Pop Culture

History of Macintosh: a 37 Year Love Affair

By billpetro / January 22, 2021 /

HISTORY OF MACINTOSH: A 37 YEAR LOVE AFFAIR The now-famous Macintosh computer turns 37. When Apple President Steve Jobs launched this computer at the Flint Center on De Anza College campus on January 24, 1984, to the theme from Chariots of Fire, he called it “insanely great!” The $1.5M “1984” Super Bowl commercial filmed by…

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Auld Lang Syne

History of Auld Lang Syne: What Does It Mean?

By billpetro / December 30, 2020 /

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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Christmas Truce

History of the Christmas Truce of 1914: Peace in the WWI Trenches

By billpetro / December 25, 2020 /

History of the Christmas Truce of 1914: The Surprising Peace in the WWI Trenches

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History of the Santa Tracker: How a Typo began Christmas tracking at NORAD

By billpetro / December 22, 2020 /

History of the NORAD Santa Tracker: How a typo began Christmas tracking at NORAD

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5 Christmas Myths

5 Christmas Myths, Not Found in the Nativity Story

By billpetro / December 20, 2020 /

5 CHRISTMAS MYTHS: NOT FOUND IN THE NATIVITY STORY I’m often asked to explain the history behind a holiday or the origin of a popular tradition. Is it based on history, tradition, or legend? The best historical sources we have on the birth of Jesus are found in two of the Gospel accounts in the…

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History of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas

By billpetro / December 19, 2020 /

History of A Christmas Carol and the impact of Charles Dickens’ classic

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Beethoven

History of Beethoven: 250th Anniversary — 5 Things You Didn’t Know

By billpetro / December 17, 2020 /

HISTORY OF BEETHOVEN: 250TH ANNIVERSARY — 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW The renowned German composer and virtuoso pianist Ludwig van Beethoven celebrates his 250th anniversary today. Anniversary of what? Here are 5 things you may not have known about the famous composer who came to fame between the Classical and Romantic periods of European music.  …

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die hard

Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

By billpetro / December 17, 2020 /

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” for centuries. 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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Covent Garden Theatre inside

History of A Sacred Oratorio: How was popular Christmas music considered scandalous and profane?

By billpetro / December 3, 2020 /

HISTORY OF A SACRED ORATORIO The genteel reception accorded the original debut performance stood in marked contrast to the savage hostility which greeted the work less than a year later in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London. The English aristocracy and churchmen began an unrelenting campaign against the work and its creator. They labeled…

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History of Black Friday: One Day Only?

By billpetro / November 26, 2020 /

What is the origin of Black Friday, and the modern practice around it.

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How gunpowder mixed with Parliament

By billpetro / November 5, 2020 /

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

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WorldSeries2019

History of the World Series

By billpetro / October 24, 2020 /

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, held in October and sometimes called the Fall Classic, has already infringed upon the territory of the next athletic contest run-up with the football…

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