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

TO THOSE IN THE CALENDAR BUSINESS
BELOW IS A COPY OF A LETTER THAT WE ARE WRITING TO THE PRESIDENT; ALSO TO OUR SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN AND GOVERNOR.
WE ARE ASKING THEM TO BRING PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT TO RESCIND HIS THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION.
ALTHOUGH NO PROCLAMATION HAS BEEN ISSUED AS YET FOR THE 1940 THE PRESIDENT HAS STATED THAT THE THANKSGIVING DATE WILL BE ADVANCED TWO WEEKS FOR THE YEAR OF 1940.
THAT WILL MAKE NEARLY ALL CALENDARS WRONG PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT CARRY SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS FOR HOLIDAYS.

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AUGUST 16, 1939

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:
YOUR PROCLAMATION CHANGING THANKSGIVING DAY THIS YEAR AND FOR THE YEAR OF 1940 WILL TEND TO RAISE HAVOC FOR THOSE, WHO LIKE OURSELVES, ARE ENGAGED IN THE CALENDAR BUSINESS.
FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW WE WILL NOT BE AFFECTED VERY MUCH THIS YEAR SINCE 1939 CALENDARS HAVE BEEN OUT A LONG TIME BUT NEVERTHELESS EVERY CALENDAR WILL CARRY THE WRONG INFORMATION ABOUT THANKSGIVING, EVEN FOR THIS YEAR.
THE SITUATION FOR 1940 IS DIFFERENT. WE AND OTHER CALENDAR MANUFACTURERS HAVE ALL PUBLISHED OUR CALENDAR PADS FOR 1940. IN FACT MILLIONS OF CALENDAR PADS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DISTRIBUTED FOR THE YEAR OF 1940. NEARLY ALL OF THESE CALENDARS DESIGNATE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH AS THANKSGIVING DAY.
SO FAR AS HE CALENDAR MANUFACTURERS ARE CONCERNED THEIR CUSTOMERS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY SET FORTH THE CLAIM THAT THE 1940 CALENDARS ARE INCORRECTLY PRINTED SINCE THE THANKSGIVING DATE WILL BE DESIGNATED INCORRECTLY.
THAT MEANS IN MANY INSTANCES CUSTOMERS WILL REFUSE TO PAY FOR THEIR MERCHANDISE SINCE THE AVERAGE CUSTOMER DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THAT ALL MANUFACTURERS OF CALENDAR PADS MUST START A YEAR AHEAD TO MAKE UP CALENDAR PADS.
ACCORDING TO THE PRESS AT LEAST SOME GOVERNORS OF SOME STATES WILL STICK TO THE TIME HONORED CUSTOM OF DECLARING THE LAST THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER AS THANKSGIVING AND THAT WILL CREATE FURTHER CONFUSION.

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.