Historian to Discuss Useless Gift Giving

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University's Department of History will offer a unique twist on giving gifts shortly before Valentine's Day.

Ellen Litwicki, professor and chair of history at the State University of New York at Fredonia, will present "Be a SPUG: The History of Useless Gift Giving" on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. in WSU's Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room.

Litwicki, whose academic research focuses on the cultural history of gift giving in the United States, will discuss the Society for the Prevention of Useless Gift Giving, also known as SPUG, which was formed by a partnership of wealthy and working-class women in 1912 in New York. The organization focused its efforts on abolishing the custom that pressured workers in shops and factories into contributing money for Christmas presents for their supervisors. SPUG garnered national publicity at the time, partly because of several prominent members, including Theodore Roosevelt.

In addition to her role at SUNY Fredonia, Litwicki is a Tanner Fellow for the 2008-09 academic year at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center and author of “America's Public Holidays, 1865-1920.”

The event is free to the public. For more information, call 801-626-6706.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Susan Matt, chair, Department of History
801-626-7325 • smatt@weber.edu
Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
801-626-7948 • travisclemens@weber.edu