Letter: Next year don’t forget the ‘Mother of Thanksgiving’

Editor:

Why was there NO mention of “Mother of Thanksgiving”- Sarah J. Hale  in your two items regarding Thanksgiving?

“Mother of Thanksgiving”- Sarah J. Hale convinced Lincoln to proclaim Thanksgiving a national holiday

Sarah Josepha Hale was an author, poet and magazine editor.  Hale may be the individual most responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday in the United States; it had previously been celebrated mostly in New England

She began a lobbying campaign to persuade President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving an official annual holiday, using her magazine to build public support by writing an editorial every year starting in 1846.

She also sent letters to all governors in the United States and territories. In 1863, Lincoln did set Thanksgiving as an official holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

After more than three decades of lobbying, Sarah Josepha Hale (and the United States) had a national holiday.  Sarah is often referred to as “Mother of Thanksgiving”.

Also, she wrote numerous editorials in her magazine, suggesting recipes appropriate for the holiday. 

Many of those recipes became traditional thanks to her. Among them is the tradition of a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie.

You can read her letter to President Lincoln at: http://chnm.gmu.edu/mcpstah/wordpress/wp-content/themes/tah/files/willard_ps1_hale-letter.pdf

Nancy Floyd

Camp Verde

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