"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c. 1900 by John T. McCutcheon

The Evolution of Memorial Day

What started as a solemn commemoration of dead Civil War soldiers has become a celebration of summer. Here's why that makes total sense.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Duke University on November 13, 1964

Colleges’ Reluctant Embrace of MLK Day

The push for a national Martin Luther King holiday prompted a fierce political tug-of-war, on campus and off.

Winter Holidays

Celebrate with some seasonal scholarship from JSTOR Daily for the winter holidays.
Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Stories

Americans are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, the middle entry in the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Winter holidays trifecta. Plate up with some ...
Jack O Lantern

Halloween Stories

Why are Victorians the default haunted house, what do ghosts have to do with the imagination, and why do we like to be scared?

From Samhain to Halloween

Exploring the Celtic origins of everyone's favorite harvest holiday celebrating thresholds between life and death.
Mount Vernon Fourth of July naturalization ceremony

Celebrating Immigration on the Fourth of July

For many immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th century, July 4th was deeply significant: Their own home countries were fighting for independence.
April Fools kid Denmark

The Completely True History of April Fools’ Day

The door to spring is guarded by fools, but that's ok, because they're not all that serious. And everybody knows the password: April Fools!
George Washington portrait

What Is President’s Day Actually About?

For most of American history, Washington's Birthday was a really big deal, but, as scholar Barry Schwartz explains, that's changed a lot since the middle of the twentieth century.