Archive for April 2008

History of May Day

MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez” meaning “Help me!” As a holiday it is claimed by many. It is known in the pagan world as Beltane, a fertility celebration, one of…

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History of Earth Day

EARTH DAY April 22 is called Earth Day because it both commemorates and celebrates the observance of the anniversary of our discovery of planet Earth. At this time, by all accounts, there is general agreement that Earth is far superior to the place from which we came, as we shall see below. Recently, however, there…

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History of the Marathon

HISTORY OF THE MARATHON Today in Boston, Massachusetts is the running of the Boston Marathon the oldest and longest running (no pun intended) annual marathon event, at least in the Western World. It began in 1897, the year following the reintroduction of the marathon competition in the first modern Olympics in 1896. This large event…

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History of Passover

PASSOVER This year, the evening at sunset April 19 marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but he was much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to…

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Serendipity

train

SERENDIPITY I believe travel should be like a well-oiled machine. The saying goes that Mussolini “made the trains run on time” in Italy and I figured I should take advantage of that. Upon our arrival in Rome, I navigated us on the Airport Express train to Rome‘s main train station, the Termini (named not for…

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History of April Fool’s Day

APRIL FOOLS’ DAY April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is the name given to the custom of playing practical jokes on friends on that day, or sending them on fools errands. The origin of this custom has been much disputed; it is in some way a relic of those once universal festivities held at…

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