Busy holiday season ahead, time to priortize and utitlize a little time management here, besides the same issues will be facing us in January. The Democrats in the state senate will not have resolved the budget fiasco, the county will still be debating - wind or no wind, Obama will still be spending our money like a drunken' sailor.
Last I checked, Thanksgiving is still scheduled to take place tomorrow. The
economic news may be gloomy, but unlike President Franklin D. Roosevelt during
the Great Depression, President Barack Obama has not tinkered with the date of
In 1939, FDR decided to move Thanksgiving Day forward by a week. Rather than
take place on its traditional date, the last Thursday of November, he decreed
that the annual holiday would instead be celebrated a week earlier.
The reason was economic. There were five
Thursdays in November that year, which meant that Thanksgiving would fall on
the 30th. That left just 20 shopping days till Christmas. By moving the holiday
up a week to Nov. 23, the president hoped to give the economy a lift by
allowing shoppers more time to make their purchases and—so his theory
went—spend more money.
Roosevelt made his decision in part on advice from Secretary of Commerce
Harry Hopkins, who was in turn influenced by Lew Hahn, general manager of the
Retail Dry Goods Association. Hahn had warned Hopkins that the late
Thanksgiving, Nov. 30, might have an "adverse effect" on the sale of
In an informal news conference in August announcing his decision, FDR
offered a little tutorial on the history of the holiday. Thanksgiving was not a
national holiday, he noted, meaning that it was not set by federal law.
According to custom, it was up to the president to pick the date every year.
It was not until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln ordered Thanksgiving to be
celebrated on the last Thursday in November, that that date became generally
accepted, Roosevelt explained. To make sure that reporters got his point, he
added that there was nothing sacred about the date.
Nothing sacred? Roosevelt might as well have commanded that roast beef
henceforth would replace turkey as the star of the holiday meal, or that
cranberries would be banned from the Thanksgiving table. The president badly
misread public opinion. His announcement was front-page news the next day, and
the public outcry was swift and loud.
First to complain was Plymouth, Mass., home of the Pilgrims and location of
the first Thanksgiving in 1621. "Plymouth and Thanksgiving are almost
synonymous," intoned the chairman of the town's board of selectmen,
"and merchants or no merchants I can't see any reason for changing
College football coaches also objected. The United Press news service noted
mildly that coaches would find the date change "a considerable
headache." The Associated Press predicted that the Roosevelt plan would
"kick up more clamor than a hot halfback running the wrong way." By
1939 Thanksgiving football had become a national tradition. Many colleges ended
their football seasons with Thanksgiving Day games, a custom that dated back to
the 19th century. In Democratic Arkansas, the football coach of Little Ouachita
College threatened: "We'll vote the Republican ticket if he interferes
with our football."
FDR's proclamation of the date of Thanksgiving had the force of law only in
the District of Columbia and the territories of Hawaii and Alaska. A few states
mandated that Thanksgiving be marked on the date set by the president, but in
most states governors issued pro forma ratifications of the date the president
Now, however, the celebration became a political hot potato. Governors had
to read public opinion, examine the local business climate, consider political
loyalties, and decide which date to select as the official Thanksgiving.
Do they stick with tradition and celebrate Thanksgiving on Nov. 30, or
follow FDR's lead and change the date to Nov. 23? It wasn't long before people
started referring to Nov. 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and
Nov. 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving."
Public sentiment ran heavily against Roosevelt's plan. Ten days after the
president's announcement, Gallup published the results of a national poll
finding that 62% of Americans surveyed disapproved of the date change. By the
time November arrived, the 48 states were nearly evenly divided. Twenty-three
decided to stick with the old Thanksgiving, and 22 decided to adopt FDR's
date—Texas, Mississippi and Colorado said they would celebrate on both days.
For the next two years, Roosevelt continued to move up the date of
Thanksgiving, and more states resigned themselves to celebrating early. By
1941, however, the facts turned against Roosevelt.
By then, retailers had two years of experience with the early Thanksgiving,
and data were available regarding the 1939 and 1940 Christmas shopping seasons.
In mid-March 1941, The Wall Street Journal reported the results of a survey
done in New York City. The Journal's headline put it succinctly: "Early
Thanksgiving Not Worth Extra Turkey or Doll." Only 37% of stores surveyed
favored the early date. In Washington, the federal government reported that the
early Thanksgiving resulted in no boost to retail sales.
And so, on May 20, 1941, FDR called a press conference at the White House
and announced that he was changing Thanksgiving Day back to its traditional
date. The early Thanksgiving had been an "experiment," he said, and
the experiment failed. It was too late to move the 1941 Thanksgiving back to
the traditional date, but in 1942 Thanksgiving would revert to the last
Thursday of the month. This was "the first time any New Deal experiment
was voluntarily abandoned," a Washington Post columnist wrote.
Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this tale of Washington folly: On
Dec. 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a joint resolution passed by Congress making
Thanksgiving a national holiday and mandating that it be celebrated on the
fourth Thursday in November.
Ms. Kirkpatrick is a former deputy editor of the Journal's editorial
Norah O’Donnell noted in vain that Palin’s fans were “largely white — almost
no minorities in this crowd.” Matthews chirped the same line later, assailing the
“white crowd.” Walsh likened the gathering to a “paranoid tea party.”
Matthews hammered away at the “monochromatic” scene.