November 8th, 2012
08:17 PM ET

Walmart pushes Black Friday to 8PM on Thanksgiving. Is nothing sacred?

It's only been a week since Halloween, and just two days since the election. But it's already time to talk about Thanksgiving.

Specifically everyone's favorite shopping day: Black Friday

Today Walmart announced this year's Black Friday will actually begin on Thursday November 22 – Thanksgiving Day – at 8PM to let customers get a jump on the holiday shopping.

Now I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. But really? Is nothing sacred anymore?

So we looked into it, and found out this rush for Christmas, while annoying to the traditionalist in all of us, is nothing new. And the person to blame? Someone who actually moved Thanksgiving to get more people out shopping for Christmas?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Prior to FDR's administration, Thanksgiving was always celebrated on the last Thursday in November. But in 1939, that fell on November 30th. The National Retail panicked, thinking 25 days of Christmas shopping wouldn't be enough, and lobbied the President to move Thanksgiving back a week.

Now, FDR loved holidays when they helped him out. Two years earlier, he created Columbus Day to attract Italian-American voters. That's not a joke, he really made it up.

So, to assuage the retailers, he agreed to move Thanksgiving, which split the country down the middle. People were mad! And so half the states celebrated on the 23rd, and half on the 30th. It was like that until 1942 when Congress officially set it on the fourth Thursday of November permanently.

So how about this. Let's let Christmas have all the time it needs. And move Thanksgiving again – from a hectic and harried time to a time we all need the pick-me-up of family and friends. Like the end of February. President Obama, you just got re-elected. Let's get it done, it's peanuts compared to the fiscal cliff!

Filed under: Erin's Essay
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Joey at Purdue Univ

    May just try Amazon this year...

    BTW, happy holidays to all & best of luck w. "Baby Outfront."

    November 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  2. Joey at Purdue Univ

    It's interesting that FDR presided over a time when most Americans would've given their right and left legs up if it meant their family would never have to worry about another meal; yet here was a guy with all the wealth and influence anyone could want who'd have given it all up to take a walk in the park.

    November 20, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
  3. Raymond

    I believe it shows we are the framers of our destiny and when all is said we can do any honorable pursuit which includes postive outcomes for us as a people. and what is wrong with lots of vactations? sometimes the math is better when fewer "reporting days"

    November 9, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply

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