In the years 1939-1941, at the behest of President Franklin Roosevelt upon urging from retailers, Thanksgiving was celebrated a week earlier, on the third Thursday in November rather than the fourth. As a result, some referred to the earlier celebration not as Thanksgiving, but as Franksgiving. The week change was intended as an economic stimulus measure that would create a longer Christmas shopping season and increase retail in the time of the Great Depression. Some states refused the change and celebrated at the usual time, while a few states celebrated both dates.
For the first Thanksgiving during WWII, in 1942, Roosevelt returned the holiday to its traditional week. The hit 1942 film, Holiday Inn, remarked on the confusion surrounding the date of that year’s Thanksgiving—even the turkey is confused. Happy Thanksgiving!
Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.