Here Comes Sadie Hawkins Day: 5 Facts About the Man Who Invented the Most Sexist Holiday Ever

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Tomorrow is of course Leap Year Day, a one-day extension of the year needed because the Earth can't seem to get its shit together when it comes to orbiting the sun.

It's also Sadie Hawkins Day. If you don't know what that is, it's allegedly the one day when a female can ask a man to marry her.

Oh my: Got the vapors yet? Hold on to the smelling salts: It's also celebrated by Sadie Hawkins Dances, where girls ask boys to be their dates.

You might not be surprised to learn that these "traditions" stem from the mind of Al Capp. At least you might not be surprised if you know who Al Capp was: the author of the largely forgotten comid strip Li'l Abner.

Among the things we know about the creator of this holiday:

5. He hated hippies Capp was a contrary iconoclast -- in the staid 1950s he was liberal, leading, for instance, the push for the professional cartoonist society to admit women. By the 1960s he had became a rock-ribbed conservative and Vietnam war hawk.

Li'l Abner soon included a character named "Joanie Phoanie," obviously based on Joan Baez. She tried to sue but failed, fortunately enough for satirists everywhere, no matter their political stripe.

4. Pleaded guilty to "attempted adultery" Capp regularly toured college campuses. And he regularly, apparently, hit on female students during those tours.

When famous investigative columnist Jack Anderson quizzed the married Capp about it, he reportedly said, "You know how these college babes are."

In the early '70s, Capp pleaded guilty in Wisconsin to "attempted adultery" when a married woman said he propositioned her in a hotel room. He paid a $600 fine.

3. He appeared, disastrously, in the John & Yoko "Bed-In" movie John & Yoko's famous Bed-In was, of course, filmed. Capp visited, and things started out okay enough -- "I'm a dreadful Neanderthal fascist. How do you do?" Capp joked -- but quickly devolved, with Capp eventually saying of Yoko: "Good God, you've gotta live with that?"

2. Among the women he hit on: Goldie Hawn & Grace Kelly

Capp was exceedingly famous, regularly appearing on TV shows. He apparently liked to use his celebrity for more than college women. Grace Kelly said he propositioned her, according to one of her biographers, and Goldie Hawn has relayed a similar anecdote...

She was told to report to Capp's apartment as part of an audition for a TV show, she said. Capp said he was going to "slip into something more comfortable" and came out in a dressing robe.

And then:

The cartoonist then asked nervous Hawn to show off her legs and when she obliged him by lifting her skirt, [Capp] went too far, according to Hawn, who added, "He opened up his dressing gown and I looked at it... It was scary. I said, 'Mr. Capp I will never get a job like this.' And he said to me, 'Oh, I've had them all.' And I said, 'Well it doesn't matter, but I'll never do this,' and he said, 'Well, you're never going to get anywhere in this business, you should go home and marry a Jewish dentist.' And I started to cry and I said, 'Well maybe I will.'"

1. Nixon wanted him to run against Ted Kennedy Richard Nixon's White House tapes include discussions between the President and Charles Colson on getting Capp to run against Ted Kennedy for the Senate.

The attempt failed, and a few months later they were instead discussing how they could "fix" the Wisconsin sex case because it might embarrass the administration because of Nixon's relationship with the cartoonist.

So, you know: Happy Sadie Hawkins Day!!!

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