Newport Dedicates Monument To "Mother Of Thanksgiving"
A century and a half after President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday, a public monument is being dedicated to the New Hampshire woman often credited with influencing his decision. Sarah Josepha Hale was born in Newport, where a bronze memorial is being dedicated Saturday. A magazine editor, abolitionist and champion of women's causes, Hale also devoted years of her life to lobbying for Thanksgiving. Her letter writing campaign paid off in 1863, when Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for a national day of Thanksgiving each fourth Thursday in November. The Valley News reports that a Newport resident who prefers to be anonymous suggested and paid for the memorial. Created by Finnish sculptor Jar Mannisto, it includes numerous elements representing Hale's life.