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 huge man with an amazing amount of physical strength. He single-handedly founded the logging industry, cut down whole forests in North Dakota, created Lake Superior with his bare hands, and even trained carpenter ants to help him with his tasks!
A young woman named K. Bernice Stewart was the first person to document the original Bunyan "tall tales". While studying at the University of Wisconsin in 1914, she gathered the stories from local loggers. 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!