This Day in History: , FDR Establishes the Modern Thanksgiving Holiday.
November 26, 1941.
President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signed a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
In 1939, Roosevelt had departed from tradition by declaring the next to last Thursday that year as Thanksgiving Day.
The tradition dated back to President Abraham Lincoln, who declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November.
Franklin's deviation sparked considerable controversy.
Some Americans refused to honor the declaration.
But Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation for the next two years.
In 1941, the president admitted his mistake and signed the bill establishing the modern national holiday of Thanksgiving Day