History of Presidents Day: More than just Washington and Lincoln?
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 Presidents’ Day, or incorrectly as President’s Day (it’s plural) — to be observed on the…Read More
History of the Super Bowl: Just another Religious Holiday?
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. And there…Read More
History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?
HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. He invented the glass harmonica in music, but he also created the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia. He did experiments with electricity and developed the lightning…Read More
History of Martin Luther King, Jr.: His life, dream, and legacy
HISTORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Born on January 15, 1929, we celebrate a holiday in honor of a man who was not a president, an explorer, or a saint. Instead, he was a Baptist minister and an American leader of the 1960s civil rights movement named after the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther after his…Read More
History of the First American Christmas: 1776
HISTORY OF THE FIRST AMERICAN CHRISTMAS: 1776 It is called the first “American” Christmas because the Declaration of Independence was created the previous summer, essentially “divorcing” America from England and declaring our country an independent nation. Admittedly, the country had not yet created a solid form of government. The Articles of Confederation had not yet…Read More
History of Thanksgiving Indian: Why Squanto already knew English
HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING: FRIENDLY INDIAN SQUANTO We’ve all heard how the Pilgrims, landing in Massachusetts four hundred years ago on the Mayflower in 1620, were ill-equipped to survive the harsh winters of the New World. We’ve also heard how they met a Native American Indian of the Patuxet tribe, Squanto, who befriended them. He taught them…Read More
History of Thanksgiving: the Secular and the Sacred
HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING The origin of Thanksgiving Day in America has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America the year after their arrival on the…Read More
History of John F Kennedy
HISTORY OF JOHN F KENNEDY For one brief shining moment… On November 22, 1963, a shot rang out in Dallas, Texas, ending the life of John F. Kennedy, the most popular post-WWII President. He was the youngest American President voted to the office, having succeeded Dwight D Eisenhower, the oldest President at the time. Kennedy…Read More
History of the Gettysburg Address
HISTORY OF THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS Abraham Lincoln, on this day in 1863, began his address in Gettysburg: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. With only nine more sentences, he dedicated a…Read More
History of Election Day: Why we Vote on a Tuesday in November
History of November: That In-between Month
HISTORY OF NOVEMBER November is the penultimate month of the year, meaning “next to the last.” It was the ninth month (Latin: novem) until the ancient Romans shoehorned in January and February. November enjoys the distinction of being situated between the two biggest holidays in the American calendar. October has Halloween, the #2 candy revenue holiday…Read More
History of the Kirking of the Tartans: Is it really Scottish?
HISTORY OF THE KIRKING OF THE TARTANS This Sunday, all over the world, many churches will observe the Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans, a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. What is The Kirking of the Tartans? Kirking Etymologically Kirking, from the Scots word kirk, which means church, in this usage, means “blessing.” Tartans are the…Read More