Thanksgiving By the Numbers

Some people have memorable birthdays, like December 25, January 1, February 29 (how confusing!), July 4. But no one can have a Thanksgiving birthday and here's why.

Thanksgiving, which falls on November 24, 2011 this year, did not have a fixed time on the calendar until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln decreed it should fall on the last Thursday in November. That canny Franklin Roosevelt, with economic recovery on the brain, realized when the last Thursday in November was the last day of the month in 1939, time for holiday shopping was shortened.

Two years of confusion followed when 32 states followed Roosevelt's proclamation that Thanksgiving be celebrated the second to last Thursday of the month, while 16 states continued to celebrate the holiday on the last Thursday of the month. Congress put an end to the duelling dates in 1941, when it declared Thanksgiving would fall on the fourth Thursday of November.

To celebrate Thanksgiving at the Eisenhower Library, we're doing a rare thing for us---closing! As classes end on Tuesday, November 22, we'll follow this holiday schedule:

Tuesday, November 22: closing at midnight
Wednesday, November 23: 8 AM to 8 PM
Thursday, November 24: CLOSED
Friday, November 25: 8 AM to 8 PM
Saturday, November 26: 8 AM to 8 PM
Sunday, November 27: 10 AM opening, 24 hours resumes

Go forth, eat, and be thankful!

About Ellen Keith

Reference Services Coordinator and Librarian for Sociology and the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

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