Pop Culture

All You Need Is Love

History of The Beatles All You Need Is Love

By billpetro / June 25, 2021 /

HISTORY OF ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE On June 25, 1967, The Beatles released the song “All You Need Is Love.” At that time, they participated in the Our World TV show, which used the recently constructed satellite system and broadcast their performance across the globe. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said later, “It was the…

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D-Day

History of D-Day: 77 Years Ago

By billpetro / June 4, 2021 /

HISTORY OF D-DAY Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for three-quarters of a century? On Twitter, the hashtag is #DDay77 Seventy-seven years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. D-Day was the largest invasion by…

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Golden Gate Bridge

History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 84 Years Old

By billpetro / May 26, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE This week we celebrate the 84th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened to traffic after taking over five years to build. I remember asking my father when I was young: “Why isn’t the Golden Gate Bridge golden?” He didn’t…

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Star Wars

History of Star Wars

By billpetro / May 25, 2021 /

HISTORY OF STAR WARS The original Star Wars movie premiered on May 25, 1977. In November of 1976, I picked up a new science fiction novel called “Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker” by George Lucas. I did not know at the time that it was ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster, a popular…

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King James Bible

History of the King James Bible: 410th Year of the Authorized Version?

By billpetro / May 2, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE Churches around the world celebrated a quadricentennial, plus 10: 410 years ago marked the publishing, at the request of the Anglican clergy, of what would become the Authorized Version of the Bible, to wide acclaim. But there are 3 problems with that statement. While it is true that the…

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HeadlessNero

History of Erasing Unpopular Leaders: Damnatio Memoriae

By billpetro / February 25, 2021 /

HISTORY OF ERASING UNPOPULAR LEADERS: DAMNATIO MEMORIAE During the early Roman Empire two millennia ago, an emperor might be deified after he died if he was popular and good. (Think: the Divine Augustus.) Alternatively, if he was unpopular and wicked, he was “erased” from society’s memory. The Latin term Damnatio Memoriae means the condemnation of…

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Fourth Estate

History of the Fourth Estate: The Press

By billpetro / February 11, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE FOURTH ESTATE: THE PRESS When you hear about The Fourth Estate, it usually means The Press. Where did the term Fourth Estate come from? What do we mean by The Press, and how has it changed in modern times? I conclude with a cautionary tale from early U.S. history.   Origin of…

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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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Hamilton -- The Musical

History of Hamilton – The Musical

By billpetro / July 3, 2020 /

HISTORY OF HAMILTON – THE MUSICAL Hamilton – The Musical, how accurate historically is the recent Broadway blockbuster, currently available on Disney+ TV?  It’s based on the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, but does Hamilton – The Musical compare favorably to the actual history?   The Set-Up As an aficionado of musical…

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Drugs

History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 3, Drugs

By billpetro / June 28, 2020 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: DRUGS When I was a Resident Assistant at Berkeley in the early ’70s, a local police officer I knew gave me a tour down Telegraph Avenue. He told me: “All the major drug deals on the West Coast go down within a two-block stretch of Telegraph Avenue.…

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Tommy album

History of The Who’s Tommy: 51 Years Ago

By billpetro / May 23, 2020 /

HISTORY OF THE WHO’s TOMMY Fifty-one years ago today, on May 23, 1969, the British rock group The Who released the double-album rock opera, Tommy. Commercially the record went Gold in the UK and Double Platinum in the US. Several of the songs were released as singles that charted in the Top 20 in both…

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The Rise of Skywalker

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker [No Plot Spoilers]

By billpetro / December 20, 2019 /

MOVIE REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER [No Plot Spoilers] When George Lukas originally discussed Star Wars, he intended it to be a series of three trilogies. He started with the middle trilogy, beginning with Star Wars (my history on it here,) later called Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. He followed that…

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