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The Date of Thanksgiving 2020


Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday in November. As a convenience, we've looked that up for the next several years:

2020: Thu, Nov 26
2021: Thu, Nov 25

2022: Thu, Nov 24

Incidentally, President Franklin Roosevelt tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November, in part to extend the holiday shopping season by one week and give a boost to the economy during the Great Depression. There was huge public protest. Some referrred to the newly positioned Thanksgiving Day as "Franksgiving." Roosevelt's decision was quickly politicized, with some people in some states celebrating the holiday as the "Republican Thanksgiving" on the fourth Thursday in 1939, and others celebrating the "Democratic Thanksgiving" on the third Thursday.

The FDR Presidential Library has some interesting documentation on the controversy, including letters of outrage and protest recieved by the White House.

Having resolved the question of when Thanksgiving will be celebrated this year, let's take a deeper look at the meaning of this holiday:

Thanksgiving: Mirror Unto The Soul of a Nation
"A nation divided cannot stand," said Abraham Lincoln, paraphrasing Scripture. But with a bit of luck, some ordinary patience and understanding, and a touch of grace, it can. Here's how.

Thanksgiving: To Whom, For What?
A day of prayer, self-congratulations, or what? When the act of counting one's blessings becomes the habit of counting upon one's blessings. And what the holiday really means.

The Essence of Thanksgiving
A visitor to America from outer space in late November might conclude that we worship the turkey goddess. So what is the deeper meaning of this holiday, with its sometimes conflicting themes?

Thanksgiving Prayers


Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.