augustus

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August; previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans. This was back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally ten months (… Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C., decided to honor their…

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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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thom jefferson 719521

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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Julius Caesar

HISTORY OF JULY The month of July was renamed for Julius Caesar, who was born in that month. Before that, it was called Quintilis in Latin, meaning the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar. This was before January became the first month of the calendar year about the year 450 BC. We currently use…

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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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flagday

HISTORY OF FLAG DAY June 14 is the day the United States celebrates Flag Day. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary…

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boalsburg

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY The city of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, an American village on the National Historic Register, claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, as do at least 24 other towns in America. I first visited this hamlet near State College, home of Penn State University, decades ago. Boalsburg’s claim goes back to a…

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