Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sarah Hale: The Mother of Thanksgiving

Every year at this time, I read aloud Laurie Halse Anderson's picturebook, Thank you, Sarah!: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving. 

It is the little known but true story of how Sarah Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Book, fought for decades to get the fourth Thursday of November declared as a national day of Thanksgiving. Every year, the majority of students in my preservice reading/methods course are unfamiliar with this story and have even argued that it isn't true. Anderson writes the story in a wonderfully engaging way and provides an extensive list of resources in the back. 

One of my students found a new resource which she shared with me. The Public Radio show, BackStory recently featured Historian Anne Blue Wills who tells the story of Sarah Josepha Hale, a New England magazine editor who campaigned tirelessly to put Thanksgiving on our national calendar. The audio slide show titled: Sarah Hale: The Mother of Thanksgiving provides a narrated photo essay that includes photographs and historical documents that would add much to any discussion of why we have Thanksgiving today.

 Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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