Pop Culture

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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Mach 1

History of Mach 1: 73 Years Ago – Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

By billpetro / October 14, 2020 /

THE HISTORY OF MACH 1 On June 10, 1948, The U.S. Air Force confirmed that Capt. Chuck Yeager had repeatedly attained supersonic speeds in the Bell X-1. Background But it was on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, now 97 and a Brigadier General (retired), actually broke the sound barrier for the first time. I met…

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October 10

History of October 10: 42 Day

By billpetro / October 10, 2020 /

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 10: 42 DAY Question: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Answer: 42   Question: What does that mean? I met Douglas Adams about 30 years ago when he spoke to Sun Microsystems, where I was working at the time. I have never heard anyone…

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Oktoberfest

History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

By billpetro / September 23, 2020 /

HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days. But not this year, Oktoberfest 2020 has been canceled due to to the Coronavirus pandemic. So let’s look back at…

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Large Enterprise

History of Star Trek

By billpetro / September 8, 2020 /

HISTORY OF STAR TREK Star Trek premiered on NBC TV on September 8, 1966… 54 years ago. It is my favorite show; I was glued to the TV for the first episode and every one after that. It had a significant influence on my life in my choice of a career in technology. It represented…

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