The USA – holidays, famous
by Petra Halfarová
holidays & famous people
by Petra Halfarová
Holidays & traditions
 July 4th
 National day of the USA (people
don’t go to work)
USA declared independence from
Britain in 1776
A lot of parades and firework, carnivals, fairs in cities
A lot of sporting events, barbecues, picnics, family
A busy travel period – people take out their holidays,
because they get 1 extra day
Food – anything : hamburgers, chicken, steak…
Watch a video: Independence Day Parade in Washington DC
Holidays & traditions
 Celebrated every 4th Thursday in November
First celebrated in 1621 – new settlers in USA gave thanks for their
harvest – they celebrated with Native Indians, who taught them how
to grow crops in unfamiliar soil.
Then it was celebrated every year, but at different times at different
parts of the country
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln
asked people to celebrate in
on the last Thursday in
In 1941, Congress ruled that
it should be celebrated on
the 4th Thursday in November
People usually gather with their families or
Schools and universities are closed and most
people get on Thanksgiving and the day
after a day off
Very busy travel period
Macy’s Parade in New York – since 1921
Thanksgiving football (American football) game
Traditional food:
• Roasted turkey
• Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, pumpkin
Films & TV:
• Thanksgiving is a favourite topic to be used in films or TV series.
• Thanksgiving themes have featured in The Simpsons, Friends, How I Met
Your Mother, Charlie Brown, South Park etc.
• Watch highlights from a Friends Thanksgiving episode here: Friends Thanksgiving
Pot Luck dinner
 A gathering of people where each
person brings food prepared by
the person, which is later shared
by the group
- Originally it meant food for
uninvited or unexpected
- Often organized by religious or
community groups
- watch What to bring to a Pot luck
 American football – known as just
football in the US
 11 players on each side
 Aim: to put a ball into the other
teams zone
 NFL – national football league
 Teams: Ravens, Falcons, Lions etc.
European football is known as SOCCER
Baseball – bat and ball sport
- 9 players on each side
- Aim: to score “runs” by hitting a
ball thrown by a bat and
touching 4 bases on a field
- MLB – major league baseball
- Teams: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers
Famous Americans
Thomas Alva Edison
 1847 – 1931
 Inventor
 Famous inventions:
light bulb
motion picture camera
Martin Luther King Jr.
 1929 – 1968 (assassinated in Tennessee)
 Pastor at a church in Montgomery
 Civil rights leader – fought for the rights of Afro-
 In August, 1963, in Washington, he gave his famous
speech I have a dream
“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are
you doing for others?‘ “
EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809 – 1849)
 mysterious tales, detective stories, short
 Raven, The Murders in the Rue Morgue,
The Pit and the Pendulum
Raven - E. A. Poe
MARK TWAIN (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
- writer, humorist, journalist
- The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer, The Adventures of
Hucleberry Finn, The Prince and
the Pauper
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - audiobook
ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899 – 1961 –
committed a suicide)
 author and journalist
 1954 – Nobel Prize for Literature
 A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell
A Farewell to Arms - movie 1932
JOHN STEINBECK (1902 – 1968)
 novelist, short stories writer
 1962 – Nobel Prize for Literature
 Of Mice and Men, East of Eden,
The Grapes of Wrath, The Red Pony
(memories of his childhood)
Of Mice and Men - trailer
Streckfus Persons) (1924 – 1984)
- short stories, novels, plays, non-fiction
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood
Breakfast at Tiffany's - trailer
 novelist, screenwriter
 recurring themes: New England, sex workers,
deadly accident, Vienna, bears, wrestling…
 The World According to Garp, The Ciderhouse Rules, A
Prayer for Owen Meany
Female writers
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (1832 – 1888)
 novelist
 Little Women Little Women - trailer
EMILY DICKINSON (1830 – 1886)
 poet
 Hope Is the Thing with Feathers, If I Can Stop,
Much Madness
 only one published book –
a Pulitzer Prize (1960)
 To Kill a Mockingbird
 To Kill a Mockingbird - historical context