History Articles

History of Fall: What is the Autumnal Equinox?

September 23, 2022 /
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FallHISTORY OF THE FALL: What is the Autumnal Equinox?

This time of year represented New Year’s Day, according to the French Republican Calendar. However, since that calendar was only in use from 1793 to 1805, following the fall of the French monarchy in 1792, very few still celebrate this day.

 

Date of Autumn

Instead, September 22 or 23 marks the beginning of Fall or Autumn associated with the Equinox. This word is made up of two Latin root words aequus and nox meaning “equal night” referring to the fact that daylight and nighttime are equal in duration.
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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day: Avast Ye!

September 19, 2022 /
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Talk Like a PirateHISTORY OF TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY

The International Talk Like A Pirate Day began not back in the “Golden Age of Pirates” in days of yore but in 2002. It was celebrated each year on September 19; though it started in the United States, it is now celebrated internationally across the Seven Seas.

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Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: Tomorrow, from England

September 18, 2022 /
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Queen Elizabeth II

FUNERAL OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

 

As I write this from Keswick, in the north of England, on the day before the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the feeling of national mourning is palpable around me. The country grieves for the loss of their Queen, everyone’s ”gran.” One rarely passes by a shop window here that does not have a picture of the Queen in it.

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History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

September 17, 2022 /
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OktoberfestHISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST

Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts on the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days.

And it’s back this year; Oktoberfest 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Let’s look back at Oktoberfest’s origin.

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History of the Constitution of the United States: 235 Years Ago

September 16, 2022 /
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Constitution-Preamble

HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

On September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was created. Though it would take until

  • June 21, 1788, to be ratified and until
  • March 4, 1789, to be effective

In a very real sense, it was the founding document of the federal governmental system of the United States of America. Even to a greater extent than the Declaration of Independence, which was more of a “bill of divorcement” from England, the Constitution described how the United States would operate as a nation.

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History of Ethiopian New Year: What is Enkutatash?

September 12, 2022 /
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Ethiopian FlagHISTORY OF ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR: WHAT IS ENKUTATASH?

Why is your friendly neighborhood historian writing about the Ethiopian New Year? A couple of years ago, the Washington Post interviewed me for an article they were publishing on the subject. The Washington D.C. area has over 200,000 Ethiopian-Americans who celebrate the holiday this year on September 12.

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History of 9/11, Twenty-one Years Ago: Patriot Day

September 9, 2022 /
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9-11HISTORY OF PATRIOT DAY: 9/11

On 9/11, twenty-one years ago, more Americans were killed on American soil in one day than in any attack since Pearl Harbor in 1941. A series of terrorist airplane highjacking attacks occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon… and the world changed. As the events of December 7, 1941, led to war, so too did the events of September 11, 2001.

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The Passing of Queen Elizabeth II

September 8, 2022 /
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Elizabeth IITHE PASSING OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

BALMORAL, Scotland, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the nation’s figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new king, her eldest son Charles, said.

As I write this from England, people are already gathering at Buckingham Palace.

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History of Star Trek: 56 Years Ago and Today

September 8, 2022 /
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Star TrekHISTORY OF STAR TREK

Star Trek premiered on NBC TV on September 8, 1966… 56 years ago. It is my favorite show; I was glued to the TV for the first episode and every one after that. It significantly influenced my life and my choice of a career in technology.

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History of the Fall of the Roman Empire: the Short Version

September 4, 2022 /
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Fall of RomeHISTORY OF THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

On September 4, 476 AD,  Odoacer captured the city of Ravenna and deposed Emperor Romulus Augustus, marking the Fall of the Roman Empire. What do we mean by the Fall of the Roman Empire?

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History of Labor Day: What’s Work Got To Do With It?

September 2, 2022 /
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Labor DayHISTORY OF LABOR DAY

Labor Day is when we celebrate the process our mothers went through to deliver us at birth. Sorry, wrong holiday; Labor Day in the U.S. is the day we celebrate the achievements of the American labor movement.

While it is still disputed whether Peter J. McGuire first proposed the holiday, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters, or Matthew Maguire, a machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York — observances of the holiday go back over a century in the U.S.

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History of J.R.R. Tolkien: A 100-Year Love Affair

September 1, 2022 /
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The Rings of Power

HISTORY OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN: A 100-YEAR LOVE AFFAIR

Tonight begins the Amazon Prime TV series “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” which depicts the Second Age of Tolkien’s legendarium, set over three thousand of years before the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This is expected to be the most expensive TV series in history, with over $1 Billion spent on the rights from the Tolkien Estate (for $250 Million) and production costs.

Below is my 2017 article written on the publication of his book describing one of the foundational stories of Middle-earth.

Beren and Luthien

I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s latest book published in June [2017], Beren and Luthien, which he began writing 100 years ago. How is that possible when he died in 1973?

His youngest son and literary executor — Christopher Tolkien, who is now 93 [he has since died in 2020] — has been publishing his father’s unfinished works over the last 40 years, starting with the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, namely the epic pre-history, The Silmarillion, back in 1977.
Indeed, Christopher published more of his father’s books after his father died in 1973 than his father brought to printed form while he was alive. This summer, perhaps for the last time, as he recounts in the preface to this book, he brings his father’s works to life one more time. This time, it is Tolkien’s most beloved romance.
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