15, 1937 Al Capp, creator of the Lil' Abner cartoon strip
invented Sadie Hawkins Day. What he did not realize when
he did this, is that he (In my opinion) helped create a step
forward in the Women's Liberation Movement. The idea of it
being OK for a girl to chase a guy or ask a guy out to a dance,
suddenly became appealing to both sexes. Women now had an
opportunity to confront that shy guy they liked. :)
goes that Sadie was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of
the founding fathers of Dogpatch. Apparently gals got
married around the age of 20. But, Sadie, who was "the homeliest
gal in the hills", was now 35 and still unmarried. Oh what to
didn't want to support her for the rest of her life and needed
her to marry. So....he declared a Sadie Hawkins Day! On
this day a footrace was to be held and all the eligible men were
to run and Sadie would chase them. Whoever she caught and
crossed over the finish line (or dragged over) would be her
lawful wedded husband. Her father started the race with a
shotgun blast. And, we all assumed that the blessed event
was also a shotgun wedding.
the other single gals in Dogpatch thought this was a great idea.
After all, if the homeliest gal in the hills could get a
husband, why can't they? So, Dogpatch now had an annual
footrace in which the gals chased all the guys.
the dance come in? On the night before the race there was
a dance. All the single gals wore shoes with spikes on the
bottom. At this dance, they stepped on the guys' feet a
lot so that the next day they couldn't run as fast. Oh those
And, so a Sadie Hawkins Dance and footrace
became an annual Dogpatch tradition. The idea of giving
women permission to chase after men caught on like wildfire
with Al Capp's fans.
November 9, 1938 the very first recorded high school "Sadie
Hawkins Dance" was held.. Al Capp originally had no
intention of giving this event a specific date. But the
public loved it so much, that quickly Sadie Hawkins Day Dances
began popping up in schools and colleges across the United
States and turning it into an annual November event. The actual
date of the dance varied upon the school's schedule. But
it is most commonly accepted that Sadie Hawkins Day is
celebrated the first Saturday in November either on the 9th or
after. Note: On my monthly November
holiday listings, this isn't true. It seems to be always
listed in the Chase's Calendar of Events as the first Saturday
in November, regardless of the 9th rule. So, that's how I list
it. A bit confusing I know. :(
it was so popular, Al Capp himself included a Sadie
Hawkins storyline in his strip every November for over 40 years.
irony is that Al Capp became the creator of a very popular
American dance for schools across this country and yet he
himself was an amputee. He lost his leg at the age of 9
yrs. old in a trolley accident. Drawing was a form of
therapy that his father encouraged him to do.
read several articles and I can't find any information that Al
Capp ever married? Then I received an email (from
telling me that he married Catherine Wingate Cameron in either
1932 or 1933. They had two daughters, Julie and
Cathy. Anyone knows anything else, feel free to write me.
like to add, that Sadie Hawkins Day is not Leap Year
Day! See my page on The
History of Leap Year!
Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15th. Leap Year Day is
February 29. Although the theme is somewhat the same,
"asking a guy to dance" vs. "asking a guy to
marry you", they are not the same observances.
A few products for Sadie Hawkins' Day
or a Sadie
Hawkins Day Dance.
Note: Since Sadie is now over 75 years
I upgraded her look on my products.
For more in depth information check out the links below: