Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Labor Day

September 2, 2019

“Every dollar that the boss did not work for, one of us worked for a dollar and didn’t get it.”

William “Big Bill” Haywood

Related:

“What Is Labor Day? A History of the Workers’ Holiday,” Karen Zraick, New York Times

“Most Americans view unions favorably, though few workers belong to one,” Drew DeSilver, Pew Research Center

“Unions struggle in the courts, but they have a fighting chance in the streets,” Barry Eidlin, Washington Post

“Trump Celebrates Labor Day by Attacking Labor Leader,” Benjamin Hart, New York Magazine

“Trump rolls back worker safety rules,” Ian Kullgren, Politico

“Donald Trump’s war on workers,” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“A Labor Day Reflection on Unions, Race, and Division,” Dan Kaufman, The New Yorker

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Independence Day Defiled

July 4, 2019

Independence Day Defiled
Americans have celebrated July 4th as the nation’s Independence Day since 1776.

No more. Today is a celebration of the Supreme Leader, who will personally harangue a cheering sea of red hats from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this evening, conducting a political rally at enormous public expense. God Save America.

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Image (“July 4, 2019, after Bill Mauldin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2019

Juneteenth
(General Orders, Department of Texas, June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the United States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

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New National Holiday. Mark Your Calendar.

June 14, 2019

New National Holiday. Mark Your Calendar.

Every year the Office of Personnel Management prints a list of all official national holidays. Washington’s birthday, for example, is really February 22nd, but this year the Federal Government observed it on February 18th. Likewise, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is actually January 15th, but the government observed it on January 21st.

The official 2019 federal calendar omitted a holiday, probably because OPM’s Acting Director Margaret Weichert is so busy directing OPM while also deputy-directing the Office of Management and Budget and everything. Luckily, a White House tweet corrected the record, so mark your calendar. Although Donald Trump’s birthday is June 14th, the nation will observe it on the 4th of July. Who knows, there might be a big crowd!

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Image (“Trump’s Birthday, Observed”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Memorial Day 2019

May 27, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday once known as Decoration Day, the time to remember those who fell in defense of our country.  Memorial Day is now officially observed on a Monday to form a three-day holiday weekend, and the original significance has been distilled down to a 60-second Moment of Remembrance.

But there are 259,199 more minutes to a three-day weekend, and human nature abhors a semantic vacuum, so the holiday has acquired meanings in other realms:

Ceremony: Solemn ritual processions.

Ritual garb: White footwear.

Nutrition: Ceremonial meals.

Transportation: The Brickyard.

Economics:  Door-Busters.

Calendar: Memorial Day is the official Unofficial Start of Summer.

The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3:00 PM to 3:01 PM (local time in each time zone) on Monday, May 27, 2019. U.S. Code, Title 36,114, Stat. 3078, Sec.(2)(7): “… reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble event that that day is intended to be.”

For more about the origins of Memorial Day, see Burying the Dead but Not the Past by Dr. Caroline Janney.

Related:

“The forgotten history of Memorial Day,” Richard Gardiner, Quartz

“Why Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day (but shouldn’t be),” Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

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DC Emancipation Day, 1862: It Was Slaveowners Who Got Reparations.

April 16, 2019

DC Emancipation Day, 1862: It Was Slaveowners Who Got Reparations.

On April 16, 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act freeing the 3000 enslaved people in the District of Columbia. This was nine months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Confederate states, many of whom actually remained in bondage until the the war’s end in 1865, and 20 months before ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which definitively outlawed slavery everywhere in the United States.

Understandably, April 16th is a holiday in the District of Columbia, District Emancipation Day, celebrated with speeches, concerts, fireworks and parades. There’s a bit of rain on that parade, though, if you take a closer look at history. That 1862 act was called the Compensated Emancipation Act, and it authorized payments to DC slaveowners rather than liberation of enslaved people on moral grounds. It even sought to promote emigration of former slaves outside the borders of the United States.

In any case, black Washingtonians had their freedom. That’s definitely worth celebrating.

More:

“When Slaveowners Got Reparations,” Tera W. Hunter, New York Times

Related:

“Georgetown students vote in favor of reparations for enslaved people,” Susan Svrluga, Washington Post

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This Is the New Year

January 1, 2019

‘This Is the New Year,” written by Ian Axel and performed by him with Chad King as A Great Big World. in 2012. Video director: Leiv Parton.

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Happy New Year

January 1, 2019

“Happy New Year,” written by Chuck Collins, arranged by Gordon Jenkins, and performed by Judy Garland in 1957.

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New Year’s Resolution

January 1, 2019

“New Year’s Resolution,” written by Randle CatronWilla Dean “Deanie” Parker, and Mary Frierson; recorded by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas in 1968.

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Let’s greet 2019.

January 1, 2019

2019
Out with the old, in with the new. Happy 2019. Keep your head down in the New Year and you just might survive it.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a free copy here, comrade – property is theft. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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