Godey's Lady's Book, 1869
Godey's Lady's Book, 1869

You have probably never heard of Sarah Josepha Hale, yet she was the mother of Thanksgiving in the United States. A prominent writer and editor, she founded the American Ladies Magazine and later served as senior editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, an influential magazine in its day. (The image at the top of this story is a page from the magazine.)

Born in 1788 to parents who believed in education for all, she was a committed advocate for women’s education. She was also the impetus behind the fundraising that saved both the Bunker Hill Monument in Massachusetts and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate. “Mary’s Lamb” was among the poems she wrote in a book for children. Today, we know it as “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

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After decades of effort, Sarah eventually wrote to both President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward urging them to declare a national day of thanksgiving. While there had been proclamations as far back as George Washington, no President had declared a permanent holiday. On October 3, 1863, in a speech written by William Seward, President Lincoln, expressing gratitude for the pivotal victory at Gettysburg by Union forces, proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November an annual day of Thanksgiving. Thanks for Thanksgiving, Sarah!

Here at Peninsula Community Library, we are thankful for so many things – our lovely new library built by all of you, our kind and caring patrons young and old, and all of the many people who give so much of their time and resources to make PCL the heart of the community! Volunteers make a difference – shelvers and craft preparers, Jane Boursaw of the Old Mission Gazette who faithfully promotes the library, Candy Gardner and our Reading Dog Lani, volunteer gardeners, teens Cole and Trey Harding and Madeleine Bowker who give of their time on a regular basis, the Warren and Buchan Families who are always ready to help out in so many ways, Peter Meyer who just showed up one day to trim overgrowth along the road, Jim Hall who faithfully watered our Covid Memorial Tree, the Friends of Peninsula Community Library who do so much and SO many more. Thanks and more thanks!

A few programs are happening yet this month! On Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m., Local History Librarian Mary Morgan talks about the treasures that are in our Local History Room. Story Stew for kids happens with Turkey Talk stories and takeout activity bags Wednesday at 11 a.m. Adults decorate an Ugly Holiday Sweatshirt Tuesday, Nov. 30 in the library at 2 p.m. You bring the sweatshirt or t-shirt, we will provide the ugly! Call (231) 223-7700 to let us know you are coming as space is limited.

Looking ahead, adults are invited to make a sequined ornament on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. Call ahead, as you must RSVP for this activity.

Our mailbox with delivery direct to the North Pole will be available in the Children’s Area from Nov. 29 through Dec. 18. Children may put their letters to Santa inside with a self addressed envelope to receive a reply from the jolly old guy himself.

Please note that masks are required at all programs. For general library use, masks are strongly encouraged.

Anyone with a new baby is invited to pick up a “Born to Read” bag courtesy of Twilight Rotary. The bag contains a free book to start your baby off on a lifetime of learning. We also offer “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” packets. For every 100 books your child reads before kindergarten, bring the form into PCL for your child to choose a book from our special reward bin! Their name proudly goes up on our display in the Children’s Area!

Be sure to check out PCL’s website homepage – thanks to our library cooperative Northland, Consumer Reports is now available digitally!

PCL will be closed from Thursday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 28. On behalf of the Board and Staff of Peninsula Community Library, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

“What if today, we were just grateful for everything?” – Charlie Brown

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