Carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and wearing scary costumes are some of the time-honored traditions of Halloween. Yet, the Halloween holiday has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”), a pagan religious celebration to welcome the harvest at the end of summer, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor saints. Soon after, All Saints Day came to incorporate some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before All Saints Day was known as All Hallows Eve, and later, Halloween. Here is a look at the origins of some of the classic Halloween traditions we know today.
During the 19th century, people read serialized novels the way we watch episodic TV. Momentum was built with each installment and readers tuned in each week (or month) to find out what happened after the last cliffhanger. This is part 1 of a 3-part series that spans the history of serialized fiction in periodicals.
This weekend will bring an exciting 10-day, extended National Book Festival, as well as the 2021 Small Press Expo. Learn about these events and the many exciting comics presentations from the Library in the past.
On the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, we revisit the Library of Congress historic newspaper collection.
Simple lines and ready-to-wear clothing dominated women’s fashion in the 1940s, heavily influenced by clothing rationing and Utility attire during World War II. By the end of the war, women desired more extravagant and stylish things. A “New Look” created by Dior in the late 1940s led to a focus on femininity, elegance, and formality that defined women’s fashion throughout the 1950s. This is part 3 of a 3-part series that spans fashion history from 1900 to 1960.
Started in small-town Williamsport, PA, as a pastime for boys, Little League’s popularity exploded after WWII as hundreds of leagues started up and the Little League World Series became a major event.
Like the bicycle, the marathon, and the roller-skating crazes that came before it, the pickleball (sometimes “pickle-ball” in newspapers) craze is sweeping the nation. Though it has elements of ping-pong, tennis, and badminton, it is a unique sport of its own. According to USA Pickleball’s website, three neighbors “Congressman Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell […]
Dueling newspaper editors! Spring frocks of 1899! Baseball’s Opening Day (in 1921)! Discover them all by following our newly launched Twitter account @ChronAmLOC highlighting news and articles from the Chronicling America online historic newspaper collection.
From the Roaring Twenties to World War II, women’s fashion moved from the shorter, calf-revealing dresses of Flapper style to lowered hemlines and Hollywood glam. This is part 2 of a 3-part series that will span fashion history from 1900 to 1960.
Althea Gibson dominated women’s tennis in the 1950s, winning titles at all of the major tournaments. But as the first African American woman to win those events, and in some cases, the first to be allowed to play in them, the road was rough.