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How a Lady Editor Turned Teaching into a Majority-Female Profession

September 1, 2021

If the female teachers of America had a patron saint, her name would be Sarah Josepha Hale. The celebrated 19th-century editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book is best known as the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and for her campaign for the creation of a national Thanksgiving holiday. But Hale herself saw her paramount mission as education for women. Over the course of her half century of journalism, no issue of the periodicals she edited went to press without Hale hammering home her revolutionary themes: Women are the intellectual equals of men. Women deserve to go to college. Women should be able to work for a living.

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