The person most active initially 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 to campaign for national recognition of this day for all mothers through the assistance of John Wanamaker and the efforts of Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. The first state to recognize Mother’s Day was her own West Virginia in 1910. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the “second Sunday in May” as Mother’s Day in 1914. The spelling was significant: Anna Jarvis did not spell it “Mothers’ Day” because she intended, as she said it should “be singular possessive, for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.” Nevertheless, in more modern times both “Mothers’ Day” and “Mother’s Day” appear as names for this holiday.
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, as the condiment had its origin with the French, who will come into our story later. Nor does it have to do with County Mayo in Ireland, though we’ll make sure the Irish get into this story at some point. Rather, the “Battle of Cinco de Mayo” or specifically the Battle of Puebla, occurred on May 5, 1862.
President Benito Juarez, who had been Zapotec Indian Minister of Justice in Juan Alvarez‘ cabinet in the 1850’s, entered Mexico City on January 11, 1861, and promptly expelled the Spanish minister, the papal legate, and members of the episcopate. Additionally, he took steps to enforce the decrees of 1859, dis-endowing and disestablishing the church. He could not have known then that almost a century later, “antidisestablishmentarianism” would become the longest word in the English dictionary. Although Juarez was recognized by the United States and had received both moral and military aid from the US, there were over $80,000,000 in debts at that time to Europe alone. The Mexican Congress on July 17, 1861, decreed the suspension for two years of interest payments on the external national debt, and three months later a convention occurred between Great Britain, France, and Spain calling for joint intervention in Mexico.
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?
“May the Fourth” is taken from the benediction “May the Force be with you” made famous in the Star Wars film series. This pun intended holiday seems to have first been celebrated in the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011. However, the use of this phrase predates this, going back to the day in 1979 when Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman prime minister was elected. The Conservative party, upon the occasion of her officially becoming Prime Minister on May 4th, took out a half-page newspaper ad in the London Evening News that said: “May the Fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations.”
HISTORY OF HITACHI: FOUNDERS DAY, FROM 1910
The multinational conglomerate Hitachi, Ltd., traces its history back to Namihei Odaira, a 19th-century pioneering electrical engineer. In Japan, during the Meiji Era of the late 1800s, with the move from a feudal society to an industrialized nation-state, the country wanted to take their place among the nations of the world with modern scientific technology. Because most electrical machinery was imported into Japan from other countries, Odaira wanted to develop home-grown technology “for the advancement of Japanese industry.”
In 1906 in the Ibaraki Prefecture of the Kanto region of Japan, about 90 km from Tokyo, Odaira worked at the newly opened Hitachi Mine repairing electric machinery. He also began developing hydroelectric power plants and railways for the mine. Although the mine is now closed, during its 70-year history, it was the oldest known ore deposit and one of Japan’s richest copper mines. (more…)
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.
It is known in the pagan world as Beltane, a fertility celebration, one of the four high holidays in the pagan and neo-pagan calendar, Samhain on October 31 is another. Beltane is the day of fire commemorating Bel or Belenos, the Celtic sun god. Indeed, in the modern Irish language, Bealtaine is the name for May.
The early Anglo-Saxons began their celebration on the eve before, feasting the end of winter and the first planting. It was a time of revelry and abandon with the selection of a “May Queen” and the ribbons of the Maypole.
Today is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, celebrated at 10 am local time in cities around the world. This is held the last Saturday of April each year.
While this global celebration has been going on since 1999, now there are hundreds of cities across 80 countries and six continents around the world. Historically, it was started in Kansas City in 1998 by Bill Douglas and Angela Wong Douglas, co-authors of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi and Qigong” who went on to found the international part of the event.
This event involves exhibitions in local parks and public areas of Tai Chi forms and Qigong exercises. Details of this can be found at WorldTaiChi.org. (more…)
HISTORY OF ST. MARK
Mark the Evangelist is the author of the earliest written gospel, the Gospel of Mark, which appeared within about 30 years of the crucifixion of Jesus in the late ’60s. His feast day is April 25 for Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He is significant historically both as the writer of the earliest Gospel and as the patron saint of Venice.
The name Mark also appears elsewhere in the New Testament. One is John Mark, mentioned in The Book of Acts chapters 12, 13, and 15. The Pauline epistles of Colossians and Philemon mentions Mark as the cousin of the evangelist Barnabus, who was an early traveling companion of St. Paul. The early Christian theologian Hippolytus of Rome of the early 3rd century believed that these are three different Marks. But your friendly neighborhood historian disagrees, as the only existing copy of this treatise on this topic appeared in Greece less than 200 years ago and is considered by most scholars to be pseudepigraphical. I believe all three Marks were the same man: the writer of the Gospel, John Mark, and the cousin of Barnabus.
April 22 is called Earth Day because it both commemorates and celebrates the observance of the anniversary of our discovery of planet Earth. At this time by all accounts, there is general agreement that Earth is far superior to the planet from which we came, as we shall recount below. Meanwhile, several companies on Earth celebrate it as a holiday, as mine does, or draw significant attention to it with feats of Interweb and mobile legerdemain.
Google has gained ground going green, gathering gajillions of G-Suite guests giddy with great gobs of gleefully garnered gigabytes of storage.
You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” And well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story?
You may remember that I had said Antipas‘ taking as his own wife his brother’s wife Herodias led to his ruin. Actually, it led to his death. Her ambition pushed him where he would not have otherwise gone. Antipas’ nephew and Herodias’ brother, Herod Agrippa (who we meet in the New Testament book the Acts of the Apostles as one of the early persecutors of the new church) had spent and borrowed much money while he was in Palestine. He lived much of his time in Rome and was a close friend of the future Emperor Gaius (the infamous Caligula). While riding in a chariot with Caligula, he commented that he could not wait until the then Emperor Tiberius was no longer Caesar so that Caligula might have his rightful place. A loyal slave overhearing this relayed it to Tiberius who had Agrippa thrown into prison.