We hope all enjoy it in your own way. Since we learned something today
about how the holiday got started and the woman behind the push to have it, we’ll share it. Sarah Hosepha Hale is said to be the ‘Godmother of Thanksgiving’.
Who you ask? Perhaps you know her nursery ryhme “Mary Had a Little
Lamb”. She was born in 1788 on a farm in New Hampshire and was home
schooled. While growing up there were no female teachers so when she
turned 18 she just started her own private school which she ran until
she met her husband and married in 1813.
Her husband died 9 years later leaving her to care for their 5
children. She opened a woman’s hat shop and later resumed teaching and
writing. 5 years after her husbands death she published her first
novel. Around this time John Blake of Boston read her novel and asked
her to work for him at the ‘American Ladies’ Magazine as the first woman
editor of a magazine in America.
During her time as editor she wrote hundreds of letters to governors,
ministers, newspaper editors, and U.S. presidents requesting that the
last Thursday in November be set aside to “offer to God our tribute of
joy and gratitude for the blessings of the year.”
Finally, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln got a letter during the Civil War
again asking to declare the last Thursday in November a National
Thanksgiving Day. He did so on October 3rd, 1863 and also ordered all
government offices in Washington closed for the day.
Sarah Josepha Hale enjoyed over a dozen Thanksgiving days before her
death in 1879 at the age of 90. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt
moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November after businesses
complained they wanted more shopping days between Thanksgiving and
People celebrated on the last Thursday of November anyway and when
FDR realized his mistake he moved the holiday back to the last Thursday
in November. And now we know.
Enjoy our Wednesday and Thanksgiving tomorrow. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.