A Superheroine From The Pastby Jill Monroe
This post was originally posted in November 2005.
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. While thanksgiving celebrations have been throughout history and all over the world, here in the US, we almost lost this wonderful tradition.
If it were not for one woman. Sarah Hale.
Now she may look like a delicate young woman, but really, aren't those the ones to really watch out for? On our Wet Noodle Posse website, we like to profile one special woman, so in honor of the holiday she helped to bring about, I'd like to profile Sarah Hale.
As people left New England and spread throughout the US, the holiday was virtually fading away. Sarah thought this was very wrong, and began a long letter writing campaign and asked the women and children of the US to join her. She met with much success and state after state began to adopt Thanksgiving as an official holiday.
But Sarah wanted it a National holiday. So she began to write to presidents. She wrote to five presidents in all, but it wasn't until our country was nearly torn apart during the Civil War that things began to change. She presented Thanksgiving as a time to bring the country together once more. And President Abraham Lincoln agreed, making it official in 1863! It took her only 38 years, but she never gave up.
Sarah also campaigned for girls to go to school, to become doctors and teachers, playgrounds and many historical monuments. She also wrote poetry, a novel and became the first female magazine editor, bringing such literary talents as Edgar Allen Poe to women alongside articles on cooking and fashion. And if you've ever sung the song, Mary Had A Little Lamb - you have Sarah to thank for it.
And as a young widow she did all this while raising five children! A real superheroine!