American Holiday Series

American Holiday Series

Access all of our programs in the American Holidays Series, led by Dr. Andrew Roth,

JES Scholar-in-Residence

Our series are designed to allow you watch to a program individually--no need to watch all of the programs in succession!

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AMERICAN HOLIDAYS SERIES: Halloween & thanksgiving

Andrew Roth

November 18, 2021

What are "the common objects of our love" – those things St. Augustine said bind a people into a nation? What are the things people celebrate? In the American Holidays series, Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth continues his exploration of those things Americans love in common. In this episode, American Holidays explores America's Fall Festivals – "Boo, it's Halloween" and "Thank you", it's Thanksgiving. Halloween – what are its roots? What is Allhallowtide, how does it connect to the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain and why "trick or treat"? Thanksgiving – what really happened in 1619 in Virginia and 1621 at Plymouth Colony? Who was Sara Josepha Hale – the 19th century Martha Stewart – and Lydia Maria Child, who wrote to "Grandfather's house we go", and how did President Franklin Roosevelt set Thanksgiving's date? 

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE!
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AMERICAN HOLIDAYS: Sporting America

Dr. Andrew Roth

October 28, 2021

What are "the common objects of our love" – those things St. Augustine said bind a people into a nation? What are the things people celebrate? In the American Holidays series, Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth continues his exploration of those things Americans love in common. In this episode, American Holidays explores Sporting America – its history and development, the changing meaning of the word sport and the cultural evolution of those "sports" America celebrates. From horse racing in colonial America to today's Triple Crown, from the "rumble and tumble" of 19th-century fist-fighting to Mixed-Martial Arts, from Harry Wright's Cincinnati Red Stockings to today's MLB, from Princeton versus Rutgers to today's College Football Playoffs, from James Naismith hanging a peach basket in the Springfield, MA YMCA to today's Final Four and NBA FINALS, from the Canton Bulldogs and the first 'Super Bowl' to today's mega-event NFL championship and many other stops in between, we'll explore the meaning of sport in American life and how Americans celebrate 'their sporting life'.

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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AMERICAN HOLIDAYS: CELEBRATING FREEDOM

Dr. Andrew Roth

June 29, 2021

What are "the common objects of our love" – those things St. Augustine said bind a people into a nation? One is the things people celebrate. In the American Holidays series, Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth, continues his exploration of those things Americans love in common. This episode of American Holidays explores how Americans celebrate freedom. What's the difference between an "official holiday" and an "observance"? We'll explore the origins of Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Juneteenth and the Fourth of July? We'll ask what was Armistice Day? What was Decoration Day and how did it become Memorial Day? What Longfellow poem defined the day? What happened on June 19th , 1865 and how did it evolve into Juneteenth? Finally, before The Star-Spangled Banner what was the American national anthem? We'll rediscover Hail Columbia, America (My Country Tis of Thee) and Yankee Doodle as we chart how Americans celebrate the Fourth of July.

REMEMBER: If you missed previous episodes that's okay because there are NO PREREQUISITES. Each episode stands alone.

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE

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American Holidays: Anna Jarvis, Mothers' Day & Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Dr. Andrew Roth

April 27, 2021 

What are "the common objects of our love" – those things St. Augustine said bind a people into a nation? One is the things people celebrate. In the American Holidays series, Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth, continues his exploration of those things Americans love in common. In this month's episode Roth explores the origins of Mothers' and Fathers' Day, asks and answers who was Anna Jarvis, roots around in the question "Why are there so many days – days like Administrative Professionals Day, Grandparents Day et. al. – when the primary task seems to be sending flowers, flowers, flowers?" American Holidays – an exploration of "the common objects of our love"!

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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ETHNIC HOLIDAYS: A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS CELEBRATES ITS ORIGINS

Dr. Andrew Roth

March 17, 2021 

Where did Uncle Sam come from? Find the answer in this episode of American Holidays as we explore a new thread in the stories of how Americans weave the common objects of their love into the national fabric. We'll peruse America's many ethnic holidays as a nation of immigrants celebrates their origins. We'll look in some detail at St. Patrick's Day – and ask 'What's the shamrock test'? – Columbus Day and a number of other less famous ethnic celebrations, such as National Tartan Day, Cinco de Mayo, Dutch American Day and St. David's Day. American Holidays and Celebrations of America's Ethnic Cultural Heritage.

To watch this program on YouTube, click HERE

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AMERICAN HOLIDAYS: FROM CANDLEMAS AND PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL TO PRESIDENTS DAY AND VALENTINE'S DAY

Dr. Andrew Roth

February 2, 2021

Join Jefferson Educational Society Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth for the first installment of his new series American Holidays. An extension of his The American Tapestry Project, in American Holidays Roth explores how Americans tell their story through the people, places, and things they celebrate.

In February, asks what is Candlemas, who are Buckeye Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil, what is Presidents Day, whatever happened to Washington's birthday, and what did Esther Howland and Joyce Hall have to do with 'won't you be my Valentine'?

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

AMERICAN HOLIDAYS: 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS -- AN EXAMINATION OF CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE'S FAMED POEM AND THE HOLIDAY IT CELEBRATES

Dr. Andrew Roth

December, 22 2020

Previewing a new 2021/2022 Jefferson Educational Society series on American Holidays, join Jefferson Scholar-in-Residence Andrew Roth and Jefferson Vice-President Ben Speggen as they ask: Who was Clement Clarke Moore?

Did he really write "Twas the night before Christmas…"? In fact, what is the correct title of the poem whose first line is "Twas the night before Christmas…"? How did it create a new American tradition? How did Christmas replace Valentine's Day, Twelfth Night and New Year's Day as the major gift giving day? Who was Thomas Nast? Who invented Santa Claus? What was it Virginia asked? Join us for this prelude to American Holidays – a rich tradition from Decoration Day to Mothers' Day, from Armistice Day to Labor Day, from Presidents' Day to the Fourth of July as Americans celebrate their common heritage.

To watch this video on YouTube, click HERE!