Why does Thanksgiving feel so late this year?

U.S. & World

FILE – This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, N.H. Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces is still important. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’re thinking Thanksgiving is so late this year, you’re not wrong. November 28th, the date Thanksgiving of 2019 is celebrated, is the latest date that Thanksgiving could ever occur. But…why?

As it stands today, Thanksgiving occurs on the fourth Thursday in November but it wasn’t always that way.

Thanksgiving was originally declared the last Thursday in November by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 after being celebrated on various days and months prior to that.

Then came the year of 1939 as the Great Depression was ending. The year 1939 had five Thursdays in November with November 1st landing on a Wednesday leaving Thanksgiving to be celebrated on November 30th.

As the depression was coming to a close, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted more shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In order to open up more days, he declared that Thanksgiving was going to be on the fourth Thursday that year but many were unhappy and not all celebrated it then.

Two years later, the president officially declared Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in Thanksgiving every year from there on out whether there were four or five Thursdays in the month.

The last time Thanksgiving occurred this late was in 2013. It occurs this late every few years but it may seem much later this year because of how early it occurred last year, on November 22nd, which is the earliest date Thanksgiving can land on.

The latest date Thanksgiving can occur on is November 28th with the month starting on a Friday.

  • 2013 – Nov 28th
  • 2014 – Nov 27th
  • 2015 – Nov 26th
  • 2016 – Nov 24th
  • 2017 – Nov 23rd
  • 2018 – Nov 22nd
  • 2019 – Nov 28th
  • 2020 – Nov 26th
  • 2021 – Nov 25th
  • 2022 – Nov 24th
  • 2023 – Nov 23rd
  • 2024 – Nov 28th

So while you finish off your holiday meal and begin thinking about shopping for the holidays, think fast because there are only 27 days until Christmas day, as opposed to 33 total shopping days in between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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