History of Woman Suffrage Procession: March 3, 1913

March 3, 2024
Woman Suffrage Procession

History of Woman Suffrage: March 3, 1913 On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as President of the United States, thousands of women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., as part of the Woman Suffrage Procession. This was done: “in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.”   What is Suffrage? Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections, and referendums. The Latin word suffragium means “the right to vote.” Related posts: History of the 19th Amendment: Women’s Right…

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Movie Review: Dune, Part Two (no spoilers)

March 1, 2024
dune 2

Movie Review: Dune, Part Two (no spoilers) Today, March 1, marks the opening of the long-awaited sequel to the film Dune, Part One. It is expected to be one of the largest debuts of 2024. (See my previous review article on the saga’s history, my chat with the author Frank Herbert 45 years ago, the origin of the book(s), and how other sagas like Star Wars relied on it.) There are no plot spoilers in this review. Here’s my initial take after seeing it: Stunning, spectacular, breathtaking, epic, awesome, mesmerizing, gob-smacking, jaw-dropping, revolutionary, kinetic, shattering. Or, if you prefer a…

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History of March: Why in like a Lion and out like a Lamb?

March 1, 2024

HISTORY OF MARCH The month that can come in “like a lion and out like a lamb” is named after Mars, the Roman god of war (and agriculture). Indeed, in French, the month is called Mars. March, or Martius as it was known in ancient Rome, is the first month of Spring. It was considered a favorable season for travel, planting, or beginning a military campaign. March 1 in the Northern Hemisphere marks the beginning of the meteorological Spring and was the original New Year’s Day of Rome until at least 153 B.C. when it was changed to December or…

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History of Leap Year

February 28, 2024
leap year 29

HISTORY OF LEAP YEAR The Leap Day, February 29, depicts a day that occurs only once every four years, every Leap Year or intercalary year when an extra day is inserted into the calendar. But not every fourth year; if that year ends in “00,” like 1900, then it is not a Leap Year. Except if that year ending in 00 is also divisible by 400, then it is a Leap Year. Unless it is a Tuesday and it is dark. OK, I made up that last rule. So, years like 2024 are Leap Years, being divisible by 4. But…

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History of Amazing Grace: Abolition of the British Slave Trade, part 2

February 23, 2024
William Wilberforce

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 2: William Wilberforce As I mentioned in my first article on the History of Amazing Grace, this is the story of the lives of two men and that one song. In the first part, we discussed the life of the song’s author, John Newton. However, the 2007 film “Amazing Grace” is about the life of one of Newton’s protégés, William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was well known to the Framing Fathers of the American Revolution. In his day, he became not just a politician, philanthropist, and abolitionist – but also a writer of such popularity at the…

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History of Amazing Grace: Abolition of the British Slave Trade, part 1

February 22, 2024
Amazing Grace

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passed a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a significant role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow up to become a preacher. But he lost his mother when he was six years old, and at the age of eleven, he followed his sea-captain father to the sea. He did not take to the discipline of the Royal Navy and deserted ship, was…

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History of Presidents Day: More than just Washington and Lincoln?

February 16, 2024
Presidents Day

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTS DAY During my lifetime, two American holidays were consolidated into one. In 1971, a day between Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and Washington’s Birthday on February 22 became a single holiday, Presidents Day. It is alternately spelled President’s Day or Presidents’ Day – to be observed on the third Monday in February to honor all the past Presidents of the United States and to get a three-day weekend. Related posts: History of James Madison: Father of the Constitution History of Military Stalemates: Why We Have Proxy Wars History of Alexander Hamilton

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History of St. Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2024
st valentine

HISTORY OF ST. VALENTINE’S DAY The day we associate with love and romance has a history that traces back almost three millennia to ancient Rome but winds through Roman North Africa, England, and the United States. St. Valentine was martyred on February 14. However, Valentine or Valentinus is the name of at least three martyred saints. The most celebrated are the two martyrs whose festival days fall on February 14. One was a Roman priest, the other a bishop of Terni.   Historical Context of St. Valentine Legend would indicate that both lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (Gothicus)…

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History of Ash Wednesday

February 14, 2024
Ash Wednesday

HISTORY OF ASH WEDNESDAY In the Western church, the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday, derived from the ceremonial use of ashes as a symbol of penitence in the service prescribed for the day. It follows Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, and ends with Easter 40 days later, not counting Sundays. It is practiced by Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican denominations, Roman Catholics, and some Baptists. The Eastern Church practices the Great Lent during the 40 days preceding Palm Sunday, with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. The ash represents repentance and a…

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