History of Amazing Grace: Abolition of the British Slave Trade, part 2

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. However, the 2007 film “Amazing Grace”…

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History of Amazing Grace: Abolition of the British Slave Trade, part 1

Amazing Grace

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passed 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 significant 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: A Humorous Look at the Religious Holiday

super bowl lviii logo

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

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History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the 71-Year-Old 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 71 years ago 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 1:00 AM, killing three young rock and roll singers who would go down in history: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. They were part of the 24-day “Winter Dance…

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History of Australia Day: Ties to the American Revolutionary War?

AustraliaFlag

HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA DAY Did you know that the history of European Australia has ties to the American Revolutionary War? When the 13 American Colonies were part of the British Commonwealth, it was convenient for England to transport its convicts to the Colonies. Indeed, it was considered more humane to “transport” prisoners than to execute…

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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…

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How Gunpowder Mixed with Parliament

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For my friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night.” All over Britain, people shoot 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 with…

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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 actually on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, who died in 2020, broke the sound barrier, Mach 1, for the first time. I…

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History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

Woodstock

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, despite thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of its time.…

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