Pop Culture

The Beatles

History of The Beatles

By billpetro / February 7, 2021 /

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 Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2021 /

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 68 years ago today 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, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED On February 3, 1959, a plane crash occurred in Iowa during a snowstorm shortly after 1 am which killed three young rock and roll singers who would go down in history: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Their story would later be captured as…

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

By billpetro / January 26, 2021 /

HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA DAY Did you know that the history of European Australia has ties to the American Revolutionary War? Back 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…

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Macintosh

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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A Christmas Carol

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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