Corzine Breaks Tradition of Day off After Thanksgiving

November 19, 2007 ( - Some 5,000 calls and emails have been received by the office of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine protesting his decision not to give state workers the day after Thanksgiving off work this year.

USA Today reports New Jersey used to be among at least 24 states that let workers take the day after Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, through a proclamation by the governor. However, this year Corzine stopped the tradition, saying state employees who want that Friday off would have to use a vacation or personal day.

Corzine said he just wants state offices open on a business day to serve taxpayers, the news report said. His office also pointed out the governor warned the state’s nearly 80,000 workers last year that it would be the last time he gave them the day following Thanksgiving off work.

New Jersey governors have granted the day after Thanksgiving as an extra day off through a proclamation at least since 1962, according to the Rutgers University Library for the Center for Law & Justice, the newspaper said, but state law has never been changed to make it an official holiday.

Many other states give their workers off the day after Thanksgiving – some designating that day as a separate, distinct holiday.

Indiana celebrates Lincoln’s birthday on the day after Thanksgiving – to make up for not taking a day off in February when he was actually born, the news report said – and New Mexico calls it President’s Day. Louisiana law allows the governor to declare the day after Thanksgiving as Acadian Day to honor the arrival of people from the French colony Acadie in 1713.

Nevada dubs it “Family Day,” and Georgia celebrates Robert E. Lee’s birthday.