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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: Highlights from the Veterans History Project

The following is a guest post by Rachel Telford, Program Specialist at the Veterans History Project. When Veterans History Project staff members are called upon to identify particularly interesting, poignant, or visually appealing collections in our archive, one name that comes up again and again is Kenje Ogata. A Japanese-American who fought for more than […]

Some Songs for Mother’s Day

The tradition of a national celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States grew out of reactions to the aftermath of the Civil War. Poet, suffragist, and author of the lyrics of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe attempted to unite women in the cause of peace, beginning with her “Appeal to […]

From Cornwall to the Ozarks: More May Celebrations

  As you can read in Stephanie Hall’s Post “May Day: A Festival of Flowers,” on May Day, or May 1, people in Europe traditionally celebrated the coming of summer with songs, dances, and ceremonies.  But confining our understanding to one day alone would limit the materials we can share with you regarding springtime holidays, […]

Coffeehouses: Folk Music, Culture, and Counterculture

The following is a guest post by Nancy Groce, Senior Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center.  It originated as opening remarks for the forum Coffeehouses: Folk Music, Culture, and Counterculture, which was held last week in the Library’s Montpelier Room.  Webcasts of the event will eventually be added to the Library’s website and accessible […]

“A Dudele”: A Little Song for Jewish Heritage Month

Jewish vocal music culture in the United States reflects the variety of the many different parts of the diaspora from which the Jewish immigrants originally came, as well as different song traditions among Jewish denominations. This essay will examine some of the Jewish folksongs curated by the Recorded Sound section, the Music Division, and the […]

The Animals Marched In Two By Two: More Songs About Noah’s Ark

In my last post, I discussed the more serious side of songs about Noah’s ark. As I mentioned, though, there are other songs too, often with more celebratory messages–or even silly ones.  We’ll look at some of those Noah songs in this post. Celebratory songs tend to focus on the joy felt by Noah when […]