Teaching Children US History via Halloween Costumes

Posted on October 28, 2011


Huffington Post  has a piece on what they think might be the “worst Halloween costume of all time.”  It’s a World War II Evacuee costume, sold on amazon.co.uk for an amount equal to about $18.  According to the Huffington Post via blogger Nick Douglas, editor of Slacktory.com, the Halloween costume was created  for “National Commemoration Days and worked into the elementary school curriculum as a creative way to teach kids British history.”

Evacuee Day teaches little children about the time in England during WWII when the belief was that untold numbers of people would get blown to bits from German bombs.  For that reason, nearly two million children were put on trains and evacuated to the countryside. The trauma to these children was unbelievable, thereby making for really cute Halloween costumes 70 years later. 

The success of the Evacuee Costume brings up some mighty interesting potential here, regarding the use of Halloween costumes as ways to teach children about tragic events in American history, balanced by the consumption of vast quantities of sugared snacks.

The Demise of Elroy Pippins, fry cook at the White Castle of Bayonne, NJ, and inventor of the hamburger, who then went on to invent the phrase, “Fries with that?”  Tragically, Pippins was killed when he slipped on a slice of pickle and went headlong into the deep fry basket.

The Great Depression, forcing 2.5 million people to move out of the Great Plains states, after unsuccessfully attempting to convince several tribes of Native Americans to pay them for the land that used to belong to the tribes anyway.  

Annual Presidential Turkey Pardoning Scandal, in which each year the President of the United States pardons one turkey, then eats another.  The exception was in 1974, when President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, thereby pardoning two turkeys in one year.

The Ponzi Scheme, named after Charles Ponzi, who, from 1920-21, bilked about 40,000 investors out of $15 million (approximately a bazillion trillion dollars in today’s money). Although Ponzi went to prison and was afterward deported, he left behind a legacy that would become as a popular American pastime as bailing out rich people.

Posted in: Halloween, humor, satire