Tom Thumb Day
Charles Sherwood Stratton was a small person (or dwarf) when he was born. To honor this actor, Tom Thumb Day was established. Charles Sherwood Stratton was a large baby who grew normal for six months before suddenly stopping growing. He grew very little for six months. However, he still had all the normal functions of a child his age. P.T. Barnum, a circus legend, learned about Stratton and took him under his wing. He taught him how to dance, sing, and impersonate famous people. Barnum marketed the act under the name “General Tom Thumb” and it brought Stratton fame. He performed for Queen Victoria and Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII). After his marriage to Lavinia Warren Stratton and his wife were received at the White House. Stratton was even greeted by Abraham Lincoln, then US President. He also performed long fairytale plays for Barnum. Many people believed he was exploited for his size. Others believe his fame was due to his talents as an entertainer. After becoming wealthy, Stratton was able to become business partners with Barnum, which helped him get out of financial trouble. It is a day to honor Stratton’s life and talents, and to encourage others to do the same. You can read a book, or watch a documentary about him. No matter what your situation, take some time to remember and appreciate those who have overcome all odds. Send a card to someone you care about who has overcome obstacles or made it through difficult times. To celebrate Tom Thumb Day, encourage the underdog and cheer for someone!