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Sadie Hawkins Day

Posted by Sherry on 11/3/2007 in 1937, 20th Century History Project, Celebrations |

Anybody here old enough to remember the origin of this holiday?

Al Capp, cartoonist, wrote the comic strip Lil Abner and created the characters of Daisy Mae, Lil Abner, Pappy and Mammy Yoakum, Joe Btfsplk, Schmoo, and, of course, Sadie Hawkins.

From the official Al Capp website:

Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner strip November 15, 1937. Sadie Hawkins was “the homeliest gal in the hills” who grew tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin’. Her father, Hekzebiah Hawkins, a prominent resident of Dogpatch, was even more worried about Sadie living at home for the rest of his life, so he decreed the first annual Sadie Hawkins Day, a foot race in which the unmarried gals pursued the town’s bachelors, with matrimony the consequence. By the late 1930’s the event had swept the nation and had a life of its own. Life magazine reported over 200 colleges holding Sadie Hawkins Day events in 1939, only two years after its inception. . . . When Al Capp created the event, it was not his intention to have the event occur annually on a specific date because it inhibited his freewheeling plotting. However, due to its enormous popularity and the numerous fan letters Capp received, the event became an annual event in the strip during the month of November, lasting four decades.”

Sadie Hawkins Day is often celebrated on the first Saturday in November, but you can have your own Sadie Hawkins event anytime in November. You single ladies have any plans?

Terms from Mr. Capp’s famous comic strip were an integral part of my childhood, and I never even knew that most of them came from L’il Abner. How many of you are familiar with: Kickapoo Joy Juice, Lower Slobbovia, Fearless Fosdick, Jubilation T. Cornpone, “if I had my druthers”, and “double whammy”? All of those familiar-to-me characters and phrases and places came from the creative mind of Al Capp. I think my parents must have been weaned on L’il Abner and Co.

1 Comment

  • Lazygal says:

    Hmmm…. I was always told that Sadie Hawkins Day was Feb. 29th (and Post Office issued its Li’l Abner stamp that day).

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