Today is Paul Bunyan Day! Paul Bunyan is one of the best-known heroes in American folklore. This legendary lumberjack (and his faithful companion Babe the Blue Ox) starred in many of the “tall tales” told in the Midwest during the 1800s. According to the stories, Bunyan was a giant man with incredible physical strength. He single-handedly established the logging industry, cleared North Dakota of its forests, dug out Lake Superior, and even trained carpenter ants to help his fellow loggers!
A young woman named K. Bernice Stewart was the first person to write down the original Bunyan tales. Stewart collected the stories from local loggers while studying at the University of Wisconsin in 1914. Today, Paul Bunyan is mentioned in more than 1,000 books and has become one of the most widespread icons in American culture.
To celebrate Paul Bunyan Day, read one of the original Bunyan tales!
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