national holidays

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Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
Photo from Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: A Celebration of the Redemption of America’s Principles

Nearly 200 years after the vision expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and nearly 100 years after the bloody Civil War and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King Jr. answered the call and ultimately sacrificed his life to finish the work he described as making people, “free at last, free at last.” Read More ›
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USA, VA, Arlington. Gravestones at Arlington National Cemetary.

Memorial Day: Connecting the Past with the Present

The Civil War was America’s most costly war with some 360,222 Union and 258,000 Confederate lives lost. Many historians put the death toll higher, but regardless, the number of Civil War casualties exceeds the nation’s loss in all its other wars combined -- the two World Wars, the Korean and Vietnamese Wars and subsequent wars right up through conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read More ›
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Veterans Day: Celebration of a Greater Love

Veteran’s Day had its origin at the end of World War I in 1918, a conflict so horrendous that it was dubbed, “the Great War,” or “the war to end all wars,” with the United States playing the decisive role in the Allied powers’ final victory. It was first known as Armistice Day, celebrated on November 11 because that was Read More ›

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Magnifying lens (loupe) looking at
Photo by Anthony Garand at Unsplash.

Constitution Day is Our Most Important Forgotten Holiday

Constitution Day, which falls on September 17, is the national observance holiday that most Americans have never heard of. Yet this year, 2018, it may well be our most important holiday. For the Constitution is threatened more now than at any time since seven Southern states seceded from the Union and Civil War broke out on April 12, 1861. To …

Photo by Ben Noble

The Original American Idol

Today we merge Washington’s birthday with the birthdays of other presidents and submerge them all in clothing and appliance sales. But it was not always so. Americans in past centuries celebrated Washington’s birthday as a winter version of the Fourth of July. Americans in Cambridge, Williamsburg, Richmond and Milton, Conn., were already celebrating Washington’s birthday even before the end of Read More ›