July 4, 1826, was the day when Stephen Collins Foster was born. Stephen Foster was a popular music writer and composer, also known as “The Father of American Music”.
He was not an accidental songwriter. He got his training from a German immigrant whose name was Henry Kleber. Oh! Susanna”, “Hard Times Come Again No More” and “Old Folks at Home” are most popular among people.
He was also known as the most famous singer of the 19th century in other countries as well. In 1848-49 he wrote many songs and all of his songs become famous. But he gave his first pop hit in 1857. Foster was also a composer of instruments 73 collation for piano, violin, and other instruments. He was the composer of more than 200 works. Most of Foster’s song theme was Southern.
But it was a wonder to know that he never lived in the South, just visited one time in 1852 in his whole life. The first song of Foster was “Tioga Waltz” at the age of fourteen. He spent four last years in New York. One of his modified songs was added as a state anthem song named “Florida”.
Stephen Foster’s Journey
In 1864 Foster was got a fever. He was in hospital Bellevue Hospital when he died. Stephen was not too old for dying; his age was only 37 at that time. After his death, one of his compositions published is Beautiful Dreamer. Beautiful Dreamer was considering his best composition. Stephen’s songs were not as much popular when he was alive. But when he died he becomes the most admired composer around the world.
The day of Stephen Foster Memorial Day was first to celebrate on 13 January 1952 and after that President, Harry Truman also declared Foster Day in October 1951.
The statement of George Cooper indicates that Foster did not die because of illness but he attempts suicide. He got admitted to the hospital for three days after his suicidal attempt. No one knows why Foster has done that with himself. Regardless of all that he is still the most lovable composer around the world.
Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park
For the honor of the memory of Stephen Foster, there is a park center in Suwannee River banks in Florida known as “Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park”. The park shows his all achievements and you can also hear his songs. Since 1985 a musical named Stephen Foster was performed to give tribute to Stephen Foster. The University of Pittsburgh situated in Pennsylvania dedicated to songwriters. A sculpture of Foster was placed at the entrance of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Americans give tribute to the songwriter Stephen Foster every year on the 13th of January.
How people celebrate Stephen Foster Memorial Day?
People of the USA celebrate Stephen Foster’s birthday every year as the President of America announced. The activities most commonly observed by the Americans are:
- They give proper tribute to the Stephen Foster
- Visit the pilgrimage of the Stephen Foster
- Proper musical program arranged in which Foster composition featured.
- The events arranged in places like the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and many other places.
- Schools like a school of arts and history organize the events in Foster’s life from which students can learn many lessons.
- Many organizations and societies also dedicated this day to the songwriters.
- Everyone is paying tribute on his own to Stephen Foster.
A big question most people ask is. Is it a public holiday on 13th January in the USA?
So the answer is No there is no holiday on 13th January. All the industries and businesses remain open and do their normal routine activities. There is no restriction on the opening and closing of any business on 13th January. Every economic activity is done in a normal manner. The celebrations don’t affect any industry. All the ceremonies are done peacefully in every area of the USA. You just hear Stephen Foster’s compositions all day.
Controversial issues of Stephen Foster:
When we see the Stephen Foster song from today’s perspective, he got a lot of criticism. Most of his compositions hurt the feelings of African Americans. Stephen’s songs were used as minstrel shows, these shows become more accessible to most people as compared to the opera in 1848. These minstrel shows got more popular and bet all of his competitors. So he got criticism a lot but regardless of that he becomes the most famous songwriter of the 19th century.
Birthplace of Stephen Foster
In 1935 Henry Ford Museum was announced as the Home of Stephen Foster in the celebration event of his birthday. But according to the Foster niece, it is not his birthplace. While Greenfield village was the confirmed birthplace of the Foster. But Foster’s family statement was the birthplace of Foster torn down in 1865. So there is no confirmed place that anyone can say that it’s Foster’s birthplace.
Stephen Foster as an influencer
Stephen Foster was an influencer in the film and music industry. Foster’s music was used In many films. There was many television shows those who use his music. One of the most common reasons is his copyrights were expired after his death and cost nothing to anyone who uses his music.
Many films and television dramas produced in Foster’s life especially about his childhood. Many events were organized for his contributions & sculptures design for Foster. A lot of honors awarded to him. All these films, dramas, and honors show that people acknowledge his contributions to the music industry. People have many objections about his racist thoughts but still consider him an influencer for society. Because we can learn many lessons from his life especially from his childhood and working stage in the music industry.