History of St James Day: and the Camino de Santiago

Rembrant St James

HISTORY OF ST JAMES DAY: AND THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO July 25 is the Feast Day of St James, and St James Day is accordingly celebrated by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and some Protestants. For Orthodox churches that follow the Julian calendar, it’s April 30. Each summer, pilgrims walk the Camino de Santiago or the Way…

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History of Bastille Day: It’s Relation to the French Revolution

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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History of the American Experiment: A Democracy or A Republic?

Self-government

HISTORY OF THE UNIQUE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: A DEMOCRACY OR A REPUBLIC? Since 1776, our 246-year experiment with non-monarchical government is rather unique in history. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 officially ended the War of the American Revolution against the colonial power that had previously ruled us, Great Britain. King George III of Great Britain…

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History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

Ben Franklin

HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. He invented the glass harmonica in music, 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…

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History of John Adams

John Adams

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the…

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History of the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

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

Canada Flag

HISTORY OF CANADA DAY As the U.S. will soon celebrate its Independence Day, Canadians have a celebration of their own. Canada Day (Fête du Canada) marks the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when the three independent colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, were united into a single dominion. The British North American Act, known today…

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History of St. John the Baptist Day

St John the Baptist

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 not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the Feast…

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Science of the Summer Solstice: Start of Summer

Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning “Sun, standing-still.” The Summer Solstice occurs on June 21 at 09:14 UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich, England, is the prime meridian — the zero point for longitude lines. Why is UTC the abbreviation for Coordinated Universal…

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History of Juneteenth: and the Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH: and the Emancipation Proclamation June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, marks the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 — and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 — this formerly obscure holiday is now observed…

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