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Rebekah Susan Green

Photograph of Rebekah Susan Green

Rebekah Susan Green dressed for Halloween, c. 1910, Creator unknown, Black and white photograph, Bequest of Judge John Webb Green and Ellen McClung Green, 1957.3.652.11.

Americans broadly celebrated Halloween after nineteenth-century Irish and other immigrants brought the Celtic tradition here; this was part of the Victorian era transformation of American holiday celebrations. What made  Halloween special for many children was its inversion of social roles; the kids were in charge, wearing costumes, mimicking adult roles and power, and demanding candy treats—or threatening the grown-ups with Halloween tricks, or pranks. Here, in Chicago around 1910, Rebekah Susan Green (niece of Ellen McClung Green, of the museum’s namesake family), poses as a witch with jack-o-lantern and adorably costumed cat.

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