A newspaper article published on November 25, 1897 (El Dorado, KS, syndicated from NY Tribune) sheds historical light on what Thanksgiving Day was to the late Victorians in the United States. Includes: origins, thanksgiving souvenirs, thanksgiving entertainments, and thanksgiving decorations… a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1897.
One (unnamed) high-society New York City hostess started a fad that lasted fifty years…
The Calico Ball. Not only was the style of party highly fashionable, it also ensured help to those who needed it most.
Etiquette governing balls and dances in the American Victorian era seems stuffy, old-fashioned, and strict to 21st century Americans. Every rule of decorum ensured good manners were in play, but most importantly, the moral purity and innocence of young women and young men were maintained. Etiquette governed everything from how a man asked a woman for a dance to how he could properly hold her hand while dancing, to how many dances that pair could have in one evening. This article contains the specifics propriety demanded, and the vintage sources where they may be found. Leap year turned some of the lady’s restrictions upon the men; see the true-to-history newspaper article from 1888 that starred in Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship.
July 24th is Pioneer Day in the state of Utah, commemorating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley (the first permanent Euro-American settlers) in 1847. This state-wide celebration includes everything from parades to rodeos, fireworks to pageants, Pioneer/Frontier clothing to Native American Inter-Tribal Pow-Wows, to covered wagon reenactments and picnics. Pioneer Day is inherent to Utah’s Victorian-Era, Old West history.
Our 19th Century (Victorian) American ancestors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in many ways that mirror current / modern observations. The ‘holiday’ has morphed a bit, too, as is to be expected over a 150 to 100 year time span. Many of the 19th century modes of celebration have disappeared and are no longer in vogue.