History of Memorial Day: Why We Fight

Memorial Day

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHY WE FIGHT The world is different from what it was two decades ago as we celebrate Memorial Day. We have troops in countries that we didn’t have then, and after 9/11, we now remember why we fight. The History Channel often re-runs the HBO series Band of Brothers, the T.V.…

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History of Memorial Day: Boalsburg, PA

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: BOALSBURG, PA The city of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, an American village on the National Historic Register, claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, as do at least 24 other towns in America. I first visited this hamlet near State College, home of Penn State University, decades ago. Boalsburg’s claim goes back…

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History of Memorial Day: Which War?

Arlington

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHICH WAR? Memorial Day was not universally recognized as a shared American Holiday until after World War I. But that’s not how it started in the United States. When did it begin?   Civil War and Memorial Day Following the American Civil War or the “War Between the States,” as it…

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History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 85 Years Old

Golden Gate Bridge

HISTORY OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE This week we celebrate the 84th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened to traffic after taking over five years to build. I remember asking my father when I was young: “Why isn’t the Golden Gate Bridge golden?” He didn’t…

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History of Towel Day: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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. 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…

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History of Star Wars: Premiered 45 Years Ago

Star Wars

HISTORY OF STAR WARS The original Star Wars movie premiered on May 25, 1977. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away… in Berkeley, in November 1976, I picked up a new science fiction novel called “Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker” by George Lucas. I did not know at the time that…

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History of The Who’s Tommy: 53 Years Ago

Tommy album

HISTORY OF THE WHO’s TOMMY Fifty-three years ago today, on May 23, 1969, the British rock group The Who released the double-album rock opera, Tommy. Commercially the record went Gold in the UK and Double Platinum in the US. Several of the songs were released as singles that charted in the Top 20 in both…

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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 Mother’s Day: Ancient and Modern

Mothers Day

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY The person who initially was most active in opposing the celebration of Mother’s Day is the very person who started this holiday in the US. How did that happen? Anna Jarvis’ mother died in 1905, and in her honor, Anna held a memorial in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia. She continued…

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History of VE-Day: End of WWII in Europe 77 Years Ago

VE_Day

HISTORY OF VE-DAY Seventy-seven years ago today, World War II ended in Europe with the acceptance by the Allies of unconditional surrender from Germany on VE-Day. Or did it?   May 7, 1945, VE-Day Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his Berlin bunker a week earlier on April 30, 1945, as I describe in my…

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History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

HISTORY OF CINCO DE MAYO Cinco de Mayo is frequently regarded as the Mexican equivalent of the United States 4th of July. This is incorrect: it is the equivalent of the “5th of May” in the Spanish language. Another misconception is that this has something to do with Mayonnaise. That too is a bum spread,…

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History of May the Fourth (Be With You): Star Wars Day

  HISTORY OF MAY THE FOURTH May 4th or May the Fourth is a geek holiday that has gained popularity in recent years due to a popular film franchise. But where did it begin?   History of May the Fourth “May the Fourth” is taken from the benediction “May the Force be with you” made famous…

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