Who’s Big Idea Was Black Friday, Anyway?

I am certain that he never intended the Friday after Thanksgiving to become the feeding frenzy of capitalism it is today, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt is responsible for Black Friday.

As I mentioned yesterday, U.S. presidents used to designate the date of Thanksgiving every year, almost always the last Thursday of November. In 1939, a quirk of the calendar meant that November had five Thursdays instead of the usual four and FDR declared the fourth Thursday to be Thanksgiving Day. The move was the first step in his plan to bump Turkey Day up to the next-to-last Thursday instead of the routine last Thursday.
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