On Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated pursuant to a proclamation issued by President George Washington. A 1863 proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday of November as the regular date for this celebration.
That tradition continued until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the holiday would be celebrated on the second to last Thursday of November that year (November 23, 1939). Roosevelt was responding to pressure from retailers to expand the Christmas shopping season.This change sparked controversy and angered some football coaches, whose season was scheduled according to the holiday. There was also a a split among states, 32 issuing proclamations following the President but 16 others refusing to change the date. See H.R. Rep. No.77-1186, at 1 (1941) (available to GMU patrons on Proquest Congressional)
Two years later, on December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a joint congressional resolution, known as the Thanksgiving Day Act (55 Stat. 862) establishing Thanksgiving as a Federal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.
In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the law library will have reduced hours:
- Wed. Nov. 27 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, References Services 9:00 am-12:00 pm
- Thurs. Nov. 28 Closed
- Fri. Nov. 29 Closed
- Sat. Nov. 30 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Sun. Dec. 1 10:00 am -11:00 pm, Reference Services 2:00 pm-9:00 pm
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!