American Culture and Holidays

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Information about American Culture and Holidays

Published on February 14, 2008

Author: Dario


American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Grade 5 Unit 9 Grade 6 Unit 9 American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays The United States is a big country. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Many United States citizens descended from European immigrants. Immigrants arriving in America:  Immigrants arriving in America American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region permanently. An immigrant is someone who intends to reside permanently, and not a casual visitor or traveler. America was seen as, “the land of opportunity.” American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Why do people immigrate? People immigrate for the following reasons: Professional Political Economic To escape persecution Sentimental Much immigration occurs for economic reasons. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Defining one set of American culture, customs, traditions, behavior and way of life is difficult. Unlike Korea, the United States does not have a homogenous population or a traditional homeland. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American culture is largely thought of as “Western” and most culture is adapted from “European” and “British” culture, with some influences from the native American Indians, Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves, and other more recent immigrants from Asia and elsewhere. Additionally, due to its large size and the value placed on individualism, there are many integrated but unique subcultures within the U.S. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays How old is America? American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays America was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays The British pilgrims colonized America in 1620 American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays The United States was formed in 1776. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays But… How old is America? America was around a lot longer than 1492. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays About 1.5 million Native Americans lived in America before 1492. We call these people the indigenous people of the Americas, or native American Indians. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 and exploited its native Americans, bringing them to Europe as slaves. He also is credited for bringing many African slaves to America and Europe as a workforce. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Native Americans got the name “Indians” because Christopher Columbus thought he landed in the Indies, when really he landed on San Salvador, an Island in the Bahamas American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays The British pilgrims escaped religious persecution from Great Britain and arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Many pilgrims died in 1620. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American Indians feared the arrival of the British pilgrims, because their first experience with foreigners was Christopher Columbus, who killed many native American Indians, and made them slaves. The British pilgrims were friendly, and made friends with the native American Indians. The native American Indians helped the pilgrims plant and grow food. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American Baseball :  American Baseball o American Baseball :  American Baseball Willie Howard Mays, Jr. born May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama, played with enthusiasm and exuberance while excelling in all phases of the game - hitting for average and power, fielding, throwing and base running. His staggering career statistics with the San Francisco Giants include 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. The Giants' superstar earned National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1951 and two MVP awards. He accumulated 12 Gold Gloves, played in a record-tying 24 All-Star games and participated in four World Series. His catch of Vic Wertz's deep fly in the '54 Series remains one of baseball's most memorable moments. American Football :  American Football o American Football :  American Football Walter Jerry Payton born July 25, 1954 in Columbia, Mississippi - died November 1, 1999 in Barrington, Illinois was an American football running back and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Payton spent his entire 13-year career (1975-1987) with the Chicago Bears. American Basketball :  American Basketball Michael Jeffrey Jordan Born February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York is a former American National Basketball Association player, and is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. American Ice Hockey :  American Ice Hockey o American Ice Hockey :  American Ice Hockey Wayne Douglas Gretzky, OC born January 26, 1961 is a former professional ice hockey player and current head coach and part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, he is known as The Great One, and considered by many probably the most crazy, and talented hockey player ever. He received the highest Canadian civilian award, the order of Canada in 1984 from Queen Elizabeth II American Soccer :  American Soccer Mia Hamm born Mariel Margaret Hamm on March 17, 1972 in Selma, Alabama is an American soccer player. Hamm garnered the respect of soccer experts and built a large fan base in the United States, where she played for 17 years as a member of the United States women's national soccer team. American Soccer :  American Soccer Mia is widely considered the best woman to have ever played the game, having been named FIFA World Player of the Year twice. Mia holds 2 Olympic Gold medals, and 1 Silver medal American Lacrosse :  American Lacrosse o Golf :  Golf Eldrick "Tiger" Woods born December 30, 1975, from Cypress, California, is an American golfer who is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. He has won more times on the PGA Tour than any other active golfer and he holds the PGA Tour record. Woods, who is of mixed race, is credited with prompting a major surge of interest in the game of golf, especially among racial minorities and younger people in the United States. Tennis:  Tennis Venus and Serena Williams have gone from knocking ratty, old balls against a concrete wall in Compton, Californnia, to being the Queens of women's tennis. The sisters are two of the top-ranked tennis players in the world, and Gold Medal winners in the Olympics. Music :  Music The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley Jan. 8, 1935 – Aug. 16, 1977 Music :  Music Madonna Madonna Louise Ciccone Born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan is an American multi-Grammy Award winning Pop and Rock singer and composer, Golden Globe winning actress and bestselling author. Making her debut in the early 1980s, she has become the most successful female solo artist of all time Music :  Music Michael Joseph Jackson Born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana is an American musician, singer, dancer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist known by his fans and peers as the “King of Pop.” Music :  Music In America anyones dreams can come true with the American hit TV series, American Idol. Millions of talented, and not-so-talented singers, actors and performers, and "would-be's" audition to become a finalist... And the next American Pop Star. Music :  Music Kelly Brianne Clarkson Born April 24, 1982 is an American singer who won the first season of American Idol and has since gone on to have a successful recording career. She has had six top-10 United States singles, including three number-one radio hits from the same album (Breakaway), and both of her albums have entered the top five on the Billboard Top 200 chart. American Art :  American Art Andy Warhol transformed contemporary American art and challenged preconceived notions about the nature of art and erased traditional distinctions between fine art and popular culture. American Art :  American Art o American Art :  American Art o American Art :  American Art Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, drawing Campbell's Soup Cans from 1961-62. Then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. Pride in my State :  Pride in my State o Pride in my State :  Pride in my State California is located on the west coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous state in the U.S., as well as the most physically diverse. Pride in my State :  Pride in my State If California were an independent nation, it would have the fifth largest economy in the world. The state's official nickname is "The Golden State" Pride in my State :  Pride in my State o Pride in my Governor:  Pride in my Governor o American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays Holidays of the United States vary with local observance. In addition to the holidays we will discuss, each state has many state holidays they celebrate with the day off from school and work. American Culture and Holidays:  American Culture and Holidays New Year's Day, January 1st Martin Luther King Day, third Monday in January Groundhog Day, February 2 Presidents Day (Washington and Lincoln), third Monday in February Valentine's Day, February 14 St. Patrick's Day, March 17 April Fools Day, April 1 Easter, varies by year, Sunday in spring Mothers' Day, second Sunday in May Memorial Day, last Monday in May Fathers' Day, third Sunday in June United States of America's Independence Day, July 4 Labor Day, first Monday in September Patriot Day, September 11 Columbus Day, second Monday in October Halloween, October 31 Veterans Day, November 11th Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November Christmas Day, December 25th New Year's Day:  New Year's Day January 1st Traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. Martin Luther King Day:  Martin Luther King Day Third Monday in January The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., an African-American clergyman, is considered a great American because of his tireless efforts to win civil rights for all people through Non-violent means. Since his assassination in 1968, memorial services have marked his birthday on January 15. In 1986, that day was replaced by the third Monday of January, which was declared a national holiday. Groundhog Day:  Groundhog Day Groundhog Day:  Groundhog Day February 2 Tradition states that one must observe a groundhog's burrow on this day. If the groundhog emerges and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end; however, if the groundhog sees its shadow because the weather is bright and clear, it will be frightened and run back into its hole, and the winter will continue for six more weeks. Punxsutawney Phil lives in a small town in Pennsylvania, and works one day a year to forecast the weather. He is a very famous meteorological groundhog. Presidents Day:  Presidents Day Washington and Lincoln Third Monday in February February 22 is George Washington’s birthday, hero of the Revolutionary War and first president of the United States. February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the president during the Civil War. The two days have been joined, and the holiday has been expanded to embrace all past presidents. Valentine's Day:  Valentine's Day February 14 Americans give presents, usually Candy, flowers, or jewelry to the ones they love. Korea Valentine's Day has emerged, thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, as a day on which women give chocolates to men they like. Rather than being voluntary however, this has become for many women – especially those who work in offices – an obligation, and they give chocolates to all their male co-workers, sometimes at significant personal expense. St. Patrick's Day:  St. Patrick's Day March 17 Although not an official holiday, most employers show consideration by allowing them to take these days off. Irish Americans celebrate the old country's patron saint, St. Patrick, on March 17; this is a high-spirited day on which many Americans wear green clothing in honor of the "Emerald Isle." April Fools Day:  April Fools Day April 1 Although not an official holiday, is a notable day celebrated in many countries. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying degree, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. April Fools Day:  April Fools Day On April Fool's Day, 1996 the fast food chain Taco Bell took out a full page ad in the New York Times to announce their purchase of the Liberty Bell. The full text of the ad read as follows: Taco Bell Buys The Liberty Bell In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country's most historic treasures. It will now be called the "Taco Liberty Bell" and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country's debt. In a related release, the company explained that people and corporations had been adopting highways for years, and that Taco Bell was simply "going one step further by purchasing one of the country's greatest historic treasures." Reaction to this announcement was decidedly mixed. Thousands of people called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the Liberty Bell is housed to angrily protest the decision to sell the bell. However, most people seemed to realize that the advertisement was an April Fool's Day joke. Taco Bell revealed the prank at noon on April 1st in a press release describing their earlier announcement as "The Best Joke of the Day." The White House even got in on the joke when Mike McCurry, the White House spokesperson, suggested that the federal government would also be "selling the Lincoln Memorial to Ford Motor Co. and renaming it the Lincoln-Mercury Memorial." The hoax paid off for Taco Bell. Their sales during the week of April 1st spiked upwards by over half a million dollars compared to the week before. Easter:  Easter In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25, celebrating the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians, Easter is a day of religious services and the gathering of family. Many Americans follow old traditions of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving children baskets of candy. Easter:  Easter In the United States, the Easter holiday has been largely secularized, eggs are hidden at night and other treats are delivered by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket. On the next day, Easter Monday, the president of the United States holds an annual Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn for young children. Mothers' Day:  Mothers' Day Second Sunday in May The President issued a proclamation calling Mother’s Day as a public expression of love and reverence for all of the mothers of the United States. Memorial Day:  Memorial Day Last Monday in May The President issued a proclamation Calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace; Designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; Memorial Day:  Memorial Day Celebrated on the fourth Monday of May, this holiday honors the dead. Although it originated in the aftermath of the Civil War, it has become a day on which the dead of all wars, and the dead generally, are remembered in special programs held in cemeteries, churches, and other public meeting places. Fathers' Day:  Fathers' Day third Sunday in June The President issued a proclamation urging the people of the United States to offer public and private expressions of Father’s Day to the abiding love and gratitude they have for all the fathers of the United States. Independence Day:  Independence Day July 4 honors the nation's birthday -- the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks. The flying of the American flag is widespread. On July 4, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was marked by grand festivals across the nation. Independence Day:  Independence Day In the United States, Independence Day, also called the Fourth of July. It is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day:  Independence Day It is commonly associated with parades, barbecues, picnics, baseball games, and various other public and private celebratory events. Fireworks have been associated with the Fourth of July since 1777. Labor Day:  Labor Day first Monday in September The first Monday of September, this holiday honors the nation's working people, typically with parades. For most Americans it marks the end of the summer vacation season, and for many students the opening of the school year. Patriot Day:  Patriot Day September 11 The President issued a proclamation calling on State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities; All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and interested organizations and individuals to display the flag of the United States at halfstaff on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001; The people of the United States to observe a moment of silence on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001. Columbus Day:  Columbus Day Second Monday in October The President issued a proclamation designating the second Monday in October as Columbus Day; Calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Columbus Day; and inviting the people of the United States to observe Columbus Day, in schools and churches, with appropriate ceremonies that express the public sentiment befitting the anniversary of the discovery of America. Columbus Day:  Columbus Day On October 12, 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus landed in the New World. Although most other nations of the Americas observe this holiday on October 12, in the United States it takes place on the second Monday in October. Halloween:  Halloween October 31 The evening before All Saints or All Hallows Day), American children dress up in funny or scary costumes and go "trick or treating": knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The neighbors are expected to respond by giving them small gifts of candy or money. Adults may also dress in costume for Halloween parties. Veterans Day:  Veterans Day November 11th Originally called Armistice Day, this holiday was established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. It falls on November 11, the day when that war ended in 1918, but it now honors veterans of all wars in which the United States has fought. Veterans' organizations hold parades, and the president customarily places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C. Thanksgiving Day:  Thanksgiving Day fourth Thursday in November Many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends. The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall's bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast. The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition -- not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims' sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination. To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion. Thanksgiving Day:  Thanksgiving Day Generally observed as an expression of gratitude, usually to God for the bounty of the autumn harvest. In the United States, the holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Christmas Eve:  Christmas Eve Celebrated the night before Christmas Day, involves decorating the Christmas tree and celebrating with family and friends at Christmas parties. Christmas Day:  Christmas Day December 25th A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become traditions even for many non-Christian Americans. Christmas Day:  Christmas Day There are many things about Christmas celebrated around the world like… Santa Claus. Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Decorating your house in Christmas lights Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Hanging Christmas stockings over the fireplace Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Visiting Santa Claus in your town and telling him what you want for Christmas. Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Building Snowmen Christmas Day:  Christmas Day And of course… presents!!! Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Christmas means more than presents and lights and decorations, it is a general feeling of happiness, and everyone should get involved and share the “Christmas Spirit.” Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Christmas isn’t just a Christian or Commercial holiday, It is a time of year to remember and celebrate our families and friends wherever they are in the world. We can do this by sending Christmas Cards. Christmas Day:  Christmas Day Receiving Christmas Cards is just as much as fun as sending them. New Years Eve:  New Years Eve New Year's Eve the last day of the year, December 31st. It is a separate observance from the observance of New Year's Day. In 20th-century Western practice, the celebration involves partying until the moment of the transition of the year, generally at local midnight. Fireworks and a Champagne toast is also a major part of the New Years Eve festivities. New Years Eve:  New Years Eve January

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