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Found 24 results

  1. Lindsay

    Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving Dinn Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. In the US Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November while in Canada nearly one month and a half earlier (second Monday of October). Thanksgiving has deep roots in religious tradition, but nowadays it is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday. Thanksgiving tradition began in early XVII century, but the date and popularity varied between states. First nation-wide Thanksgiving was proclaimed on November 26, 1789 by George Washington. The contemporary date of fourth Thursday of November was set in 1941 by federal legislation. Thanksgiving Celebration Thanksgiving is a great time to be thankful and appreciate who you have and what you have. It is a time for families to meet, socialize and enjoy each other's company, sometimes the only opportunity in a year. Some prefer it to Christmas because of less emphasis on consumerism. Thanksgiving, for most, is also a start of a four day weekend which is great, too. Thanksgiving Date In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November. The rule of declaring the final Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day was followed until 1939 [6]. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fourth (next-to-last) Thursday of November as Thanksgiving instead of the last, fifth one. The change of Thanksgiving's date was intended to extend the shopping season before Christmas and help bring the country out of The Great Depression. In the same manner, Thanksgiving in 1949 and 1941 was celebrated on third (next-to-last) Thursdays. In December 1941 Thanksgiving date was fixed as the fourth Thursday in November. Interesting facts about Thanksgiving Canadian Thanksgiving predates American Thanksgiving by 43 years. The first Thanksgiving in North America was held in 1578 in what is now Newfoundland, Canada. It was 43 before the first American Thanksgiving which happened in 1621 at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in Massachusetts [1]. Sarah Joseph Hale, who is the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" had contributed to the establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. After 17 years of sending letters to President Lincoln, she had convinced him to support legislation establishing a national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863. Before Thanksgiving, the only national holidays celebrated in the United States were Washington's Birthday (Presidents' Day) and Independence Day [5]. The TV dinner was invented in 1953 when Swanson had 260 tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and no idea what to do with it. When asked, one of the employees said that they should package it in trays with sides and freeze [2]. There is a grocery in Paris named "Thanksgiving" that sells US food like Skippy peanut butter, Jello Instant Pudding, and Pop-Tarts to homesick ex-pats [3]. The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers and septic companies who call it "Brown Friday" [4]. NASA engineers responsible for the Voyager program calculated trajectories for around 10,000 launch windows, from which they selected about 100 that met the mission objectives while minimizing planetary encounters taking place over the Thanksgiving or Christmas, allowing them to spend the holidays at home [7]. In 2013, Tony Rohr who was a manager at Pizza Hut franchise in Elkhart, Indiana, was fired for refusing to open on Thanksgiving Day so that his employees could spend the holiday with their families. He was offered the job back [8]. Depressionforums.org References Thanksgiving in America vs. Thanksgiving in Canada.
  2. LGJ

    Memorial Day

    When Is Memorial Day 2021? Here's What to Know It'll be here before you know it. Mar 24, 2021 Believe it or not, Memorial Day weekend is almost here—and odds are, you're looking forward to it. After all, the three-day weekend typically marks the start of summer cookouts and offers a chance to relax and kick back with friends and family. But Memorial Day itself is about so much more than grilling recipes, corn on the cob, and delicious desserts. It's a sacred day of observance, centered on acknowledging, remembering, and thanking the millions of people in uniform who gave their lives for this country. Before anything else, it's about those brave heroes and the incredible sacrifice they made. Of course, in order to properly pause, reflect, and pay your respects to the soldiers to whom we owe our many freedoms, you'll have to first know when to do so. When is Memorial Day in 2021? And more importantly, what's the backstory behind this very significant holiday? When did it become an official holiday in the United States? Find answers to all of these questions below, including the exact date for this year's celebration. When is Memorial Day in 2021? When is Memorial Day in 2021? This year, Memorial Day is on Monday, May 31, 2021. This means that Memorial Day weekend—the three-day span that encompasses Memorial Day—will take place from Saturday, May 28 through that Monday, May 31. Is Memorial Day always the last Monday in May? Yes! So, if you're feeling guilty for not having known the date before reading this article, don't be: Though the holiday is always held on the last Monday in May, the calendar date changes each year. What is the history of Memorial Day? Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, but it had previously been observed in an unofficial capacity for quite some time. A similarly thoughtful, commemorative day reportedly took place all the way back on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. The History Channel reports that after the Civil War ended and Confederate soldiers left Charleston, a group of freed slaves gathered to bury and honor the bodies of Union soldiers via a small parade. And in 1868, Union General John A. Logan suggested that May 30 should be the first annual day dedicated to the memory of all soldiers who fell during the Civil War. But the commemoration of such "memorial days" remained unofficial for several more decades. According to the Library of Congress, it wasn't until 1950 that Congress would agree upon a resolution asking the president to "issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe...Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace." Nearly 20 years later in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was finally passed, which both declared that Memorial Day would take place on the last Monday in May and required that federal employees be granted a day off. In 1971, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday intended to observe and honor the people who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military. REBEKAH LOWIN Lifestyle EditorRebekah Lowin is the Lifestyle Editor for The Pioneer Woman, covering food, entertaining, home decor, crafting, gardening, and holiday.
  3. Martin Luther King Day Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States. Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day a Public Holiday? Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. "The Stone Of Hope" memorial by master sculptor Lei Yixin was opened to the public in West Potomac Park, Washington DC, on August 22, 2011. ©iStockphoto.com/Camrocker What Do People Do? Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Martin Luther King Day, also known as Martin Luther King’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day, is combined with other days in different states. For example, it is combined with Civil Rights Day in Arizona and New Hampshire, while it is observed together with Human Rights Day in Idaho. It is also a day that is combined with Robert E. Lee’s birthday in some states. The day is known as Wyoming Equality Day in the state of Wyoming. Public Life Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, but has slightly different names in some states. Non-essential Government departments are closed, as are many corporations. Some schools and colleges close but others stay open and teach their students about the life and work of Martin Luther King. Small companies, such as grocery stores and restaurants tend to be open, although a growing number are choosing to close on this day. Some compensate by opening on Washington's Birthday instead. Recent federal legislation encourages Americans to give some of their time on Martin Luther King Day as volunteers in citizen action groups. Public transit systems may or may not operate on their regular schedule. Long Weekend Since Martin Luther King Day falls on Monday, it is one of the public holidays in the United States that always create a long weekend. Background Martin Luther King was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States. His most famous address was the "I Have A Dream" speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968. In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single "Happy Birthday" and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.
  4. Merry Christmas! Depressionforums.org Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus, has evolved into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian and pagan traditions into the festivities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_traditions
  5. Lindsay

    Hanukkah

    until
    What Is Hanukkah? Info you need about Chanukah Photo credits: Flash90 Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple (as you’ll read below). Also spelled Hanukkah (or variations of that spelling), the Hebrew word is actually pronounced with a guttural, “kh” sound, kha-nu-kah, not tcha-new-kah. Many Jewish communities in the United States observe the first day of Hanukkah, which marks the start of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah or Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish observance that remembers the Jewish people's struggle for religious freedom. Is Chanukah a Public Holiday? Chanukah is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours. Hanukkah gifts wrapped and ready to be given. ©iStockphoto.com/MarkCoffeyPhoto Celebrate Hanukkah Jewish communities in the United States celebrate the first day of Hanukkah on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar. The Hanukkah period lasts for eight days and is celebrated from the 25th day of Kislev to the second day of Tevet. The first night of Hanukkah (or Chanukah) starts with special blessings at sunset the day before the 25th of Kislev. Many Jewish people light the menorah, also known as the hanukiah (or chanukkiyah), which is a type of candelabrum. Many Americans of Jewish faith also eat food fried in olive oil, such as potato cakes, and different fried breads. Hanukkah dishes include sufganiot (Hanukkah donuts), potato latkes (pancakes), mandelbrot (this can be sliced like a hard bread), and rugelach (pastry that with different fillings). The first day of Hanukkah is the start of a celebratory period in which a four-sided toy called dreidel is used for games. The first night of Hanukkah is also a night when people sing traditional songs to celebrate Hanukkah. Gift-giving is also popular at this time of the year. Public Life The first day of Hanukkah is not a federal public holiday in the United States. Some Jewish schools have their school vacation fall around the same time of Hanukkah. About Hanukkah Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Greeks in the Maccabean War in 162 BCE. A ritual cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple occurred after the Jewish people’s victory. It is believed that there was only enough consecrated oil to keep the lamp burning for one day but the small bottle of oil miraculously lasted for eight days. Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is referred as the Feast of Lights or Festival of Lights for this reason. Moreover, the survival of Judaism over the many years is also celebrated during this period. The last day of Hanukkah, which marks the end of Hanukkah, falls on the eighth day of this period.
  6. Forum Admin

    Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia, and the sub-national entities Leiden, Norfolk Island, and the inhabited territories of the United States. Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. Sep 26, 2020 DepressionForums.Org As fall is ramping up, many people have already begun to plan for the holidays. It’s no surprise that celebrations will look a little different this year—and Thanksgiving is no exception. The line is blurry as to what is considered safe and what isn’t, so the CDC has offered some considerations to help protect individuals, their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. As expected, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. The federal health agency advised that the safest way to celebrate Turkey Day is to avoid unnecessary travel. If you do intend to travel, however, you should be informed of the risks involved and adhere to CDC guidelines. The best options? Having a small outdoor dinner with people in the same household, delivering food to neighbors, and participating in a virtual dinner all fall under the CDC's low risk category. Activities like apple picking and visiting pumpkin patches fall into the moderate risk category. On the far end of the spectrum, parades and other large gatherings are considered high risk and off-limits. (Macy's has already modified its plans for the Thanksgiving Day parade to a television-only presentation.) PAID CONTENT Working Out With a Mask Some types of masks are better than others when exercising in crowded spaces. Black Friday shopping is also on the no-go list, with health officials saying that shopping from home is recommended for your binge-shopping needs. But don’t fret: Retailers like Amazon and Target are trying to nudge people to online shop by starting juicy holiday deals sooner and extending Black Friday deals online. It’s important to note that these guidelines are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply. If you’re planning to host a holiday celebration, you should first assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees. The CDC has ranked the following activities into three areas: lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. Lower risk activities Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household. Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others. Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family. Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday. Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home. Moderate risk activities Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs. Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing. Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place. Higher risk activities Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving. Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race. Attending crowded parades. Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors. Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.
  7. Forum Admin

    July 4th

    Independence Day The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues, now with Social Distancing. The Fourth of July 2020 is on Saturday, July 4, 2020. A History of Independence Day When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776. On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain. Did you know? John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence. Early Fourth of July Celebrations In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday. READ MORE: Two Presidents Died on the Same July 4: Coincidence or Something More? After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities. Fourth of July Fireworks The first fireworks were used as early as 200 BC. The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. Ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” That same night, the Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common. Fourth of July Becomes a Federal Holiday The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism. Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States. READ MORE: Why We Celebrate July 4 With Fireworks Photo Gallery: The Founding Fathers
  8. Lindsay

    Father's Day

    Father's Day What Do People Do? Father's Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father's Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance. Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers. Public Life Father's Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat. Background and symbols There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again. Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father's Day was held in June was in 1910. Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.
  9. Happy Mother's Day Stay Safe! The Depression Forums Administration
  10. Martin Luther King Day Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off." MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community." Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,[1] and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. King's birthday is January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. The 3 Core Elements of Dr. Martin Luther King's Transformational Leadership These leadership traits are just as applicable today, as they were during the Civil Rights Movement. By Sonia Thompson Consultant, speaker, and CEO of Thompson Media Group@soniaethompson Every year, as we take time out to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, I spend some time reflecting not only on what he was able to accomplish but how he was able to do it. We live in an age with many strong leaders, who've accomplished tremendous things, but arguably not of King's magnitude. So I'm always curious about what it was about Dr. King's leadership approach that produced such a profound impact worldwide, in the midst of extreme and unjust opposition. As I pore over his books, speeches, sermons, and other accounts of his works, I get new revelations as to what made him such a transformational leader. Here are three tenets of Dr. King's leadership approach, that strengthened not only his impact, but also compelled masses of people to look to him as an example to follow, both while he was living, and long after his untimely death. 1. Boldness Dr. King felt a strong sense of urgency to challenge unjust laws and the terrible treatment of black people during the civil rights movement. That urgency prompted him and his leadership team to take bold action, including calling for the bus boycotts, various marches, and sit-ins. That urgency fueled his boldness in telling government leaders that the progress they had made up to that point had been inadequate. It even caused him to call out other leaders in the clergy when they were silent on those matters of injustice. As you work to achieve the goals you have for your business, don't shy away from bold action. That sense of urgency behind making positive change will fuel you and your team to move from where you are to where you want to be. 2. Culture One of the elements that made Dr. King's movement so remarkable was how he was always diligent about making sure there was clarity around the norms he and his team expected of both themselves and others. He did this because he knew the culture of the movement was critical to its quest in accomplishing its goals. Thus, Dr. King spent plenty of time talking about what that culture looked like, and even training followers on how to embody that culture as they went about fighting for the cause. Here's how he covered this important topic in his iconic I Have a Dream speech: But there is something that I must say to my people...in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. Don't leave your company or team's culture up to chance. Be clear about the values and behaviors you want everyone to embrace to create the environment needed to achieve your goals. 3. Belonging When you look at the issues Dr. King fought for, one unifying thread links them all together: belonging. Dr. King didn't want people to just exist. He wanted them to feel like they belonged in the spaces, environments, and in the world in which they inhabited. In his I Have a Dream speech, King painted vivid pictures of what belonging looked like: I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. He was also clear to highlight how far we were as a nation from that ideal: But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. As you work to create an environment where both your customers and everyone on your team feels like they belong, declare what belonging looks like. Then be honest about how the way you operate lives up to that standard, so you can chart a path forward for how to improve. PUBLISHED ON: JAN 20, 2020 The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
  11. Lindsay

    New Year's Eve

    Drive Safely Depressionforums.org
  12. Lindsay

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. How Did Christmas Start? The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight. In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year. The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking. In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside. Saturnalia In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun. Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year. Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born? In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 to 14 days after the 25th. This is because Western churches use the Gregorian Calendar, while Eastern Churches use the Julian Calendar, which is 13 to 14 days behind the Gregorian Calendar. Both Western and Eastern churches celebrate Epiphany or Three Kings Day 12 days after their own respective Christmases. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger. By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens. When Christmas Was Cancelled In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday. The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident. After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. Washington Irving Reinvents Christmas It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s piqued American interest in the holiday? The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America. In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season. A Christmas Carol Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday. The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to “spoil” them. As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards and gift-giving. Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation. Who Invented Santa Claus? The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around 280 A.D.. St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors. St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation. 7 In 1822, Episcopal minister Clement Clarke Moore wrote a Christmas poem called “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known today by it’s first line: “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” The poem depicted Santa Claus as a jolly man who flies from home to home on a sled driven by reindeer to deliver toys. The iconic version of Santa Claus as a jolly man in red with a white beard and a sack of toys was immortalized in 1881, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore's poem to create the image of Old Saint Nick we know today. Christmas Facts Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 to 14 days after the 25th. This is because Western churches use the Gregorian Calendar, while Eastern Churches use the Julian Calendar. In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties. When Christmas was cancelled: From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870. The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement. Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828. The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s. Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store. Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931. Love to our members...to everyone!!!!!!! Depressionforums.org
  13. Lindsay

    Labor Day

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Labor Day in the United States of America is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. "Labor Day" was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the United States officially celebrated Labor Day.[1] Canada's Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 countries celebrate International Workers' Day on May 1 – the ancient European holiday of May Day. (May Day was chosen by the Second Internationale of socialist and communist parties to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicagoon May 4, 1886. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, different groups of trade unionists chose a variety of days on which to celebrate labor. In the United States, a September holiday called Labor Day was first proposed in the early 1880s. Alternate stories of the event's origination exist.[citation needed] According to one early history of Labor Day, the event originated in connection with a General Assembly of the Knights of Labor convened in New York City in September 1882.[4] In connection with this clandestine Knights assembly, a public parade of various labor organizations was held on September 5 under the auspices of the Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York.[4] Secretary of the CLU Matthew Maguire is credited for first proposing that a national Labor Day holiday subsequently be held on the first Monday of each September in the aftermath of this successful public demonstration.[5] P. J. McGuire, Vice President of the American Federation of Labor, is frequently credited as the father of Labor Day in the United States. An alternative thesis maintains that the idea of Labor Day was the brainchild of Peter J. McGuire, a vice president of the American Federation of Labor, who put forward the initial proposal in the spring of 1882.[1] According to McGuire, on May 8, 1882, he made a proposition to the fledgling Central Labor Union in New York City that a day be set aside for a "general holiday for the laboring classes".[6] According to McGuire he further recommended that the event should begin with a street parade as a public demonstration of organized labor's solidarity and strength, with the march followed by a picnic, to which participating local unions could sell tickets as a fundraiser.[6] According to McGuire he suggested the first Monday in September as an ideal date for such a public celebration, owing to optimum weather and the date's place on the calendar, sitting midway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving public holidays.[6] Labor Day picnics and other public gatherings frequently featured speeches by prominent labor leaders.[citation needed] In 1909 the American Federation of Labor convention designated the Sunday preceding Labor Day as "Labor Sunday", to be dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.[5] This secondary date failed to gain significant traction in popular culture. Legal recognition In 1887 Oregon became the first state of the United States to make Labor Day an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states officially celebrated Labor Day.[1] All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories have subsequently made Labor Day a statutory holiday. Labor Day vs. May Day The date of May 1 (an ancient European folk holiday known as May Day) emerged in 1886 as an alternative holiday for the celebration of labor, later becoming known as International Workers' Day. The date had its origins at the 1885 convention of the American Federation of Labor, which passed a resolution calling for adoption of the eight-hour day effective May 1, 1886.[7] While negotiation was envisioned for achievement of the shortened work day, use of the strike to enforce this demand was recognized, with May 1 advocated as a date for coordinated strike action.[7] The proximity of the date to the bloody Haymarket affair of May 4, 1886, further accentuated May First's radical reputation. There was disagreement among labor unions at this time about when a holiday celebrating workers should be, with some advocating for continued emphasis of the September march-and-picnic date while others sought the designation of the more politically-charged date of May 1. Conservative Democratic President Grover Cleveland was one of those concerned that a labor holiday on May 1 would tend to become a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair and would strengthen socialist and anarchist movements that backed the May 1 commemoration around the globe.[8] In 1887, he publicly supported the September Labor Day holiday as a less inflammatory alternative.[9] The date was formally adopted as a United States federal holiday in 1894. Unofficial end of summer Labor Day is called the "unofficial end of summer"[10] because it marks the end of the cultural summer season. Many take their two-week vacations during the two weeks ending Labor Day weekend.[11] Many fall activities, such as school and sports begin about this time. In the United States, many school districts resume classes around the Labor Day holiday weekend (see First day of school). Some begin the week before, making Labor Day weekend the first three-day weekend of the school calendar, while others return the Tuesday following Labor Day, allowing families one final vacation before the school year begins. Many districts across the Midwest are opting to begin school after Labor Day.[12] In the U.S. state of Virginia, the amusement park industry has successfully lobbied for legislation requiring most school districts in the state to have their first day of school after Labor Day, in order to give families another weekend to visit amusement parks in the state. The relevant statute has been nicknamed the "Kings Dominion law" after one such park.[13] In Minnesota the State Fair ends on Labor Day. Under state law public schools normally do not begin until after the holiday. Allowing time for school children to show 4-H projects at the Fair has been given as one reason for this timing.[14] In U.S. sports, Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of many fall sports. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams usually play their first games that weekend and the National Football League (NFL) traditionally play their kickoff game the Thursday following Labor Day. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race has been held on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina from 1950 to 2003 and since 2015. At Indianapolis Raceway Park, the National Hot Rod Association hold their finals of the NHRA U.S. Nationals drag race that weekend. Labor Day is the middle point between weeks one and two of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships held in Flushing Meadows, New York. In fashion, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day when it is acceptable to wear white[15] or seersucker.[16][17] In big cities, people try to go outside and enjoy beaches and barbecues over the Labor Day Weekend. There are also numerous events and activities organized in the cities. For example, New York offers Labor Day Carnival, fireworks over Coney Island, happy hours in restaurants, 12-hour dance parties, and many other activities.[18]. In Washington, one popular event is the Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol featuring the National Symphony Orchestra with free attendance[19] Labor Day sales To take advantage of large numbers of potential customers with time to shop, Labor Day has become an important weekend for discounts and allowances by many retailers in the United States, especially for back-to-school sales. Some retailers claim it is one of the largest sale dates of the year, second only to the Christmas season's Black Friday.[20]
  14. Lindsay

    Memorial Day

    MEMORIAL DAY 2019 MEMORIAL DAY FACTS, TRADITIONS, MEANING, AND MORE May 24, 2019 MEMORIAL DAY 2019 The Real Meaning of Memorial Day. 55% of Americans Don’t Know. Do you know the real meaning of Memorial Day (and how it’s different than Veteran’s Day)? Get the facts now. Learn all about Memorial Day, including the true meaning of this day, how it differs from Veterans Day, and why the red poppy is a traditional symbol—with unexpected origins. WHEN IS MEMORIAL DAY 2019? This U.S. federal holiday is observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. In 2019, it will be observed on Monday, May 27. Year Memorial Day 2019 Monday, May 27 2020 Monday, May 25 2021 Monday, May 31 WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEMORIAL DAY AND VETERANS DAY? On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, it’s customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country’s history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays: Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today. We might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind. Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—regardless of whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. Read more about Veterans Day. Remember: Raise the flag with honor and respect! See guidelines for flying the American Flag. MEMORIAL DAY FACTS AND HISTORY Traditionally, on Memorial Day (U.S.), people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day—or Decoration Day, as it was first known—is unclear. In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation. After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. A Lasting Legacy No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated annually on the last Monday in May. Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs from the time. WHY IS THE POPPY A SYMBOL OF MEMORIAL DAY? In the war-torn battlefields of Europe, the common red field poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to reappear. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting of World War 1. John McCrae, a Canadian soldier and physician, witnessed the war first hand and was inspired to write the now-famous poem “In Flanders Fields” in 1915. (See below for the poem.) He saw the poppies scattered throughout the battlefield surrounding his artillery position in Belgium. The Poppy Lady In November 1918, days before the official end of the war, an American professor named Moina Michael wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” which was inspired by McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields.” In her poem (also shown below), she mentioned wearing the “poppy red” to honor the dead, and with that, the tradition of adorning one’s clothing with a single red poppy in remembrance of those killed in the Great War was born. Moina herself came to be known—and honored—as “The Poppy Lady.” The Symbol Spreads Abroad The wearing of the poppy was traditionally done on Memorial Day in the United States, but the symbolism has evolved to encompass all veterans living and deceased, so poppies may be worn on Veterans Day as well. Not long after the custom began, it was adopted by other Allied nations, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, where it is still popular today. In these countries, the poppy is worn on Remembrance Day (November 11). WHEN IS MEMORIAL DAY 2019? This U.S. federal holiday is observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. In 2019, it will be observed on Monday, May 27. YearMemorial Day 2019Monday, May 27 2020Monday, May 25 2021Monday, May 31 WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEMORIAL DAY AND VETERANS DAY? On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, it’s customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country’s history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays: Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today. We might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind. Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—regardless of whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. Read more about Veterans Day. Remember: Raise the flag with honor and respect! See guidelines for flying the American Flag. MEMORIAL DAY FACTS AND HISTORY Traditionally, on Memorial Day (U.S.), people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day—or Decoration Day, as it was first known—is unclear. In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation. After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. A Lasting Legacy No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated annually on the last Monday in May. Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs from the time. WHY IS THE POPPY A SYMBOL OF MEMORIAL DAY? In the war-torn battlefields of Europe, the common red field poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to reappear. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting of World War 1. John McCrae, a Canadian soldier and physician, witnessed the war first hand and was inspired to write the now-famous poem “In Flanders Fields” in 1915. (See below for the poem.) He saw the poppies scattered throughout the battlefield surrounding his artillery position in Belgium. The Poppy Lady In November 1918, days before the official end of the war, an American professor named Moina Michael wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” which was inspired by McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields.” In her poem (also shown below), she mentioned wearing the “poppy red” to honor the dead, and with that, the tradition of adorning one’s clothing with a single red poppy in remembrance of those killed in the Great War was born. Moina herself came to be known—and honored—as “The Poppy Lady.” The Symbol Spreads Abroad The wearing of the poppy was traditionally done on Memorial Day in the United States, but the symbolism has evolved to encompass all veterans living and deceased, so poppies may be worn on Veterans Day as well. Not long after the custom began, it was adopted by other Allied nations, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, where it is still popular today. In these countries, the poppy is worn on Remembrance Day (November 11). Today, poppies are not only a symbol of loss of life, but also of recovery and new life, especially in support of the servicemen who survived the war but suffered from physical and psychological injuries long after it ended. Read the text of both poems below, and learn more about the inspiration for the poppy here. “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, May 1915 In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. “We Shall Keep the Faith” by Moina Michael, November 1918 Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields, Sleep sweet – to rise anew! We caught the torch you threw And holding high, we keep the Faith With All who died. We cherish, too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valor led; It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders Fields. And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields. MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: THE UNOFFICIAL START OF SUMMER Memorial Day tends to mark the unofficial start of summer for many Americans (though the season really begins with the Summer Solstice on June 21). The Best Times to Travel According to AAA, nearly 43 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend for their first vacation of season—about 1.5 million more travelers than last year and the highest amount since 2005. If you’re looking to get outdoors this weekend, AAA suggests the worst time to travel is late afternoons of both Thursday and Friday (4:45-6:00 PM). Commuters and vacationers will be getting a head start on the three-day holiday weekend. In metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston, Atlanta, and the nation’s capital, expect congestion to be two to three times greater than usual at peak times during the weekend. Overall, the best time to travel will be just after the morning commute or after the evening commute, when most people will either be at work or already settled at their destination. So, plan accordingly! How’s the Weather? Wondering whether it’ll rain or shine on this weekend? Check out our Memorial Day Weekend Forecast to find out! Super Summer Burger. Photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner. MEMORIAL DAY RECIPES On Memorial Day weekend, we also enjoy the extra time spent with family and friends, sharing a meal. If you’re planning a backyard barbecue or a picnic, here are some of our favorite meals to feed a crowd: Make Picnic Scalloped Potatoes ahead and bring along to the picnic. Super Summer Burgers are always a hit! If you want something with a kick, try easy-to-prepare Spicy Grilled Beef and Black-Bean Salsa. Everyone will love our favorite summer salad. Lemon Sugar Cookies are easy to transport and the perfect ending to a picnic. Find more recipes on our Picnic Food Recipes and Easy Grilling Recipes pages. THANK YOU TO THE FALLEN. From everyone here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we would like say thank you to those men and women who paid the ultimate price. We will always remember the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes. We are deeply grateful. In remembering the fallen, we also honor their loved ones: spouses, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends. There really aren’t proper words, but we do live in gratitude each and every day for the precious gift that they have given to us. How do you honor the memory of veterans on Memorial Day? Tell us your traditions in the comments below. SOURCE: The Old Farmer's Almanac ~Lindsay Reday LEARN MORE
  15. Lindsay

    Father's Day

    Happy FATHER'S DAY Father's Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children's lives. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. Is Father's Day a Public Holiday? Father's Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, June 16, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States. Father's Day is a day for fathers and father-like figures. ©iStockphoto.com/aldomurillo What Do People Do? Father's Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father's Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance. Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers. Public Life Father's Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat. Background and symbols There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again. Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father's Day was held in June was in 1910. Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.
  16. Forum Admin

    Columbus Day

    Columbus Day Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, and Columbus Day 2018 occurs on Monday, October 8. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s. Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who set sail in August 1492, bound for Asia with backing from the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Columbus intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. Instead, on October 12, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings established colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century. Did you know? Contrary to popular belief, most educated Europeans in Columbus' day understood that the world was round, but they did not yet know that the Pacific Ocean existed. As a result, Columbus and his contemporaries assumed that only the Atlantic lay between Europe and the riches of the East Indies. Later that October, Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China; in December the expedition found Hispaniola, which he thought might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas with 39 of his men. In March 1493, Columbus returned to Spain in triumph, bearing gold, spices and “Indian” captives. The explorer crossed the Atlantic several more times before his death in 1506. It wasn’t until his third journey that Columbus finally realized he hadn’t reached Asia but instead had stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans. Columbus Day in the United States The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order—better known as Tammany Hall—held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.” In recent decades, Native Americans and other groups have protested the celebration of an event that resulted in the colonization of the Americas, the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade and the deaths of millions from murder and disease. European settlers brought a host of infectious diseases, including smallpox and influenza, that decimated indigenous populations. Warfare between Native Americans and European colonists claimed many lives as well. Indigenous Peoples Day The image of Christopher Columbus as an intrepid hero has also been called into question. Upon arriving in the Bahamas, the explorer and his men forced the native peoples they found there into slavery. Later, while serving as the governor of Hispaniola, he allegedly imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture. In many Latin American nations, the anniversary of Columbus’ landing has traditionally been observed as the Dìa de la Raza (“Day of the Race”), a celebration of Hispanic culture’s diverse roots. In 2002, Venezuela renamed the holiday Dìa de la Resistencia Indìgena (“Day of Indigenous Resistance”) to recognize native peoples and their experience. Several U.S. cities and states have replaced Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance. Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota have officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, as have cities like Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal organization. Columbus Day Alternatives Controversy over Columbus Day dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism.
  17. Lindsay

    Yom Kippur

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    what is yom kippur? What is the proper greeting for Yom Kippur? The greeting for Yom Kippur is “G’mar Hatima Tova” (May you be sealed in the Book of Life), or the shorter version “G’mar Tov.” It is also customary to say “Have an easy fast” before the holiday begins. When is Yom Kippur? Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th of Tishrei. Yom Kippur occurs on the following dates: Jewish Year 5779: Sunset September 18, 2018 – Nightfall September 19, 2018 Jewish Year 5780: Sunset October 8, 2019 – Nightfall October 9, 2019 Jewish Year 5781: Sunset September 27, 2020 – Nightfall September 28, 2020 Jewish Year 5782: Sunset September 15, 2021 – Nightfall September 16, 2021 Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) is the day of repentance, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar. Described as a Shabbat shabbaton (Shabbat of solemn rest) in the Torah, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, prayer, and reflection. Yom Kippur is the culmination of a period of time during the month of Elul in which Jews are required to take stock of their lives, to ask forgiveness from friends and family, and to take steps toward self-improvement for the year to come. For Yom Kippur Break Fast Recipes, click here How is Yom Kippur observed? Yom Kippur is observed for a 25-hour period, beginning at sundown, by refraining from work that is prohibited on Shabbat, plus five additional prohibitions: 1) eating or drinking; 2) bathing; 3) anointing the body with oil; 4) wearing leather shoes; and 5) sexual relations. There are five synagogue services over the course of Yom Kippur: Kol Nidrei (evening service focused on the cantor’s confession on behalf of the community); Shachrit (morning service); Musaf (additional service); Mincha (afternoon service); and Ne’ilah (closing service). It is customary to also include a Yizkor service (memorial for those who have died this year) as part of the morning service. Yom Kippur services contain many recitations of the Vidui (confession), which is a list of communal transgressions for which we ask forgiveness. Traditionally, Jews believe that after judging a person for their deeds over the past year, God decides who will be sealed in the Book of Life (to live for another year) and who will die. Others simply use the day as a time to reflect on what they want to do differently this year. Some people wear white on Yom Kippur to symbolize the purity of the day. What kinds of foods are eaten for the Yom Kippur Break-Fast? There are two meals associated with Yom Kippur: the pre-fast meal and the break-fast meal (obviously, for the duration of the fasting holiday, no food or drink is allowed). The pre-fast meal is known as seudah ha-mafaseket (literally, “meal of separation” or “concluding meal”). Some traditional recipe choices for the meal include: rice, kreplach (stuffed dumplings), challah (dipped in honey, as Yom Kippur occurs 10 days after Rosh Hashanah), chicken, or fish. Meals usually should be prepared with minimum salt, as this could cause dehydration during the fast. It is important to drink plenty of water, of course. The break-fast meal usually consists of hi-carb dairy foods like sweet kugel (noodle pudding), bagels, quiches, soufflés, eggs, cheese, etc. What is the proper greeting for Yom Kippur? The greeting for Yom Kippur is “G’mar Hatima Tova” (May you be sealed in the Book of Life), or the shorter version “G’mar Tov.” It is also customary to say “Have an easy fast” before the holiday begins. When is Yom Kippur? Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th of Tishrei. Yom Kippur occurs on the following dates: Jewish Year 5779: Sunset September 18, 2018 – Nightfall September 19, 2018 Jewish Year 5780: Sunset October 8, 2019 – Nightfall October 9, 2019 Jewish Year 5781: Sunset September 27, 2020 – Nightfall September 28, 2020 Jewish Year 5782: Sunset September 15, 2021 – Nightfall September 16, 2021 See the full post: https://toriavey.com/what-is-yom-kippur/#UObjI2Z613L100K4.99 See the full post:https://toriavey.com/what-is-yom-kippur/#UObjI2Z613L100K4.99 See the full post: https://toriavey.com/what-is-yom-kippur/#UObjI2Z613L100K4.99
  18. Lindsay

    Labor Day

    Labor Day Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers, and Labor Day 2018 occurs on Monday, September 3 (it’s traditionally observed on the first Monday in September). It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. A Nationwide Holiday The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television. The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
  19. Different Ways (11) Therapists Control Their Holiday Stress Sometimes even the experts need a little help staying holly and jolly. Research shows holiday season stress can feel insurmountable. No one is immune. Mental health professionals, who are usually helping others manage emotions, put their own advice into practice as the year winds down. Wonder what their secrets are? Below are some ways the experts handle holiday stress: 1. Set aside a few minutes to meditate. “I manage holiday stress by engaging in the same self-care activities that I already do on a routine basis, particularly exercise and mindfulness meditation. I practice mindfulness during the day to help take one thing at a time and not worry about everything else on my plate.” ―Ricks Warren, clinical associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan 2. Tell yourself it’s OK to take a break from family. “They all come with stress, tension and a unique history all packed into small rooms for long hours during the holidays. To help with this stress, I try to be prepared, knowing who will be there and who triggers hot buttons in others and in me. Knowing I can leave the room or the conversation is good prevention planning.” ―Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education and chair of the American Psychotherapy Association © Provided by The Huffington Post 3. Spend time unplugged. “Because of electronics ― email, patient portals, access to paging ― it is important that somehow clinicians ‘turn off’ some of the electronics and sign out so they can really have some time away. Easier said than done, though.” ―Michelle Riba, associate director at the University of Michigan Depression Center 4. Let go of perfection. “Also, it’s very important for my holiday stress management to accept imperfection, whether it has to do with how a party might go, how many people I get to see, what presents I buy or don’t buy, whether I meet others expectations or not, etc.” ―Ricks Warren 5. Plan ahead. “Time is always an issue during the holidays. I find that taking a day or two or three in the weeks prior to the holiday helps to reduce stress and time crunch related to all of the holiday events that hit the calendar.” ―Ken Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience program at The Ohio State UniversityWexner Medical Center © Provided by The Huffington Post 6. Pay attention to the signs you might be stressed. “I pay attention to when I begin snapping at the children or my husband, have trouble sleeping, or if I become overwhelmed. I proactively take time to figure out what I need to outsource.” ―Jennifer Gentile, psychologist at telemedicine app LiveHealth Online 7. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. “No, I’m not making six dozen cookies for the school bazaar. In reality, there just are some things that I choose not to do during the holiday season. Some gatherings are not attended. There will be enough to do without cramming in 67 holiday gatherings. I choose the ones that are less stressful and enjoy.” ―Ken Yeager 8. Make time for your regular routines. “It is helpful to try to maintain balance between keeping to usual daily routines ― including healthy eating, exercise and getting adequate sleep ― while relaxing a bit to enjoy the festivities. Also, balancing demands on time and attention from friends and family with need for self care is important.” ―Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer at The Jed Foundation © Provided by The Huffington Post 9. Set a comfortable budget for gifts. “It is so easy to fall into the ‘commercialized holidays’ and strive to buy the ‘perfect’ gift for everyone. To help reduce that stress, I set a spending limit on everyone that is really modest, usually $25 to $50, and I stick to it. It might take some more creativity to find something that they will enjoy, but it reduces my financial stress and it forces me to think, ‘What would they really appreciate?’ ― as opposed to just ‘What do they want?’” ―Dan Reidenberg 10. Enjoy the holiday treats. “I proactively take steps to ensure I am eating healthy foods but understand that I will NOT be perfect when it comes to my diet, especially over the holidays, and that is OK.” ―Jennifer Gentile 11. Schedule some alone time if it all becomes too much. “With so many people around the house and stores filled with people, I find it helpful to make sure I take some time to myself. This is not about being selfish, but being OK saying that I deserve some me time, too.” ―Dan Reidenberg Cheers to a merry and bright season ― and giving stress the boot. Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
  20. Forum Admin

    Flag Day

    The History Of Flag Day The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'. On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day. Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag. Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered. In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating. Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself." Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
  21. Lindsay

    Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. Early Observances of Memorial Day The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. Did You Know? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. Decoration Day On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I. History of Memorial Day Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday. Memorial Day 2017 occurs on May 29; Memorial Day 2018 falls on May 28. Memorial Day Traditions Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
  22. Merry Christmas A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts. Before 1850 many US citizens did not dream of Christmas at all. Penne Restad tells how and why this changed – and played its role in uniting the States in social cohesion. Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906) Christmas Time the Blodgett Family 1864 DetailThe Christmas that Americans celebrate today seems like a timeless weaving of custom and feeling beyond the reach of history. Yet the familiar mix of carols, cards, presents, trees, multiplicities of Santas and holiday neuroses that have come to define December 25th in the United States is little more than a hundred years old. Americans did not even begin to conceive of Christmas as a national holiday until the middle of the last century. Like many other such 'inventions of tradition', the creation of an American Christmas was a response to social and personal needs that arose at a particular point in history, in this case a time of sectional conflict and civil war, as well as the unsettling processes of urbanization and industrialization. The holiday's new customs and meanings helped the nation to make sense of the confusions of the era and to secure, if only for a short while each year, a soothing feeling of unity. In colonial times, Americans of different sects and different national origins kept the holiday (or did not) in ways they carried over from the Old World, Puritans, for instance, attempted to ignore Christmas because the Bible was silent on the topic. Virginia planters took the occasion to feast, dance, gamble, hunt and visit, perpetuating what they believed to be the old Christmas customs in English manors. Even as late as the early nineteenth century, many Americans, churched or unchurched, northerners or southerners, hardly took notice of the holiday at all. By mid-century, however, new conditions had begun to undercut local customs and create needs for common and visible celebrations. Communication and transportation revolutions made once isolated parts of the country acutely aware of each other. Immigration vastly widened the ethnic and religious pluralism that had been a part of American settlement from its beginning. Moral, political and economic tensions mounted among east, west and south, raising new questions about the nature of the Union itself. Science challenged religion. New wealth and larger markets superseded old. Population swelled. The pace of life accelerated. The swirl of change caused many to long for an earlier time, one in which they imagined that old and good values held sway in cohesive and peaceful communities. It also made them reconsider the notion of 'community' in larger terms, on a national scale, but modelled on the ideal of a family gathered at the hearth. At this cross-roads of progress and nostalgia, Americans found in Christmas a holiday that ministered to their needs. The many Christmases celebrated across the land began to resolve into a more singular and widely celebrated home holiday. This new 'revived Christmas of our time' afforded a retreat from the dizzying realities of contemporary life, but cast in contemporary terms. Americans varied old themes and wove new symbols into the received fabric to create something definitively their own. The 'American' holiday enveloped the often contradictory strains of commercialism and artisanship, as well as nostalgia and faith in progress, that defined late nineteenth-century culture. Its relative lack of theological or Biblical authority – what had made it anathema to the Puritans – ironically allowed Christmas to emerge as a highly ecumenical event in a land of pluralism. It became a moment of idealized national self-definition. Not surprisingly, the strongest impetus for such a holiday came from those areas most profoundly affected by the various social, economic and technological revolutions of the antebellum era. Especially in the northern cities, where the intimacies of village and town culture had been most forcefully challenged by city and factory, the felt need for more explicit symbols of common purpose and shared. past grew first. A number of writers came to see holidays as a tool to meet these ends and even to forge a. national culture. New Year's Eve, the Fourth of July and, especially, Thanksgiving had their merits and partisans, but Christmas emerged as the most logical and affecting choice. By the 1850s, it had captured the Northern imagination and was making inroads in the South. The Civil War intensified Christmas' appeal. Its sentimental celebration of family matched the yearnings of soldiers and those they left behind. Its message of peace and goodwill spoke to the most immediate prayers of all Americans. Yet northern victory in 1865 as much as the war situation itself determined the popularity and shape of the America's Christmas. Now unchallenged in the sphere of national myth-making and in control of the publishing trade, customs and symbols of Yankee origin and preference came to stand for the American Christmas. We can see this as a broad and unified development only in retrospect. More interesting is the way details of the holiday appeared through accident and personal genius. Each custom had its own history, and only over time merged with others to create a full-blown, national holiday. As early as 1832, Harriet Martineau had identified what would become one of the most familiar symbols of the American Christmas. She had 'little doubt' that the Christmas tree would 'become one of the most flourishing exotics of New England'. By the 1850s, many Americans, not just New Englanders, had fallen in love with the German custom. Some had seen Christmas trees for the first time when they had toured Germany and then recreated their experience of German Christmas celebrations for friends at home. Others viewed them first-hand in the homes of German Americans. The media introduced the custom even more widely, inspiring Americans throughout the nation to adopt the tradition as their own. As the tree gained prominence in front parlours, it also assumed a place in the market. During the 1850s, town squares began to bristle with trees cut for seasonable profits. Seamlessly, the 'German-ness' of the tree receded as it became an icon of an American festival and, to some, an index of acculturation. Even in the homes of 'the Hebrew brethren', 'Christmas trees bloomed', noted a Philadelphia newspaper in 18'77. '[T]he little ones of Israel were as happy over them as Christian children'. By 1900, one American in five was estimated to have a Christmas tree. At first, the decoration of these fragrant evergreens reflected the whim of folk tradition. Celebrants added nuts, strings of popcorn or beads, oranges, lemons, candies and home-made trinkets. However, widely-read newspapers and ladies' magazines raised the standards for ornamentation. (One suggestion: cotton batting dipped in thin gum arabic then diamond dust made a 'beautiful frosting' for tree branches.) Homely affectations gave way to more uniform and sophisticated ones, the old style overtaken by the urge to make the tree a showpiece for the artistic arrangement of 'glittering baubles, the stars, angels, etc'. Tree decoration soon became big business. As early as 1870, American businessmen began to import large quantities of ornaments from Ger- many to be sold on street corners and, later, in toy shops and variety stores. Vendors hawked glass ornaments and balls in bright colours, tin cut in all imaginable shapes and wax angels with spun glass wings. 'So many charming little ornaments can now be bought ready to decorate Christmas trees that it seems almost a waste of time to make them at home', one advertisement declared. The rise of Christmas cards revealed other aspects of the new holiday's profile. R.H. Pease, a printer and variety store owner who lived in Albany, New York, distributed the first American-made Christmas card in the early 1850s. A family scene dominated the small card's centre, but unlike its English forerunner (itself only a decade older), the images on each of its four corners made no allusion to poverty, cold, or hunger. Instead, pictures of Santa, reindeer, dancers and an array of Christmas presents and Christmas foods suggested the bounty and joys of the season. It took Louis Prang, a recent German immigrant and astute reader of public taste, to expand the sending of cards to a grand scale. Prang arrived in America in 1850 and soon made a name as a printer. By 1870, he owned perhaps two-thirds of the steam presses in America and had perfected the colour printing process of chromolithography. After distributing his trade cards by the thousands at an international exposition in 1873, the wife of his London agent suggested he add a Christmas greeting to them. When Prang introduced these new cards into the United States in 1.8?5, they proved such a hit that he could not meet demand. Behind Prang's delight in profits lay a certain idealism. He saw his cards as small, affordable works of art. Through them he hoped to stimulate popular interest in original decorative art and to educate public taste. In 1880, Prang began to sponsor annual competitions for Christmas card designs to promote these ends. These contests made Christmas cards so popular that other card manufacturers entered the market. By 1890, cheap imitations from his native Germany drove Prang from the Christmas card market entirely. Whatever Prang's plans for democratising art in his accepted land, the advent of Christmas cards in the marketplace soon served functions in keeping with the increasing pace and essential nature of American society. In a hurried and mobile nation, more and more Americans resorted to cards instead of honouring the older custom of writing Christmas letters or making personal holiday visits. The cards' ready-made sentiments drew together friends and families spread across a rapidly expanding national geography, making them a staple of December’s mail. 'I thought last year would be the end of the Christmas card mania, but I don't think so now', one postal official complained in 1882. 'Why four years ago a Christmas card was a rare thing. The public then got the mania and the business seems to be getting larger every year'. Christmas cards also made modest but suitable presents. '[W]orn out from choosing gifts' for old friends and school mates, one writer noted, 'we usually fall back on Christmas cards, which constitute one of the most precious and at the same time inexpensive contributions of these latter days to the neglected cause of sentiment'. Decorated trees and cards, however, were only window dressing to the custom of Christmas gift-giving that blossomed in the 1870s and 1880s. Gifts had played a relatively modest role in Christmases of the past. Now they lavishly gilded the already popular holiday. Clearly a product of the new world of commerce and consumerism, Christmas presents also served more subtle ends. The getting and giving of gifts provided a means of grappling with jarring social change. Through personal gifts, Americans mediated the fragile relationships of an increasingly fragmented society. Through charitable gifts, they sought at least symbolic solutions to the problems of extreme economic inequality that threatened social peace and individual con- science. Gift-giving itself became controversial, sometimes perceived as a worrisome, materialistic perversion of a holy day. Such fear has not stemmed the growth of Christmas commerce. Indeed, by our own day, Christmas gift-giving has become the single most important sector of the consumer economy. No wonder that some have read backwards in time to make the new Christmas almost a conspiracy of retailers. Yet evidence suggests that the transition to a Christmas economy occurred only gradually, with both merchant and consumer acting as architects. In the 1820s, '30s and '40s merchants had noticed the growing role of gifts in the celebration of Christmas and New Year. Starting in the mid- to late- 1850s, imaginative importers, craftspersons and storekeepers consciously reshaped the holidays to their own ends even as shoppers elevated the place of Christmas gifts in their home holiday. However, for all the efforts of businessmen to exploit the season. Americans persistently attempted to separate the influence of commerce from the gifts they gave. What emerged was a kind of dialogue between consumers and merchants. Many gift-givers, for instance, ranked handmade gifts over purchased or totally manufactured ones. Retailers responded by marketing partially assembled goods to which givers applied the finishing touches. Americans also moderated the relationship between commerce and giving by wrapping the gifts they gave. The custom had once been merely to give a gift unadorned and uncovered, but a present hidden in paper heightened the effect of the gesture, fixing the act of giving to a moment of revelation. Wrapping also helped designate an item as a gift. As gifts came increasingly from stores, factories and homes of cottage labourers, paper and string helped redefine an object to meet its social use. The commercial work comprehended the importance of this symbolic transformation of goods. Grander stores began to wrap gifts purchased from their stock in distinctive, coloured papers, tinsel cords and bright ribbons, as part of their delivery services. Thus, while paper might have blurred a present's association with commerce in some cases, in others it advertised a material status associated with patronizing the 'right' store. The spiralling custom of giving and petting gifts did not simply reflect the materialism of the age. The felt need to demonstrate kinship ties and communal bonds more vividly helped to insure the importance of Christmas gifts. Some scholars have explored the important role that kinship plays in determining the value of an object. In what one observer has called our 'materials-intensive way of life', gifts often serve as 'social statement'. Given within families, another has commented, gifts 'provide continuity in one's life and across generations'. The Gilded Age, a time of particularly challenging social and economic upheaval, underlined the importance of family ties even as it threatened them. Gifts symbolized and helped secure these important relationships. The magazine Harper's gave early voice to the link between gifts and givers in 1856: 'Love is the moral of Christmas ... What are gifts but the proof and signs of love'!' Charity functioned in a related manner, but more as a symbolic, cathartic exercise in selflessness. The same social changes that fostered gift- giving as a means of reinforcing familial and social attachments at the private level also inspired charitable gifts as a way of declaring, if only symbolically, a unity and safety in society that extended even to the most impoverished. It was but one more large step to extend those good feelings and generosity to the homeless, hungry and unemployed, and to target Christmas as the time for the amelioration of those conditions (or at least the assuaging of guilt over them). 'Nowhere in Christendom are the poor remembered at Christmastide so generously as they are in American cities, especially our own,' the New York Tribune contended. In their comprehension of poverty and its solutions, most Americans moved little beyond Ebenezer Scrooge's personally fulfilling but ultimately narrow patronage. Their sentimentalization of 'worthy paupers' at Christmas time, especially virtuous but destitute women and vagabonds children, did not question the essential goodness of the market economy that had, directly and indirectly, produced the poverty. As in Dickens' evocation of charity, the rich man escaped condemnation if he recognized that his money meant little compared to his responsibility to humanity. That truth perceived and acted upon in highly public, seemingly generous fashion, the wealthy man could make his peace. In this glow of self-congratulation, Americans persisted in seeing poor relief as a matter of individual action to be undertaken on much the same terms as gift-giving within the circle of family. The best and largest gifts, of course, went to those closest to the circle's centre. Lesser gifts, in descending order of value, went to relatives and acquaintances of decreasing importance. The deserving poor, as the outermost members of the larger community, received gifts too, though often the least valuable and certainly the least personal of all. An 1894 advertisement for Best and Company illustrated the hierarchy. It suggested that 'while busy buying "things for Christmas'" the shopper might think of other children who are 'less fortunate than your own'. For them, the store advised that 'a gift of serviceable clothing', chosen from its special group of marked-down goods, 'would be more than welcome'. This material means of salvation indicated a broader truth about Christmas and its gifts. In a world dominated by commerce, one important ritual of grace was spending money on others. Indeed, charity and gifts, and the increasingly munificent expenditures on them, emphasized the relationship between affluence, which many saw as a reward from God, and Christian duty. Mixing traditional Protestant and American doctrines of individualism with the newer vision of Social Darwinism, many in the Christian community felt that American prosperity was proof and extension of God-ordained success, a link confirmed by Christmas giving. If gifts became the currency of an almost theological vision of affluence, their transcendent symbol was an updated version of an old saint. Santa Claus, with his fur-trimmed red suit, sackful of toys, reindeer, sleigh and home at the North Pole, emerged as a major folk figure. He first appeared in semi-modern form in the 1820s, in Clement Moore's An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas. By the 1850s and '60s, artists and writers had given wide circulation to the genial and generous American saint that Moore had introduced. Thomas Nast's fanciful Christmas drawings widened the sphere of Santa's rule in the late nineteenth century. Moore had already supplied eight reindeer to pull the sleigh. Nast gave him a workshop and ledgers to record children's conduct. He made him taller and dressed him in red. To this, Nast and others added a home at the North Pole, elves, a wife and even, by some accounts, children. These amplifications imparted to Santa an ever more human and credible dimension and idealized troublesome aspects of the nation's material and spiritual life. For example, the charming notion that Santa and his tiny helpers supplied all the Christmas toys encoded a highly romantic vision of American capitalism. This Santa reigned without opposition over a vast empire. In a world of practicality, he prospered as a highly successful manufacturer and distributor of toys. From his fur coat to his full girth, he resembled the nation's Gilded Age presidents and its well-fed captains of industry. Labour conditions were idealized as well. A work force of skilled and reliable elf-labour helped secure Santa's place in the pantheon of American business, These North pole elves were not unlike immigrants working in the nation's sweatshops. Unassimilated, isolated from the rest of society, and undifferentiated by individual name or character, the best of them worked hard, long and unselfishly; Their existence made manifest a maxim that hard work and a cheerful attitude benefited all. Yet any analogies that might be drawn between Santa's work and late nineteenth-century capitalism lay enmeshed in paradox, for, in significant was, Santa Claus also represented values at odds with the system. He was a robber baron in reverse. Rather than acquire wealth, he shed it yearly. He never purchased gifts, but (with elf help) made his own to give away without regard for financial profit, rewarding hest the most innocent and naive of all – the children. His world lay at some distance from the calumnies and banalities of everyday life. Santa Claus exemplified the realm of dreams, hopes, wishes and beliefs, not from the realities and compromises necessary to negotiate contemporary life. So powerful a symbol did Santa become that a number of writers and preachers worried that he had become a substitute and rival to Jesus. Centuries earlier Puritans had expressed the same fear about saints in general. Although the faith not only of Puritan Calvinists but of all Christians had modified over the intervening years, America's Protestant culture still looked upon an iconographic, human-like embodiment of Christmas with great suspicion. An evangelical magazine gave a succinct illustration of the danger when it reported in 1906 that one little girl, when told that Santa did not exist, refused to attend Sabbath School. 'Likely as not this Jesus Christ business will turn out just like Santa Claus', she reasoned. The fear that children might equate San(a with Jesus or God, however, missed an important point. In an age of science, Santa, while not a religious figure per se, represented a palpable medium through which children and adults in late nineteenth-century America could experience and act upon spiritual impulses. In that age (and ours) of material wealth and rational discourse, the ascetic saints of Christianity held no wide appeal, hut Santa allowed one to give and get and also to believe. Therein lay the significance of the New York Sun's famous discourse on the spiritual meaning of Santa. In 1897, Virginia O'Hanlon asked a plain question of the editor: 'Is there a Santa Claus?' 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus', came the terse reply. The answer, though, was not a patent fib designed to placate a youngster, but an exposition on belief itself. 'Virginia, your little friends are wrong', the editor wrote. 'They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see'. Without Santa, he argued: ... there would he no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence ... Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. The durability of the American Christmas may, in fact, rest on its ability to bring to our material and scientific world, against daunting odds, a broadly shared hint of the sacred. It is in the brief December season that Americans, using the language and objects of their culture, recapture ideals and act according to their better selves. In this sense, the nation's Christmas truly brings together the culture's two most disparate yet similarly unbounded projects – to seek wealth and to secure salvation. Penne Restad is a lecturer in American History at the University of Texas in Austin and the author of Christmas in America. (OUP, 1995).
  23. until
    Hanukkah: History Print Email Share 31 17 Unlike many Jewish holidays, Hanukkah (also known as the Festival of Lights) is not mentioned in the Bible. The historical events upon which the celebration is based are recorded in Maccabees I and II, two books contained within a later collection of writings known as the Apocrypha. Although Hanukkah is considered a “minor” Jewish festival, today it ranks—along with Passover and Purim—as one of the most beloved Jewish family holidays. In the year 168 B.C.E., the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes sent his soldiers to Jerusalem. The Syrians desecrated the Temple, the holiest place for Jews at that time. Antiochus also abolished Judaism, outlawing the observance of Shabbat and the Festivals, as well as circumcision. Altars and idols were set up for the worship of Greek gods and he offered Jews two options: conversion or death. On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev in 168 B.C.E., the Temple was renamed for the Greek god Zeus. A resistance movement— led by a priestly family known as the Hasmoneans, or Maccabees—developed against the cruelty of Antiochus. The head of the family was Mattathias, an elderly man. His son, Judah, became the chief strategist and military leader of the resistance. Though outnumbered, Judah Maccabee and his fighters miraculously won two major battles, routing the Syrians decisively. Although historians debate the causes and outcomes of the war in which Judah Maccabee and his followers defeated the Syrian armies of Antiochus, there is no doubt that Hanukkah evokes stirring images of Jewish valor against overwhelming odds. Other themes rooted in the observance of the holiday include the refusal to submit to the religious demands of an empire practicing idolatry, the struggle against total assimilation into Hellenistic culture and loss of Jewish identity, and the fight for Jewish political autonomy and self-determination. Hanukkah, which means “dedication,” is the festival that commemorates the purification and rededication of the Temple following the defilement caused by the Greeks during their occupation of that holy place. Today, the holiday reminds Jews to rededicate themselves to stand against forces that would destroy Judaism and to keep alive the flame of Jewish religion, culture, and peoplehood so that it may be passed on to the next generation. Originally, the eight-day holiday was intended to parallel the eight-day festival of Sukkot. The Books of the Maccabees made no mention of the legend concerning a small jar of oil that unexpectedly lasted for eight days. Only centuries after the Maccabees’ defeat of the Syrians did the story of the jar of oil—which has come to be a part of Hanukkah—appear in the Talmud. According to the legend, when the Maccabees entered the Temple and began to reclaim it from the Greeks, they immediately relit the ner tamid (eternal light), which burned constantly in the Temple and has a parallel in our synagogues to this day. In the Temple, they found a single jar of oil, which was sufficient for only one day. The messenger who was sent to secure additional oil took eight days to complete his mission, and miraculously, the single jar of oil continued to burn until his return. The rabbis of the Talmud attributed the eight days of Hanukkah to the miracle of this single jar of oil. Although the practice of lighting the menorah was common throughout much of the 19th century, North American Jews tended to neglect most of the other traditions and practices associated with the holiday. By the 1920s, however, Jews increasingly added gift-giving to their Hanukkah celebrations, prompting Christians to refer to Hanukkah as the "Jewish Christmas." Like many aspects of Jewish religious practice, the transformation of Hanukkah was linked to the growth of North American Jewry within its unique environment. The elevation of Hanukkah to a major holiday was the result of Jews acculturating themselves to a North America that was overwhelmingly Christian in population and symbols. Although Hanukkah had become an important holiday among North American Jews by the 1920s, it would be incorrect to regard it as an imitation of Christmas with an emphasis on the exchange of presents. Rather, North American Jews use this holiday as a celebration of family, reinforcing Jewish identity in a place whose population may be overwhelmingly Christian but in which Jews feel at home. Hanukkah, therefore, is a means for North American Jews to feel a kinship with their neighbors, while simultaneously asserting their Jewish distinctiveness.
  24. Lindsay

    Thanksgiving Day

    Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism. Spectators are showered with confetti during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Joseph Sohm—ChromoSohm Inc./Corbis Plymouth’s Thanksgiving began with a few colonists going out “fowling,” possibly for s but more probably for the easier prey of geese and ducks, since they “in one day killed as much as…served the company almost a week.” Next, 90 or so Wampanoag made a surprise appearance at the settlement’s gate, doubtlessly unnerving the 50 or so colonists. Nevertheless, over the next few days the two groups socialized without incident. The Wampanoag contributed venison to the feast, which included the fowl and probably fish, eels, shellfish, stews, vegetables, and alcohol. Since Plymouth had few buildings and manufactured goods, most people ate outside while sitting on the ground or on barrels with plates on their laps. The men fired guns, ran races, and drank liquor, struggling to speak in broken English and Wampanoag. This was a rather disorderly affair, but it sealed a treaty between the two groups that lasted until King Philip’s War (1675–76), in which hundreds of colonists and thousands of Indians lost their lives. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “Thanksgivings,” days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. The U.S. Continental Congress proclaimed a national Thanksgiving upon the enactment of the Constitution, for example. Yet, after 1798, the new U.S. Congress left Thanksgiving declarations to the states; some objected to the national government’s involvement in a religious observance, Southerners were slow to adopt a New England custom, and others took offense over the day’s being used to hold partisan speeches and parades. A national Thanksgiving Day seemed more like a lightning rod for controversy than a unifying force. Thanksgiving Day did not become an official holiday until Northerners dominated the federal government. While sectional tensions prevailed in the mid-19th century, the editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, Sarah Josepha Hale, campaigned for a national Thanksgiving Day to promote unity. She finally won the support of President Abraham Lincoln. On October 3, 1863, during the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. The holiday was annually proclaimed by every president thereafter, and the date chosen, with few exceptions, was the last Thursday in November. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, however, attempted to extend the Christmas shopping season, which generally begins with the Thanksgiving holiday, and to boost the economy by moving the date back a week, to the third week in November. But not all states complied, and, after a joint resolution of Congress in 1941, Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1942 designating the fourth Thursday in November (which is not always the last Thursday) as Thanksgiving Day. As the country became more urban and family members began to live farther apart, Thanksgiving became a time to gather together. The holiday moved away from its religious roots to allow immigrants of every background to participate in a common tradition. Thanksgiving Day football games, beginning with Yale versus Princeton in 1876, enabled fans to add some rowdiness to the holiday. In the late 1800s parades of costumed revelers became common. In 1920 Gimbel’s department store in Philadelphia staged a parade of about 50 people with Santa Claus at the rear of the procession. Since 1924 the annual Macy’s parade in New York City has continued the tradition, with huge balloons since 1927. The holiday associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans has come to symbolize intercultural peace, America’s opportunity for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family. Days of thanksgiving in Canada also originated in the colonial period, arising from the same European traditions, in gratitude for safe journeys, peace, and bountiful harvests. The earliest celebration was held in 1578, when an expedition led by Martin Frobisher held a ceremony in present-day Nunavut to give thanks for the safety of its fleet. In 1879 Parliament established a national Thanksgiving Day on November 6; the date has varied over the years. Since 1957 Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated in Canada on the second Monday in October.
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