Image from House Divided
THANKSGIVING STARTED BY WOMAN
The tireless efforts of a woman — Sarah Hale, a widow with nine children — were responsible for establishing Thanksgiving day as a national holiday, the only holiday of its kind in the world! And it’s still the tireless efforts of the women which help to preserve the hearty feasting today.
The first Thanksgiving day, unlike what you may remember from your history lesson, was not a harvest festival, but marked the surrender of Burgoyne and was held in December, 1777, called by the Continental congress. President Washington called the next one, and the next, but many years were skipped before the holiday appeared again, and the dates varied so it was sometimes held in May. President Lincoln tried for the annual observation, but it was through the efforts of Mrs. Hale, as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, that Thanksgiving became a national holiday under Andrew Johnson, and has been celebrated on the last Thursday in November ever since.
Since then Thanksgiving has moved along under its own momentum, and this year when President Hoover proclaims the day, a wealth of tradition surrounds the festive board. Are you, as a modern thanks-giver, ready to carry out the traditions of the harvest feast?
San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Nov 18, 1932