Sly Santas and Toy Trains: Two Centuries of Holiday Celebrations at New-York Historical
December 19, 2014

Despite busy schedules, throngs of tourists and cold temperatures, you would be hard-pressed to find a New Yorker who doesn’t find joy in holiday traditions. How would we know it was December without the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, store windows on Fifth Avenue, street vendors selling chestnuts, and nostalgic subway trains and toy train exhibitions? Thousands have already…

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Nineteenth-Century Toys, No Need To Recharge!
December 25, 2013

These days many kids are used to solving puzzles on an iPad or reading along with a DVD. But our holiday exhibit, Batteries Not Included: Toys and Trains at the New-York Historical Society, shows you don’t need an electricity source to have fun! The New-York Historical Society has a collection of approximately 3,000 toys and games,…

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Give Thanks For The First Thanksgiving
November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving may have been celebrated by Pilgrims and Native Americans in New England with feasts of corn and eel (yes, eel), but it wasn’t until 1863 that it became a truly American holiday. Sarah Josepha Hale, author of the famous rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” was the first to suggest that Thanksgiving should be celebrated nationwide,…

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Memorial Day: The Whole World is Watching
May 28, 2012

When Memorial Day was first celebrated, America was learning to be America again. Over 600,000 soldiers had fallen over four years, fighting for the Union and the Confederacy, and the wounds had not yet healed. David Blight, author of Race and Reunion, wrote about the early memorials just after the Civil War in The New York…

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Celebrating Christmas By Crossing the Delaware
December 28, 2011

What did you do on Christmas morning? Slowly sipped coffee as you rustled through your stockings? Chatted with friends and family at church? Stealthily crossed a frigid river for a surprise attack against Hessian forces? That last one is what George Washington did in 1776 at the Battle of Trenton, a moment that artist Mort Künstler…

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