Browsing: Places

A Brief History On February 2, 2020, we celebrate yet another Groundhog Day, a day in which Winter weary people find out if we are in for 6 more weeks of Winter or if we are facing the joy of an early Spring.  As implied by the name of the day, an actual Groundhog is “consulted” for his (or her) “prediction.”  But…. This year the animal rights organization, PETA, is recommending we immediately end this act of animal cruelty (?) and replace our beloved Marmots with (gasp!) animatronic replicas of Groundhogs!  A discussion of why this plan is “stupid” is…

A Brief History On October 21, 1096, a Seljuk Turk army led by Sultan Kilij Arslan I massacred a Christian army from Europe, known as the People’s Army, ending the first of the religious wars known as the Crusades.  This particular “Crusade” is not considered an “official Crusade,” a distinction reserved for the Catholic Church sanctioned invasion of the Middle East (i.e., Holy Land) a year later. Digging Deeper The so called “People’s Crusade,” “Popular Crusade,” “Peasants’ Crusade” or “Paupers’ Crusade” was the work of a charismatic French monk called Peter the Hermit.  In keeping with the multiple names theme,…

A Brief History On September 20, 1187, the Islamic forces of the famous Kurdish Muslim leader Saladin laid siege to the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, the holiest city in the Christian world and likewise in the Jewish world, and the third holiest city in Islam.  By October 2, 1187, the siege came to an unusually quick conclusion when the Christians surrendered the city, never to regain the main object of the Crusades again.  Saladin, an historical character praised for his humanity during a time of terrible excesses allowed generous terms for the Christians, including continued access to…

A Brief History On February 1, 1796, the British government changed the capital of Upper Canada from Newark to York. Oddly named to the casual observer, the province of Upper Canada is actually the furthest South of all parts of Canada, and no, it does not have a high elevation, either. Digging Deeper Occupying the central area of British Canada (Canada became independent in 1867, and the French claimed a large portion called New France until after the Seven Years War), Upper Canada was a province that today is the southern part of Ontario, from the 1000 Islands region North…

A Brief History On December 9, 1917, British forces under the command of Field Marshall Allenby captured the city of Jerusalem, then in the territory known as Palestine. Fighting in and around the city would continue for another 3 weeks between the British and the forces of Ottoman Turkey, the Yidirim Army Group (“Thunderbolt” Army Group).  The World War I battle for Jerusalem is just one in the long history of battles for this city that is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, a bloody history that goes back thousands of years.  Today Jerusalem is back in the news with…

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