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VERIFY: 40,000 sign petition imploring Trump to move Halloween to Saturday. Can he?

Forty-thousand people signed a petition addressed to the President, asking him to move Halloween to Saturday. Is it within his power?

QUESTION:

Forty-thousand people signed a petition addressed to the President, asking him to move Halloween to Saturday. Is it within his power?

ANSWER:

Holidays that ARE NOT FEDERAL HOLIDAYS have been created and moved by presidents in the past with a presidential proclamation.

SOURCES:

Library of Congress- Thanksgiving Day

Abraham Lincoln Proclamation- Thanksgiving

Franklin Roosevelt Proclamation- Thanksgiving

Congress- Joint Resolution Chapter 631- "Making the fourth Thursday in November a legal holiday"

Congressional Research Service - 2014

Congressional Research Service - 1999

PROCESS:

Parents have had enough of kids in candy comas, bouncing off the walls, on a school night in the middle of the week. Forty-thousand people signed a petition urging the President to move Halloween to Saturday.

"3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year...65 percent of parents don’t discuss Halloween safety with their children...70 percent of parents don’t accompany their children trick-or-treating," the Change.org petition reads. "It's time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration! Let's move Halloween to the last Saturday of October!"

The petition is directly addressed to the President, but does he have the authority to change a non-federal holiday?

According to the Congressional Research Service and records from the Library of Congress, it's been done before. Presidents have both created and moved holidays with a proclamation.

Back in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday of November. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt changed it to the second-to-last Thursday of November. That was all before it became a federal holiday.

Congress sealed the deal, making it a federal holiday two years later.

So even though he has the authority to proclaim a national day of festivities, is it likely Trump would kick Halloween down to the weekend?

Not really, and there's no promise anyone who succeeds him won't reverse it,either.

So we can Verify — technically the President CAN briefly switch Halloween to Saturday through a proclamation, but it's not likely, nor is it binding.

Congress probably wouldn't make it a federal holiday, settling the dispute. They haven't done that since Martin Luther King Day in 1983.

In recent years, Congress has considered "Cesar E. Chavez Day," "Susan B. Anthony Day," and "Election Day" as federal holidays, but none of them made the cut.

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