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…

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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 —…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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History of St George and the Dragon

St George

HISTORY OF ST GEORGE AND THE DRAGON Saint George’s Day is April 23, likely the day of his martyrdom. He is often depicted as a knight in armor. He is the patron saint of England, and his day has been celebrated there from the 9th century and more recently throughout the British Commonwealth… though he…

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History of Amazing Grace, part 2: William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 2: William Wilberforce As I mentioned in my first article on the History of Amazing Grace, this is the story of the lives of two men and that one song. In the first part, we discussed the life of the song’s author John Newton. The 2007 film “Amazing Grace,” however,…

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History of Amazing Grace, part 1

Amazing Grace

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passing a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a large role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow…

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History of the Super Bowl: Just another Religious Holiday?

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl™ is a territory acquisition athletic contest played on a fixed agrarian grid using, as a token, an inflated porcine prolate spheroid. It is the most important holiday of the year in America some will say. While it is ostensibly a secular holiday, others argue that it is truly a religious holiday. And…

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History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the Disney Classic

Peter Pan

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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History of The Day The Music Died

American Pie

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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