Profile of the Day: Sarah Josepha Hale

Posted November 26, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Sarah Josepha Hale

Sarah Josepha Hale

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we highlight the woman who helped establish Thanksgiving as an official holiday in the U.S., Sarah Josepha Hale.

She was born Sarah Josepha Buell on October 24, 1788 in Newport, New Hampshire to Captain Gordon Buell and Martha Whittlesay Buell. Homeschooled by her parents, Sarah went on to become a successful writer and poet. Most people are probably best familiar with her most popular work, the classic children’s nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Sarah is also perhaps equally remembered as the individual most responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday in the United States. Although Thanksgiving was celebrated across several states for many years, there was never a unified celebration of the holiday in the country. For 17 years, Sarah campaigned to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday by writing letters to five Presidents. It was her letter to President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that finally convinced him to support legislation to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. The new holiday would be considered a unifying day after the stress of the American Civil War.

Today, the entire country celebrates Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November each year. It remains a great time for families to reunite and share in the joy and festivities of the holiday.

Sarah Hale is connected to over 90 million people in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?

View Sarah Josepha Hale’s Geni Profile


Image: Wikimedia Commons

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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