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The New Agenda » Blog Archive » A History of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

 

The New Agenda » Blog Archive » A History of Thanksgiving.

 

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, the National Women’s History Museum has released, “A History of Thanksgiving,” a short video that explores the origins of the festival and the special role that Sarah Josepha Hale, the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” played in establishing the holiday.

It is a little known, but nonetheless significant fact that Thanksgiving, a national day of shared acknowledgement and gratitude for the blessings bestowed in each of our lives, was influenced by Godey’s Lady’s Book editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, who saw the need for this holiday to be a national day of reflection.

Not surprisingly, it was a woman who worked to create this holiday.  Throughout the eighteenth century, Hale launched an assiduous campaign for Thanksgiving to become a national celebration. Over a 25 year period, she lobbied presidents, including Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln, who declared Thanksgiving to be a national celebration in 1863. However, it wasn’t until decades later in 1941, that Thanksgiving Day was designated as the fourth Thursday in November, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The video highlights the importance of recognizing and honoring women’s historic roles in shaping this holiday and our nation and invites young girls and boys, and women and men alike to learn more. To view the video go to http://www.nwhm.org/about-nwhm/press/featured-press/thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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