Why Tuesday?

WHY TUESDAY?….John Quiggin asks “Why Tuesday?” That is, why do Americans always vote on Tuesday? Luckily, John links to a site called Why Tuesday? that offers an answer:

We vote on Tuesday because of an 1845 federal law that was passed when 80% of Americans lived on farms. At the time it could often take a day or longer to get to the polls, and Congress did not want this travel to conflict with days of religious observance, which left Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday was market day. So: Tuesday.

Well, this is the story I’ve always heard too. But now the question is: is this story true? Or is it an urban legend that got started somewhere and has since conquered the world? Beats me. But it certainly sounds plausible, doesn’t it?

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, Why Tuesday? is actually an organization trying to get voting day changed, perhaps to the weekend, perhaps to a national holiday. Check ’em out.

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