This Week In History: November 23-29
This Week in History…
November 24, 1932: The FBI Laboratory opens in Washington, D.C.
Originally called the Criminology Laboratory, the FBI’s crime lab started with only one full time employee and performed 963 examinations in its first year of operation. By the 1990s, it was processing nearly 200,000 pieces of evidence per year. Now, the FBI Laboratory obtains 600 pieces of new evidence every single day.
November 25, 1963: President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a day of national mourning.
Over 100 foreign dignitaries arrived for John F. Kennedy’s funeral, but their numbers were nothing compared to the crowds of ordinary citizens. So many people came to mourn the president that some had to be turned away from the Capitol Building where he lay in state. A local taxi driver reported that despite the numbers, the crowds remained almost entirely silent.
November 26, 1939: President Franklin D. Roosevelt changes Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the second to last Thursday of November.
In 1939, the last Thursday of November was also the last day of the month. Concerned that this would shorten the Christmas shopping season and hurt economic recovery, FDR issued a Presidential Proclamation making Thanksgiving a week earlier. However, 16 states refused to acknowledge the change. As a compromise, Congress passed a bill two years later that solidified Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. This ensured that Thanksgiving was the last Thursday of November almost every year. It also prevented the holiday from falling on the final day of the month those rare years that there were five Thursdays in November.