Browsing: October 12

A Brief History On October 12, 2017 the United States has only one more day to wait for the release of Jackie Chan’s latest and perhaps greatest film, The Foreigner.  A collaboration of Chinese and Western movie makers, this film is not a comedy, but a taut, spellbinding thriller with plenty of action. Digging Deeper Think of the movie along the lines of Taken, The Devil’s Own, Law Abiding Citizen, and The Limey.  Like the above films, The Foreigner is about a simple Chinese restaurant owner, a sort of everyman, that seeks justice in an unjust world.  In the title…

A Brief History On October 12, 1945, Corporal Desmond T. Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia, was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor given to only the bravest of our military heroes.  A remarkable aspect of this award was that Doss was a lifelong conscientious objector and refused to bear arms against any other person, enemy or not. Digging Deeper Doss was the nation’s first conscientious objector to be honored by a Medal of Honor, and to make the feat that much less likely, he lived to receive his medal and died at the age of 87 in…

A Brief History On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus, the Italian adventurer sailing into the unknown in the name of the Spanish Crown, landed in the Bahamas, the landing that became known as the “discovery” of America (or, “The New World” if you prefer).  In New York City, 300 years later, the first “Columbus Day” was celebrated, an event that became a regular holiday in the United States, a day especially treasured by Italian-Americans, and Italians everywhere.  (Note: Columbus Day 2017 is celebrated on Monday, October 9th.) Digging Deeper Christopher Columbus is ranked among the greatest explorers and discoverers of…

A Brief History On October 12, 1773, Eastern State Hospital was established, the first insane asylum in what is now the United States. Built in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, this was a time in history when mentally ill (aka, “insane”) people were seen as something to make fun of and were used as entertainment. The famous English insane asylum, Bethlehem Royal Hospital (more commonly known as “Bedlam,” and yes, that is the source of that word) was a popular tourist attraction! Digging Deeper Eastern State Hospital did a thriving business as it seems there was no shortage of patients. The poor…

A Brief History On October 12, 1216, King John of England capped off what had to be one of the least glorious chapters in the history of Britain by losing his crown jewels.  Conducting a campaign across his country in an effort to retain his crown, some of John’s baggage train was lost in “quicksand and whirlpools” of the “Wash,” an estuary in East Anglia (a squarish bay of about 15 miles by 15 miles into which 4 major rivers flow). Digging Deeper John and his brothers, including Richard the Lionheart, later Richard I, King of England, etc., took part…

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