Holidays

1932 2¢ Arbor Day
April 10, 1872

First Arbor Day is Celebrated 

On April 10, 1872, the first Arbor Day was held in Nebraska. Later moved to April 22 to celebrate the holiday’s founder, more than 200 million trees have been planted by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Read Article
1998 32¢ Organ and Tissue Donation
February 14, 1998

National Donor Day

On February 14, 1998, the first National Donor Day was held in the US. The annual event is held to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donations and to honor those who have donated, those who have received donations, and those we lost before donations became available.

Read Article
1987 22¢ North American Wildlife: Woodchuck
February 2, 1887

Happy Groundhog Day!

On February 2, 1887, the first official Groundhog Day event was held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  However, the tradition dates back much further to the Christian holiday known as Candlemas, and likely even further to the pre-Christian Celtic holiday of Imbolc.

Read Article
1999 33¢ Chinese Lunar New Year - Year of the Hare
January 22, 2023

The Year of the Rabbit

This year, January 22, 2023, marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit on the Chinese calendar.  The New Year celebration – also known as the Spring Festival – is the most important holiday in Chinese culture.

Read Article
1999 33¢ New Year's Baby, Year 2000
December 31, 1903

Happy New Year’s Eve! 

On December 31, 1903, Times Square hosted its first-ever New Year’s Eve Celebration. It’s one of the largest and longest-running New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world.

Read Article
1963 5¢ Christmas Tree and the White House
December 24, 1923

First National Christmas Tree 

On December 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit the first national Christmas tree outside the White House. It’s a tradition that continues to this day, though it has evolved significantly over the years.

Read Article
2012 Santa and Sleigh
December 23, 1823

First Printing of “A Visit  from St. Nicholas”

“A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first printed anonymously on December 23, 1823. Eventually attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, the poem gave Americans the version of Santa we have today.

Read Article
2009 44¢ Hanukkah
December 18, 2022

Happy Hanukkah!

Today, December 18, 2022, marks the first night of Hanukkah.  Hanukkah or the Jewish Festival of Lights, as it is sometimes called, begins on the 25th of the Hebrew month Kislev and lasts for eight days.

Read Article
1907 American Red Cross Christmas Seal - Type II - inscribed
December 7, 1907

First Christmas Seals 

On December 7, 1907, the first Christmas Seals went on sale. The first stamps were created to help save a Delaware tuberculosis sanitarium, but later issues went on to support the Red Cross, National Tuberculosis Association, and American Lung Association.

Read Article

Love history?

Discover events in American history – plus the stamps that make them come alive.

Subscribe to get This Day in History stories straight to your inbox every day!