These customs going back hundreds of years are believed to originate with Viking rituals. The traditions inspire hope for health, prosperity, and new beginnings in the New Year.
The house was festooned with greens, the tables were laden with food and wine, the burning tapers reflected in the sparking silver and crystal. The War was over and the father of the family had returned safely.
Among America’s most beloved renderings of Thanksgiving Day are Currier & Ives lithographs, Grandma Moses’s paintings, Lydia Marie Child’s “Over the River and Through the Wood” and Norman Rockwell’s paintings.
In 1963 Charles F. Haywood published the Yankee Dictionary, dedicated to his parents “both of whom loved Old New England, its life, its people, its history, its customs and its speech.”
As a five year old growing up in West Lynn, I distinctly remember VJ Day. We lived within earshot of the two enormous GE factories in the city – the West Lynn and the River Works plant. The war was the backdrop to my early years.
When Charles Dickens was twelve, his feckless father was imprisoned for three months in Marshalsea Prison in London for debt. The boy had to leave school and work in a boot blackening factory to support the family, a humiliation he never forgot. Nevertheless, Dickens rose to fame quickly as a young novelist becoming “an international celebrity, famous for humor, satire, and keen observation of character and society.”
Italians celebrate Christmas for a full month from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Although some regional differences exist, the month basically is devoted to religious observances and spending time with family and friends.
By Helen Breen Daniel Low & Co. started on the bottom floor of the First Church, Unitarian, 231 Essex Street at the corner of Washington Street in Salem. The jewelry company purchased the church in 1923, elegantly refitting the structure as an appropriate setting for its luxurious merchandise. […]
Featured image: Woodcut image of the 1834 burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Catholics and fair minded Bostonians were dismayed by the tragedy. by Helen Breen This week marks the 183th anniversary of the burning and ransacking of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts on August 11, […]
Homecoming: JFK in Ireland, June 1963 by Helen Breen DUBLIN Two years ago while in Dublin, I took a tour of Leinster House, a magnificent ducal residence now the seat of the Irish Parliament. At the end of our visit we were guided up an impressive marble staircase. […]
*From it’s earliest days, the people of Ipswich made frequent contributions to Harvard College. William Hubbard of Ipswich, the son of the Rev.William Hubbard, in his twenty-first year, ‘was one of that remarkable group of nine young men whom Harvard College sent forth in 1642, as the first […]
In the midst of the inflammatory rhetoric of the American Presidential campaign, let reflect on the no less acrimonious Massachusetts US Senate race of 1936. In the ring – Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a Harvard educated Brahmin of impeccable credentials. His opponent – James Michael Curley, combat-scarred Irish politician who had served as mayor of Boston and Governor of Massachusetts.
by Helen Breen Question: What Do Wakefield and Peabody Have In Common? Answer: Both renamed their Essex County towns in the mid 19th century to honor their “favorite sons” and benefactors – Cyrus Wakefield (1811-1873) and George Peabody (1795-1869). The 19th century “merchant princes” of Boston were ambitious, […]
The Glen Magna Estate is now managed as a non-profit by the Danvers Historical Society. Photo courtesy North of Boston magazine Article by Helen Breen Before the advent of the modern transportation, affluent city dwellers often built their summer residences within a few miles of home. Such was […]