December 31 in Pop Culture History

December 31 in Pop Culture History 1600 – The British East India Company was chartered. It was the first global mega-corporation. 1805 – The ‘Calendar of Reason’ had been introduced in France on November 24, 1793. It was abandoned, and the Gregorian calendar, which we still use today, replaced it. 1831 – Gramercy Park was […]

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December 30 in Pop Culture History

December 30 in Pop Culture History 1903 – Iroquois Theatre Fire, Chicago, Illinois – over 600 people were killed. 1916 – Grigory Efimovich Rasputin was murdered. He was a family friend and confidant of Russia’s Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra. 1922- Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation formed the USSR (Union of Soviet […]

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December 29 in Pop Culture History

December 29 in Pop Culture History 1170 – Archbishop Thomas Becket was assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights, under orders from King Henry II of England. 1851 – The first American YMCA (Young Men’s Christian association) opened in Boston, Massachusetts. 1890 – The US Cavalry killed 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine […]

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Stan Lee Born December 28th 1922

Stan Lee (Stanley Lieber) was born December 28, 1922.  As a boy Mr. Lee loved to read to quote him, “It would be easier to say what I didn’t read.”  He enjoyed The Tarzan Stories, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Welles.  His original career goal was to […]

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December 28 in Pop Culture History

December 28 in Pop Culture History 1065 – Westminster Abbey was consecrated. 1869 – The Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, PA, held the first Labor Day. 1895 – Louis and Auguste Lumiere screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life (and charged admission for the viewing) at the […]

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Peter Pan Opens December 27, 1904

(PCM)Peter Pan Or The Boy Who Wouldn’t grow up opened on December 27, 1904 at the Duke of York Theater in London England. Peter Pan was written by the playwright/novelist James M. Barrie.  Barrie had been influenced to write the play after developing a friendship with the boys of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.  He would make […]

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December 27 in Pop Culture History

December 27 in Pop Culture History 1831 – Charles Darwin set sail in the HMS Beagle, beginning his journey discovering evolution. 1895 – “Stag” Lee Sheldon killed his friend Billy Lyons over a drunken political argument. Various versions of the encounter have been sung about “Stagger Lee.” 1904 – Peter Pan the Boy Who Wouldn’t […]

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December 26 in Pop Culture History

December 26 in Pop Culture History 1610 – Countess Elizabeth Bathory had tortured and killed possibly hundreds young girls for over a dozen years. She believed eating flash and bathing in their blood would keep her youthful. 1865 – James H. Mason of Franklin, Mass., was issued a patent (# 51,741) for a coffee percolator. […]

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5 days 5 Staves of A Christmas Carol. Day Five

Stave Five or The End of It.  JRR Tolkien wrote in The Hobbit “ Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to hear are soon told about, and not much to listen too; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a good […]

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December 25 in Pop Culture History

December 25 in Pop Culture History 0 (possibly 4 or 6 BC) – Jesus was born. 350 – Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ. 800 – Charlemagne was coronated as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome. 1066 – William the Conqueror, the Duke of […]

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Christmas Trivia and The Reason For The Season

Christmas Trivia and The Reason For The Season (PCM) The word Christmas originated as a compound word, meaning “Christ’s Mass”. It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. “Cristes” is from Greek Christos and “mæsse” is from Latin missa (the holy mass). While it […]

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5 Staves 5 Days of A Christmas Carol. Day Four

Stave 4, The Last of the Spirits.  The last stroke of midnight had  cease to vibrate and there appeared before Scrooge a figure “shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one out stretched hand.  If the hand wasn’t there it would […]

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December 24 in Pop Culture History

December 24 in Pop Culture History 1801 – Richard Trevithick publicly displayed his “Puffing Devil,” or “Puffer,” the first steam-powered passenger vehicle. The steam engine was a prototype of steam powered trains. 1814 – The War of 1812 ended between the British Empire and the United States. 1818 – Silent Night (music: Franz Xaver Gruber, […]

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5 Days 5 Staves of A Christmas Carol Day Three

The Second of The Three Spirits or Stave Three begins with Scrooge waking up and without even hearing the sound of the clock he knows it is the hour of one.  The bell strikes one… and nothing happens.  If you ever have done something wrong at school or at a job you may know what […]

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December 23 in Pop Culture History

December 23 in Pop Culture History 1823 – A Visit From St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published. Clement Clarke Moore acknowledged authorship in 1837. 1888 – Suffering from severe depression, Vincent Van Gogh cut off the lower part of his left ear with a razor in Arles, France. 1913 – […]

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Celebrate Short Fiction – December 21st

  (PCM) Does life imitate art? If the sales of fiction for our e-readers, smart phones and – oh yeah, books – tell us anything, it’s that it might be the other way around: life in the information age moves fast, and art (including literature) needs to keep up. In recent years, short fiction has […]

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Happy Winter Solstice!

  (PCM) The Winter Solstice falls on or around December 21st. On this day in the Northern Hemisphere, the earth is tilted away from the sun as far as it can get. As the shortest day of the year and the absolute height of winter (astronomically speaking), the Solstice was an important ritual day in […]

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5 Days 5 Staves of A Christmas Carol. Day One

“Marley was dead to begin with.”  These six words may be, at least, one of the most famous lines in all of literature.  In 1843 Charles Dickens was short on funds.  In order to help himself make the money he needed he came up with the idea of a Christmas book.  He was considering the […]

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December 21 in Pop Culture History

December 21 in Pop Culture History 1620 – William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on (what is now known as Plymouth Rock) in Plymouth, Massachusetts. 1913 – Arthur Wynne published his “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, in the New York World. 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney’s first full-length (83 […]

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December 20 in Pop Culture History

December 20 in Pop Culture History 1803 – Although officially signed in April 1803, the French flag came down and the United States’ flag rose in New Orleans, completing the Louisiana Purchase. 1880 – New York’s Broadway was first lighted by electricity, built by Charles F. Brush, and became known as the “Great White Way.” […]

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Happy National Sangria Day! (December 20th)

(PCM) December 20th is National Sangria Day. We’re not really sure why, other than “because the internet says so,” but hey – if you’ve made it this far into December, then cheers! Who needs a better reason to celebrate? Sangria (from the Spanish word for blood. Yum?) is a deep red cocktail or wine punch […]

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Happy National Sangria Day! (December 20th)

(PCM) December 20th is National Sangria Day. We’re not really sure why, other than “because the internet says so,” but hey – if you’ve made it this far into December, then cheers! Who needs a better reason to celebrate? Sangria (from the Spanish word for blood. Yum?) is a deep red cocktail or wine punch […]

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December 19 in Pop Culture History

December 19 in Pop Culture History 1732 – Benjamin Franklin published the first edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac, in Philadelphia. 1843 – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published. 1871 – Samuel Clemens received a patent (# 121,992) for “An Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Garment Straps”, a type of cumberbun/belt. 1903 – The Williamsburg […]

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December 18 in Pop Culture History

December 18 in Pop Culture History 1620 – The British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony. Passenger William Bradford became the first governor of the colony. 1787 – New Jersey became the 3rd state. 1839 – John William Draper took a daguerreotype of […]

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Saturnalia: December 17th – December 23rd

  (PCM) In ancient Rome, the period between December 17th and December 23rd was known as the Saturnalia, a festival to honor the god Saturn. Saturn ruled over such things as abundance, destruction, and time. He gave his name to our largest planet as well as everyone’s favorite day of the week (Saturday). His celebration […]

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December 17 in Pop Culture History

December 17 in Pop Culture History 497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome. 1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicated England’s Henry VIII. 1790 – The Aztec Stone (‘Sun Stone’) was excavated in the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City. It is about 12 feet across and weighs about 24 […]

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December 16 in Pop Culture History

December 16 in Pop Culture History 1707 (Eruption) The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan. 1773 – The Boston Tea Party. Massachusetts colonists, ‘the Sons of Liberty,’ disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor. 1811 (Earthquake) An 8.6 magnitude earthquake hit the […]

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December 15 in Pop Culture History

December 15 in Pop Culture History 1827 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts, the School Committee voted to require, effective March 1 1828, that public school students show that they had been vaccinated against smallpox prior to school entrance. Certificates to the board of health were to be issued where necessary for free vaccination. This […]

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December 14 in Pop Culture History

December 14 in Pop Culture History 1287 – St. Lucia’s Flood, Netherlands 1656 – Imitation pearls were first manufactured by a Frenchman, named Jacquin. 1852 – Cullen Whipple, of Providence, R.I., patented (# 9477) his “Mechanism for Pointing and Threading Screw-Blanks in the Same Machine.” Prior to that screws were generally made with a flat […]

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December 13 in Pop Culture History

December 13 in Pop Culture History 115 (Earthquake) Antioch, Byzantine Empire (Turkey) 1545 – The Council of Trent began; it was the planning of responding to the Protestant Movement, by the Catholic Church. 1962 – Relay I, the first U.S. communications satellite was launched. 1968 – Science magazine published the essay ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, […]

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December 12 In Pop Culture History

December 12 in Pop Culture History 1787 – Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. 1901 – Guglielmo Marconi sent the first Atlantic wireless (radio) transmission (three beeps) from Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland, Canada. 1913 – Stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris on August 11, 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The […]

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December 11 In Pop Culture History

December 11 in Pop Culture History Babies born today were probably conceived on Saint Patrick’s Day. 1769 – Venetian Blinds were patented in London by Edward Bevan in England. 1844 – Dr. Horace Wells became the first person to have a tooth extracted after receiving an anesthetic (Nitrous Oxide) for the dental procedure, by Dr. […]

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December 10 in Pop Culture History

December 10 in Pop Culture History 1033 (Earthquake) Ramala (West Bank) 1478 – Arte dell’Abbaco (‘The Art of the Abacus’), the first teaching math book, was printed and distributed in Treviso, Italy. Author unknown. 1845 – British engineer Robert Thompson patented the first pneumatic (air pressured) tires. 1869 – Montana granted women the right to […]

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December 9 In Pop Culture History

December 9 in Pop Culture History 1884 – The US patent (#308990) for ball-bearing roller skates, was issued to Levant M. Richardson. 1907 – Christmas Seals, an outreach from the American Lung association, went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, Delaware, post office. 1958 – In Indianapolis, the John Birch Society formed. […]

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Gingerbread Decorating Day 2nd Saturday in December

(PCM) Gingerbread!  The very thought of it brings to mind the scents of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and let’s not forget ginger.  Gingerbread is part of our culture.  We, of course use it as food, but it plays a part in stories such as The Ginger Bread Man and Hansel and Gretel.  We see it in […]

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December 8 In Pop Culture History

December 8 in Pop Culture History 1765 – Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, Massachusetts. Whitney invented the cotton gin and developed the concept of mass-production of interchangeable parts, which enabled the industrial revolution. He doesn’t get enough credit for that. 1854 – Pope Pius IX proclaimed that the Immaculate Conception, was Roman Catholic dogma, […]

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December 7 In Pop Culture History

December 7 in Pop Culture History 1732 – The Covent Garden Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House) was opened on London. 1787 – Delaware became ‘The First State’ to ratify the US Constitution. 1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed his first bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri. 1909 – Leo Baekeland of Yonkers, New […]

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December 6 in Pop Culture History

December 6 in Pop Culture History 1790 – The US Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia. 1830 – The U.S. Naval Observatory, one of the oldest scientific agencies in the US, was established as the ‘Depot of Charts and Instruments’ in Washington, D.C. 1850 – Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-94) announced the invention the ophthalmoscope, […]

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December 5 in Pop Culture History

December 5 in Pop Culture History 1455 (Earthquake) Naples, Italy, killing an estimated 40,000 people. 1854 – Aaron H. Allen of Boston, received U.S. patent# 12,017 for a folding chair as an “Improvement in Self-Adjusting Opera-Seat” for theatres or other public buildings. You have probably sat on his invention, if you have gone to a […]

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December 4 Is National Cookie Day

(PCM) What better time than the start of the holiday season to celebrate National Cookie Day. The word cookie takes it’s origin from the Dutch word “koekie” which translates to “little cake”.  History tells us that there have been some type of cookies in existence the invent of baking, however they were not sweet. It […]

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December 2nd Is National Special Education Day

(PCM) Happy Special Education Day! On this day in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law, giving all children with disabilities access to free and appropriate public education. Though IDEA has since been revised many times, it is still the basis for special education law in the United States. IDEA […]

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December 2 In Pop Culture History

December 2 in Pop Culture History 1697 – St Paul’s Cathedral was consecrated in London. 1763 – Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island. 1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of the French. 1816 – The first US savings bank, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS), […]

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December 1 In Pop Culture History

December 1 in Pop Culture History 800 – Charlemagne judged the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican, and decided in the Pope’s favor. 1783 – The first manned voyage of a lighter-than-air hydrogen balloon left Paris carrying Professor Jacques Alexander Cesar Charles and Marie-Noel Robert to almost 500 feet and landed 28 miles […]

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