holidays

Two Thanksgivings in Iowa? 1939-1941

cornucopia

If you enjoy stuffing yourself silly with turkey and all the trimmings at a Thanksgiving meal, you would have been just ecstatic in 1939. Things had been running fairly smoothly since President Lincoln declared in 1863 that a national “day of thanksgiving and praise” would be on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that businesses needed more time for shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and declared the fourth (instead of the fifth) Thursday in November as the official federal observation of Thanksgiving.

What’s up with Beggars’ Night?

Candy filled jack-o-lantern

Newcomers to the Des Moines area are often surprised to find that local children go out trick-or-treating on October 30, not on Halloween night, October 31, as most of the country does. How did this tradition get started? An article in The Des Moines Register on October 28, 1997, says “Blame World War II.” as well as rowdy youths in the early history of Des Moines.

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