Thanksgiving and why we celebrate it

It's Thanksgiving, and that means it's time to raise a glass to one of America's forgotten important women, Sarah Josepha Hale.  As I'm sure you all remember, it's an annual tradition of mine to post about Sarah Hale on Thanksgiving, because she's the reason it's a national holiday.

For years Americans had celebrated Thanksgiving, but there hadn't been a set date for it, and it wasn't an official national holiday.  The only official American holiday was July 4.  Starting in the late 1830s, Hale started lobbying American presidents to make Thanksgiving our second national holiday.  She was editor of Godey's Lady's Book, the most popular magazine of the 19th c, so she had some clout, but it still took her a hell of a long time.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln finally agreed to designate Thanksgiving a national holiday, since he and Hale saw it as an important symbolic gesture of national unity during the Civil War.

So here's to Sarah Josepha Hale, who won't be completely forgotten as long as Baxter Sez is around.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And was the author of the nursery rhyme, "Mary Had a Little Lamb!"

- Sarah M.