History of Coffee: International Coffee Day

Coffee

HISTORY OF COFFEE: INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY Yesterday, September 29, was National Coffee Day in the US and 16 other countries. But tomorrow, October 1, is International Coffee Day, shared by the National Coffee Day in 12 countries.

Read More

History of Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah

HISTORY OF ROSH HASHANAH Rosh Hashanah designates the beginning of the Jewish new year, starting tomorrow — which, according to the Jewish calendar, begins at sundown tonight. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head,” and Rosh Hashanah refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical…

Read More

History of Talk Like a Pirate Day: Avast Ye!

Talk Like a Pirate Day

HISTORY 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.

Read More

History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

Oktoberfest

HISTORY 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 and 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…

Read More

History of Ethiopian New Year: What is Enkutatash?

HISTORY 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.

Read More

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

9-11 Firefighters

HISTORY 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,…

Read More

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

Labor Day

HISTORY 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…

Read More

History of September: The Start of Fall

September

HISTORY OF SEPTEMBER You may have noticed that September sounds like the Latin word for Seven. And you’d be perceptive — septem is the Latin word for seven, and this month used to be the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar. This Latin numbering follows with the year’s remaining months, as I’ve highlighted below:…

Read More

History of the Holidays: the Backstory of Holidays

HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS Welcome to this year’s edition of the History of the Holidays. I’m Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian. From now through the Spring or vernal equinox, we celebrate most of the major secular and sacred holidays. This series recounts the backstory, the history behind the major American holidays, some of the…

Read More

History of the 19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote, 102 Years Ago

Women's Equality Day

HISTORY OF THE 19TH AMENDMENT: WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE Over a hundred years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. This prohibited both the Federal and State governments from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States based on sex. Effectively, this meant that the…

Read More