Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas by Mrs. Charles Stephenson

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation

The emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. took place over a protracted period. The articles in this curated list dig into the complicated history.
Karneval in Rom by Johannes Lingelbach

Is It Really Carnival if You’re Not Drunk?

Carnival is known for overturning the rules of society for a short time. But strangely, many scholars don't discuss what a big role alcohol plays in it.
A woman in the kitchen in front of a Christmas tree

The Gendering of Holiday Labor

Women in heterosexual relationships still do most of the domestic work. During the holiday season, the tasks multiply.
The first Thanksgiving 1621

Thanksgiving Has Been Reinvented Many Times

From colonial times to the nineteenth century, Thanksgiving was very different from the holiday we know now.
"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.

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!