Bastille Day

HISTORY OF BASTILLE DAY Each year on July 14, Bastille Day is celebrated to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in Paris on this date in 1789, an important date in the French Revolution. Also known as French National Day, it features feasting, fireworks, public dancing, and an address by the French President. However, the…

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John Adams

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the…

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HISTORY OF THE 4th OF JULY: THOMAS JEFFERSON Perhaps no one person is more associated with the 4th of July in American History than Thomas Jefferson, probably because it was his hand that penned the immortal Declaration of Independence. As my friend Clay Jenkinson — who has been portraying Jefferson for over 20 years —…

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HISTORY OF CANADA DAY As the US will soon celebrate their Independence Day, Canadians have a celebration of their own. Canada Day (Fête du Canada) celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when the three independent colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single dominion. On that date the British North American Act, known…

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HISTORY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY The Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sometimes called St. John the Baptist Day, is celebrated on June 24 in many places around the world, though not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the feast…

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Fathers Day

HISTORY OF FATHERS DAY [NOTE: I wrote a more extended and more serious version of this article for CBS.com a couple of years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities around the country. You can find an example here.] Origin of Fathers Day The celebration of Father’s Day goes…

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Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE The word Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “Sun, standing-still.” This year the Summer Solstice occurs on June 20 at 21:44 UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, or Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Summer Time This is also known as the Northern Solstice as the Sun is positioned…

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