History of Sukkot: Festival of Booths

Sukkot

HISTORY OF SUKKOT: FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS Tonight at sunset, September 20, begins the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Festival of Booths or Festival of Tabernacles. We’ve talked about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but this holiday is significant because it is considered one of the three “pilgrimage” festivals in the Jewish calendar. The…

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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

HISTORY OF TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY The International Talk Like A Pirate Day began not back in the Golden Age of Pirates in days of yore but in 2002. It was celebrated each year on September 19; though it started in the United States, it is now celebrated internationally across the Seven Seas. The Tale…

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History of the Constitution of the United States: 234 Years Ago

Constitution Preamble

History of the Constitution of the United States On September 17, 1787, the US Constitution was created. Though it would take until June 21, 1788, to be ratified, and until March 4, 1789, to be effective, In a very real sense, it was the founding document of the governmental system of the United States of…

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History of Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur

HISTORY OF YOM KIPPUR The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah and continue until Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” or more correctly Yom ha-Kippurim (Leviticus 16), goes back to Jewish antiquity almost 4,000 years to the time of Moses. This most solemn occasion of the Jewish Festival cycle was the season…

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History of Ethiopian New Year: What is Enkutatash?

HISTORY OF ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR: WHAT IS ENKUTATASH? Why is your friendly neighborhood historian writing about the Ethiopian New Year? A couple of years ago, the Washington Post interviewed me for an article they were publishing on the subject. The Washington D.C. area has over 200,000 Ethiopian-Americans who celebrate the holiday this year on September 12.…

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History of Star Trek: 55 Years Ago and Today

Large Enterprise

HISTORY OF STAR TREK Star Trek premiered on NBC TV on September 8, 1966… 55 years ago. It is my favorite show; I was glued to the TV for the first episode and every one after that. It had a significant influence on my life in my choice of a career in technology. The show…

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History of Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah

HISTORY OF ROSH HASHANAH Rosh Hashanah designates the beginning of the Jewish new year, starting tomorrow — which according to the Jewish calendar begins at sundown tonight. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head” and Rosh Hashanah refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical…

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History of Labor Day

Labor Day

HISTORY OF LABOR DAY Labor Day is the day we celebrate the process our mothers went through 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 by Peter…

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History of the Fall of the Roman Empire

Fall of Rome

HISTORY OF THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE On this date, September 4, 476 AD,  Odoacer captured the city of Ravenna and deposed Emperor Romulus Augustus, marking the Fall of the Roman Empire. What do we mean by the Fall of the Roman Empire?   What do we mean by Roman Empire? This part of the statement…

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History of September

September

HISTORY OF SEPTEMBER You may have noticed that September sounds like the Latin word for Seven. And you’d be perceptive — septem is the Latin word for seven, and this month used to be the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar. This Latin numbering follows with the year’s remaining months, as I’ve highlighted below:…

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History of I Have A Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. — 58 Years Ago

I Have A Dream

HISTORY OF I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH Today, it was 58 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It continues to echo down the halls of history almost six decades later. On August 28, 1963, the occasion for his speech was the March on Washington at…

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History of the 19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote, 101 Years Ago

Women's Equality Day

HISTORY OF THE 19TH AMENDMENT: WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE Over a hundred years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. This prohibited both the Federal government and State governments from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States based on sex. Effectively, this meant that…

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