Why is Thanksgiving so late this year?

Credit: kindhelper/Freeimages

Credit: kindhelper/Freeimages

If Google is any indication, people are wondering why Thanksgiving is so late in 2019.

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Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28 this year, almost a week later than the 2018 holiday, which fell on Nov. 22. It's been six years since Thanksgiving has occurred so late in November. For those who like to plan ahead, Thanksgiving will move slowly back to an earlier day until 2024, when the holiday will once again fall on Nov. 28.

So why is Thanksgiving so late this year? Let's look back at the holiday's origins in America.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated in one form or another since the early 1600s. In 1789, President George Washington declared Nov. 26 as a national day of thanksgiving. Almost 100 years later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the Thanksgiving holiday would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran afoul of public sentiment when in 1939 he declared Thanksgiving should be celebrated on the second to last Thursday of November. He gave two reasons for the change. There were five Thursdays that year instead of the typical four and the earlier date would allow consumers more time for Christmas shopping.

In 1941, Roosevelt declared the controversial Thanksgiving date experiment over. He signed a bill that formally established the Thanksgiving holiday as the fourth Thursday in November.

In 2019, the month of November started on a Friday, so the fourth Thursday of the month is the 28th, which is why Thanksgiving is so late this year.

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