Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hale to the Chief: Proclaim a day of Thanksgiving

I just watched "Lincoln," the movie, a few days ago and loved it. Then I read an article in the paper today that gives Lincoln credit for proclaiming a national day of Thanksgiving for all Americans.

I did a bit of research to confirm that it wasn't really Squanto calling for the feasting, and I found instead that a woman was behind the movement.

Sarah Josepha Hale, magazine editor for Godey's Lady's book and a prolific writer, wrote many editorials campaigning for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday.

Who knows if Honest Abe ever read her columns, but in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be a day of Thanksgiving. Congress eventually moved it to the fourth Thursday.

Now we know.

Hurray for Mr. Lincoln, but I thought Ms. Hale ought to get some credit too.

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