The date of the Thanksgiving holiday has been changed over the years. George Washington declared a day of Thanksgiving on November 28, 1782, the last Thursday of November. Other Presidents stuck to that guideline until President Franklin Roosevelt changed it to the fourth Thursday in 1939 (there were five Thursdays in November that year) to expand the Christmas shopping season and help bring the country out of the Depression. It caused a political fight; half the country celebrated on the fourth Thursday, the others on the last Thursday. Finally, on December 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a bill making the fourth Thursday date a federal law and it is still the legal date used for a traditional turkey dinner and a New York City parade.



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