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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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 St. John the Baptist Day: Midsummer

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 worldwide, though not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the Feast of the…

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History of Groundhog Day

HISTORY OF GROUNDHOG DAY Groundhog Day comes from Candlemas Day, observed for centuries in parts of Europe on February 2. The custom was to have the clergy bless candles — representing how long winter would be — and distribute them to the people. Pagan This seems to have derived from the pagan celebration of Imbolc —…

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

jrr tolkien

HISTORY OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN: A 100-YEAR LOVE AFFAIR Tonight begins the Amazon Prime TV series “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” which depicts the Second Age of Tolkien’s legendarium, set over three thousand of years before the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This is expected to be the most expensive TV series in…

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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 before. 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 initially in Olympia, Greece, the…

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History of Star Trek: Over Half a Century

HISTORY OF STAR TREK Star Trek premiered on NBC TV September 8, 1966, 52 years ago. It is my favorite show; I was glued to the TV for the first episode and every one after that. It had a major influence on my life in my career in technology. It represented an optimistic vision of…

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