History of June

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HISTORY OF JUNE June represents the year’s halfway point, the sixth of the twelve months of the Gregorian calendar, which we currently use in the West, and the earlier Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, the namesake of July. Where do we get the name for June?   What’s In A Name? Ovid, author of…

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History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 87 Years Old

golden gate bridge

HISTORY OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE This week, we celebrate the 87th 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 Memorial Day: Where did it Begin?

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 Towel Day: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Towel Day

HISTORY OF TOWEL DAY May 25 celebrates Towel Day to honor Douglas Adams, the author of the five (or six) book trilogy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Created in May 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…

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History of Memorial Day: Why We Fight

John Petro, S.Sgt

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHY WE FIGHT As we celebrate Memorial Day, the world is different from what it was two decades ago. 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 TV…

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History of Star Wars: Premiered 47 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 then that it was…

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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 Who’s Tommy: 55 Years Ago

Tommy album

HISTORY OF THE WHO’s TOMMY Fifty-five years ago today, on May 23, 1969, the British rock group The Who released the double-album rock opera Tommy in the U.K. Commercially, the record went Gold in the U.K. and Double Platinum in the U.S. It was released in the U.S. on May 17 or 19; reports vary.…

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Coronal Mass Ejection: Existential Threat from Methanogenic Cattle

cme copy

CORONAL MASS EJECTION AND METHANOGENIC CATTLE Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) are plasma and magnetic field explosions from the Sun’s corona. When aimed at Earth, they trigger geomagnetic storms, affecting infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on the surface. These storms can disrupt various systems, such as electric power grids, GPS navigation, and Netflix. Climate scientists have…

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History of Pentecost

Pentecost

HISTORY OF PENTECOST The Feast of Pentecost is taken from the Greek word πεντηκόστη, which means “the 50th,” referring to the fiftieth day after the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter. In the Jewish calendar, this aligns with the harvest festival Shavuot, known as the “Feast of Weeks,” which occurs seven weeks (7 × 7…

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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 79 Years Ago

front page ve day

HISTORY OF VE-DAY Seventy-nine years ago today, World War II ended in Europe with the Allies accepting the 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 article on…

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