16 October 2013

Coincidental Interest

The Wikipedia offers 1937 for the date in which gifts for wedding anniversaries were encouraged annually and given a "traditional" cast.
The origins of the current gift conventions date to 1937. Before that, only the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries had an associated gift. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association (now known as Jewelers of America as a result of an organizational merger) introduced an expanded list of gifts. The revamped list gave a gift for each year up to the 25th, and then for every fifth anniversary after that.
Is it just coincidence that this same year gives us the federal holiday to recognize (we need not celebrate) Columbus Day?  And how did this day come to be so hallowed by the nation?
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization. 

Commercial interests create "tradition" by making up a sense of historical relevance; Factional interests create "tradition" by replacing historical accuracy with self-serving narratives.

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