Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Woman Who Helped Make Thanksgiving a National US Holiday

Meet the Woman Who Helped Make Thanksgiving a US Holiday
Without the dogged activism of Sarah Josepha Hale—a novelist, poet, and the editor of "Godey's Lady's Book," a lifestyle magazine with an impressive pre-Civil War circulation of 150,000—Thanksgiving may never have become the national holiday it is today.
For much of the 19th century, Thanksgiving was celebrated only by New Englanders and Northeastern transplants in the upper Midwest and New York.

Without the dogged activism of Sarah Josepha Hale—a novelist, poet, and the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s Book,” a lifestyle magazine with an impressive pre-Civil War circulation of 150,000—Thanksgiving may never have become the national holiday it is today.Sometimes referred to as the “Godmother of Thanksgiving,” 


Hale—whose other enduring cultural contribution is the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—wrote thousands of letters and editorials promoting a national day of Thanksgiving before President Abraham Lincoln adopted the idea in 1863.

Between George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation and Lincoln’s, no president had issued such a proclamation (nor had Congress, which did not recognize the holiday until 1941), though many states and localities designated their own days of Thanksgiving. 
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