Perhaps because of the plurality of the attacks—four planes, three locations, and two landmarks of national significance—no single name summed up the tragedy of 9/11 better than the date itself. Today “September 11″ refers the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and the plane crash outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It means the extinguishing of thousands of innocent lives in a single morning.
But long before 2001, in fact before the pilgrims …Read more
Greenland. Photo by Jens Buurgaard Nielsen
“Our country, who’s become so old your head all covered with white hair. Always held us, your children, in your bosom providing the riches of your coasts.”
— from Greenland’s National Anthem
“And you: friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed in Greenland!”
—Vizzini, The Princess Bride
What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth is a statement of freedom. Juneteenth is the unshackling of a body of people. Juneteenth is the freeing of slaves in the State of Texas. Juneteenth is the renewing of one’s character, integrity, spirit, and ability to achieve one’s greatest opportunities.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, June 19, 2003
Emancipation Celebration, Richmond, Virginia, April 3, 1905
Juneteenth is also an amalgamation of the words June and Nineteenth, and …Read more
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
June 15 is Fly a Kite Day (or Go Fly a Kite Day), ostensibly honoring the anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s famous electricity experiment in 1752.
Ben Flies a Kite
However, Franklin never specified the date of the experiment. Written records reveal that he only narrowed down the timeframe to a month (June 1752) a full fourteen years after the fact. Strange circumstances like these have led some historians to cast doubts as to the veracity …Read more
“We meet to celebrate Flag Day because this flag which we honor and under which we serve is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation…
We celebrate the day of its birth; and from its birth until now it has witnessed a great history, has floated on high the symbol of great events, of a great plan of life worked out by a great people.
“We are about …Read more
A living flag, U.S. Naval training station, Great Lakes, IL, 1917.
from Flag Day Part I
A few weeks later, on June 4, 1917, Kimber presented the flag in a more somber ceremony, largely for the American Ambulance Corps volunteers who were already stationed near Treveray, France.
“My instructions were to bring the flag as quickly as I could, and that I have done to the best of my ability. You know the history of this flag: how it …Read more
Saint Anthony of Padua
Cities and countries around the world celebrate St. Anthony’s Day, from Lisbon, Portugal to Wilmington, Delaware, not to mention cities in Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and even India!
The Brazilians get the jump on the celebrations by commemorating June 12, the day before his feast, as Día dos Namorados, or Day of the Lovers, a Brazilian Valentine’s Day, in honor of the matchmaker saint.
St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in …Read more