A repeat post from last year. Yep. That’s right. I’m lazy!
Anyway…We should all hail the woman who’s largely
responsible for “inventing” our Thanksgiving holiday:
Sarah Josepha Hale! (get it? Hail Hale?! It’s a funny.
Or not!) Nevertheless, HUZZAH for Hale!
During the mid-19th century, Hale lobbied tirelessly for a national
day of thanksgiving. At the time, it was already observed somewhat
regularly in New England, but she thought it should be nation-wide.
As the first-ever female editor of Ladies’ Magazine and later, Godey’s
Lady’s Book, Hale used her position to publish numerous editorials
promoting the idea. The New Hampshire native also wrote letters
to any and every politician she could find, including then-President
Abraham Lincoln. Her campaign finally proved successful when he
declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. However, it was
many years before the entire country embraced it, particularly
in the South (for obvious reasons!). Nevertheless, Thanksgiving
has become one of America’s beloved celebrations. And we owe
it all to Hale’s incessant efforts. It’s amazing what one person
(and a woman, at that) can do!
Incidentally, Hale was quite a prolific writer. She penned a variety
of works, including cookbooks (such as The Good Housekeeper,
which was first published in 1839), numerous novels (she even
described a Thanksgiving dinner in one), and the nursery rhyme
“Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
For more information about Thanksgiving Day, its history, evolution,
and so forth, check out the following.
New England, in the time of the so-called “Pilgrims,” when a day
of thanksgiving meant a day of fasting, NOT feasting:
Confirmation from those who “live” it!
Culinary historians’ viewpoints: http://m.livescience.com/41496-history-thanksgiving-menu-dishes.html
The role of politics: http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/11/24/thanksgiving-how-eat-american-politics/dr3jHLnGnsS7Cj9i9X44jP/igraphic.html
Food at Plimoth Plantation, with a British bent:
And, lastly, apparently we silly Americans have it all wrong!