A History of Sadie Hawkins

Adams students will have the opportunity to dance the night away at this winter's Sadie Hawkin's Dance.

Adams students will have the opportunity to dance the night away at this winter’s Sadie Hawkin’s Dance.

Elise Delikat, Staff Writer

A Sadie Hawkins Dance, referred to- in short- as Sadies, is a quirky and fun tradition  including a school dance wherein, instead of the boys asking the girls, the roles are reversed..  This year, Adams High School will be hosting a Great Gatsby themed Sadies dance as the school’s annual winter formal.

Many students know what a Sadie Hawkins dance entails; however, many do not know where the tradition comes from. Sadie Hawkins is a character from an old, popular cartoon called “Lil’ Abner” drawn and written by Al Capp in 1937.

The story follows Sadie Hawkins, the daughter of the richest and most powerful man in the fictional town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Sadie’s father was worried his ugly, 35-year-old daughter would face the biggest humiliation a woman can receive: becoming an old maid. Therefore, he took matters into his own hands.

He called all the eligible bachelors in Dogpatch and declared it to be “Sadie Hawkin’s Day”.  On this day, all the bachelors would run as Sadie chased them. Whomever she caught would be legally bound to marry her. Many of the other single woman in the town were fascinated by the idea, and declared “Sadie Hawkin’s Day” a mandatory event to be held annually.

According to Women You Should Know, only two years after Sadie’s debut in the comic, many of Capp’s readers were captivated by her story. Over 200 colleges reported holding events in honor of Sadie Hawkins Day.

Many colleges and high schools were inspired by the holiday and hosted a Sadie Hawkins Dance of their own to celebrate this eccentric tradition. There were various arguments regarding the official date of the fictional event.

It’s become my responsibility [to include Sadie Hawkins Day every year in the strip.] It doesn’t happen on any set day in November; it happens on the day I say it happens. I get tens of thousands of letters from colleges, communities, and church groups, starting around July, asking me what day, so they can make plans” said Al Capp.

Overall, the Sadie Hawkins Dance is an idea evolved from a comic strip made in the late 1930s about a woman unable to find a husband in the town of Dogpatch. While the idea is outdated, it is still an amusing tradition that AHS will take part in for the upcoming winter dance.