The Comic Strip Origin of Sadie Hawkins Day

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Acne-ridden and braces-clad, my nerdy high school self was always the one to ask the guy to Prom. And Homecoming. And Winter Formal. But every March, my girl-asks-out-the-guy pattern was no longer perceived as odd and was adopted by every girl in school. The Sadie Hawkins Dance. The stuff of Relient K songs. And proposals on Leap Day. But this holiday — yes, holiday — is actually meant to take place in the middle of November.

Sadie Hawkins was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins — one of Dogpatch’s earliest settlers in Al Capp’s comic strip Li’l Abner. (I know, I know. You all thought I was giving you an actual history lesson.) Described as the “homeliest gal in all them hills,” Sadie was still a spinster at 35 (gasp!) when her father rounded up all the unmarried men in Dogpatch, challenging them to a foot race. The men would be given a head-start before Sadie started running. Whichever man she caught would have to marry Sadie.

Though the original race took place on November 15, 1937, the spinsters of Dogpatch loved this idea so much, they banded together to make Sadie Hawkins day an annual event, celebrated every year on the Saturday following November 9.

So ladies, this November 10th go run after a guy in an empty field. Or just ask a fella to dinner.

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