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Holidays

History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the limited sense of writing down appointments so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are…

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How gunpowder mixed with Parliament

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

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History of November: That In-between Month

HISTORY OF NOVEMBER November is the penultimate month of the year, meaning next to the last. It used to be the ninth month (Latin: novem) until January and February were shoehorned in by the ancient Romans. November enjoys the distinction of being situated between the two biggest holidays in the American calendar… at least revenue-wise.…

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History of October 31: What’s Martin Luther got to do with it?

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 31 See my mini-series here on the life of Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, the story goes, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany 95 propositions or theses and marked the beginning of the Reformation. Of course, the Reformation began long…

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History of Halloween

HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN Halloween (Allhallows Even) is the evening of October 31. In its strictly religious aspect, this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day, November 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. In the fourth decade of the 8th century, Pope Gregory III moved this holiday to the…

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History of the Kirking of the Tartans: is it really Scottish?

HISTORY OF THE KIRKING OF THE TARTANS This Sunday all over the world many churches will observe the Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans, a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. What is The Kirking of the Tartans? Etymologically Kirking, from the Scots word kirk which means church, in this usage means “blessing.” Tartans are the traditional…

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History of the World Series

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HISTORY OF THE WORLD SERIES The World Series is over a hundred years old, starting in 1903 as a contest between the National League and the American League. This sporting event, held in October and sometimes called the Fall Classic has already infringed upon the territory of the next athletic contest run-up with the football season…

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History of Christopher Columbus

HISTORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS The man who sailed from Spain to discover America was neither Spanish nor did he actually discover America. But it was true that: In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue Origin He was actually Italian, born in 1451 to a wool merchant in Genoa and first went to…

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