3rd Sunday in June June 19, 2011 June 17, 2012 June 16, 2013
Spectators and victims of the Monongah Mine Disaster, 1907
100 years ago the congregation of Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in Fairmont, West Virginia gathered to pay tribute to the 362 men, many of them fathers, killed at the Monongah Mine disaster of 1907. The victims were largely from poor immigrant families, Italian, Greek, Slav, Polish, and Russian. The accident left 250 women widows and …Read more
2nd Sunday in September
You are the product of four people. You may not have met all of them, you may not have met any of them, but if just one of them hadn’t existed, well, you wouldn’t be here either.
They’re your Grandfolks. They grew up in a very different world from you, two generations removed.
Grandparents Day is a relatively new creation, compared to Mother’s and Father’s Day. Like those two, we have a West Virginian …Read more
August 13, 2011
All across India sisters tie special colored bracelets of thread around their brothers’ wrists, as a symbol of protection. Likewise, the thread reminds the brother of his pledge and duty to protect his sister.
The threaded bracelet is called a rakhi and the holiday is Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu and Sikh celebration of brothers and sisters. It falls on the full moon (Shravan Poornima) in August. (August 16, 2008. August 5, 2009.)
There …Read more
4th Sunday in July
Yes, Parents’ Day is a real, official national holiday, just like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Celebrated on the fourth Sunday in July, it worked its way quietly through Congress in 1994 with bipartisan support and was signed into existence as a national holiday by President Clinton. Parents’ Day has mercifully hovered beneath the commercialism radar. And probably yours as well.
Normally I am not one to promote conspiracy theories on my blog …Read more
Second Sunday in May
Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia! May I sing to thee As thou wast hymned on the shore of Baiae?
When the 22 year-old Keats wrote the beginning of his “Ode to Maia,” he had been an orphan for eight years. He was traveling to the seaside town of Teignmouth for the spring, to take care of his brother Tom, who was dying of tuberculosis—the same illness that took …Read more
continued from Mother’s Day
Ann Jarvis (left) and daughter Anna
Before Julia Ward Howe began her Mothers’ Day for Peace campaign, another mother, Mrs. Ann Jarvis, had established a network of “Mothers’ Day Friendship Clubs” to improve sanitation conditions throughout West Virginia. She taught other mothers how to disinfect wounds, sterilize bottles, and prevent food from spoiling.
When the Civil War broke out, Jarvis and her clubs refused to take sides. Instead they tended to the wounded of both sides. …Read more
Emigrants Arriving at Ellis Island
On Thursday evening, December 31, 1891, the S.S. Nevada arrived in New York Harbor. Among its passengers were 14 year-old Annie Moore of Cork County, Ireland, and her two younger brothers, Anthony and Phillip. They had sailed to America to join their parents in New York City’s Lower East Side.
On the morning of January 1, 1892, Annie’s 15th birthday, a barge transported the three Moores …Read more
April 5, 2010 April 5, 2011 April 4, 2012
Two weeks after the spring equinox (usually April 5) the Chinese spend this day with their beloved departed. Qing Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Day is one of the few Chinese holidays to follow the solar calendar rather than the lunar.
On this day families travel together to the grave’s of their loved ones to honor their memory. It’s believed that the spirits of family members who have passed on …Read more