The Unexpected Truth of Sadie Hawkins

by Aidan Millar-White

Did you know that Sadie Hawkins wasn’t actually a dance at first? It was originally a race.

Sadie Hawkins comes from an imaginative cartoonist, Al Capp. She was a character in his popular cartoon, “Lil’ Abner,” which was set in the hillbilly town of Dogpatch.

In the story, Sadie has trouble finding a suitor. She waited, not so patiently, for 15 years for someone to court her, but to her and her father’s dismay, no one came. Sadie became panicky as the years went by, as well as her father, Hekzabiah Hawkins, who wasn’t too keen on the idea of supporting a spinster daughter for the rest of her life.

So, having really nothing to lose, he called all of the single guys in Dogpatch together and declared it “Sadie Hawkins Day.” The race made Sadie the one to chase after the town’s bachelors. The “lucky” guy she managed to catch became her husband by law. The rest of the town’s spinsters caught wind of this and thought it was a great idea, so, to the horror of all of the unmarried men in town, they insisted on making Sadie Hawkins day an annual and mandatory event, which the guys apparently had no say in.

According to the comic strip, whichever lucky lady was able to catch a man and drag him, presumably kicking, screaming, and crying for his mother, over the finish line before sunset, he was bound by law to marry her.

The dancing bit didn’t actually appear in the strip until a little later. The Sadie Hawkins dance took place on the evening before the race. The spinster girls traditionally wore hobnailed boots to “unintentionally” stomp on the feet of their unbeknownst suitors, which unfortunately for them, might make it just a little hard to run the next day during the race.

Luckily, the tradition in the comic has not transcended into a tradition in the real world.

The day and the dance became popular among the young people back then, just as it has now. Sadie Hawkins day was all the rage on college campuses by 1939. According to Life Magazine, over 200 colleges were celebrating a Sadie Hawkins day that year. This helped lead to the dance becoming common in high schools.

That brings us to the present. So what do we do for Sadie’s nowadays?

According to senior Bella Velazquez, this year at Minarets, “. . .we are having our Sadie’s dance at Johns Incredible Pizza again and we’re super excited! This year’s theme is Monsters University!! So we’re decorating a dance floor that’s themed on the different sororities/frats and their doors!”

Velazquez said they’re just making sure they’ve got everything confirmed and getting the decorations ready, then they’re all good to go.

The students at Minarets are really excited about the Sadie Hawkins dance, especially since it’s the first one many have been to since the COVID pandemic hit. Let's see how they’re getting ready.

“My plans are for me and my friends to [be] matching with the ‘OK’ frat! I’m super excited! The last time I went to Sadie’s was a bit before the pandemic so I’m so happy to see it back,”, Velazquez was excited to state.

Senior Nyx Uribe is also planning on going to the dance.

He commented “I'm getting ready for Sadie's by looking for Monsters Inc. themed clothing. I plan on showing up with my 2 close friends and just having fun. I've never been to a school dance outside of Minarets so I'm stoked to experience it with my friends.”

For anyone interested in attending this fun, monster-themed bash, tickets are still available until the last week before the dance. Ticket prices are currently going for $35, and go up $5 every week. Get them while you can!

(Erica Hafkey and her date, Hudson Fortunato)

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