Who Invented Thanksgiving?

Who Invented Thanksgiving?...

The history of Thanksgiving began in 1621. The celebration was done to give thanks to God and the Native Americans who helped the English settlers cope with the winter season in Plymouth in Massachusetts. Early Thanksgiving Records show that prior to 1621, there were other thanksgiving celebrations. The first on record took place on September 8, 1565. Pedro Menendez de Aviles led a group of 600 Spanish immigrants to St. Augustine, Florida. When they made it to land, the group gave thanks to God and a feast was held. The town of San Elizario in El Paso Texas was another site of an early thanksgiving. Don Juan de Onate declared that the settlers should hold thanksgiving on April 30, 1598. But in the history of Thanksgiving, these events are usually not considered as the first. The reason is that the celebrations taking place now are a continuation of the thanksgiving celebrations that took place in Plymouth. Date of Thanksgiving As the centuries went by, Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. It was President Abraham Lincoln who declared that the final Thursday of November be the date of Thanksgiving. This tradition has been followed ever since. The only exception was when President Franklin Roosevelt declared that Thanksgiving be moved to the third Thursday of November. Roosevelt made this declaration (the only one in the history of Thanksgiving) in 1939. By setting back the date a week earlier, he hoped to encourage people to go shopping earlier. This would result in more profits for business. He saw this as a means for ending the Great Depression. However, people had become accustomed to the final Thursday in November as the date. Eventually Roosevelt reset the date back to the original one. What this...
Who Invented Halloween?

Who Invented Halloween?

The history of Halloween in the US began in 1846 courtesy of Irish immigrants. However the actual roots of the festival go back to the ancient Celts of Europe. The Origin of Halloween The Celtic festival known as Samhain is believed to be the predecessor of modern Halloween. Samhain marked the end of the Celtic harvest season. It was also the start of the Celtic New Year. The date for the New Year was October 31. On this day, the Celts believed that the lines separating the living and the dead dissipated. During this time, evil spirits were said to roam the Earth. To combat these forces, the Celts would don masks. This aspect in the history of Halloween helps explain the tradition of watching scary costumes during the festival. Where the Name Came From Halloween got its name from Hallowe’en. This in turn was derived from All Hallow’s Eve. During the 9th century, the church changed the date of All Saint’s Day or All Hallows’ Day from May 13 to November 1. November 2 was then declared as the day of the dead. For this reason, October 31 became known as All Hallows’ Eve. Despite the move of the church, the festival remained very popular among the people. Traditions No study of the history of Halloween would be complete without addressing the origins of its many symbols. The jack o lantern had its roots in Celtic beliefs too. During Samhain, the Celts would carve heads out of rutabaga. They believed that the head could ward off the evil sprits that were roaming the Erath. This legend became intertwined with Irish and British legends involving Stingy Jack. According to the story, Stingy Jack was a greedy farmer who conned...
Who Invented Zero?

Who Invented Zero?

Few persons ever sit down and think about numbers and where they come from; it is just one of those things that we take for granted. Even if a person does wonder where numbers come from, the typical answer is that numbers originated with Roman numerals, but there are records of numbers being used as far back as 6000 BCE; however this only refers to numbers starting from 1, what about the number zero, where did it come from? The history of the zero is different from that of other numbers as ancient numerical systems did not have a zero, and a space was used where a zero should be. So let’s talk a little about the number zero and how it got into the numerical system. Where Zero Came From There are a lot of different stories about where the number zero comes from; one story says that the zero was first used as a number in India in the 9th century AD by Indian mathematician Aryabhata. It is also said that Indian scholar Pingala along with his fellow scholars used the Sanskrit word ??nya to refer to the number zero. Another story says that the number zero was invented by the Mayan civilization for use on their calendars, while yet another story claims that the zero dates back to 300 B.C. and was invented in Babylon. In the European society there is no evidence of the number zero being used until after 800 AD by the Arabs who were coming to trade with the Europeans; the name zero was also derived from the Arabic language. By 130 AD Ptolemy was using a small circle with a long over-bar to represent a zero; this symbol was used by...
Who Invented Christmas?

Who Invented Christmas?

Christmas did not originate in the Christian religion. It came from the ancient Romans. Every year in December they held a festival called “Saturnalia” in honor of their god Saturn. The festival ran for a week starting in December 17 up to December 23. Saturnalia was a time of freedom and pleasure without consequence. People could do what they wanted and the law wouldn’t punish them. In fact, all courts of law were closed during the week-long festivities. The Romans would take this opportunity to play games, get drunk, run about naked and commit sexual acts that would be unacceptable at other times. Even the slaves got a break: for once the roles were reversed and they could insult their masters. A special banquet was prepared just for the slaves in each household. More disturbing, the Romans would choose an innocent person to be a type of scapegoat during the festival. This person would be considered the enemy of the community. He or she would be forced to self-indulge in many ways for a week, before being killed. The Christians used a clever tactic to get people to convert to their religion. They took the popular Roman festivals and changed them to fit into Christianity. While the names changed, the customs and practices stayed the same. It reassured people that they could convert to the new religion and still keep the old practices. Since Saturnalia was the major feast of the year, the Christians made it the birthday of their savior. However the actual Christmas Day itself, December 25, was not the last day of Saturnalia. It was the day of Sol Invictus, the “Invincible Sun.” Sol Invictus was part of a Roman warrior cult – in which the...
Who Invented Daylight Savings Time?

Who Invented Daylight Savings Time?...

Daylight savings time (also known as DST) refers to the practice of advancing clocks to maximize the use of sunlight and to save energy used for producing electricity. This practice is popular in some countries including the United States and Great Britain. Individuals who support DST believe that they can use the additional daylight for doing different leisure activities. Additionally, retail shops also benefit from this practice since their electric consumption will be lessened. To learn more about this conventional practice, it is important to have a closer look at the history of the Daylight Savings Time. History of DST Who invented Daylight Savings Time? DST was invented by George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist in New Zealand, in the late 1800s. In his research in 1895, Hudson proposed the adjustment of day hours. He realized the value of daylight in his work, which is to examine the behaviors of insects. Individuals who read the research, showed interest in his proposal. In this regard, Hudson published another research that would support his claims about DST in 1898. In 1905, English outdoorsman William Willet realized the importance of DST to the lives of people in London, England during summer. He came to this realization while in a pre-breakfast ride. In 1907, Willet published research about the benefits from the Daylight Savings Time. DST in the United States The implementation of DST was observed in 1918. At this time, the Congress gave power to local governments whether to implement the Daylight Savings Time or not. However, on February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945, the national government implemented the act nationally because the country faced energy crisis during the Second World War. After 1945, the legislation was revised and the implementation of...
Who Invented the Paper Clip?

Who Invented the Paper Clip?...

Our modern day paper clip owes its beginnings to William D. Middlebrook. Its patent is dated on November 9, 1899. It is interesting that for over a hundred years, in spite of humble beginnings, no one has yet been able to create a more efficient way to hold loose sheets of paper. We’ll look into who invented the paper clip and its humble beginnings. Early Beginnings Some consider Samuel Fay as the either the forerunner or the man himself who invented the paper clip. However, if you look at the patent he obtained dated April 23, 1867 he called the device as a Ticket Fastener. The original idea that Fay had was to have the ticket fastener attach tickets to garments. In the description of the fastener you’ll find that as an additional use, it could be hold pieces of paper together. Samuel Fay was not the only one who submitted or invented the paper clip’s predecessors or devices like unto it. There were in fact some other 50 designs that were patented that would seem to be early precursors. The difference however is that the designs submitted prior to that of William Middlebrook’s don’t even come close to what the modern day paper clip would look like. Birth of the Paper Clip As mentioned earlier, William Middlebrook is credited as the one who invented the paper clip we know today. He in fact not only invented the paper clip but also the machine that would make paper clips. The drawings on the patent distinctly portray our modern day paper clip. The patent William Middlebrook obtained was for both the paper clip and its production machine. Coming of the GEM In the year 1899 the manufacturing company Cushman and...
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