Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving: How The Day Became a National Holiday in the USA

Dangerous Sanctuary by J. Q. Rose
Cozy Mystery
Find more mysteries by J.Q. Rose at BWL Publishing
Hello and welcome to the Books We Love Insiders Blog! 
I'm J.Q. Rose.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 22 in the USA
The USA celebrates Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 22. Our nation has celebrated this traditional event since 1863 after Abraham Lincoln signed the declaration establishing the day as a national holiday. Before this, only Washington's Birthday and Independence Day were national holidays.

I have a question for your Thanksgiving Day guests and family. Who influenced the President to consider declaring a national Thanksgiving Day? The New England states celebrated Thanksgiving, but it was not a holiday in the rest of the country. 

Writer Sarah J. Hale is credited for influencing President Lincoln's decision. She was a persistent woman, writing to five presidents asking for the holiday.  She began her campaign in 1846, but it wasn't until 1863 when she finally convinced Honest Abe to support legislation to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. The new national holiday was considered a day that could unify the nation after the horrendous Civil War had split the country.

Not only achieving recognition for Thanksgiving Day, but also Sarah's legacy is seen in her support of establishing historic sites and in her belief for higher education for women, establishing a college for women, Vassar College. The idea of educating women was not a popular idea in the mid-1850's. She also the editor of an influential magazine, Godey's Lady's Book. 

And one more item for your trivia game on Thanksgiving Day. Sarah J. Hale wrote the nursery rhyme, "Mary's Lamb," which is now known as "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

For more information about Sarah Hale's legacy, click on the titles of the following articles:
Wikipedia article on Sarah Josepha Hale
Can you think of more questions about Thanksgiving to ask in your Trivia game? 
Please share in a comment below. Thanks. Oh, and don't forget to include the answer!!

Wishing you a 
Happy Thanksgiving
J.Q. Rose

Click here to connect online with J. Q. Rose

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