While you’re basting your turkey, prepping your pies, and preparing your Thanksgiving food together, it might occur to you that Celebration is a little later than routine this year. And you’d be true! (After all, “What day is Thanksgiving?” is always Googled throughout this time of year.) As it sets out, there’s a reason the festival is arriving a little on the tardier side—and it’s absolutely historic. In fact, the story begins all the way back to 1939 when Franklin Roosevelt decided to shake up the tradition a bit in the name of democracy.
When is Thanksgiving?
Thursday, 28 November (Thanksgiving 2019 in the United States)
Thanksgiving had been dedicated on the last Thursday of the month since the time of Abraham Lincoln. But, according to TIME, during 1939, the calendar table had been exceptional, as the month started on a Wednesday, so there were five Thursdays as opposed to four.
To revive some order, Roosevelt transferred the national holiday to the second-to-last Thursday of the month (a shift that many were unhappy with). Instead of concentrating on the negative, Roosevelt strived to justify his decision with a pro-shopping rejoinder: merchants would now have a holiday further from Christmas to allow for more purchasing time.