Thinking about my Thanksgiving Day blog inspired a Google search of Thanksgiving facts. What to write about? Gratitude, Pilgrims, trivia and family stories topped my list. I found my way to the History Channel website where I learned about Sarah Josepha Hale. Educated in the Pilgrim story, I was unaware of her contribution to our modern day Thanksgiving. A visit to http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving-facts/videos#thanksgiving-becomes-a-holiday will introduce you to Sarah Josepha Hale.
Sarah Josepha Buell was born in 1788. At age, 25, Sarah married David Hale. Her husband passed away in 1822 leaving her to care for their five children. Fortunately Sarah was self-educated through a brotherly connection to Dartmouth.
Needing to provide for her children, Sarah Josepha Hale turned to literature. This author and editor became a champion for the improvement of women’s lives. Sarah Josepha Hale authored many books and poems, but her most recognized poem is “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
As editor of Godey’s Ladies Book she began a letter writing campaign to President Abraham Lincoln promoting a national day of thanks. Her efforts resulted in our national holiday known as Thanksgiving. Thank you Sarah Josepha Hale for your persistence belief in a national day of thanksgiving.
Sarah Josepha Hale, “Letter to Abraham Lincoln,” American Treasures of the Library of Congress, (http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trm125.html : accessed 23 November 2011).