Holy Day, Holiday
The American Sunday
The mass protests that greeted attempts to open the 1893 Chicago World's Fair on a Sunday seem almost comical today in an era of seven-day convenience and twenty-four-hour shopping. But the issue of the meaning of Sunday is one that has historically given rise to a wide range of strong emotions and pitted a surprising variety of social, religious, and class interests against one another. Whether observed as a day for rest, or time-and-a-half, Sunday has always been a day apart in the American week.
Supplementing wide-ranging historical research with the reflections and experiences of ordinary individuals, Alexis McCrossen traces conflicts over the meaning of Sunday that have shaped the day in the United States since 1800. She investigates cultural phenomena such as blue laws and the Sunday newspaper, alongside representations of Sunday in the popular arts. Holy Day, Holiday attends to the history of religion, as well as the histories of labor, leisure, and domesticity.