Our Idealism Is Practical": Emerging Uses of Tradition in American Commercial Culture, 1889-1936
To understand the relationship between commerce and the American sense of heritage, consider for a moment the holiday that commemorates George Washington's birthday.* On that day we remember and honor the accomplishments of the Father of Our Country. Right? Wrong. We usually think about George Washington (and now other presidents) on his birthday because it's a great day to go shopping: to get two snow tires for the price of one, or carpet remnants at 80 percent off, or a third television set (a small one for the kitchen, perhaps) at a large discount. It has become an American tradition to observe Presidents' Day by slashing prices (if you are in business) or by stockpiling things you may or may not really need (if you are a consumer), just because "you will never see such prices again."____________________
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Publication information: Book title: In the Past Lane:Historical Perspectives on American Culture. Contributors: Michael Kammen - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 125.