On National Holidays
This page offers resources for learning about the history of some major U.S. national holidays, and current-day debates about race and racism.
Indigenous People’s Day (second Monday of month):
- Indigenous People’s Day, as explained by Native Americans, NPR, 11 Oct. 2021.
- A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, White House, 8 Oct. 2021.
- Rethinking How We Celebrate American History—Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Oct. 2020.
- Unlearning Columbus Day Myths: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian.
Filipino American History Month
- About Filipino American History Month, Filipino American Historical Society.
- Recognized! — White House introduces Filipino American History Month, Northwest Asian Weekly, 15 Oct. 2015.
- Why Is It Called Filipino American HISTORY Month?, National Film Society, 13 Oct. 2020.
- Celebrating Filipino American History Month: Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Center for Asian American Media, 1 Oct. 2018.
- Statement by President Joe Biden on Diwali, Oct. 24, 2022.
- What Diwali Celebrations Mean For Many Queer People, Nov. 2, 2021.
- Why This Feminist Atheist Still Celebrates Diwali, Supriya Dwivedi, Huff Post, Nov. 13, 2012.
- How Us Desi Feminists Are Gearing Up for Diwali, Cake, Youth Ki Awaaz, Oct. 29, 2016.
Halloween and Dia de los Muertos
- Día de los Muertos is not Mexican Halloween, Mariana Alfaro, Washington Post, Oct. 31, 2022.
- Halloween Owes Its Tricks and Treats to the Ancient Celtic New Year’s Eve, Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian Magazine. Oct. 28, 2016.
- Hallowe’en? Putting the apostrophe back, By NMAH, Oct. 29, 2010.
- Cultural Appropriation, A Perennial Issue On Halloween, NPR, Oct. 29, 2019.
- About a third of Americans say blackface in a Halloween costume is acceptable at least sometimes, Anna Brown, Pew Research Center, Feb. 11, 2019.
- Origins of Halloween and Day of the Dead, National Endowment for the Humanities, Feb. 16, 2012.
- Culturally Offensive Costume (C.O.C.) Outbreak!, Tess Paras, Oct 23, 2014.
- The Invention of Thanksgiving. Video from Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian exhibition "Americans."
- The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue, Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine. Nov. 26, 2019.
- Resources on Thanksgiving by Native Americans. National Museum of the American Indian.
- How The Meaning of Thanksgiving Changes to Match the Times. Video excerpt from the Smithsonian Channel.
- Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning, Activity from Resource Library for grades 9-12+, National Geographic.
New Year's Eve
- Watch Meetings: Midnight as the Moment of Emancipation, 1863 and 1965. Alexis McCrossen, blog post on the history of the new year, Dec. 17, 2015.
- I Grew Up Celebrating New Year’s Eve Like Frederick Douglass, Esau McCaulley, guest essay, New York Times, Dec. 30, 2021.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- "The 15 Year Battle for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day," National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian, January 31, 2021.
- World House - a series of podcasts designed to introduce the work of the King Institute and the King Papers Project, with Dr. Clayborne Carson of Stanford University.
- "Freedom's Ring" - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech, animated and with archival documents, from the King Papers, Stanford University
Lunar New Year
- Lunar New Year Family Zone - resources (crafting, coloring, and video) for children and families to celebrate from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
- "San Jose: Vietnamese Americans Celebrate Lunar New Year as Tet Festival," Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 29, 2022.
- Seollal, Korean Lunar New Year, Brendan Pickering, Asia Society, 20214.
- Lunar New Year (as celebrated in China, Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Vietnam) - resource website of Angelo State University, Texas.
Black History Month
- Here's the Story Behind Black History Month--and Why It's Celebrated in February, Jonathan Franklin, NPR, Feb. 1, 2022.
- A Proclamation on National Black History Month, 2022 -presidential statement by the Biden Administration, Jan. 31, 2022.
- Learning with the 'Black History, Continued' Series, an extended lesson plan by Jeremy Engle, New York Times, Jan. 31, 2022.
- Black History Month - a public education website hosted by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum