History of the Diet of Worms: Martin Luther on Trial 500 Years Ago

April 17, 2021
Luther Memorial, Worms

HISTORY OF THE DIET OF WORMS: MARTIN LUTHER ON TRIAL 500 YEARS AGO It was five hundred years ago today, April 17, 1521, that Martin Luther appeared on trial before the most powerful ruler in Europe, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. While the name may sound unappetizing, the Diet of Worms was a formal imperial deliberative assembly in the German city of Worms called to have Martin Luther either reaffirm or renounce his teachings. In German, it’s called the “Reichstag zu Worms.” Following Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Door on October 31, 1517, several…

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History of Tax Day

April 15, 2021

HISTORY OF TAX DAY This year, in an unprecedented move not seen since last year’s unprecedented move, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for Federal Income Tax filing. This year, instead of being due today, April 15, the new deadline for individual tax filers is May 17 due to the Coronavirus pandemic… at least for individual tax filers. However, if you’re an individual who has to pay estimated taxes quarterly, those are still due for Quarter 1 of 2021 on April 15, even though the 2020 extension isn’t due till May 17. Got it? It turns out that…

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History of Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 8, 2021
History of Holocaust Remembrance Day

History of Holocaust Remembrance Day Today, April 8, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a part of Holocaust Days of Remembrance, established by the U.S. Congress as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The U.S. Army remembers the six million Jewish and millions of other victims of the Holocaust and honors the survivors’ resilience. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I have been to three of the most renowned among the…

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History of Easter: The Players: Where are They Now?

April 5, 2021
The Players

HISTORY OF EASTER: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLAYERS AFTERWARD You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” And well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas‘ taking as his own wife his brother’s wife Herodias led to his ruin. Actually, it led to his exile and death. Her ambition pushed him where he would not have otherwise gone. Antipas’ nephew and Herodias’ brother, Herod Agrippa (who we meet in the New Testament book the Acts of the Apostles…

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History of Easter: Why Bunnies and Eggs?

April 4, 2021
Vintage bunny

HISTORY OF EASTER The most joyous of Christian festivals and one of the first celebrated by Christians across the Roman Empire commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is set on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. The English word Easter corresponding to the German “Oster,” reveals the association of many Easter customs with those of the Teutonic tribes of central Europe. When Christianity reached these people, it incorporated many of their “heathen” (of the heath) rites into the great Christian feast day, according to the Venerable Bede, a monk who wrote the first history of…

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History of Good Friday

April 2, 2021

HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY For centuries pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took on Good Friday. Starting at the judgment seat of Pilate at the Antonia Fortress in the eastern part of the city immediately north of the Temple, the path follows 14 “Stations of the Cross” to the ultimate location at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of the crucifixion and burial. Several years ago, I walked this road, and though historically anachronistic — some of these roads did not exist during the time of Christ…

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History of April Fools’ Day

April 1, 2021
April Fools Day

HISTORY OF APRIL FOOLS’ DAY April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is the name given to the custom of playing practical jokes on friends on that day or sending them on fools’ errands. The origin of this custom has been much disputed; it is in some way a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on the old New Year’s Day celebrations of March 25, ended on April 1. Another view is that it is a farcical commemoration of Jesus’ trials during Passion Week in Jerusalem when he was sent from Annas‘ House…

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History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

April 1, 2021
The Trial

THE TRIAL OF JESUS Beginning Thursday night and extending into Friday morning of Holy Week, the trial of Jesus which led to his crucifixion was, in reality, a series of about half a dozen trials, which were distributed across several locations in Jerusalem. Some of these locations are captured in the tradition of the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow, a series of sites that Christian pilgrims take through the streets of modern Jerusalem commemorating the last hours before Jesus’ arrival at Golgotha on Good Friday. Related posts: History of Easter: The Sanhedrin — Who was this Council? History of Easter:…

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History of World Backup Day

March 31, 2021
World Backup Day

HISTORY OF WORLD BACKUP DAY There isn’t much history, as the first celebration of this geek holiday was in 2011. World Backup Day is only a decade old. But the need is real, now more than ever before. Especially in light of this salient fact: April Fools’ Day. March 31, the day before, is an excellent time to check your backups. On the eve of the day famous for pranks, this might be your last chance. You may have learned at the University of Hard Knocks that it’s not a question of “if” you’re going to lose your data, but…

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History of the Diet of Worms: Martin Luther on Trial 500 Years Ago

April 17, 2021

HISTORY OF THE DIET OF WORMS: MARTIN LUTHER ON TRIAL 500 YEARS AGO It was five hundred years ago today, April 17, 1521, that Martin Luther appeared on trial before the most powerful ruler in Europe, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. While the name may sound unappetizing, the Diet of Worms was a formal…

Read More

History of Tax Day

April 15, 2021

HISTORY OF TAX DAY This year, in an unprecedented move not seen since last year’s unprecedented move, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for Federal Income Tax filing. This year, instead of being due today, April 15, the new deadline for individual tax filers is May 17 due to the Coronavirus pandemic… at…

Read More

History of Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 8, 2021

History of Holocaust Remembrance Day Today, April 8, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a part of Holocaust Days of Remembrance, established by the U.S. Congress as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The U.S. Army remembers the six million Jewish and millions of other victims of the Holocaust and honors the survivors’ resilience. In…

Read More

History of Easter: The Players: Where are They Now?

April 5, 2021

HISTORY OF EASTER: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLAYERS AFTERWARD You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” And well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas‘ taking as his own wife his brother’s…

Read More

History of Easter: Why Bunnies and Eggs?

April 4, 2021

HISTORY OF EASTER The most joyous of Christian festivals and one of the first celebrated by Christians across the Roman Empire commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is set on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. The English word Easter corresponding to the German “Oster,” reveals the association of many…

Read More