Secular

History of the Ides of March: Who should Beware?

Ides of March

HISTORY OF THE IDES OF MARCH According to the ancient Roman calendar, the ides fell on the 13th of the month with the exception of the months March, May, July, and October, when it fell on the 15th of the month. Something epochal occurred in 44 B.C. Et tu, Brute? It was on March 15,…

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History of Presidents Day: More than just Washington and Lincoln?

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTS’ DAY During my lifetime, two American holidays got consolidated into one. In 1971, a day between both Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and Washington’s Birthday on February 22 became a single holiday, Presidents Day — alternately spelled President’s Day or Presidents’ Day — to be observed on the third Monday in February,…

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History of St. Valentine’s Day

HISTORY OF ST. VALENTINE’S DAY St. Valentine was martyred on February 14. However, Valentine or Valentinus is the name of at least three martyred saints. The most celebrated are the two martyrs whose festivals fall on February 14, the one, a Roman priest, the other, bishop of Terni. Context It would appear from legend that both…

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History of the Super Bowl: Just another Religious Holiday?

Super Bowl LIII

HISTORY OF THE SUPER BOWL The Super Bowl™ is a territory acquisition athletic contest played on a fixed agrarian grid using, as a token, an inflated porcine prolate spheroid. It is the most important holiday of the year in America some will say. While it is ostensibly a secular holiday, others argue that it is…

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History of Groundhog Day

HISTORY OF GROUNDHOG DAY Groundhog Day comes from Candlemas Day, observed for centuries in parts of Europe on February 2 where the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. This seems to have derived from the pagan celebration of Imbolc — the Feast of the goddess Bridget, or…

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History of Australia Day

HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA DAY Did you know that the history of European Australia is tied to the American Revolutionary War? Back when America was part of the British Commonwealth, it was convenient for England to transport its convicts to the Colonies. Indeed, it was considered more humane to “transport” prisoners than to execute them, and…

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History of Ben Franklin

HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. Musically he invented the glass harmonica, but he also invented the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia. He did experiments in electricity and developed the lightning rod.…

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History of New Year’s Resolutions: Where did they begin?

HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS As we mentioned earlier, New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. Where did we get the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and why at the beginning of the year? Roman The month of January gets its…

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