US

History of Thanksgiving Indian: Why Squanto already knew English

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING: FRIENDLY INDIAN SQUANTO We’ve all heard the story of how the Pilgrims, landing in Massachusetts on the Mayflower in 1620, were ill-equipped to survive the harsh winters of the New World. We’ve also heard how they met a Native American Indian of the Pawtuxet tribe named Squanto who befriended them. He taught them…

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History of Thanksgiving: the Secular and the Sacred

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING The origin of Thanksgiving Day has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth Colony. In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America the year after their arrival on the merchant ship Mayflower. The…

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History of November: That In-between Month

HISTORY OF NOVEMBER November is the penultimate month of the year, meaning next to the last. It used to be the ninth month (Latin: novem) until January and February were shoehorned in by the ancient Romans. November enjoys the distinction of being situated between the two biggest holidays in the American calendar… at least revenue-wise.…

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History of the Kirking of the Tartans: is it really Scottish?

HISTORY OF THE KIRKING OF THE TARTANS This Sunday all over the world many churches will observe the Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans, a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. What is The Kirking of the Tartans? Etymologically Kirking, from the Scots word kirk which means church, in this usage it means “blessing.” Tartans are the…

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History of the Aspens

HISTORY OF THE ASPENS Every year about this time, Fall is ushered in by a flush of Aspen trees as their leaves turn to gold. Where I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the particular aspen is called the trembling or quaking aspen. The broadleaf and the flattened stem cause them to flutter in the…

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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 Woodstock

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3-days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. I’d like to share with you what it was like to be there — the music,…

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