holiday

Kevin Baker ’s most recent historical novel is Strivers Row . Allen Barra writes American Heritage ’s “Screenings” column. Read more >>
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  Exhibit Titanic Survivors Read more >>

Cocktails Bitters are back

Cocktails Bitters are back Historically it was the addition of bitters to alcoholic beverages in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that defined a new category of mixed drinks called the cocktail. The word first appeared in print in 1806 in a New York periodical called The Balance, and Columbian Repository. Read more >>
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From its birth in pagan transactions with the dead to the current marketing push to make it a “seasonal experience,” America’s fastest-growing holiday has a history far older (and far stranger) than does Christmas itself

THE HOLIDAY’S TRIUMPHANT RISE FROM AN OVERLOOKED AFTERTHOUGHT IS ONE OF AMERICA’S GREATEST SUCCESS STORIES.

Twelve classic holiday movies worth seeing when you can’t sit through It’s a Wonderful Life one more time

A vicious attack on a holiday favorite

When Sir Walter Raleigh’s men set foot on Roanoke Island in 1585 they found the Indians growing a vegetable named “Macócqwer … called by us Pompions … and very good.” It was also very plentiful, and by the seventeenth century colonists were recit Read more >>

A National Institution That Began With Buggies and Buckboards

On New Year’s Day each year, millions of Americans crawl out of bed bleary-eyed, fix a late breakfast, then stumble into the living room, turn on the television set, and sit transfixed while various celebrities attempt to describe the obvious. Read more >>
We tend to think of the turn of the century as a sentimental era when grown men were not ashamed to weep over musichall effusions about motherhood and infant mortality. If ever there was an age that should have paid proper respect to St. Valentine’s Day, it was this one. Read more >>

Illustrated with late-nineteenth-century magic-lantern slides Together with a brief inquiry into a Christmas mystery

Year by year the ranks of the G.A.R. grew thinner —but until the last old soldier was gone, Decoration Day in a New England town was a moving memorial to “the War”

The War had been over hardly two decades when I was a boy. If one had occasion to refer to it, he called it simply “the War,” for it was the only war we had had within the memory of all but a negligible few. Read more >>