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Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Birthday

celebrate. To mention with praise or commendation; to extol. To honor by solemn rites or by ceremonies of joy and respect; to solemnize; as, to celebrate the birthday of Washington. — Webster, 1882

“In recognition of the great contribution made to literature and to children and adults over the world with her accounts of pioneering in the Little House Series of Books for Children and in particular the heritage she left to the immediate area as the locale of four of those books, to make De Smet, as Little Town on the Prairie, widely known and visited by thousands each year, I, Merle Melstad, as Mayor of De Smet, do hereby proclaim the week of February 6-11 be designated and observed as LAURA INGALLS WILDER WEEK as the Hundredth Anniversary of the beloved writer born February 7, 1867, and ask that every effort be made to honor the memory of this daughter of the first family to reside on the townsite. I further express encouragement to the acquisition and preservation of whatever may further establish the heritage that has been given us by this much loved woman. Merle Melstad, Mayor. – De Smet News, January 26, 1967.

One hundred ways to celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday:

1. Loosen your corset strings.
2. Sweeten the cornbread with the print of your hand.
3. Make praise-worthy buttonholes.
4. Drop a pearl in memory’s golden casket.
5. Watch the wheels go ’round.
6. Wash your face in a frying pan.
7. Drop down on all fours and chase your kids around the woodbox.
8. Slide down a haystack. Or roll.
9. Write a letter. Turn the page and fill it the other way, too.
10. Poke a badger with a stick.
11. Invite friends over for oyster soup, biscuits, white frosted cake, and oranges.
12. Follow the moonpath.
13. Waste good candy on a pig.
14. Be thankful for plenty of meat left on the bones.
15. Wear your sunbonnet.
16. Curry the underside of a horse with a corncob.
17. Wear nothing but skins.
18. Nibble half a cookie, then share the other half.
19. Laugh like great bells ringing.
20. Rag-curl your hair.
21. Change into a clean apron.
22. Walk a furrow barefooted.
23. Eat all the maple sugar you want. It never hurt anybody.
24. Slap a bear.
25. Holler ’nuff.
26. Wear a cap with earlaps.
27. Covet an Indian baby.
28. Play both “Uncle John” and “Ring Around a Rosy.”
29. Don’t eat the only bug in Dakota Territory.
30. Come from back east.
31. Get a leech on your leg, then dance like Nellie.
32. Tell the truth, but only if Ma and Pa ask you.
33. Fry some apples ‘n onions.
34. Graduate from anything.
35. Learn to write copperplate.
36. Sew red catch-stitching on your underwear.
37. Be glad that the little boys like you.
38. Exchange namecards.
39. Write a verse in a friend’s autograph album.
40. Shoot a goose, but don’t quite kill it.
41. Fetch that frozen cod from the front room.
42. Wave your arms and shout, “Grasshopper weather! Grasshopper weather!”
43. Cut some paperdolls and dress them beautifully with bits of paper and ribbon.
44. Diagram a sentence.
45. Milk a cow from the wrong side.
46. Make a dish cupboard out of a packing crate.
47. Scratch under your flannels.
48. Get a pet antelope.
49. Pop your weasel.
50. Take a stab at writing down family receipts.
51. Play charades. Make sure you have an ax and some potatoes.
52. Compete against your mother in a jigging contest.
53. Sing Yankee-Doodle-de-do.
54. Throw a candy box out of a train window.
55. Buy a white pony without one strap.
56. Make bedshoes out of an old blanket.
57. Twirl ’round and ’round on the piano stool.
58. Be fascinated by angleworms.
59. Explain about the shortest verse in the Bible.
60. Bake twelve blackbirds in a pie.
61. Grab the wool on a black sheep. Scream.
62. Let the other girls hold your doll.
63. Give away your prettiest Sunday School card.
64. Shake out your pet’s bedding.
65. Write a book with your daughter.
66. Buy an earspoon for a loved one.
67. Wash your quilt by hand. Strong wrists help.
68. Give a chicken a grasshopper.
69. Bounce on your bed. Pretend it’s a haystack. Shout, “I’m flying! I’m flying!”
70. Flip that penny.
71. Put both sage and onion in the stuffing.
72. Move as beautifully as a cat.
73. Modulate your voice.
74. Dye your hair golden (it’s much prettier than brown).
75. Offer to trade your best horse for a neighbor’s child.
76. Be seen and not heard.
77. See how much sunshine you can soak into your bones.
78. For a change, buckle your bustle in the back.
79. Put your leg through a screen door.
80. Let your butter speak for itself.
81. Cut some lunatic fringe.
82. Save the clippings for your hair switch.
83. Make the toughest railroader back down.
84. See how many pieces of hard candy you can cram in your mouth.
85. Now try to yell, “Yah, yah. Long-legged snipes!”
86. Contemplate the rings of a carrot.
87. Catch a gopher for your mother. You know she wants one.
88. Don’t obey against your better judgment.
89. Wash, starch, and iron your curtains. Even if you live in a shanty, you can be decent.
90. Call your husband “The Man of the Place” today. And only today.
91. Sleep on a narrow sofa.
92. Eat another scone with butter. Pretend it’s the fish that’s making you fat.
93. Put your boot money in the collection plate.
94. Make rhubarb pie. Sugar optional.
95. Plant a tree for each of your children.
96. Buy a broo-oom.
97. Don’t throw the blacking brush. Seriously. Don’t throw it.
98. Bet somebody a cigar you can beat them at a game of checkers.
99. Only read part of today’s newspaper. Save the rest for tomorrow.
100. Wear pink ribbons with your blue dress.


Happy Birthday, Laura!