History

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    What Are The Different Names For The American Flag?

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    Why Are Singing Groups Called “Glee Clubs”?

    These infamously chipper singing groups are called glee because the melding of voices makes everyone happy, right? Actually, joy has little to do with it. Why are they really called glee clubs? Yes, one definition of glee is “open delight or pleasure,” e.g., The students ran out of the building on the last day of school with glee.Glee derives from the Old English glēo, meaning “mirth, jesting, …

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    What Is A “Claret Jug”?

    Since 1872, the winner of golf’s British Open, which is also called The Open Championship and the oldest of the sport’s four major tournaments, has won a trophy that goes by an unusual name: the Claret Jug. What is the origin of a claret jug? The Claret Jug, officially called the Golf Champion Trophy, is made in the style of the jugs used in the nineteenth century …

  4. The Forgotten Verses Of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of the US anthem, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? How did the “Star-Spangled Banner” become the US national anthem? In 1814, the poet …

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_New_York

    What Was New York’s Original Name?

    Gotham, the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps: New York City is virtually an emblem of America. But, how did it get its name, and where is “Old” York? What was the original name for New York? Before New York was New York, it was a small island inhabited by a tribe of the Lenape peoples. One early English rendering of the native placename …

  6. Words Popularized By Shakespeare That We Still Use

    William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 and was baptized on April 26, 1564. His exact birthdate remains unknown, though it is conventionally taken to be the same as the day his “bones were interred.” In his honor, we wanted to share some words popularized by the man himself. Did Shakespeare coin the following terms? Probably not. These words may have already been in conversational …

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    What Is A “Ban”?

    The word ban gets bandied about a lot these days, from vegan brides wanting to ban meat-eaters from their weddings to plastic straws getting banned from coffee drinks. On an individual level, banning things we don’t like or agree with can be an easy way to rid them from our life. But, zoom out to a governmental and societal level, and bans become much more complex. What …

  8. www.spicejungle.com

    Why Is The Word “Root” In “Root Beer”?

    Is root beer the world’s most oddly named carbonated beverage … we don’t know, that award might go to 7-up, but we’re going to explore the naming of this soft drink regardless. What, after all, is the root in root beer? The roots of root in root beer The ingredient in root beer that primarily gives the beverage its distinctive flavor is sassafras, which is “the root …

  9. The Story Behind Saint Patrick’s Name

    March 17th marks the annual celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, or Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Irish. The holiday honors its fifth-century namesake, Saint Patrick, Ireland’s shamrock-loving patron saint, who died on this date in 461 A.D. These days, the holiday is observed all over the world to celebrate Irish cultural heritage, which is ironic considering Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. Nor was Patrick his real name. …

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    Why Do We Say “Beware The Ides Of March”?

    March 15 is known as the ides of March. But why do “beware” them? What’s so inauspicious about this otherwise normal day? Why has this humdrum mid-month point become a harbinger of ill fortune? Where did the phrase ides of March come from? First, let’s talk calendars—ancient Roman calendars. Unlike today, the ancient Romans didn’t number their calendar days in order from the first of the month …