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.
New Years Eve 1910

The Lost Tradition of New Year’s Day Calling

The colonial Dutch tradition of making social calls on New Year's Day in New York was no match for 19th-century-style partying.
Twelfth Night party

Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and the Real “Twelfth Night”

"Twelfth Night" was more than a Shakespeare play; for a very long time it was an extremely popular European winter feast.
holiday lights background

Roundup: Winter Holidays

Celebrate with some seasonal scholarship from JSTOR Daily for the winter holidays.
Christmas classroom

Are Classroom Holiday Parties Constitutional?

Can schools let students and teachers celebrate religions holidays without violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause?
Thanksgiving table

Roundup: Thanksgiving

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

Roundup: Halloween

BOO! Are you scared yet? Get into the Halloween spirit with our best stories on the holiday, which ...
Fireworks Brooklyn Bridge

When Fireworks Told Stories

In Europe between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, fireworks displays were performances that told a story or symbolized real-world battles.