History of Holiday Fruitcake

Fruitcake one

HISTORY OF HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE You may be wondering: “My friendly neighborhood historian is writing an article on fruitcake? Is he as nutty as a fruitcake?” And therein begins our tale…     The Phrase “Nutty as a Fruitcake” Nutty as a fruitcake was first recorded in 1935, but the adjective nutty, meaning “crazy or eccentric,”…

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Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

die hard

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated for centuries the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help…

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History of Daylight Saving Time – Fall Back

Daylight Saving

HISTORY OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME – ENDING Daylight Saving Time, or DST, is a brilliant campaign to convince us that we’re getting more daylight each day when in reality, we’ve simply changed our clocks and then forgotten about it within two weeks. DST begins each year at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March…

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History of November: That In-between Month

November

HISTORY OF NOVEMBER November is the penultimate month of the year, meaning “next to the last.” It used to be the ninth month (Latin: novem) until the ancient Romans shoehorned in January and February. November enjoys the distinction of being situated between the two biggest holidays in the American calendar… at least revenue-wise. October has…

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History of the World Series

World Series

HISTORY OF THE WORLD SERIES The World Series is over a hundred years old, starting in 1903 as a contest between the National League and the American League. This sporting event, usually held in October, but this year in November, and sometimes called the Fall Classic, has already infringed upon the territory of the next…

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History of October 10: 42 Day

October 10

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 10: 42 DAY Question: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Answer: 42   Question: What does that mean? I met Douglas Adams about 30 years ago when he spoke to Sun Microsystems, where I was working at the time. I have never heard anyone…

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History of October: the Pumpkin Spice Saga

October

HISTORY OF OCTOBER: THE PUMPKIN SPICE SAGA October, the tenth month of the year in both the older Julian and the current Gregorian calendar, was the 8th month (Latin octo) in the ancient Roman calendar, but with the addition of January and February, it got bumped to #10. This month is significant because, according to…

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History of 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. The Tale…

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History of Friday the 13th

Friday The 13th

HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13TH If you’re reading this article to learn the history of Friday the 13th, you’re in luck. Or perhaps bad luck. No one knows, with any certainty, when it began or why it’s to be feared. However, there are lots of entertaining speculative theories about the topic.     What is…

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History of French Fries

French Fries

HISTORY OF FRENCH FRIES: NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY Today is National French Fry Day. While no one knows who began this celebration, placing in on July 13 is significant in that the important French holiday is the next day, July 14, for Bastille Day.   History of French Fries Some French people might call the…

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History of Father’s Day: the Beginning

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…

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