And now — an exploration of this alternate holiday, brought to you by Staff Reporter, Kelly March:
Last Thanksgiving, my brother’s glass table shattered into pieces just after he called the guests away from the football game to enjoy the buffet. Hearing the crash, my family ran into the living room to find our Thanksgiving feast (which his girlfriend had been cooking since 5 a.m.) strewn on the carpet amid shards of glass.
Needless to say, we didn’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving last year. So this year I’m taking precautions to make sure that never happens again by starting a new tradition of observing Franksgiving.
A little history…
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. While his successors continued that tradition, there was no real reason why the date couldn’t be changed; Thanksgiving was not a national holiday with a date set by federal law.
So in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that Thanksgiving would be celebrated a week earlier than its traditional date. As there were five Thursdays in November that year, Roosevelt hoped to bolster the economy by expanding the shorter-than-normal shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The general public was outraged by his decision and began resentfully referring to this new Thanksgiving as Franksgiving. Even though the last Thursday in November didn’t correspond with any specific event in history, the date had accumulated historic significance among the American people.
Despite public resistance, Roosevelt pushed the date of Thanksgiving ahead a week for the next two years.
Then, on Dec. 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a joint resolution passed by Congress making Thanksgiving a national holiday. A national holiday that was to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. The resolution put an end to the upheaval by allowing Thanksgiving to resume falling on the last Thursday of November unless the month contained five Thursdays (a lesson in compromise).
Which brings me to my newest annual tradition: Franksgiving – a Thanksgiving pregame of sorts.
As there are five Thursdays in November this year, Thanksgiving and Franksgiving are technically one in the same. But I’m still planning to celebrate both.
After sharing a Franksgiving feast with friends last night, I’m feeling ready for (a –fingers crossed—glass free) Thanksgiving.
With that, I wish you all a safe, happy Thanksgiving.