Today is the 75th anniversary of the first Franksgiving, November 23, 1939. The following week, November 30, was Thanksgiving. Since Lincoln, Presidents had declared the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. Believing that the short span between Thanksgiving and Christmas would harm retail sales, President Franklin Roosevelt on October 31, 1939, declared that November 23 would be Thanksgiving. The battle lines were drawn. Democrats favored the switch, 52% to 48%. Republicans opposed it 79% to 21%. It was up to state governments to set the actual day during which state employees would be off work, and the actual holiday varied throughout the country. Franklin Roosevelt’s new holiday was quickly dubbed Franksgiving.
Fortunately for the nation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the nation’s turkey crop was “the largest crop in turkey history.” For those families, such as the one shown here, who wished to be non-partisan and celebrate both days, the bounty of the harvest would be able to provide. The caption of this photo notes that “to the children in the household, two Thanksgivings spell double delight, perhaps two turkeys, and tables loaded with cranberries, pies and fruits.”