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A States' Rights Controversy Over Thanksgiving

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From 1863 to 1939, the president annually issued a proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November.

However, when in 1939 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw that the last Thursday fell on the last day of the month, he sought to change things, according to the National Archives.

"Concerned that the shortened Christmas shopping season might dampen the economic recovery, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a Presidential Proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November," noted the Archives' website.

"As a result of the proclamation, 32 states issued similar proclamations while 16 states refused to accept the change and proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday in November. For two years two days were celebrated as Thanksgiving — the President and part of the nation celebrated it on the second to last Thursday in November, while the rest of the country celebrated it the following week."

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