Publication Date

August 2007


Adapted with permission from echo (, February 2004.


The legend that on leap year day (February 29) a man was obligated to accept a woman's proposal of marriage dates back many generations. At Western, the tradition translated into Leap Year Dances and teas, to which women students invited the young men of their choice. The introduction of Sadie Hawkins Day, inspired by the comic strip "L'il Abner," gave a new and lively twist to this female prerogative.

leap_year_dance_program_1936.jpg (41 kB)
Leap Year Dance program, sponsored by the women of Potter and West (now Schneider) Halls.

sadie_hawkins_1966.jpg (68 kB)
"Marryin' Sam" presiding at Sadie Hawkins Day, 1966.