Tag Archives: United States

The Beatles – Back in the USSR


The Beatles - Back in the USSR

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: HARRIET QUIMBY FLIES OVER ENGLISH CHANNEL (1912)


Harriet Quimby Flies over English Channel (1912)

In 1911, Harriet Quimby earned the first pilot’s license issued to a woman in the United States. Less than a year later, Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She continued piloting aircrafts until her tragic death in 1912, when she was tossed from her airplane after it unexpectedly pitched forward. Despite the importance of her flight over the English Channel, the feat barely made the newspapers at the time because it was eclipsed by what major event? More… Discuss

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MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: “Nearer My God To Thee” I SALONISTI


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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Shostakovich: Ballet Suite No. 4



The Queer Urban Orchestra, under the direction of Nolan Dresden, performs Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ballet Suite No. 4 at our Mysterium concert, March 20, 2011. The work is in three movements: I – Introduction and Variations; II – Waitz; and III – Scherzo.

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: PAN AMERICAN DAY


Pan American Day

The International Union of American Republics (now called the Pan American Union)—general secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS)—designated April 14 as Pan American Day in 1930. Although each member country holds its own celebration, it is at the Pan American Union building in Washington, D.C., that one of the largest observances takes place. Students from all over the Western Hemisphere travel to Washington where, against a backdrop of flags in the courtyard of the House of the Americas, they perform folk songs and dances. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: ROD STEIGER (1925)


Rod Steiger (1925)

American actor Rod Steiger got his start in the 1950s and quickly made a name for himself in Hollywood. Over the course of the next five decades, he appeared in dozens of motion pictures. He was thrice nominated for an Academy Award and won once—for his portrayal of Sheriff Bill Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night. As a teen, Steiger ran away from home to join the US Navy during World War II, but later his refusal to glorify war led him to turn down the title role in what film? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: FIGURE SKATING


Figure Skating

Figure skating is a sporting event involving spins, jumps, and a variety of other moves, performed on ice, often to music. The skates used by figure skaters differ from those used in other ice-based sports, as they are designed to accommodate the specific movements common in this sort of skating. For example, they have a set of jagged teeth at the front of the blade that facilitate jumping. How has television played a role in the development of the rules of competitive figure skating? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Henry Clay (1777)


Henry Clay (1777)

Clay, known as the “Great Compromiser,” was an American statesman and orator who served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. His multiple bids for the presidency all failed, but he was nevertheless extremely influential in US politics. He orchestrated the Missouri Compromise between free and slave states, and he attempted to strengthen the nation’s economy through his American System. Though he opposed slavery and favored emancipation, Clay only freed his own slaves upon what? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: HARRY TRUMAN BECOMES 33RD PRESIDENT OF THE US (1945)


Harry Truman Becomes 33rd President of the US (1945)

Truman was the 33rd president of the US. He is remembered for authorizing the use of atomic bombs against Japan and for his opposition to Communism. A Democrat who largely accepted the New Deal tradition, he presided over victory in World War II and the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. His administration also oversaw the beginning of the Cold War and the desegregation of the US armed forces. What famous headline ran in the Chicago Tribune the day after Truman won his second term? More… Discuss

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Great Compositions/Performances: Jascha Heifetz plays Wieniawski Polonaise No. 1 in D Major


Jascha Heifetz plays Wieniawski Polonaise No. 1 in D Major,
Op. 4.

Accompanist: Emanuel Bay

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: LEO CALVIN ROSTEN (1908)


Leo Calvin Rosten (1908)

Rosten was an American teacher, screenwriter, and humorist. He is best remembered for his stories about a night-school “prodigy” named Hyman Kaplan, which debuted in The New Yorker in the 1930s and were later published in book form under a pseudonym. His The Joys of Yiddish is a humorous guide to the Yiddish language and Jewish culture. Rosten is quoted as having once said that “any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad!” To whom was he referring when he made this remark? More… Discuss

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QUOTATION: Victor Hugo “Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.”


Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT (1905)


J. William Fulbright (1905)

Fulbright, a Rhodes Scholar, served in the US Department of Justice, taught law, and was president of the University of Arkansas before becoming a member of US Congress. His Fulbright Act provides grants that enable thousands of Americans to study abroad and allow overseas students to study in the US. It was passed into law in 1946 and earned him international recognition. Fulbright’s Senate career was marked by his opposition to the Vietnam War and what other notable cases of dissent? More… Discuss

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Frederick Delius – Florida Suite



Lloyd-Jones, David. English Northern Philharmonia
Evans, Irene; Francis, Sarah; Glanville, Susannah; Lees, Susan; Pearce, Sue; Thomas, Shirley
Frederick Delius – Florida Suite
1. Daybreak – Dance 00:11:43
2. By the River 00:07:09
3. Sunset – Near the Plantation 00:10:10
4. At Night 00:08:09

 

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“O Joyful Day,” Anonymous Slavic 17th century motet trans. Mark Bailey



American Baroque Orchestra
Mark Bailey, artistic director

From a live 2013 performance entitled, “Music across the Nations,” this Slavic part-song or kant is arranged for two instrumental groupings that trade musical lines, and then play as a united ensemble for the final time. These part songs reveal the first significant wave of western music to influence regions such as Ukraine and Russia. They were sung para-liturgically, i.e. based on sacred themes but not designed in the church service per se. Because they were strophic and tuneful, part songs were very popular for many decades. They lend themselves quite well to instrumental ensembles and likely were played that way as well.

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Via YouTube National Geographic Channel Injured D.C. Snowy Owl Gets “New” Wing



A snowy owl that got hit by a bus and burned, possibly by a chimney, in Washington, D.C., has been fitted with new feathers on its damaged wing. The operation, called imping, was performed at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.

Read more about the owl and the operation:
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.c…

VIDEOGRAPHER: Phil Ladisa, The University of Minnesota Raptor Center
EDITOR: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo
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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ARMENIA MOTHERHOOD AND BEAUTY DAY


Armenia Motherhood and Beauty Day

This is a national holiday in Armenia, celebrated each year on April 7. It comes not long after another national holiday,Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8. Women’s Day is meant to honor all women, but Motherhood and Beauty Day is dedicated especially to those who have become mothers. Children and adults alike show their affection for their mothers with special visits, cards, and gifts. Sending flowers to one’s mother is an especially popular way to mark this holiday. Another tradition associated with the day is the gift of a twig that has fresh sprouts on it. More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: HOSTESS TWINKIES ARE INVENTED (1930)


Hostess Twinkies Are Invented (1930)

The Twinkie was invented by baker James Dewar, who noticed that the shop’s shortcake pans were only used during the strawberry season and otherwise sat idle. His thrifty idea to use the pans during the off-season led to the development of the banana-filled Twinkie snack cake. During a World War II banana shortage, vanilla filling replaced the original banana. Twinkies disappeared from US shelves in 2012 when Hostess declared bankruptcy but returned in 2013. What is the “Twinkie defense”? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: MAYA ANGELOU (1928)


Maya Angelou (1928)

Angelou is an African-American writer and performer and the author of several volumes of poetry. Her seven autobiographical volumes, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, recount her traumatic youth and explore themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression. In 1993, she was given the honor of reciting her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration. Angelou was not always so vocal; she endured several years of mutism in childhood. What triggered it? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON DIES OF PNEUMONIA (1841)


William Henry Harrison Dies of Pneumonia (1841)

When at age 68 Harrison became the 9th president of the US, he was the oldest man yet to step into that role. Despite his age, he paid little heed to the cold, wet weather on the day of his inauguration and proceeded to deliver the longest inaugural speech in US history—without hat or overcoat. Pneumonia claimed his life a month later, making him the first American president to die in office and making his presidency the briefest ever. According to legend, he was the first victim of what curse? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: STARBUCKS


Starbucks

Over the past four decades, Starbucks has become a global phenomenon, transforming the way people—Americans in particular—consume coffee—whether for the better is still a matter of dispute. The first Starbucks store was opened in Seattle, Washington, in 1971 by two teachers and a writer who wanted to sell high-quality coffee beans and machines. It has since grown into a multibillion-dollar corporation with thousands of coffeehouses worldwide. What are the origins of the Starbucks name and logo? More… Discuss

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Video

Spring is back…and so I’m on the trail (my photo collection)


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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: WILLIAM MANCHESTER (1922)


William Manchester (1922)

Manchester, an American historian, biographer, and bestselling author, published 18 books during his lifetime, including three popular volumes on US president John F. Kennedy. His writings have been translated into multiple languages. He served as a Marine during World War II, and his wartime experiences formed the basis for Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War. Why did Jacqueline Kennedy file a lawsuit to prevent the publication of Manchester’s The Death of a PresidentMore… Discuss

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WORD: SLEIGHT


sleight 

Definition: (noun) Adroitness in using the hands.
Synonyms: dexterity
Usage: Only through his unequaled sleight can the juggler manage to keep eight chainsaws safely aloft. Discuss.
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Great Compositions/Performances: Béla Bartók – Román népi táncok / Dansuri populare românești / Rumanian Folk Dances



Béla Bartók (1881-1945), Magyarország / Hongrie

- Román népi táncok, Sz. 56, BB 68
- Dansuri populare românești
- Rumanian Folk Dances

GHEORGHE ZAMFIR, nai / pán-pipe / panflute
Studio Orchestra
Tony Britten

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: SEWARD’S DAY


Seward’s Day

When William Henry Seward, Secretary of State for U.S. President Andrew Johnson, signed the treaty authorizing the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia for $7 million on March 30, 1867, most Americans thought he was crazy. But public opinion quickly changed when gold was discovered in the region, and its natural gas, coal, and oil reserves, in addition to its seafood and lumber industries, have proved to be far more valuable than its gold. Unfortunately, Seward did not live to see his foresight commemorated as alegal holiday in the state of AlaskaMore… Discuss

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o got tTHIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ADOPTED AS LAW IN THE US (1918)


Daylight Saving Time Adopted as Law in the US (1918)

Daylight saving time (DST) is the system of advancing clocks forward one hour near the start of spring to increase “usable” hours of daylight in the afternoon. Though Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784, DST was not widely adopted until World War I. It was first used in Western European countries like Germany and England, and Newfoundland became one of the first North American jurisdictions to adopt DST in 1917. The US followed suit a year later. Which two US states do not observe DST? More… Discuss

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Great Compositions/Performances: “Das Märchen von der schönen Melusine”, Concert Overture in F Major, op 32 by Felix Mendelssohn Gewandhausorchester Leipzig Kurt Masur, conductor


Great Compositions/Performances: Kurt MasurDas Märchen von der schönen Melusine” Mendelssohn
“Das Märchen von der schönen Melusine”, Concert
Overture in F Major, op 32
by Felix Mendelssohn
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Kurt Masur, conductor

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TODAY’S SAINT: ST. BERTHOLD March 29


SAINT OF THE DAY

March 29 Saint of the Day

ST. BERTHOLD
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite … Read More

March
29
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QUOTATION: George Bernard Shaw


Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: ETHEL AND JULIUS ROSENBERG CONVICTED OF ESPIONAGE (1951)


Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Convicted of Espionage (1951)

In 1951, the Rosenbergs were prosecuted for conspiracy to transmit classified military information to the Soviet Union. During the Rosenbergs’ trial, the government charged that they had persuaded Ethel’s brother, an employee at the Los Alamos atomic bomb project, to provide them with top-secret data on nuclear weapons. They were convicted and executed via the electric chair, becoming the first US civilians to suffer the death penalty for espionage. What happened to their children? More… Discuss

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ARTIFICER


artificer 

Definition: (noun) A skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft.
Synonyms: artisanjourneymancraftsman
Usage: There are native tanners, shoemakers, weavers, blacksmiths, stonecutters, and other artificers attached to each establishment. Discuss.
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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: PERMANENT UNITED STATES NAVY ESTABLISHED (1794)


Permanent United States Navy Established (1794)

The first incarnation of the US Navy was short-lived, established in 1775 and disbanded in 1784. However, with Barbary pirates harassing US merchant ships, Congress rethought its decision and established a permanent US Navy with the authorization to build six frigates in 1794. Three of these were welcomed into service soon after. The US Navy distinguished itself in the War of 1812 by unexpectedly defeating British forces several times. What role did naval power play in the American Civil WarMore…Discuss

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NEWS: THINK TWICE BEFORE DOPING


Think Twice before Doping

Doping scandals have become almost commonplace in the sports world of late. Numerous athletes have had their reputations tarnished, and in some cases their careers ended, after being caught using performance-enhancing drugs. But many more may be using and getting away with it due to the limitations of current testing methods. Researchers hope that a new screening test that is 1,000 times more sensitive than current ones will turn the tide and help them put a stop to the doping trend once and for all. More…Discuss

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ARTICLE: MASS TRIALS IN EGYPT


Mass Trials in Egypt

Just a day after Egyptian courts drew international condemnation for sentencing to death 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in a two-day, mass trial, another trial is underway. The United Nations human rights office asserts that the mass death sentences contravene international law, but this has not deterred the courts from bringing charges against another 683 Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including some of its leaders. It seems likely that this trial will run much the same course as the first one. More… Discuss

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NEWS: EIGHT DEAD, MORE THAN 100 MISSING FOLLOWING MUDSLIDE


Eight Dead, More Than 100 Missing following Mudslide

Eight bodies have been recovered and more than 100 people are still missing following a mudslide in the US state of Washington that destroyed about 30 homes near the town of Oso on Saturday. The area has had problems with unstable land in the past, but this is the most devastating mudslide it has seen in recent years. Authorities believe recent heavy rain is to blame for the disaster.Search-and-rescue operations are ongoing, but dangerous conditions are hampering the effort. No survivors have been recovered since Saturday.More… Discuss

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Great Compositions/Performances: Stravinsky Divertimento from “The Fairy’s Kiss” (Muti-Philadelphia Orch.)



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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: FATTY ARBUCKLE (1887)


Fatty Arbuckle (1887)

Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle was a portly American silent film comedian. Despite his size, Arbuckle was physically adept and surprisingly agile. His comedies are known for their rollicking, fast-paced nature, and he was particularly fond of the now-famous “pie in the face” gag. Arbuckle had a lasting impact on the silent film genre and mentored stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. However, he is best known for his involvement in what scandal that destroyed his career? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE MONT BLANC TUNNEL FIRE (1999)


The Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire (1999)

The Mont Blanc Tunnel was completed in 1965 and became a major trans-Alpine transport route linking France and Italy. On March 24, 1999, passing motorists alerted a driver that his truck was smoking. His cargo of flour and margarine had caught fire in the tunnel. The fire burned for 53 hours and reached temperatures over 1,832°F (1,000°C), trapping drivers and thwarting rescue efforts. The blaze claimed 39 lives. How many people were saved by a man on a motorcycle before he died in the inferno? More…Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Willa Cather


Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: HALE-BOPP COMET MAKES CLOSEST APPROACH TO EARTH (1997)


Hale-Bopp Comet Makes Closest Approach to Earth (1997)

Likely the most widely observed comet of the 20th century, Hale-Bopp—named for American astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp—was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months, observable even from large cities with light-polluted skies. The comet’s passage excited stargazers but also incited various conspiracy theories. The notion that it was followed by an alien spacecraft inspired a mass suicide among members of the Heaven’s Gate cult. When will Hale-Bopp return to the inner solar systemMore… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: JOSEPH PRIESTLEY


Joseph Priestley

Priestley was an English theologian and scientist. He prepared for the Presbyterian ministry but gradually rejected orthodox Calvinism for Unitarianism. His History of the Corruptions of Christianity, published in 1782, was officially burned in 1785, and he immigrated to the US in 1794, befriending the nation’s founders. As a scientist, his manipulation of gases enabled him to discover new ones, including “dephlogisticated air,” a breakthrough whose magnitude escaped him. What gas was it? More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: John Quincy Adams


Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: SUSHI


Sushi

Though it is one of the iconic dishes of Japanese cuisine, sushi originated in Southeast Asia. It later spread to China before being introduced to Japan, where the version we recognize today was developed. It is now popular all over the world. Outside Japan, “sushi” is often taken to mean “raw fish,” but it actually means “sour” and simply refers to a dish made with vinegared rice—it can include raw or cooked fish, vegetables, or egg. What popular sushi filling was introduced by NorwegiansMore… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834)


Charles William Eliot (1834)

Eliot was an educator and the president of Harvard from 1869 to 1909. Under his administration, Harvard developed from a small college with attached professional schools into a great modern university. Several notable reforms were introduced during his tenure: the elective system was extended, the curriculum was enriched, written exams became mandatory, and the faculty was enlarged. Eliot opposed football and tried unsuccessfully to abolish the game at Harvard. Why did he object to the sport? More… Discuss

 

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NEWS: POSSESSIONS WEIGH ON THE ELDERLY


Possessions Weigh on the Elderly

As we age, we tend to accumulate more and more material possessions, and it becomes harder and harder to let them go. Though the majority of people in their 70s believe they have too many material things, they are reluctant to sell or give away any of their belongings. While this may seem like a minor issue, having too much stuff can deter older adults from moving to a smaller, more manageable home or one better suited to their needsMore… Discuss

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Sergei Prokofiev – Cinderella – Duet of the Prince and Cinderella



Sergei Prokofiev – Cinderella – Duet of the Prince and Cinderella Op. 87 

Direction: Vladimir Ashkenazy
The Cleveland Orchestra

 

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Great Compositions/Performances: Ottorino Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite I. Complete



Great Compositions/Performances:  
Ottorino Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite I. 
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa Conducting

 

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ST. URHO’S DAY


St. Urho’s Day

St. Urho, whose name in Finnish means “hero,” is credited with banishing a plague of grasshoppers that was threatening Finland’s grape arbors. His legend in the United States was popularized in the 1950s; after being celebrated as a “joke holiday” for several years in the Menahga-Sebeka area, the idea spread to other states with large Finnish populations. The actual celebrations include wearing St. Urho’s official colors—Nile Green and Royal Purple—drinking grape juice, and chanting St. Urho’s famous words, “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away,” in Finnish.More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: JACKSON’S BIRTHDAY


Jackson’s Birthday

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh president of the United States (1829-37), became a national hero during the War of 1812 when he successfully fought the British at New Orleans. The anniversary of his birth is a special observance in Tennessee, and the president of the United States usually brings or sends a wreath to be placed on Jackson’s grave in the garden at his home, near Nashville. Other tributes paid to Jackson during this week include radio speeches and newspaper editorials, school essay contests, and Jackson Day dinners sponsored by the Democratic party.More… Discuss

 

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