History of D-Day: 77 Years Ago

D-Day

HISTORY OF D-DAY Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for three-quarters of a century? On Twitter, the hashtag is #DDay77 Seventy-seven years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. D-Day was the largest invasion by…

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History of June

HISTORY OF JUNE June represents the halfway point of the year, being the sixth of the twelve months of both the Gregorian calendar — which we use currently in the West — and also the earlier Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, the namesake of July. Where do we get the name for June?  …

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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: 84 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 Star Wars

Star Wars

HISTORY OF STAR WARS The original Star Wars movie premiered on May 25, 1977. In November of 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 it was ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster, a popular…

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History of Mother’s 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 V-E Day: End of WWII in Europe 76 Years Ago

VE_Day

HISTORY OF V-E DAY Seventy-six years ago today, World War II ended in Europe with the acceptance by the Allies of unconditional surrender from Germany on V-E Day. Or did it?   May 7, 1945 V-E Day Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his Berlin bunker 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 in…

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History of the King James Bible: 410th Year of the Authorized Version?

King James Bible

HISTORY OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE Churches around the world celebrated a quadricentennial, plus 10: 410 years ago marked the publishing, at the request of the Anglican clergy, of what would become the Authorized Version of the Bible, to wide acclaim. But there are 3 problems with that statement. While it is true that the…

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History of May Day

May Day

HISTORY OF MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone (same sounding word) for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez,” meaning “Help me!” It is a holiday claimed by many.   May Day as a Pagan Holiday It is known…

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History of the Liberation of Dachau: April 29, 1945

History of the Liberation of Dachau

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU: APRIL 29, 1945 I remember what my father had told me of his involvement in the liberation of Dachau, shortly before he died in 1976. Some of his war buddies discovered the tribute site I’d created for him and called or emailed me to recount stories I’d not known…

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