Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

die hard

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

Read More

History of Guy Fawkes Night: How Gunpowder mixed with Parliament

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…

Read More

History of Mach 1: Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

Mach 1

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.   Yeager’s Background But it was on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, who died in 2020, actually broke the sound barrier, Mach 1, for the first time.  …

Read More

History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. This outdoor music event, in spite of thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of…

Read More

History of William Wilberforce: Champion of British Slavery Abolition

William Wilberforce

HISTORY OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE 188 years ago today, on July 26, 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act passed its third reading in the House of Commons, ensuring the end of slavery in the British Empire. It was authored by William Wilberforce. August 24 marks the birthday of British statesman and England’s greatest abolitionist William Wilberforce. He…

Read More

History of The Olympics

Olympics

HISTORY OF THE OLYMPICS While the modern Olympic Games go back to 1896, the ancient Olympic Games reach back as far as 776 B.C. and beyond. Though historians hang the beginning on that date, it seems the Games had been going on for several centuries before the 8th century B.C. Held originally in Olympia, Greece —…

Read More

History of St. John the Baptist Day

St John the Baptist

HISTORY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY The Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sometimes called St. John the Baptist Day, is celebrated on June 24 in many places around the world, though not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the Feast…

Read More

History of D-Day: 77 Years Ago

D-Day

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…

Read More

History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 84 Years Old

Golden Gate Bridge

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…

Read More

History of Star Wars

Star Wars

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…

Read More