Correspondence Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, 1939

Correspondence Regarding the Date of Thanksgiving, 1939


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.




Barklow, E.J.

Hillson, S.

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962


Letters (correspondence)


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.