We all know what tomorrow is: Thanksgiving! While you get ready to fill your home with friends, family, and/or loved ones, we’re sure you’re counting down the minutes until that infamous fourth Thursday arrives. We typically associate Thanksgiving with turkey, getting together with family, maybe even football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it’s pretty rare that we contemplate why Thanksgiving is on a Thursday.
Think about it, Independence Day always falls on July 4th, no matter the day of the week. Same with Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and the like. Most holidays are remembered by their date, not the day of the week. So why Thanksgiving?
If we take it all the way back to the very first Thanksgiving, we wouldn’t be able to know if it happened on a Thursday or not, so what sparked the “rule”?
In 1789, President Washington declared Thursday, November 26th as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin,” and that was the standard for a few years. Eventually, the date was moved to the last Thursday of the month, due to President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation.
However, over time, retailers started to request that the holiday be moved up a week, since there would sometimes be 5 Thursdays in the month. This was done in an attempt to give people more time to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Understandably, this ruffled some feather, as people thought that Congress was changing an age-old tradition simply to appeal to big retailers.
Regardless, on December 26th, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the official day of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday.
Now you have a fun fact to share at the dinner table tomorrow!
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