Secular

History of Christopher Columbus

HISTORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS The man who sailed from Spain to discover America was neither Spanish nor did he actually discover America. But it was true that: In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue Origin He was actually Italian, born in 1451 to a wool merchant in Genoa and first went to…

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History of October: the Pumpkin Spice Saga

HISTORY OF OCTOBER: THE PUMPKIN SPICE SAGA October, the tenth month of the year in both the older Julian and the more recent Gregorian calendar was the 8th month (Latin octo) in the old Roman calendar, but with the addition of January and February got bumped to #10. This month is significant in that, according…

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History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days. History The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding in Munich — the capital of the…

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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

HISTORY OF TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY The International Talk Like A Pirate Day began not back in the Golden Age of Pirates in days of yore but in 2002. Celebrated each year on September 19, though it started in the United States, it is now celebrated internationally across the Seven Seas. The Tale The legend…

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History of Patriot Day: 9-11

HISTORY OF PATRIOT DAY: 9-11 With the following words and many others, President George W. Bush designated September 11 to be regarded as Patriot Day or America Remembers: By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation On this first observance of Patriot Day, we remember and honor those who perished in the…

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History of Labor Day

HISTORY OF LABOR DAY Labor Day is the day we celebrate the process our mothers went through in order to deliver us at birth. Sorry, wrong holiday. Labor Day in the U.S. is the day we celebrate the achievements of the American labor movement. While it is still disputed whether the holiday was first proposed…

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History of the Holidays

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HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS Welcome to this year’s edition of the History of the Holidays. I’m Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian. From now through the Spring or vernal equinox, we celebrate most of the major secular and sacred holidays. This is a series that recounts the history behind the major American holidays, some of…

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History of the California Gold Rush

HISTORY OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald reported the news along the American East Coast of the California Gold Rush. It was not new news to those further West, as the gold rush had started in January and was publicized in San Francisco in March. However, the New…

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History of August

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August, previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans, back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally 10 months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C. decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus…

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