Stephen Foster Memorial Day: The Holiday and Gifts

Last updated on November 16th, 2020

Music soothes the aching soul.  It can relieve anxiety and relax the mind.  Whenever we go to the spa, we often hear relaxing music and meditations that can take us to places and give us peace of mind even just or a while.  In the United States, January 13 is the observance of the father of American music, Stephen Foster.  Stephen Foster Memorial day is the observance of the achievements of one of the great musicians in America and his contribution to the American music industry.  Although this is not a federal holiday, people in the music industry, artists and his followers do observe this day and pay respect to his life and music.


Stephen Foster is one of the most famous musical icons in the United States.  He was born last July 4, 1826 in Lawrence, Pennsylvania.  Stephen Foster is known for his songs and compositions such as: “Laura Lee”, “Oh! Susanna”, “Old Folks at Home”, “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Beautiful Dreamer” which was known and released after his death.  His work is known for featuring the African American during the time of slavery.  Foster also had some instrumental music compositions which includes the Social Orchestra which is a collection of 73 musical arrangements of different musical instruments.  Foster was able to compose 200 works in total.

President Harry Truman officially declared Stephen Foster Memorial Day on the 13th of January through a proclamation in October of 1951.  January 13, 1864 is the death of Stephen Foster in New York City.

What Do People Do?

On this day, people observe Stephen Foster’s music through musical programs which features his compositions, ceremonies and even pilgrimage to his shrine.  There are several places, organizations and societies in the United States that pay tribute to Stephen Foster such as the Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park in Florida, Stephen Foster Citizen Support Organization, a memorial at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania is dedicated to him and last but not the least is the sculpture of Stephen Foster at the entrance of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  Since 1958, a musical entitled “Stephen Foster” is performed on the 13th of January every year.

Gift Ideas for Stephen Foster Memorial Day:

You can relive the beautiful works of Stephen Foster and share it with your friends and family on Stephen Foster Memorial Day through the following gift ideas:

  • My Old Kentucky Home Red Map Print. You can’t simply resist humming or singing Stephen Foster’s song while looking at this red map print on your wall.
  • The Stephen Foster Collection. This audio cd will take you back to memory lane and relive the great music of Stephen Foster in the 19th  Other great audio cds that features the great Stephen Foster are as follows: American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster, Stephen Foster Song Book, Ashokan Farewell, Songs by Stephen Foster, Vol. 1-2,  Traditional Songs Of Stephen Foster and Beautiful Dreamer.
  • Doo-dah!: Stephen Foster And The Rise Of American Popular Culture. This book will give you a great look at the life and works of Stephen Foster.  You can see how he was able to be a great influence in pop culture today through his music and insights.
  • Stephen Foster shirts
  • Suwannee River photos which includes the lyrics from his song


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About the Author

Kit K

Kit Kalagayan is a content writer for many blogs and websites. He runs Gift Canyon and does most of the content and administrative work.

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