Although Thanksgiving is a long-standing tradition, there might be a few things you still don’t know about the holiday. As you prepare to gather around with family and friends, let us leave you with some fun legal facts to share over the dinner table!
Thanksgiving Day has not always been the fourth Thursday of November. In 1815, President James Madison proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day in the spring and also one in the fall. During the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the third Thursday in November as Thanksgiving to add another week of holiday shopping, helping to increase Depression-era revenue. But by 1941, Congress passed a joint resolution that officially established the date of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
President John F. Kennedy was the first President to spare a Thanksgiving turkey. The first formal pardon, however, was issued by George H.W. Bush in 1989 during a ceremony in the Rose Garden.
Many states have laws against selling hard liquor on Thanksgiving. In fact, Kansas and Oklahoma still have not passed the Twenty-first Amendment which repealed nationwide prohibition in 1933!
Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state, providing more than 44.5 million birds a year. Due to this, the power plant in Benson, Minnesota, burns turkey manure full-time!
Massachusetts and Rhode Island prohibit retailers from opening for business on Thanksgiving Day. In Maine, any store over 5,000 sq. ft. must remain closed - with the exception of the L.L. Bean outlet (a "loophole" allows sporting goods stores to be open on Thanksgiving).