Thanksgiving Day is observed on the fourth Thursday of November. In 2020, the fourth day Thursday of November falls on November 26, 2020.
Americans will have to wait a little longer to eat their Thanksgiving turkey this year because November 1st fell on a Sunday in 2020, which meant that the first Thursday did not occur until its latest possible date of November 5.
The other Thursdays in November 2020 also fell on their later dates, including the fourth Thursday of November on the 26th.
That is why Thanksgiving is so late this year. It is because the fourth Thursday in November fell on the 26th.
Thanksgiving Day has been annually observed in the United States since 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the holiday as the last Thursday in November.
In 1939, there were five Thursdays in November, so President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the observance date to the fourth Thursday so that retailers would have more time to advertise their products before Christmas during the Great Depression.
President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving back even further in 1940 and 1941 to the third Thursday in November.
Following an uproar over Roosevelt changing the Thanksgiving dates, the U.S. Congress passed a law setting the date permanently for the fourth Thursday in November which continues to the present day.
The precise date of when the Pilgrims had their Thanksgiving feast with the Indians is unknown to historians.
The first Thanksgiving was held after the Pilgrims’ fall harvest and occurred sometime between late September and early November 1621.
The date of the Thanksgiving holiday affects the date of Black Friday. That’s because Black Friday is observed on the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving Day. In 2020, Black Friday falls on November 27, 2020.