History of Presidential Transitions: Has It Always Been Like Now?

January 18, 2021
Presidential Transitions

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS: WAS IT ALWAYS LIKE NOW? We think that our most current change in Presidential administration is contentious. But our national history has seen worse. And it goes back over 200 years to the third Presidential election, and several since then. Presidential Transition: from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson Perhaps the most contentious election in all of U.S. history was that of 1800. The incumbent President, Federalist John Adams — who was the second President, having served as Vice President to the first President George Washington, ran against Democratic-Republican candidate Thomas Jefferson — Adams’ Vice President at the…

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History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

January 17, 2021

HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. Musically he invented the glass harmonica, 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 rod. He was considered: America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical, though not most profound, political thinkers. — Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Ben Franklin in America Born on January 17, 1706 *,…

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History of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 2021
Martin Luther King, Jr.

HISTORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Born on January 15, 1929, we celebrate a holiday in honor of a man who was not a president, nor an explorer, nor a saint. Rather he was a Baptist minister and an American leader of the 1960s civil rights movement named for the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther after his father was inspired by a trip to Luther’s Wittenberg. Though President Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1977, it was not until 1986 that a day was established on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. The…

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History of Epiphany: Ends the 12 Days of Christmas?

January 5, 2021

HISTORY OF EPIPHANY Epiphany occurs in the Christian calendar on January 6. It signifies the event of the Magi, or Wise Men, visiting the baby Jesus, and is known in some Latin cultures as Three Kings Day. In the Eastern (Orthodox and Oriental) churches, it is known as the Feast of Theophany (God Manifest), commemorating Jesus’ baptism with the attendant appearance of the Holy Spirit as a dove and the voice of God the Father. This story is recounted in all four Gospels of the New Testament. This date is also tied to Jesus’ miracle of changing the water to wine at the…

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History of New Year’s Resolutions: Where Did They Begin?

January 2, 2021

HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS As I mentioned previously, New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March, but later changed to January by the Romans. Where did we get the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and why at the beginning of the year?   Roman New Years Resolutions The month of January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backward into the old year and forwards into the new. Janus was also the patron and protector of arches (Ianus in Latin), transitions, time, gates, doors, doorways, endings, and beginnings. He was…

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History of Telemachus: the Monk Who Ended the Roman Gladiatorial Games – January 1, A.D. 404

January 1, 2021
ColosseumX

History of Telemachus: the Monk Who Ended the Roman Gladiatorial Games – January 1, A.D. 404 January 1, A.D. 404 marked the last known gladiatorial games in Rome. What part did an obscure Christian monk from the East play in this epic change in Roman entertainment? This is the story of St. Telemachus, whose festival is celebrated today and has been remembered throughout the last 1600 years. You may have never heard of the name. Or you know it as the name of the son of Homer’s Odysseus (Ulysses,) who was tutored and protected by Mentor while his father was…

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History of 2020: It Wasn’t the Beginning of the New Decade?

December 31, 2020
2020

2020: IT WASN’T THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW DECADE? With the beginning of the 2020 New Year, you saw articles everywhere that discussed the end of the decade or declared that 2020 was the beginning of the new decade. But 2021 is the beginning of the new decade.   Q: Isn’t 2020 the beginning of the new decade? 2020 is the beginning of a new decade — as any year is But it is not the beginning of the new decade   Q: But the year ends in Zero. If 2010 was the beginning of the decade, and 2000 was…

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History of New Year’s Day: Why on January 1?

December 31, 2020

History of New Year’s Day: Why on January 1? It wasn’t always on this date. This article discusses its history.

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History of Auld Lang Syne: What Does It Mean?

December 30, 2020
Auld Lang Syne

HISTORY OF AULD LANG SYNE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN Why is it that each New Year’s Eve, we sing “Auld Lang Syne,” but do we know what it means? The song contains words from a language that few are familiar with, in a syntax that is confusing to most, and is from a poem about friends recalling adventures they had long ago but had nothing to do with New Year’s Eve.   What does Auld Lang Syne mean? Literally, it means Old Long Since, but the syntax is more naturally translated as since long ago or more familiarly for old…

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History of Presidential Transitions: Has It Always Been Like Now?

January 18, 2021

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS: WAS IT ALWAYS LIKE NOW? We think that our most current change in Presidential administration is contentious. But our national history has seen worse. And it goes back over 200 years to the third Presidential election, and several since then. Presidential Transition: from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson Perhaps the most…

Read More

History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

January 17, 2021

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

Read More

History of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 2021

HISTORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Born on January 15, 1929, we celebrate a holiday in honor of a man who was not a president, nor an explorer, nor a saint. Rather he was a Baptist minister and an American leader of the 1960s civil rights movement named for the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther after his…

Read More

History of Epiphany: Ends the 12 Days of Christmas?

January 5, 2021

HISTORY OF EPIPHANY Epiphany occurs in the Christian calendar on January 6. It signifies the event of the Magi, or Wise Men, visiting the baby Jesus, and is known in some Latin cultures as Three Kings Day. In the Eastern (Orthodox and Oriental) churches, it is known as the Feast of Theophany (God Manifest), commemorating Jesus’ baptism with…

Read More

History of New Year’s Resolutions: Where Did They Begin?

January 2, 2021

HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS As I mentioned previously, New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March, but later changed to January by the Romans. Where did we get the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and why at the beginning of the year?   Roman New Years Resolutions The…

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