Pop Culture

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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Black Friday

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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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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World Tai Chi Day

History of World Tai Chi Day

By billpetro / April 25, 2020 /

While World Tai Chi Day started back in 1999, the history of Tai Chi goes back centuries. Learn the origins and history of this Chinese Martial Art.

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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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History of Towel Day

By billpetro / May 25, 2019 /

HISTORY OF TOWEL DAY May 25 celebrates Towel Day as a day to honor Douglas Adams, the author of the five (or six) book trilogy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Originally created in May of 2001 to mark the passing of English science fiction humor author Douglas Adams, the day is set aside for fans of…

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jrr tolkien

History of J.R.R. Tolkien: A 100-Year Love Affair

By billpetro / December 31, 2017 /

HISTORY OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN: A 100 YEAR LOVE AFFAIR I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien‘s latest book published in June, Beren and Luthien which he began writing 100 years ago. How is that possible, when he died in 1973? His youngest son and literary executor — Christopher Tolkien who is now 93 — has been publishing his…

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