The Real History of Thanksgiving

bd1a3060edeafce0f0ee4600de1af2e7

In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale — author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” — launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday.  For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians.   Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”