History of the 1st Moon Landing – Apollo 11: 52 Years Ago

Moon Landing

HISTORY OF THE 1ST MOON LANDING: APOLLO 11 Fifty-two years ago today, at 3:17 Eastern Time, July 20, 1969, the first human stepped out of the Apollo 11 lunar module onto the moon. With the immortal words of the 38-year-old Neil Armstrong: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” …the…

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History of James Madison

James Madison

HISTORY OF JAMES MADISON In this, the last of our articles on the Founding Fathers, we look at James Madison. He has correctly been called “the Father of the Constitution,” and one might think that the Constitution became active on July 5, 1776, but this is not how it happened. The American Constitution didn’t go…

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History of Alexander Hamilton

AH

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity recently, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.   Birth of Alexander Hamilton Hamilton was born in Charlestown, Nevis, in the Caribbean, out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, of British & French Huguenot descent. She…

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History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

Ben Franklin

HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. In music, he invented the glass harmonica, but he also invented the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia. He did experiments in electricity and developed the lightning…

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History of John Adams

John Adams

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the…

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History of the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

HISTORY OF THE 4th OF JULY: THOMAS JEFFERSON Perhaps no one person is more associated with the 4th of July in American History than Thomas Jefferson, probably because it was his hand that penned the immortal Declaration of Independence. As my friend Clay Jenkinson — who has been portraying Jefferson for over 20 years —…

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History of Father’s Day: the Beginning

Fathers Day

HISTORY OF FATHERS DAY [NOTE: I wrote a more extended and more serious version of this article for CBS.com a couple of years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities around the country. You can find an example here.]   Origin of Fathers Day The celebration of Father’s Day…

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History of Juneteenth: and the Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, marks the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 — and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 — this formerly obscure holiday is now observed across the United States…

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History of Flag Day

Flag Day

HISTORY OF FLAG DAY June 14 is the day the United States celebrates Flag Day. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary…

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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 Presidents Day: More than just Washington and Lincoln?

Presidents Day

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTS DAY During my lifetime, two American holidays got consolidated into one. In 1971, a day between both Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and Washington’s Birthday on February 22 became a single holiday, Presidents Day — alternately spelled President’s Day or Presidents’ Day — to be observed on the third Monday in February,…

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