History of Christmas: Nativity Season — Snow in Bethlehem?

HISTORY OF THE NATIVITY SEASON You’ve seen those greeting cards that show Joseph along with Mary on the back of a donkey making their way to Bethlehem in the wintry snow. Have you ever wondered: could Jesus have been born during the close of the year, perhaps even with snow on the ground? Nativity Weather…

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History of Christmas: Advent

Advent

THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: ADVENT Here begins our series of articles on the History of Christmas. The traditional season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, begins today. It is celebrated in the church calendar as one of the most festive seasons of the year. Meaning “Advent” from the Latin adventus means the “coming” or “arrival”…

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History of the First Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

HISTORY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION – JUNE 20, 1676: On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote, they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk and first secretary of the…

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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 four hundred years ago 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…

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History of Thanksgiving: the Secular and the Sacred

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING The origin of Thanksgiving Day in America has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. 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…

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History of Vaccines: What This Means For Coronavirus

Vaccines

HISTORY OF VACCINES: WHAT THIS MEANS FOR CORONAVIRUS Today, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they are submitting their Coronavirus vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Approval. What are vaccines, when were they first developed, and what is the road to an approved vaccine in today’s world? “Vaca” in the word vaccine sounds…

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History of Friday the 13th

Friday The 13th

HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13TH If you’re reading this article to learn the history of Friday the 13th, you’re in luck. Or perhaps bad luck. No one knows, with any certainty, when it began or why it’s to be feared. However, there are lots of entertaining speculative theories about the topic.     What is…

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History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the sense of writing down appointments so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are important…

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How gunpowder mixed with Parliament

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

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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 the ancient Romans shoehorned in January and February. November enjoys the distinction of being situated between the two biggest holidays in the American calendar… at least revenue-wise. October has…

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