“The Senate just sits and waits till they find out what the president wants, so they know how to vote against him.” — Will Rogers, June 29, 1930.
In the summer of 1939, the head of the National Retail Dry Goods Association, was concerned that the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, which fell on Nov. 30 that year, would shorten the Christmas buying period to only 26 days. Remember, back then everything was closed on Sunday, and Christmas selling did not start until after Thanksgiving.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, never one afraid to tinker with precedent (remember Social Security), announced in a news conference that in 1939, the second-to-last Thursday in November (Nov. 23) would be Thanksgiving.
Problem solved, right? Wrong. Remember, these are politicians. One politico opined that FDR was “springing it upon an unprepared country with the omnipotence of a Hitler.” In 1939, Republicans are using Hitler comparisons. Sound familiar? That year, 23 states, predominantly those with Democratic governors, and the District of Columbia observed what the right-wing took to calling “Franksgiving” on Nov. 23 while 23 states, the majority with Republican governors, celebrated the holiday on Nov. 30. Colorado and Texas chose to observe both dates.
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A Merrie Melodies cartoon,” Holiday Highlights”, spoofed the situation by showing the holiday falling on two different dates, one “for Democrats” and another a week later “for Republicans.”
Looks like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Birds fly, fish swim, politicians can’t work together.
Michael R. Sweeney