Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Santa’s Elvis

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Kid’s got a killer costume, and is way cooler than the others.
Blue Christmas, indeed. Don’t Be Cruel, he’s All Shook Up.

[Found here.]

Christmas Is Clumping

Monday, 16 December 2019

Someone was proud of that lawn decoration, and so was his missus. God bless them, and God bless the Polaroid camera for preserving it for all to enjoy decades later.

[Found here.]

Stuff What My Kid Drew

Tuesday, 3 December 2019


Child’s Own is a company that takes children’s pictures and turns them into stuffed animals things. Unfortunately, it’s too late to order for this Christmas, but it’s still a cool idea.

[Click on any image below for larger examples of awesome.]

[Found here. Related post here.]

Thanksgiving 1621

Thursday, 28 November 2019

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

–Edward Winslow, December, 1621

 


Nearly all of what historians have learned about the first Thanksgiving comes from a single eyewitness report: a letter written in December 1621 by Edward Winslow, one of the 100 or so people who sailed from England aboard the Mayflower in 1620 and founded Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

[…]

Just over 50 colonists are believed to have attended, including 22 men, four married women—including Edward Winslow’s wife—and more than 25 children and teenagers. These were the lucky ones who had made it through a rough entry into the New World, including a harsh winter during which an epidemic of disease swept through the colony, felling nearly half the original group. Some 78 percent of the women who had arrived on the Mayflower had died during the first winter, a far higher percentage than for men or children.

“For the English, [the first Thanksgiving] was also celebrating the fact that they had survived their first year here in New England,” Tom Begley [of Plymoth Plantation] points out.

The Plymouth colonists were likely outnumbered more than two-to-one at the event by their Native American guests. Winslow’s account records “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men.” Massasoit (who was actually named Ousemequin) was the sachem (leader) of the Pokanoket Wampanoag, a local Native American society that had begun dealings with the colonists earlier in 1621.


[Image from here, historical commentary from here.
Related posts here.]

Armistice Day: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, 1918

Monday, 11 November 2019

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, many Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day.

A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Act ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

[Source, more at the link. Related posts here.]

Dia De Los Muertos

Friday, 1 November 2019

[Found here.]

2019 Grumpkin

Thursday, 31 October 2019

The missus did this one freehand.

Paper Wolf

Monday, 14 October 2019

Pretty cool paper sculpture kit for under $10. If I was 14 I’d want it, but I’m not 14, and I still want it. [Found here.]

Pair it up with this, and you’ll be your nephew’s Favorite Uncle (or your niece’s Favorite Aunt) forever.

Don’t forget the paint.

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, 2 September 2019

I’m not an historian, but here’s the gist.


In 1894 there was a recession in the US, and Chicago engineer, industrialist and developer George Pullman had to lay off a large chunk of his workforce (yet he kept about 2/3rds on the payroll).

Some of those laid off were anarchists, socialists and Marxists (the Progressive Movement was on the march) and they organized a strike, not only for the layoffs, but because Pullman wouldn’t reduce the rent for the housing he built and owned. But they did more than protest. They turned to violence and arson.

They burned the buildings and product of their employer (The Pullman Car Company) and others. The damage affected the rail commerce of 27 states, the US Postal Service, and thousands of workers and their families not directly affected by the layoffs. Dozens were killed during the riots.

Note that the arson and violence didn’t affect Pullman nearly as much as it did to the thousands of people who benefited from Pullman’s brilliance, including engineering underground sewage systems for the city of Chicago.

In that year, democrats controlled the House, the Senate AND the Presidency. What did President Cleveland do? He gave the “strikers” an Official Holiday. Then a few days later, he sent in the U.S. Military to kick ass on his own constituents.

Even as Pullman Company and railroad workers were striking, Congress passed legislation in June 1894 making the first Monday in September a federal legal holiday to recognize and celebrate labor. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law June 28, 1894, a few days before sending federal troops to Chicago.

“It was a way of being supportive of labor. Labor unions were a constituency of the Democrat Party at the time, and it didn’t look good for Cleveland, who was a Democrat, to be putting down this strike.”
[Richard Schneirov, professor of history, founder of the local chapter of the SDS, 1966, Grinnel University.]

Federal troops were recalled from Chicago on July 20, and the Pullman strike was declared over in early August. Eugene V. Debs, arrested at the height of the violence along with several other ARU leaders, was charged with violating the injunction and served six months in jail. Though the ARU disbanded, Debs would emerge as the leader of the nation’s growing socialist movement, running for president five times on the Socialist Party ticket.

And Karl Marx smiled.

[Sources: here, here and here. More Labor Day stuff here.]

Independence Day 2019

Thursday, 4 July 2019

On 9 November 1781, British General Cornwallis formally surrendered 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing the American Revolution to a close.

The United States Constitution was ratified eight years later in 1789, and a New Nation was born, conceived in Liberty. The US Constitution is the world’s oldest written constitution still in effect.

The flag in the painting is the 1st adopted flag of the United States of America as approved by the Continental Congress of 1777. It postdates the ones sewn by Betsy Ross and others, and predates the defeat of the British.

The irony that’s not taught in schools is that the Founding Fathers were British and The American Revolution was fought by the British against the British. TRUE.


That’s the first known recording of John Philip Sousas “The Stars And Stripes Forever March.” It was recorded by Kendle’s First Regiment Band on 29 December 1901 and published by Victor Records [source]. Sousa wrote in his autobiography that he composed the march on Christmas Day, 1896, while crossing the Atlantic, after he learned of the death of his band’s manager.

In 1987, an Act of Congress declared the song to be the Official National March of the United States of America.


[Top image from here. More Independence Day posts here. Don’t miss this.]


P.S. For the under-educated Kaepernick types who believe that this Great Nation was founded upon slavery:

Name one other nation in history (at the formation of This  Great Nation) that did not practice and condone slavery.

Name one other nation in history that blockaded slave ships within 18 years of its founding.

Name one other nation in history that made slavery illegal within 75 years of its founding.

Don’t bother. You can’t.



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