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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How gunpowder mixed with Parliament

By billpetro / November 5, 2019 /

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 Mach 1: 72 Years Ago – Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

By billpetro / October 14, 2019 /

THE HISTORY OF MACH 1 On June 10, 1948, The U.S. Air Force confirmed that Capt. Chuck Yeager had repeatedly attained supersonic speeds in the Bell X-1 Background But it was on October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager, now 96 and a Brigadier General (retired), actually broke the sound barrier for the first time. I met him…

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History of Star Trek

By billpetro / September 7, 2019 /

HISTORY OF STAR TREK Star Trek premiered on NBC TV September 8, 1966… 53 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. It represented an…

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History of Woodstock: 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / August 15, 2019 /

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the “3-days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. I’d like to share with you what it was like to be there — the music,…

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History of William Wilberforce

By billpetro / July 26, 2019 /

HISTORY OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE 186 years ago today, on July 26, 1833, the Emancipation Act passed its third reading in the House of Commons, ensuring the end of slavery in the British Empire. It was authored by William Wilberforce. August 24 marks the birthday of British statesman and England’s greatest abolitionist William Wilberforce. He was…

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History of St. John the Baptist Day

By billpetro / June 24, 2019 /

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 no much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the feast…

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History of D-Day: 75 Years Ago

By billpetro / June 6, 2019 /

HISTORY OF D-DAY Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for three-quarters of a century? #DDAY75 Seventy-five 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 sea in all of history,…

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History of Towel Day

By billpetro / May 25, 2019 /

HISTORY OF TOWEL DAY May 25 celebrates Towel Day as a day to honor Douglas Adams, the author of the five (or six) book trilogy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Originally created in May of 2001 to mark the passing of English science fiction humor author Douglas Adams, the day is set aside for fans of…

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History of The Olympics

By billpetro / February 9, 2018 /

HISTORY OF THE OLYMPICS While the modern Olympic Games go back to 1896, the ancient Olympic Games reach back as far as 776 B.C. and beyond. While historians hang the beginning on that date, it seems the Games had been going on for several centuries prior to the 8th century B.C. Held originally in Olympia, Greece…

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