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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Giving thanks

November 21, 2011

She's best known for a ditty that young children sing but she was an activist who made sure that there was a national day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale lived in the 19th century, wrote the poem, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and other works for adults. She also wanted to make Thanksgiving a consistent celebration in all states.

Hale urged numerous U.S. Presidents over the course of more than a decade to do so. But it was Abraham Lincoln who saw the value in unifying a country engaged in a civil war and declared Thanksgiving a holiday to be celebrated across the country on the same day.

There's still value in coming together to remember all that there is to be thankful for.

We may find A Little Peace in unexpected places; after all we have One World, One Day. Thanksgiving can be a time to build memories of when The Relatives Came or remember 1621: A New Thanksgiving.

So Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving — it was your tenacity that helped bring the country together for a day and to whom we owe this week's celebration!

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables