After her grandmother’s death in 1968, Sue Cole promoted the observance of National Authors Day. She urged people to write a note to their favorite author on November 1, to “brighten up the sometimes lonely business of being a writer.” She also suggested flying the American flag as another way of showing appreciation for the men and women who have created American literature.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Purchase some books by your favorite author to support them. Use #NationalAuthorsDay to post on social media.
In 1928, Nellie Verne Burt McPherson, president of the Bement, Illinois Women’s Club had an idea of setting aside a day to celebrate American authors. McPherson was a teacher and throughout her life, an avid reader. While she was recuperating in the hospital during World War I, she wrote a fan letter to fiction writer, Irving Bacheller, telling him how much she enjoyed reading his story Eben Holden’s Last Day A’ Fishin. Upon receiving her letter, Bacheller sent her an autographed copy of another story, and it was then that McPherson realized that she would never be able to thank him adequately for his gift. McPerson decided to show her appreciation by submitting an idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. They passed a resolution declaring November 1 as a day to honor American writers. The United States Department of Commerce recognized this day in 1949.