ON HIS LINE AT LEAST A YEAR AHEAD.
IT'S EASY TO UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOUR RULE REMAINS IN EFFECT, EVERY CALENDAR FOR 1940 WILL BE IN ERROR AND CUSTOMERS WILL, OF COURSE, IN MANY INSTANCES REJECT THEIR CALENDARS.
WHILE WE ONLY DESIGNATE HOLIDAYS IN RED INK, MANY MANUFACTURERS SPECIFY HOLIDAYS BY A RING OR SPECIAL DESIGNATION AROUND THE DATE INDICATING THAT "THIS IS THANKSGIVING DAY - THIS IS CHRISTMAS DAY", ETC.
WE ARE SURE THAT IF YOU WILL GIVE THIS MATTER YOUR CAREFUL ATTENTION, YOU WILL REALIZE THE TREMENDOUS LOSS THAT CALENDAR MANUFACTURERS WILL SUFFER IF YOUR ORDER IS NOT RESCINDED.

RESPECTFULLY YOURS,
THE STANWOOD-HILLSON CORP.
BY S. HILLSON, PRES.

SH;EH

Source

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

Description

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.

Date

1939

Creator

Barklow, E.J.

Hillson, S.

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962

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.