November 27, 2008

No Thanksgiving? No Vassar?

It's that time of year again, the day to honor Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday AND removing the word "female" from our school's original name, Vassar Female College.

The editor for a popular 19th century women's journal, Hale argued that the name Vassar Female College was "inelegant" and "absurd." She pressured Matthew Vassar and the Trustees of our school (not yet including Meryl) to change the name, and they eventually gave in. Hale also pushed Matthew Vassar to hire women and pay them the same wages as men.

As for today's holiday, Hale wrote several editorials pushing for a national Thanksgiving holiday during the last weekend of November. In 1863 President Lincoln agreed, and the holiday as we know it today was born.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

THIS is the kind of post I wanted to see on Mads! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

yeah. nicely done!

Anonymous said...

most interesting post in a long time. thanks, mads!