'AHS: Double Feature' Mentioned an Often-Forgotten U.S. Holiday: Evacuation Day — What Is It?

Evacuation Day is one holiday not many people pay attention to. So, what is it, and how does it tie into 'American Horror Story': Double Feature?

Chris Barilla - Author

Oct. 21 2021, Published 3:53 p.m. ET

Sarah Paulson
Source: FX

However wild and outlandish a lot of the things that take place throughout various seasons of American Horror Story are, the second half of AHS: Double Feature honed in on some real-life historical events and popular conspiracy theories. In doing so, it revealed a deeper level to the maddening horrors that the show's cast encounters.

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The second part of AHS: Double Feature, titled Death Valley, ropes in plenty of actual historical events as part of its storyline, and some may come off as a bit more confusing than others.

Case-in-point: Mamie Eisenhower's (Sarah Paulson's) mention of an often-forgotten U.S. holiday, Evacuation Day. Yes, it's a real thing, but what exactly is it? Keep reading for an explanation.

'American Horror Story'
Source: FX
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Here's the true meaning behind Evacuation Day and how it's related to 'AHS.'

One of Mamie's biggest talking points throughout the duration of AHS Season 10 is how she is a trendsetter of sorts. According to her, American adults were reluctant to celebrate things such as their birthdays and holidays like Halloween out of fear of being too old for it all. That is until she entered the White House and made celebrating as an adult a thing again.

The revitalization of adult celebrations of holidays and birthdays seemed to be Mamie's proudest achievement. However, when her husband, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Neal McDonough), is on his death bed in the season finale, Mamie tells him that she has her sights set on revitalizing another American holiday: Evacuation Day.

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For those who don't know, Evacuation Day is a holiday observed on Mar. 17 yearly in Massachusetts. It commemorates the evacuation of the British military from Boston following the siege of Boston, which took place in the early days of the American Revolutionary War. To commemorate the day, schools and government offices are closed, and if it falls on a weekend the following Monday is when it is observed.

Boston skyline
Source: Getty Images
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Interestingly enough, Evacuation Day is the same day as St. Patrick's Day, a factor that undeniably played a role in its development. The holiday was made official in 1901, but it wasn't until a 1941 law was passed that it became a tradition celebrated in all of Suffolk County, of which Boston is a part.

Celebrations for the holiday within Suffolk County are limited, to say the least. Considering remembrance of the day is largely overshadowed by the much more widely celebrated St. Patrick's Day, festivities are usually relegated to a simple parade and a politician's breakfast held traditionally in South Boston.

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Mamie and Dwight D. Eisenhower
Source: Getty Images

That, of course, doesn't sit well with Mamie in the show. She tells her husband that her next goal is to make Evacuation Day a nationally celebrated ordeal akin to the Fourth of July. Sadly, as we learn while the episode continues, Mamie doesn't succeed at making Evacuation Day a hit like she did with birthdays and Halloween, something that seemingly upsets her profoundly.

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Did the real Mamie Eisenhower actually try to bring back Evacuation Day?

Although the show makes us believe that Mamie had her heart set on Evacuation Day becoming a national holiday, it seems that wasn't actually the case in real life. Although the mentions of her bringing the color pink back into style are true, as well as putting an emphasis on the importance of birthdays and Halloween, it seems that including Evacuation Day was a creative choice made by AHS writers and nothing more.

It's likely that the show's creators included that tidbit into the storyline simply because it fits with the rest of the narrative surrounding their interpretation of Mamie.

Nonetheless, if you felt moved or curious about Mamie's mention of Evacuation Day, the few celebrations held in its honor still happen in Boston each March.

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