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. She told 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. It was then that McPherson realized she would never be able to thank him adequately for his gift. McPherson decided to show her appreciation by submitting an idea for a National Author’s Day to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. In May of 1929, the club endorsed a resolution for National Author’s Day to be observed honoring American writers. The United States Department of Commerce recognized this day in 1949.
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