TIME Crime

The Year They Cancelled St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parade
Tim Boyle—Getty Images The St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago on Mar. 11, 2000

It happened in Chicago in 1890. The reason was murder

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

Today Saint Patrick’s Day is a broadly inclusive festival associated with fun, frivolity and, in Chicago, turning the river green. Chicago’s first Saint Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1843 when the city was a mere six years old and the population about 8,000. By 1890, Chicago’s population had swollen to over one million and 17 percent of the city (or almost 180,000 people) were either Irish-born or had one parent born in Ireland.

In this period, Saint Patrick’s Day was an exclusively Irish (or Irish-American) affair, celebrated with a parade, dinners and balls, but for some there was a purpose to it that went beyond mere celebration. In the 1880s, radical Irish Americans flocked to join Clan na Gael —a secret revolutionary society devoted to using force to secure Ireland’s freedom from Britain. Winning Irish independence by force was a costly enterprise and so, while time was spent plotting and planning, writing manifestos, stockpiling dynamite, and penning newspaper columns, fundraising was also a key priority for the Clan. The chief fundraising activities were picnics, balls, and fairs, and Saint Patrick’s Day was just one of the several days promoted by the United Irish Societies of Chicago (UISC), an umbrella group representing many Irish and Irish American organizations, but run by the Clan. In addition to Saint Patrick’s Day, committed Irish republicans also celebrated Robert Emmet’s birthday (March 4); the Feast of the Assumption and the anniversary of Hugh O’Neill’s victory at the Battle of the Yellow Ford in 1598 (August 15); and the anniversary of the execution of the Manchester Martyrs in 1867 (November 23).

During the 1880s, Saint Patrick’s Day was marked with enthusiasm by the Irish and thousands attended functions in halls across the city. The halls were decked out with green ribbon and concerts of Irish traditional music and rebel songs took place. Republican songs such as “The wind that shakes the barley” and “The rising of the moon” were particular favorites. Most popular of all was T. D. Sullivan’s “God Save Ireland,” written in 1867 and inspired by the last words of the Manchester Martyrs as they were led from the dock after being sentenced to death.

It was set to the tune of the American Civil War song “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp!” and by the early 1870s it was regularly referred to as the Irish national anthem. At the Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in 1888, Clan member and medical doctor Patrick Cronin led the crowd in a rendition of the song so loud “that the rafters shook and the [building] seemed in serious danger of collapsing . . . and the street-car horses on Madison Street shied as they passed a block away.”

For Irish nationalists in Chicago the warmer weather associated with the August 15 celebrations meant that an annual picnic was organized. From 1876 this picnic was held at Ogden’s Grove, near the junction of North and Halsted, far from the working-class centers of south Chicago but within walking distance for many living on the north side of the city. If eating, drinking, dancing, and speeches full of fire and brimstone could defeat Britain then Irish chances of success were high. As “Mr Dooley,” the comic, fictional creation of Finley Peter Dunne, wryly observed: “There’s wan thing about th’ Irish iv this town…they give picnics that does bate all. Be hivins if Ireland cud be freed be a picnic, it ‘d not on’y be free to-day, but an impre [empire].” Thousands attended the picnics, designed in large part as a social gathering for families. Entertainment was laid on for adults and children. There was Irish dancing, alongside the “usual paraphernalia” of merry-go-rounds, fat men’s races, thin men’s races, three-legged races, girls’ sack races, long jumps and high jumps, the wheel of fortune, putting the shot and throwing the hammer, lung testers, and “try your weights.” Stalls sold food and drink and in the evening, following the inevitable political speechmaking, bands played a range of Irish and American dance tunes and the celebrations often culminated with a firework display.

The following decade, things were rather different. In Chicago, Saint Patrick’s Day 1890 came and went without any parade. No Patrick Cronin sang “God Save Ireland,” no rafters shook, no horses shied. Why were the Irish so silent that year? In a word: murder. In May 1889, Dr. Cronin had been summoned from his surgery on an emergency. A man had been injured at Patrick O’Sullivan’s icehouse in Lake View and Dr. Cronin was called to help. However, the call for aid turned out to be a ruse. Cronin was lured to an isolated cottage where he was brutally murdered and his naked and beaten body stuffed into a sewer where it was discovered several weeks later.

The police investigation, and subsequent murder trial, captivated the press and public both in Chicago and beyond. It soon became apparent that Cronin’s murder was the result of an internal dispute within Clan na Gael and fingers were quick to point at Alexander Sullivan, the leader of the Clan. Sullivan was never charged with Cronin’s murder but the press coverage surrounding the case forced Clan na Gael and its activities into the limelight. After such public exposure, the society’s ability to act as an effective fundraiser for Irish republicanism was greatly diminished. Many Irish in Chicago had joined Clan na Gael not because they had any overriding interest in Irish nationalism, but as a way of securing a good job; they were primarily interested in what the Clan could do for them, not for what they could do for Ireland. Cronin’s murder forced them to make a political decision and large numbers walked away from involvement in any form of Irish nationalism.

Chicago’s Irish and Irish American population was divided by the Cronin murder—a split that lasted into the early years of the twentieth century —and, despite the conclusion of the murder trial in December 1889 (several of Sullivan’s supporters were convicted), there was no appetite for any celebration of all things Irish on March 17, 1890. In 1891 the Saint Patrick’s Day parade was revived but it was a subdued affair, and it was many years before Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated with the exuberance we see today.

Gillian O’Brien is a senior lecturer in History at Liverpool John Moores University and the author of “Blood Runs Green: The Murder that Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago” (Chicago, 2015). Follow her on Twitter @gillianmobrien or her personal blog: gillianmobrien@wordpress.com.

Read next: Nine Irish Photographers You Need to Follow

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Holidays

How St. Patrick’s Day Became the Most Global National Holiday

US President George W. Bush receives a bowl of sha
Stephen Jaffe—AFP/Getty Images WASHINGTON, : US President George W. Bush receives a bowl of shamrocks from Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) on March 13, 2002.

How the wearing of the green has spread worldwide

Even though St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, parades and revelry in his name will ensue worldwide on Tuesday. The holiday’s popularity is global, spreading far past the Emerald Isle to cities with very few ethnic Irish people. There’s no obvious explanation for why Ireland’s national day is celebrated so broadly instead of, say, Bastille Day, the Fourth of July or Cinco de Mayo.

As historian and Dublin-based Boston College professor Michael Cronin explains, the modern version of the holiday is largely an American export, celebrations gaining popularity as Irish immigrants asserted their cultural and political presence in American society. Parades in the U.S. started cropping up in the 1800s, but in Dublin, Cronin says, you wouldn’t have seen that kind of celebration until around the 1990s.

Now, decades later, the wearing of the green is an international tradition — but each location’s history uniquely informs the rest of the celebration.

“St. Patrick’s Day as we know it is a new world phenomenon,” Patrick Griffin, a history professor at Notre Dame, says. “There’s nothing really Irish about it now; it’s nostalgic and schmaltzy.”

But beneath all the paper shamrocks and Guinness merchandise, every city still has its own history and its own holiday flair, sometimes involving Irish immigrants, and funnily enough, sometimes not. Here’s a look at how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world:

New Orleans

The Louisiana port city loves a good party, and since New Orleans was also a major hub for Irish immigration to the U.S., it’s no surprise they’ve been hosting festivities since 1809. What is a bit bizarre, however, is one of the day’s most cherished traditions: a vegetable food fight. According to Cronin, the practice has a benign origin.

“For the feast of St. Patrick, which is of course a Catholic holiday, it was common for the rich people up on floats in the parade to throw food down for the poor,” he says.

Eventually, the noble intentions deteriorated into a free-for-all of cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions, which parade floats still stock in ample supply. Revelers will toss them into the crowd along with another New Orleans St. Patrick’s Day mainstay, the Moonpie.

Montserrat

For most countries, even the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is an unofficial holiday. It is only officially recognized in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, and a small Caribbean island called Montserrat. Also known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, the island, still a British territory, was a refuge for persecuted Irish Catholics as far back as the 17th century. Most of Montserrat’s 5,000 residents claim some Irish heritage or affiliation.

The celebration, a unique fusion of Irish, African and Caribbean tradition, also commemorates a failed slave revolt on St. Patrick’s Day 1768. The island hosts a “freedom run” to mark the anniversary, while also taking part in some more familiar practices, like serving green beer.

Tokyo

Japan’s capital city has hosted St. Patrick’s festivities since 1992. In the years following, celebrations have spread all over the nation. Tokyo’s parade is unique because it was primarily organized by people who aren’t Irish. Some Japanese people, Cronin says, were so enamored with the holiday and with Irish customs that they adopted the holiday.

The annual festivities are now organized by a non-profit called Irish Network Japan, a group comprised of both Irish and non-Irish Japanese people that seeks to foster cultural exchange and unity.

Montreal

One of the longest-running parades on the North American continent is hosted in Montreal, where the Quebecois have staged an annual parade since 1824. And they have been celebrating in some fashion since the mid-1700s, when Irish soldiers in the British army observed St. Patrick’s Day there during the conquest.

Cronin says that in this case, the enthusiasm is less about Irish identity and more about a shared Roman Catholic faith. Montreal was originally colonized by Catholic missionaries and maintains a strong Catholic identity today.

Dripsey, County Cork, Ireland

A village in southern Ireland holds the Guinness World Record for shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade. Beginning in 1997, residents would march for only 77 ft.—the distance between the village’s two pubs. Unfortunately, the parade has been defunct since 2007, after the closure of one of the pubs, the Lee Valley Inn.

“For people in Ireland it’s different than America,” Griffin tells TIME. “They’re poking a little fun at themselves.”

Washington, D.C.

Every year, the White House hosts the Irish Prime Minister for a “Shamrock Ceremony,” where the visitors present the president with a crystal bowl full of shamrocks. This year, president Barack Obama will meet with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny. The ceremony is followed by dinner, where the Irish politicians are treated to a “traditional” Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage.

But most Irish people, Cornin says, aren’t really familiar with the pink, salty dish. It likely developed in Irish American communities because corned beef is a cheap cut of meat. In Ireland, he says, a more typical St. Patrick’s Day feast might feature a spring lamb.

The International Space Station

Love for the holiday is so widespread it even extends outside the atmosphere onto the International Space Station. In 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield wore a green sweater and bow tie aboard ISS, took a photo of Ireland from orbit and even posted a recording of himself singing “Danny Boy.” Two years earlier, American astronaut and flautist Catherine Coleman performed an Irish flute song in space for the holiday.

“It’s amazing to me,” says Cronin. “There’s no other nation in the world that can convince all the other countries to celebrate their national day. Why is an American kid worried about the patron saint of Ireland?”

Whatever the reason, on Tuesday when you dig for that shamrock tie you only wear once a year, know that you are most definitely not alone.

Read next: 10 Supposedly Irish Things That Aren’t Remotely Irish

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

MONEY Odd Spending

10 Supposedly Irish Things That Aren’t Remotely Irish

Green Beer
Alex Hayden—Getty Images

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, millions will be embracing all things Irish. Wait, make that faux Irish—because many St. Patrick's "traditions" have nothing to do with Ireland or Irish culture.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, millions of Americans get their Irish on and partake in all sorts of seemingly Irish practices. They sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and drink Guinness-infused concoctions with colorful names. Heck, some even start the day off with a bowl of magically delicious Lucky Charms because, you know, there’s a leprechaun on the box and all.

We hate to it break to you, but many St. Patrick’s Day mainstays are pure Americanized nonsense, including the following:

Shamrock Shake
Let’s hope you didn’t think this fast food favorite actually had Irish roots. The artificially green, mint-flavored McDonald’s Shamrock Shake first appeared in 1970—in the U.S., of course—and it’s been a periodic limited-time-only menu cult hit every year around St. Patrick’s Day ever since. For a brief time in the mid-1970s, McDonald’s used an obese furry green character named Uncle O’Grimacey, who looks like a mix between Grimace and Oscar the Grouch, to promote the Shamrock Shake. The 550-calorie product wasn’t available nationally until 2012, and McDonald’s Ireland lists the Shamrock Shake as “NEW” on its menu.

Killian’s Irish Red
Like a few other seemingly imported beers that are actually made in the U.S.A., Killian’s Irish Red ale has been brewed exclusively in America for decades. Coors purchased the name in 1980, and the suds are made in factories in Colorado.

Lucky Charms
Um, no. Despite this cereal’s magically delicious leprechaun mascot and his over-the-top brogue, Lucky Charms is made by the giant Minneapolis-based food manufacturer General Mills and has nothing to do with Ireland or Irish culture. The traditional Irish breakfast has sausages, pudding, eggs, browned bread, and cooked tomatoes, not colored marshmallows.

Female Leprechauns
If you run into a woman in a leprechaun costume—sexy or otherwise—on St. Patrick’s Day, be aware that she probably isn’t the genuine article. She probably has no pot ‘o gold either. Shocking, right? According to A History of Irish Fairies by Carolyn White, there is no record of lady leprechauns, which makes you wonder how these tiny figures procreate. Leprechauns are known to be quite clever, but still. Also mind-boggling: Before Friends, Jennifer Aniston’s career in Hollywood truly began with her role in the low-budget 1993 horror film Leprechaun. (She wasn’t a leprechaun though—that would be ridiculous.)

“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”
The beloved tune, memorably recorded by Bing Crosby among others, is often categorized as a traditional Irish folk song. In fact, it was written and composed by a trio of thoroughly American New Yorkers who were professional songwriters, for an extremely short-lived 1913 Broadway show called The Isle O’ Dreams.

Black Velvet
Don’t order this fancy cocktail concoction at a pub in Ireland if you want to make friends. Half Guinness Stout and half champagne, the black velvet was invented in the mid-nineteenth century not in Dublin or anywhere in Ireland but in London—as a tribute to the British royals no less. Specifically, the black velvet was created as an appropriately dark, mournful way to honor Prince Albert’s passing away in 1861. Oh, and that late ’80s hit song “Black Velvet”? It doesn’t have anything to do with Ireland either; it was written by Canadians and performed by Alannah Myles, also Canadian.

Irish Car Bomb
Car bombs were one of the weapons of choice used for decades during the Troubles of Northern Ireland, when thousands were killed. The term would never be used in Ireland as punchline, or as the provocative name of a cocktail, as it is in American bars, where a “car bomb” is a shot of Irish whiskey and Irish cream that’s dropped into a half-filled glass of Guinness.

Bennigan’s, Beef O’Brady’s, Tilted Kilt
None of these Irish- or Celtic-themed American bar-and-grill chains have origins in Ireland or are authentic to Irish pubs and cuisine. These restaurant concepts were born in Georgia, Florida, and Las Vegas, respectively, and none has locations in Ireland.

“St. Patty’s Day”
It’s still commonplace for the shortened version of the holiday to be spelled this way in America. However, spelling it so can get some people seriously fired up because in Ireland, “Patty” is short for Patricia, not Patrick. The true Irish spelling of “Patrick” is Pádraig, so the only way to shorten it is Paddy. One Irishman living in Canada went so far as to create the website PaddyNotPatty.com to hammer home that it should always be PADDY. How upset do the authentically Irish get when they see “Patty” used in place of Patrick? “It’s “like nails on a chalkboard,” the site explains. “It gnaws at them. It riles them up. It makes them want to fight… you know, more than usual.”

Green Beer
The Irish don’t bother with this foolish malarkey. As one Irish ex-pat living in America explained it when being interrogated about real St. Patrick’s Day customs back home, “If you dyed beer green in Ireland, they’d punch you.”

MONEY Food & Drink

5 Weird Ways to Consume Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

The Guinness Float
Martin Burns—Flickr Creative Commons The Guinness Float

To haul in the green on March 17, restaurants, bakeries, and bars roll out all sorts of strange Guinness-infused foods.

The best way to enjoy a Guinness Stout is the traditional one: Just drink it by the pint, after it’s been poured perfectly from the tap, of course.

For some people, however, being limited to merely drinking Guinness doesn’t cut it. That goes doubly around St. Patrick’s Day, when revelers—not to mention chefs, restaurant owners, and marketers—go looking for creative new methods for consuming Ireland’s favorite alcoholic beverage. The Internet is loaded with recipes incorporating Guinness far beyond a basic lamb stew that you can try out in your own kitchen. You can also check out some of the unusual Guinness-flavored creations that appear on restaurant menus right about now, such as these:

Guinness Pizza: $13
Frasca’s Pizzera & Wine Bar in Chicago offers a Guinness pizza on the menu exactly once a year—St. Patrick’s Day. The crust, which incorporates Guinness for flavor, is thin, and the pizza comes with bacon, roasted onions, potatoes, and a sunny-side up egg on top. Interestingly, there’s also a restaurant franchise called Guinness Pizza, based in Brazil.

Guinness Cupcake: $3.25
There are hundreds of options on the menu of the Yummy Cupcakes franchise, including one with Guinness used in the batter, glaze, and whipped cream, with green sprinkled sugar to top it off. Fresh Cupcakes in South Carolina, meanwhile, serves its limited-time-only Guinness cupcake with Bailey’s cream cheese icing.

Guinness Burger: $11
The faux Irish restaurant-pub chain Bennigan’s puts a Guinness glaze on a burger served with fried onions, cheddar cheese, and Applewood smoked bacon.

Guinness Donut: $3 and Up
Donut makers have created seemingly every random flavor under the sun, and yes, that includes adding Guinness Stout to the mix. Dynamo Donut & Coffee in San Francisco has a seasonal Molasses Guinness donut, which includes Guinness-poached pears and a Guinness glaze. The Frozen Kuhsterd food truck in California has come up with a Guinness Pear Dynamo Donut Sandwich. BLD Restaurant in Los Angeles has been known to make Guinness Caramel donuts, though lately the Irish donut of choice is the Jameson Chocolate; the dessert menu features Guinness ice cream pie ($8) and Guinness milk shakes ($10) as well.

Guinness Ice Cream Float: $10
Among other places to find a hint (or more) of Guinness incorporated into ice cream, the Lobby Lounge inside the JW Marriott in Chicago is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by offering a vanilla bean and Guinness ice cream float with an Irish soda bread cookie on the side.

MONEY Holidays

Expect Less Green on St. Patrick’s Day

Spending nationwide on St. Patrick’s Day is expected to drop 3% this year, though celebrants will still be plenty enthusiastic.

MONEY Odd Spending

A Dozen Scary Weird Things to Know About Friday the 13th and Money

We've dug up 12 alternately creepy and amusing Friday the 13th factoids for your pleasure—including how superstitions around this number and day can affect sales of homes, flights, and, strangest of all, tattoos.

  • “Friday the 13th” movies have grossed $380 million.

    Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives 1986
    Mary Evans—Ronald Grant Archive/Mary Evans/ Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives 1986

    BoxOfficeMojo added up the ticket sales of all 12 movies in the “Friday the 13th” franchise, and the sum came to $380 million, or a whopping $770 million after adjusting for inflation. The overall highest-grossing film was 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason ($82.6 million), but after adjusting for inflation the original Friday the 13th came out on top, with its 1980 haul of $40 million translating to $123 million today. Oh, and you might have noticed that with a dozen Jason movies, another one would seem inevitable to make it 13. Sure enough, there’s one in the works that was originally supposed to be released on March 13, 2015, but has been pushed back to next year.

  • Tattoos cost just $13 on Friday the 13th.

    devil tattoo
    Alamy

    If you are going to mark your body permanently, you’d think you’d want to pay good money to get it right. You’d perhaps also think you wouldn’t want to tempt fate by doing it on a day known for bad luck. The proliferation of $13 tattoo deals that periodically pop up on Friday the 13th in cities such as Las Vegas, Tampa, St. Louis, and Charleston fly in the face of that kind of thinking. Generally speaking, participating tattoo parlors offer a limited number of small tats for $13, and customers are expected to tip $7. Some vendors also discount all tattoos by 13% or sell T-shirts for (you guessed it) $13.

  • You can fly one way to HEL on Flight 666 for $148.

    underbelly of jet plane at night
    Eric Meola—Getty Images

    Finnair offers a daily 95-minute flight, AY666—a.k.a. Flight #666—straight to HEL. The odd coincidence was noticed a few years ago by the media, and it’s not quite as ominous as it sounds: The entirety of the flight is in Scandinavia, not the underworld, as it departs CPH (Copenhagen) bound for HEL (Helsinki). Earlier this week we searched to see how much a flight to HEL would cost on Friday the 13th. The total was 1,028 Danish Krone, or about US$148. We only looked up the one-way price, because we’re assuming there are no round trips to HEL.

  • People seem to shy away from Friday the 13th flights.

    LAX Terminal 2
    Alamy

    Some studies have indicated that Friday 13th is a relatively cheap day to fly because demand is so low, presumably due to the superstitious not wanting to travel that day. This might be a myth, or at least there should be a caveat because Fridays and Sundays are universally considered the most expensive days of the week to fly. Still, as Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., explained in a National Geographic story, “It’s been estimated that [U.S.] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.”

  • That Dossey guy sells a book about superstitious holidays for $15.

    Dossey Book

    Holiday Folklore, Phobias, and Fun: Mythical Origins, Scientific Treatment and Superstitious “Cures” is one of several products sold by Dossey on his Phobia Institute site. The regular price for the 1992 book is $15, though a “web price” is listed at $10 (then add $5 for shipping). Used copies of the book are also listed for $4 at Amazon (1¢ + $3.99 shipping).

  • Friday the 13th weddings can be cheap.

    dark wedding banquet hall
    JG Photography—Alamy

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Friday the 13th tends to be a slow day for weddings compared with other Fridays. Hence the occasional 10% to 15% discount offered by venues for couples unafraid to seize the date.

  • But you’ll pay extra for a Friday the 13th theme wedding.

    Zombie Wedding at Viva Las Vegas
    Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Weddings has been promoting the fact that 2015 has three Friday the 13ths (in February, March, and November), and offers a variety of special creepy themes appropriate for the date—Zombie Wedding (pictured), Dracula’s Tomb, Ghoulish Gazebo, Graveyard Wedding, and so on. Friday the 13th wedding packages start at $600, compared with $450 for normal ones.

  • A #13 address can hurt home sales.

    #13 house number
    Georges Diegues—Alamy

    According to research cited by Zillow, 40% of real estate agents say that houses with a No. 13 address are known to cause resistance among buyers, and that sellers often have to lower prices as a result.

  • Investors shouldn’t be scared of Friday the 13th.

    150313_EM_Fri13th_Investors
    David A. Cantor—Associated Press

    Yes, the stock market’s mini-crash in 1989 took place on a Friday the 13th in October. But overall, Friday the 13ths tend to be fairly lucky days for investors, with greater odds for a positive gain in the S&P 500 compared with other days.

  • For one mall, Friday the 13th means coupons and freebies.

    Blueberry Bliss and Pineapple Kona Pop tea mix with Teavana glass teapot
    ZUMA Press—Alamy

    The Solomon Pond Mall in eastern Massachusetts has declared this week’s Friday the 13th as a “Lucky Day” for shoppers. Simply show the linked message to guest services, and you’ll receive a goody bag filled with freebies like Teavana tea and hair care samples, as well as a coupon for a $1 Auntie Anne’s pretzel.

  • Friday the 13th is big business for haunted houses.

    Cutting Edge Haunted House
    Ron Jenkins—Star Telegram

    This Friday, like every Friday the 13th, is potentially a big moneymaker for haunted house and other creepy attractions. Entrance can cost a pretty penny too, especially in Texas, which seems to be ground zero for haunted houses. For instance, the Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth charges $25 to $35 plus a $3.50 per-ticket service fee ($5 off for kids!), while the VIP Experience at the Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano runs $65 plus a $4.25 fee. At the lower end, there’s the Zombie Apocalypse for $16.50 in Colorado Springs, or the Scared City Haunted House in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is charging $10 admission for “ONE LAST NIGHT” before they remodel for the 2015 Halloween season.

  • Or partake in a “highly immersive terror” campout.

    Great Horror Campout
    Great Horror Campout

    This Friday, Los Angeles’s Griffith Park—probably best known as the setting for key scenes in Rebel Without a Cause—is hosting the “Great Horror Campout.” Billed as a “12-hour, overnight, interactive horror camping adventure” that includes “highly immersive terror” activities like the Hell Hunt Experience and an after-dark screening of Friday the 13th. Naturally, tickets cost $13 when purchased in advance. Among the suggested items campers should bring for the evening are drinks, snacks, sleeping bag, and a “Few Changes of Underwear.”

    Why end it here, you might ask, instead of pushing the list to 13 Friday the 13th-related things instead of 12? We were just too scared to go there.

TIME Education

NYC Public Schools Add Muslim Holidays to Calendar

The mayor announced the addition of two holidays on Twitter

New York City public schools will now observe two Muslim holidays, officials said Wednesday, fulfilling a campaign promise by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Starting in 2015, city schools will close for the Muslim holy days Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, de Blasio and schools chancellor Carmen Farina said at a news conference. “This decision allows our city’s Muslim community to fully practice their faith without it interfering with their school attendance and education,” Farina said in remarks reported by CBS.

Eid al-Adha, also called the Festival of Sacrifice, will affect the school day Sept. 24. The day is held to remember the story, also recognized in Christian and Jewish faiths, in which Ibrahim (Abraham), agrees to God’s command that he sacrifice his son. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan. In the 2015–2016 school year, it falls in the summer and will only affect teachers and students working then.

During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio promised to add the holidays to the calendar. Despite pressure from New York City’s Muslims, his predecessor Michael Bloomberg declined to make the changes during his tenure because he said children needed to be in school more.

“We’re here today to make good on a promise to our Muslim brothers and sisters that a holiday of supreme importance to the Muslim community will be recognized in our school calendar so that children can honor the holiday without missing school,” de Blasio said.

[CBS New York]

TIME photography

See Vintage Photos from Chinese New Year Celebrations

As revelers welcome the lunar new year with banquets and parades, a look back at the way one community celebrated 70 years ago

It’s the rare photograph of the Chinese New Year that isn’t dripping with vivid color: here the golden beard of a dragon, there the neon confetti lining the streets and everywhere the red of good fortune and happiness. These photographs of a Chinese New Year celebration in 1946 may be devoid of color, but they are rich in detail: the precision of a calligrapher’s brush, the excitement of children receiving envelopes filled with money, the smoke of a firecracker thrown in the street.

All that can be gleaned from these photos lives within these details, as they were never published in LIFE, and no notes remain to put names to faces or even identify the locale where they were shot. The photographer, George Lacks, spent much of his career in Shanghai, but traveled widely throughout China during his years stationed abroad.

The festivities depicted in Lacks’ work reflect a simpler time, before corporate interests tried to get a bite of the sticky cake. This year, Panda Express will use the holiday to promote its restaurants by handing out red envelopes with coupons inside. Godiva is selling chocolate gift boxes commemorating the Year of the Goat, blending Belgian flavors with Chinese spices.

Even during the 1950s and ‘60s, the ads in LIFE’s pages spoke to a kind of co-opting of the new year for commercial gain. Chun King Frozen Foods, the self-proclaimed “Royalty of American-Oriental foods,” used the new year as an opportunity to encourage LIFE’s readers to buy their Americanized versions of fried rice, chicken chow mein and egg foo young. (“Put a little China on your table every night,” their motto went.) A 1968 tourism advertisement for the state of Minnesota boasted the state’s celebration of the Chinese New Year as evidence of its people’s love of celebrations, even those borrowed from other cultures.

Lacks’ photos focus on time spent with family and respect for tradition, sentiments still omnipresent in today’s celebrations—only now, capitalist America throws in a coupon or two for good measure.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

MONEY Holidays

Money Lessons From the Presidents

Lincoln on penny and Washington on Quarter facing one another on black background
Getty Images

Not only are these men on the money, they were pretty good with it too.

Presidents’ Day is a great holiday for learning about American history, but it could be a good day for financial lessons as well. That’s because Washington and Lincoln—the two presidents most closely associated with the holiday—weren’t just great figures. They’re also members of a select group of foundational leaders who were notably savvy money managers.

While Jefferson and Hamilton died deeply in debt, Hamilton so much so that his funeral doubled as a burial fundraiser, Washington and Lincoln are veritable financial role models. Here’s how America’s first president out-invested his political peers, and how the Great Emancipator saved his way to wealth.

Diversify like George

If there was one investing trick Washington mastered, it was diversification.

During the 18th century, Virginia’s landed gentry got rich shipping fine tobacco to European buyers. So rich, in fact, that when the bottom fell out of the market in the 1760s, few plantation owners thought to change their strategy. Thomas Jefferson, a fellow Virginian, famously refused to move away from his longtime investment and went deeper and deeper into debt as tobacco prices plummeted.

George W. wasn’t so foolish. He knew which way the wind was blowing, and decided an overdependence on a single failing asset wasn’t the best business strategy. “Washington was the first to figure out that you had to diversify,” explains Willard Sterne Randall, biographer of multiple founding fathers. “Only Washington figured out that you couldn’t rely on a single crop.”

After determining tobacco to be a poor investment, Washington switched to wheat. He shipped his finest grain overseas and sold the lower quality product to his Virginia neighbors (who, historians believe, used it to feed their slaves). As land lost its value, Washington stopped acquiring new property and started renting out what he owned. He also fished on the Chesapeake and charged local businessmen for the use of his docks.

The president was so focussed on revenues that at times he could even be heartless: When a group of Revolutionary War veterans became delinquent on rent, they found themselves evicted from the Washington estate by their former commander.

Save like Abe

It’s no surprise that someone with Abraham Lincoln’s upbringing would know the value of a dollar. Harold Holzer, an acclaimed Lincoln historian, describes the future president’s poverty as so severe that “until his stepmother arrived on the scene when he was six years old, he didn’t even have a wooden floor.”

From these humble origins, Lincoln emerged as a frugal man who lived on relatively modest means until his entrance into politics. According to Holzer, young Lincoln spent time as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and even considered applying his considerable strength to blacksmithing before finding success in law and politics.

As Lincoln’s fame increased, so did his income. Holzer puts his attorney’s fee at as much as $5,000 per case, and he earned $25,000 per year as president. But despite his newfound wealth, the president was never tempted to overspend. On the contrary, he appears to have become an obsessive saver . “When he died he had several uncashed salary warrants in his desk drawer, and he saved $90,000 in four years, so he didn’t spend a lot,” Holzer says, “and that included sending a child to Harvard and Harvard Law School.”

Unlike many politicians, Lincoln’s frugality extended even to public money. He became furious upon learning that his wife, Mary Todd, had blown her budget on upgrades to the White House, and as David Herbert Donald records in his biography of the president, all but exploded when asked to seek additional funds from Congress. No more money would be approved for “flub dubs for that damned house!” Lincoln roared. “It would would stink in the land,” he explained, to have spent $20,000 on furnishings “when the poor freezing soldiers could not have blankets.”

Read next: Financial Lessons of America’s Founding Fathers

TIME Holidays

Watch 31 People Say ‘I Love You’ in Their Native Languages

Just in time for Valentine's Day

Want a new way to express how much you love your partner this Valentine’s Day? Try getting fancy and telling them in another language!

This video shows 31 people saying those three little words in their native tongues, so feel free to get some inspiration. It was created by MoveHub, a site designed to help people moving abroad, and was filmed in London. The MoveHub crew searched the city’s streets for a diverse assortment of people who could participate and share their ways of saying “I love you.”

See the full list of languages featured in the video, including Urdu, Afrikaans, Flemish and Doric.

Read next: 8 Fun, Non-Cheesy Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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