Pop Culture

st valentine

History of St. Valentine’s Day

By billpetro / February 14, 2024 /

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.…

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year of the dragon

History of Chinese New Year: Lunar New Year

By billpetro / February 10, 2024 /

HISTORY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This is China’s oldest, longest, and most important social and economic holiday. Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. It starts this year on February 10, though the celebrations continue for around two weeks. Chinese…

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super bowl lviii logo

History of the Super Bowl: A Humorous Look at the Religious Holiday

By billpetro / February 9, 2024 /

The Super Bowl™ is a territory acquisition athletic contest played on a fixed agrarian grid using – as a token – an inflated porcine prolate spheroid. Some will say it is the most important holiday of the year in America. While it is ostensibly a secular holiday, others argue it is truly a religious holiday.…

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Super Bowl Avocados

History of the Avocado: The Super Bowl Food

By billpetro / February 8, 2024 /

HISTORY OF THE AVOCADO: THE SUPER BOWL FOOD Why are avocados, especially guacamole dip, considered a required food for Super Bowl Parties? What’s the background?   Californian Avocados California, which has 60,000 acres of avocado orchards, has an avocado growing season running from March through August… not exactly friendly to the date of the Super…

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The Beatles

History of The Beatles: Coming to America February 7, 1964

By billpetro / February 6, 2024 /

HISTORY OF THE BEATLES On February 7, 1964, The Beatles landed at JFK Airport in New York. The airport had recently been renamed by a mourning country in honor of President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just 77 days earlier. The airport was now full of 4,000 greeters. Not realizing why there was such a…

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Peter Pan

History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the 71-Year-Old Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2024 /

HISTORY OF PETER PAN All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.   So begins my favorite Walt Disney animated movie, Peter Pan, which debuted 71 years ago on February 5, 1953. The original movie poster said: “It will live in your heart forever” …and indeed it has. Why was this…

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American Pie

History of The Day The Music Died

By billpetro / February 3, 2024 /

HISTORY OF THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED On February 3, 1959, a plane crash occurred in Iowa during a snowstorm shortly after 1:00 AM, killing three young rock and roll singers who would go down in history: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. They were part of the 24-day “Winter Dance…

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History of Groundhog Day

By billpetro / February 2, 2024 /

HISTORY OF GROUNDHOG DAY Groundhog Day comes from Candlemas Day, observed for centuries in parts of Europe on February 2. The custom was to have the clergy bless candles – representing how long winter would be – and distribute them to the people.   A Pagan Holiday This seems to have derived from the pagan…

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Mozart

History of Mozart: Today’s his Birthday

By billpetro / January 27, 2024 /

HISTORY OF MOZART Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, but he was baptized under the name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.   What’s In A Name As an adult, he referred to himself as “Wolfgang Amadè Mozart,” signing his marriage certificate that way. His baptismal name was Latinized, as was common in…

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AustraliaFlag

History of Australia Day: Ties to the American Revolutionary War?

By billpetro / January 26, 2024 /

HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA DAY Did you know that the history of European Australia has ties to the American Revolutionary War? When the 13 American Colonies were part of the British Commonwealth, it was convenient for England to transport its convicts to the Colonies. Indeed, it was considered more humane to “transport” prisoners than to execute…

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Macintosh

History of Macintosh: a 40-Year Love Affair

By billpetro / January 22, 2024 /

How 40 years ago the Apple Macintosh iconic personal computer forever changed how we think about computing.

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Auld Lang Syne

History of Auld Lang Syne: What Does the Song Mean?

By billpetro / December 30, 2023 /

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…

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