HISTORY OF TOWEL DAY
May 25 celebrates Towel Day as a day to honor Douglas Adams, the author of the five (or six) book trilogy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Originally created in May of 2001 to mark the passing of English science fiction humor author Douglas Adams, the day is set aside for fans of his writings to carry a towel throughout the day in honor of the author. Why a towel? I’ll explain below.
I had the honor of meeting Douglas Adams almost two decades ago when he was speaking at a special Sun Microsystems event. I recall at the time noting that he talked at 2400 baud, meaning he spoke the English language faster than any other person I had heard before. Erudite, clever, and mind stretching — his talk was much like his writings, at times laugh-out-loud funny. He has appeared on Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV show, and wrote a skit for the album to the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He had also written for the TV show Doctor Who.
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MEMORIAL DAY: WHY WE FIGHT
The world is different than it was even a decade ago as we celebrate Memorial Day. We now are fighting more than one war, and we now remember why we fight. The History Channel re-runs the HBO series “Band of Brothers,” the adaptation of the Stephen Ambrose book about a company of soldiers from the landing at Normandy through the end of the World War II.
During WWII my father crossed paths a couple of times with the Company E mentioned in “Band of Brothers.” Once at the Battle of the Bulge and later while liberating the Dachau Concentration Camp.
My father’s story was originally told in part on HBO’s website during the premier, regarding the episode entitled “Why We Fight” on the liberation of Dachau and its many subcamps.
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HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY
The city of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, an American village on the National Historic Register, claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, as do some 24 other towns in America. But Boalsburg’s claim goes back to a practice at the end of the Civil War. It does have a local museum, and a history that stretches back over two centuries. Its claim is supported by pointing out, on a large sign near the center of town that:
The custom of decorating soldiers’ graves was begun here in October, 1864, by Emma Hunter, Sophie Keller, and Elizabeth Myers.
Named for David Boal who settled here in 1798. Village laid out in 1808. Boalsburg Tavern built in 1819. Post Office established 1820. First church erected 1827. Home community of three United States ambassadors.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
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