Monthly Archives: December 2014

Why is Christmas Always On the 25th and Easter On A Different Day Each Year?

Christmas Day is always on December 25th. Why are not our Lord’s death and Resurrection celebrated on the same day each year?

For the sake of convenience, the world has forsaken the Jewish calendar, which is based on the movement of the moon round the earth, in favor of the Roman cal­endar, based on the movement of the earth round the sun.

Now, the normal pro­cedure of the Church is to arrange her festival days according to the accepted Roman calendar. By way of exception, however, the Church retains the Jewish calendar for the celebration of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Since the move­ment of the moon round the earth does not keep proportionate time with that of the earth round the sun, Easter necessarily becomes variable in relation to the Roman calendar. Easter Sunday is always the Sunday after the first full moon to occur after March 21st. It can fall on any day between March 22nd and April 25th.

The reason why the Church has retained the Jewish method in the case of the death and Resurrection of Christ is chiefly based upon the religious significance of these events. The paschal lamb of the Old Law, celebrating the liberation of the Jews from cap­tivity in Egypt by the slaying of a lamb to preserve them from the slaughter of the children of the Egyptians, was but a type or figure of Christ, the true Lamb of God. By his death and resurrection we are liberated from the captivity of Satan. In or­der to bring out the identity between the figurative paschal lamb of the Old Law, and the true Lamb of God in the New, the Church insists that Easter be celebrated at that very time when the Jews used to celebrate the Passover.

In other festivals the Church follows the Roman, or rather, the Gregorian calendar, which is a modification of the Roman calendar.

Thanks to Father Leslie Rumble for this one.

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Today in History – December 31

1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France for the Cape of Good Hope, where they would later create the South African wine industry with the vines they took with them on the voyage.

1695 – The window tax was imposed in Britain, which resulted in many windows being bricked up.

1711 – The Duke of Marlborough was dismissed as commander-in-chief.

1775 – The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec. Montgomery was killed in the battle.

1841 – The State of Alabama enacted the first dental legislation in the U.S.

1857 – Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

1862 – U.S. President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.

1877 – U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his silver (25th) wedding anniversary in the White House.

1879 – Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.

1891 – New York’s new Immigration Depot was opened at Ellis Island, to provide improved facilities for the massive numbers of arrivals.

1897 – Brooklyn, NY, spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New York City.

1923 – In London, the BBC first broadcast the chimes of Big Ben.

1929 – Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played “Auld Lang Syne” as a New Year’s Eve song for the first time.

1946 – U.S. President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

1947 – Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were married.

1953 – Willie Shoemaker broke his own record as he won his 485th race of the year.

1954 – The last episode of the radio show “Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok” aired.

1955 – General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year.

1960 – The farthing coin, which had been in use in Great Britain since the 13th century, ceased to be legal tender.

1961 – In the U.S., the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1967 – The Green Bay Packers won the National Football League championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The game is known as the Ice Bowl since it was played in a wind chill of 40 degrees below zero. (NFL)

1974 – Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1978 – Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, DC. The event marked the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.

1979 – At year end oil prices were 88% higher than at the start of 1979.

1986 – A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured 140 people. Three hotel workers later pled guilty to charges in connection with the fire.

1990 – Titleholder Gary Kasparov of the U.S.S.R. won the world chess championship match against his countryman Anatoly Karpov.

1996 – NCR Corp. became an independent company.

1997 – Michael Kennedy, 39-year-old son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

1999 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigned. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was designated acting president.

1999 – Five hijackers left the airport where they had been holding 150 hostages on an Indian Airlines plane. They left with two Islamic clerics that they had demanded be freed from an Indian prison. The plane had been hijacked during a flight from Katmandu, Nepal to New Dehli on December 24.

1999 – Sarah Knauss died at the age of 119 years. She was the world’s oldest person. She was born September 24, 1880.


Today in History – December 30

1460 – At the Battle of Wakefield, in England’s Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York was defeated and killed by the Lancastrians.

1853 – The United States bought about 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.

1879 – Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” was first performed, at Paignton, Devon, England.

1880 – The Transvaal was declared a republic. Paul Kruger became its first president.

1887 – A petition to Queen Victoria with over one million names of women appealing for public houses to be closed on Sundays was handed to the home secretary.

1903 – About 600 people died when fire broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, IL.

1919 – Lincoln’s Inn, in London, admitted the first female bar student.

1922 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed.

1924 – Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems.

1927 – The first subway in the Orient was dedicated in Tokyo, Japan.

1935 – Italian bombers destroyed a Sweedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.

1936 – The United Auto Workers union staged its first sit-down strike, at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI.

1940 – California’s first freeway was officially opened. It was the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena.

1942 – “Mr. and Mrs. North” debuted on NBC radio.

1944 – King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.

1947 – King Michael of Romania abdicated in favor of a Communist Republic. He claimed he was forced from his throne.

1948 – “Kiss Me Kate” opened at the New Century Theatre in New York City. Cole Porter composed the music for the classic play that ran for 1,077 performances.

1953 – The first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175.

1954 – Pearl Bailey opened on Broadway in the play, “House of Flowers.”

1954 – James Arness made his dramatic TV debut in “The Chase”. The “Gunsmoke” series didn’t begin for Arness until the fall of 1955.

1961 – Jack Nicklaus lost his first attempt at pro golf to Gary Player in an exhibition match in Miami, FL.

1972 – The United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

1976 – The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, played their last show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and retired as a team from show business. Both continued as solo artists and they reunited several years later.

1978 – Ohio State University fired Woody Hayes as its football coach, one day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl. Bauman had intercepted an Ohio pass.

1980 – “The Wonderful World of Disney” was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on the TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.
Disney movies, music and books

1993 – Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

1996 – A passenger train was bombed by Bodo separatists in India’s eastern state of Assam. At least 26 people were killed and dozens were seriously injured.

1996 – About 250,000 striking workers shut down vital services across Israel in protests against budget cuts proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

1997 – More than 400 people were massacred in four villages in the single worst incident during Algeria’s insurgency.


Today in History – December 29

1170 – St. Thomas à Becket, the 40th archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his own cathedral by four knights acting on Henry II’s orders. Here’s a reflection from today’s reading from the Roman Catholic Church that touches on this (can’t embed video, can only provide link)………

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid506929354001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAdgye3dk~,p0Zv3iru3vLtuHJC18uO4sBMTKhhmskf&bctid=1939661785001

1812 – The USS Constitution won a battle with the British ship HMS Java about 30 miles off the coast of Brazil. Before Commodore William Bainbridge ordered the sinking of the Java he had her wheel removed to replace the one the Constitution had lost during the battle.

1813 – The British burned Buffalo, NY, during the War of 1812.

1837 – Canadian militiamen destroyed the Caroline, a U.S. steamboat docked at Buffalo, NY.

1845 – U.S. President James Polk and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

1848 – U.S. President James Polk turned on the first gas light at the White House.

1851 – The first American Young Men’s Christian Association was organized, in Boston, MA.

1860 – The HMS Warrior, Britain’s first seagoing first iron-hulled warship, was launched.

1888 – The first performance of Macbeth took place at the Lyceum Theatre.

1890 – The U.S. Seventh Cavalry massacred over 400 men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek, SD. This was the last major conflict between Indians and U.S. troops.

1895 – The Jameson Raid from Mafikeng into Transvaal, which attempted to overthrow Kruger’s Boer government, started.

1911 – Sun Yat-sen became the first president of a republican China.

1913 – “The Unwelcome Throne” was released by Selig’s Polyscope Company. This was a moving picture and the first serial motion picture.

1934 – The first regular-season, college basketball game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. New York University defeated Notre Dame 25-18.

1934 – Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

1937 – Babe Ruth returned to baseball as the new manager of the Class D, De Land Reds of the Florida State League. Ruth had retired from baseball in 1935.

1940 – During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

1945 – The mystery voice of Mr. Hush was heard for the first time on the radio show, “Truth or Consequences”, hosted by Ralph Edwards.

1945 – Sheb Wooley recorded the first commercial record made in Nashville, TN.

1949 – KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut became the first ultrahigh frequency (UHF) television station to begin operating on a regular daily schedule.

1952 – The first transistorized hearing aid was offered for sale by Sonotone Corporation.

1953 – Jean Stapleton debuted in her first Broadway play, “In the Summer House”, which closed after only 55 performances.

1972 – Following 36 years of publication, the last weekly issue of “LIFE” magazine hit the newsstands. The magazine later became a monthly publication.

1975 – A bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. 11 people were killed.

1985 – Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted the “Citizens’ Summit” via satellite TV.

1986 – The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, reopened for business after eighteen years and $47 million expended on restoration.

1989 – Following Hong Kong’s decision to forcibly repatriate some Vietnamese refugees, thousands of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ battled with riot police.

1996 – The Guatemalan government and leaders of the leftist Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union signed a peace accord in Guatemala City, ending a civil war that had lasted 36 years.

1997 – Hong Kong began killing 1.25 million chickens, the entire population, for fear of the spread of ‘bird flu’.

1998 – Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed 1 million lives.

1999 – The Nasdaq composite index closed at 4,041.46. It was the first close above 4,000.


Today in History – December 28

1065 – Westminster Abbey was consecrated under Edward the Confessor.

1694 – Queen Mary II of England died after five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.

1732 – “The Pennsylvania Gazette,” owned by Benjamin Franklin, ran an ad for the first issue of “Poor Richard’s Almanack.”

1832 – John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson.

1836 – Mexico’s independence was recognized by Spain.

1846 – Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

1869 – William E. Semple, of Mt. Vernon, OH, patented an acceptable chewing gum.

1877 – John Stevens applied for a patent for his flour-rolling mill, which boosted production by 70%.

1879 – In Dundee, Scotland the central portion of the Tay Bridge collapsed as a train was passing over it. 75 people were killed.

1897 – “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the play by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris, France.

1902 – The first professional indoor football game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse defeated the Philadelphia Nationals 6-0.

1908 – An earthquake killed over 75,000 at Messina in Sicily.

1912 – The first municipally-owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco, CA.

1917 – The New York Evening Mail published a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.

1926 – The highest recorded cricket innings score of 1,107 runs was hit by Victoria, against New South Wales, in Melbourne.

1937 – The Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland when a new constitution established the country as a sovereign state under the name of Eire.

1942 – R.O. Sullivan crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the 100th time.

1945 – The U.S. Congress officially recognized the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

1950 – The Peak District became Britain’s first designated National Park.

1956 – After five years on television, the last “Ding Dong School” was aired on NBC-TV.

1964 – Initial filming of the movie “Dr. Zhivago” began on location near Madrid, Spain. The movies total running time is 197 minutes.

1973 – The Chamber of Commerce of Akron, OH, terminated its association with the All-American Soap Box Derby. It was stated that the race had become “a victim of cheating and fraud.”

1973 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn published “Gulag Archipelago,” an expose of the Soviet prison system.

1981 – Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, VA.

1982 – Nevell Johnson Jr. was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade. The event set off three days of race related disturbances that left another man dead.

1987 – The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, AR. Simmons had gone on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed two other lives.

1989 – Alexander Dubcek, who had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1970, was elected speaker of the Czech parliament.

1991 – Nine people died in a rush to get into a basketball game at City College in New York.

1995 – Pressure from German prosecutors investigating pornography forced CompuServe to set a precedent by blocking access to sex-oriented newsgroups on the Internet for its customers.

2000 – U.S. District Court Judge Matsch held a hearing to ensure that confessed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh understood that he was dropping his appeals. McVeigh said that he wanted an execution date, set but wanted to reserve the right to seek presidential clemency.

2000 – Shannen Doherty was arrested for driving under the influence.


It’s Still Christmas Time!

As a kid, this was the fun time. No school, new toys and hanging out with neighborhood friends. Our boredom during these times led to fun little adventures, and at times led to mischievous things, the list is long, but included Christmas lightbulb stealing (doh!), window tapping, roof hopping, the usual ding-dong ditch, orange/grapefruit fights, and BB-gun wars. I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious home yet we all knew why we were able to do these things with our time off from school…it was the time many moons ago that Jesus Christ was born.

As an adult Christmas time seems to fade beginning December 26 unfortunately. Now I often think right about 2,000 years just what were The Magi doing at this time, what were they thinking and what they were enduring. They believed the king of kings was born or about to be born. But where….when? A spectacular journey indeed. These were fascinating men.

The Magi

magi

A beautiful homily by Pope Emeritus Benedict from nearly 2 years ago. I was driving and happened to catch part of it on the radio at the time, had to look it up to read/hear it all. He really has a gift with words and paints a beautiful picture with them.

 

Excerpt:

These men who set out towards the unknown were, in any event, men with a restless heart. Men driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world. They were filled with expectation, not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater. They were no doubt learned men, quite knowledgeable about the heavens and probably possessed of a fine philosophical formation. But they desired more than simply knowledge about things. They wanted above all else to know what is essential. They wanted to know how we succeed in being human. And therefore they wanted to know if God exists, and where and how he exists. Whether he is concerned about us and how we can encounter him. Nor did they want just to know. They wanted to understand the truth about ourselves and about God and the world. Their outward pilgrimage was an expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts. They were men who sought God and were ultimately on the way towards him. They were seekers after God.

…………….These were also, and above all, men of courage, the courage and humility born of faith. Courage was needed to grasp the meaning of the star as a sign to set out, to go forth – towards the unknown, the uncertain, on paths filled with hidden dangers. We can imagine that their decision was met with derision: the scorn of those realists who could only mock the reveries of such men. Anyone who took off on the basis of such uncertain promises, risking everything, could only appear ridiculous. But for these men, inwardly seized by God, the way which he pointed out was more important than what other people thought. For them, seeking the truth meant more than the taunts of the world, so apparently clever.

 

Read it all.


Today in History – December 27

1703 – The Methuen Treaty was signed between Portugal and England, giving preference to the import of Portuguese wines into England.

1831 – Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin’s discoveries during the voyage helped him form the basis of his theories on evolution.

1845 – Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anesthesia for childbirth for the first time. The event was the delivery of his own child in Jefferson, GA.

1900 – Carrie Nation staged her first raid on a saloon at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, KS. She broke each and every one of the liquor bottles that could be seen.

1904 – James Barrie’s play “Peter Pan” premiered in London.

1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

1938 – The first skimobile course in America opened in North Conway, NH.

1945 – The World Bank was created with an agreement signed by 28 nations.

1947 – The children’s television program “Howdy Doody,” hosted by Bob Smith, made its debut on NBC.

1949 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted sovereignty to Indonesia after more than 300 years of Dutch rule.

1951 – In Cincinnati, OH, a Crosley automobile, with a steering wheel on the right side, became the first vehicle of its kind to be placed in service for mail delivery.

1965 – The BP oil rig Sea Gem capsized in the North Sea, with the loss of 13 lives.

1968 – “The Breakfast Club” signed off for the last time on ABC radio, after 35 years on the air.

1971 – Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock of Charles Schulz’ “Peanuts” comic strip were on the cover of “Newsweek” magazine.

1978 – Spain adopted a new constitution and became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979 – Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal succeeded President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed.

1985 – Palestinian guerrillas opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports. A total of twenty people were killed, including five of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.

1985 – Dian Fossey, an American naturalist, was found murdered at a research station in Rawanda.

1992 – The U.S. shot down an Iraqi fighter jet during what the Pentagon described as a confrontation between a pair of Iraqi warplanes and U.S. F-16 jets in U.N.-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.

1996 – Muslim fundamentalist Taliban forces retook the strategic air base of Bagram, solidifying their buffer zone around Kabul, the Afghanistan capital.

1997 – In Northern Ireland, Billy Wright was assassinated. He was imprisoned as a Protestant paramilitary leader.

2000 – Mario Lemeiux (Pittsburgh Penguins) returned to the National Hockey League (NHL) as a player after over 3 years of retirement. He was the first owner-player in the modern era of pro sports. Lemieux had purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins during his retirement from playing.

2001 – U.S. President George W. Bush granted China permanent normal trade status with the United States.

2002 – North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said that it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.

2002 – Clonaid announced the birth of the first cloned human baby. The baby had been born December 26.

2002 – In Chechnya, at least 40 people were killed when suicide bombers attacked the administartion of Grozny.