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Stephen Foster Memorial Day in United States

Quick Facts

Stephen Foster Memorial Day is annually observed in the United States on January 13. The day remembers the achievements of Stephen Foster, who is known as the “father of American music”.

Local names

NameLanguage
Stephen Foster Memorial DayEnglish
Recuerdo de Stephen FosterSpanish
סטיבן פוסטר יום הזיכרוןHebrew
ستيفن فوستر يوم الذكرىArabic
스티븐 포스터 현충일Korean
Gedenktag für Stephen FosterGerman

Stephen Foster Memorial Day 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stephen Foster Memorial Day 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Americans pay tribute to one of the United States’ finest musicians on Stephen Foster Memorial Day, which is on January 13 each year. Stephen Foster was a songwriter who lived in the 19th century. His songs, such as Oh! Susanna and My Old Kentucky Home, are still popular in modern times.

Stephen Foster's music and songs are still popular in modern times.

©iStockphoto.com/Susanna

What do people do?

The United States president may issue an annual proclamation calling on people in the country to observe Stephen Foster Memorial Day with:

Events for the day may be organized at places that pay tribute to Stephen Foster, such as the Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park in Florida. Some schools provide music and history lessons that focus on Stephen Foster’s life and works around this date. Many music appreciation societies and organizations dedicated to the songwriter, such as the Stephen Foster Citizen Support Organization, also pay tribute to Stephen Foster.

Public life

Stephen Foster Memorial Day is an observance but it is not a federal public holiday in the United States.

Background

Stephen Foster was born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1826. He received his early musical training from German immigrant Henry Kleber and became one of the most famous musical composers in the United States. Much of his work celebrates the African American portion of the population at a time when slavery was an important and controversial issue. His most popular songs included:

Foster also composed instrumental music, including the Social Orchestra, a collection of 73 arrangements for flute, piano, violin and other instruments. He was not well known to the public during his lifetime as he did not perform music professionally. He composed more than 200 works in his lifetime.

Stephen Foster died in New York City on January 13, 1864. One of his best loved works, Beautiful Dreamer, was published shortly after his death. Stephen Foster Memorial Day was first officially observed on January 13, 1952, after President Harry Truman dedicated January 13 as the day to remember Foster through a proclamation in October 1951.

Symbols

The Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park, situated on the Suwannee River banks in Florida, honors the memory of Stephen Foster. The center exhibits Foster’s most famous song and his music can be heard in the park during the day. Many of Foster’s songs are also remaining legacies of his achievements.

A memorial at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, is dedicated to the songwriter, as well as a sculpture of Foster near the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s entrance. A musical, called Stephen Foster – The Musical has also been performed since 1958.

Stephen Foster Memorial Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatJan 131990Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SunJan 131991Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
MonJan 131992Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
WedJan 131993Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
ThuJan 131994Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
FriJan 131995Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SatJan 131996Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
MonJan 131997Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
TueJan 131998Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
WedJan 131999Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
ThuJan 132000Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SatJan 132001Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SunJan 132002Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
MonJan 132003Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
TueJan 132004Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
ThuJan 132005Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
FriJan 132006Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SatJan 132007Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SunJan 132008Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
TueJan 132009Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
WedJan 132010Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
ThuJan 132011Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
FriJan 132012Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SunJan 132013Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
MonJan 132014Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
TueJan 132015Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
WedJan 132016Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
FriJan 132017Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SatJan 132018Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
SunJan 132019Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 
MonJan 132020Stephen Foster Memorial DayObservance 

Related holiday

Other holidays in January 2014 in United States

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