History of New Year’s Eve

TimesSquare

HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S EVE New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year, according to the Gregorian Calendar, and is known as Old Year’s Day, or St. Sylvester’s Day. You may remember reading that Emperor Constantine was considered the first “Christian” Roman Emperor? St. Sylvester is responsible for Constantine’s conversion in the 4th-century. …

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History of Christmas Eve and the Battle of the Bulge: 77 Years Ago

Snow Fighters

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: 77 YEARS AGO On Christmas Eve, 1944, my father, Staff Sergeant John Petro, had arrived in Strasbourg with the 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division. Eight days earlier, the Battle of the Bulge had begun. The 42nd Division, along with others, supplied much-needed reinforcements to the most…

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History of The Nutcracker: the Ballet That’s a Christmas Tradition

TheNutcracker

HISTORY OF THE NUTCRACKER: THE BALLET THAT’S A CHRISTMAS TRADITION On December 18, 1892, The Nutcracker premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, a week before Christmas.   Nutcracker Popularity The Nutcracker has had such an enduring influence on the celebration of Christmas for more than a century that no one even…

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History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

Veterans Day

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the sense of writing down appointments, so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are important…

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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 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 Memorial Day: Which War?

Arlington

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHICH WAR? Memorial Day was not universally recognized as a shared American Holiday until after World War I. But that’s not how it started in the United States. When did it begin?   Civil War and Memorial Day Following the American Civil War or the “War Between the States,” as it…

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History of V-E Day: End of WWII in Europe 76 Years Ago

VE_Day

HISTORY OF V-E DAY Seventy-six years ago today, World War II ended in Europe with the acceptance by the Allies of unconditional surrender from Germany on V-E Day. Or did it?   May 7, 1945 V-E Day Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, as I describe in my…

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History of the Liberation of Dachau: April 29, 1945

History of the Liberation of Dachau

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU: APRIL 29, 1945 I remember what my father had told me of his involvement in the liberation of Dachau, shortly before he died in 1976. Some of his war buddies discovered the tribute site I’d created for him and called or emailed me to recount stories I’d not known…

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History of Holocaust Remembrance Day

History of Holocaust Remembrance Day

History of Holocaust Remembrance Day Today, April 8, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a part of Holocaust Days of Remembrance, established by the U.S. Congress as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. The U.S. Army remembers the six million Jewish and millions of other victims of the Holocaust and honors the survivors’ resilience. In…

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History of the Liberation of Dachau — a Personal Reflection

Rainbow

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU, a Personal Reflection On April 29, 1945, 75 years ago, toward the end of World War II, the Allies captured and liberated Dachau. My father, Staff Sergeant John Petro, was one of the liberators. It was one of the few stories from The War that my father told me…

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