Who is she?
Sarah Hale is best known as a campaigner for the creation of the American Thanksgiving holiday and also for writing the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, but she was also the editor of the Godey’s Lady’s Book for 40 years.
Godey’s was THE fashion magazine of the day in America, and although it preached a lot of traditional ‘women’s values’, Sarah also worked to try and expand women’s role in society.
Though she didn’t believe in suffrage, she was an advocate for women’s education and women’s entry to the workforce (her father believed in equal education for boys and girls and she was home-schooled). While editor of the magazine, she created a section called ‘Employment for Women’ and she also helped to found Vassar College.
Why should we thank her?
Well, without Sarah, Americans wouldn’t have a national holiday to chow down with family and friends and give thanks.
But she was also an early (albeit rather gentle) campaigner for women’s rights and access to education.