History, Military, War

Twenty Years Ago Today, on March 19, 2003…

...US President George W. Bush ordered air strikes on Baghdad, launching the war for "regime change," and for the ousting of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The war was premised on the the belief that Hussein was manufacturing and staging weapons of mass destruction to be used against his enemies.  Such a belief is now deemed… Continue reading Twenty Years Ago Today, on March 19, 2003…

Britishness, Culture, History, Religion

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

So there I was this morning, walking into the Wellness Center for my thrice weekly half-mile swim, when I meandered past the kiddie-pen (they always seem to be having a marvelous time) and noticed the large hanging banner in green sparkly cardstock wishing everyone a “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!” Glory be. It doesn’t arrive for… Continue reading Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

History, Royalty

From a Butt of Malmsey to a Bowl of Wonderdog: Where is the Bard When We Need Him?

February 18, 2023 is the 545th anniversary of the death of George Plantaganet, Duke of Clarence.  He was the middle child in a trio of brothers, the older and younger of which actually both made it to the throne, as Edward IV and Richard III respectively. Shortly after his older brother Edward was crowned in… Continue reading From a Butt of Malmsey to a Bowl of Wonderdog: Where is the Bard When We Need Him?

History, Military, Quote of the Day, USMC

Quote of the Day: “The Shores of Tripoli”

219 years ago, on the night of February 16, 1804, a young Lieutenant in the United States Navy led the first of his two expeditions that year into Tripoli Harbor, this one to set fire to, and destroy, the frigate USS Philadelphia, which--some months earlier--had run aground and been captured by the Tripolitan army of… Continue reading Quote of the Day: “The Shores of Tripoli”

Britishness, Culture, History, Medieval, Quote of the Day

Happy Birthday, Eleanor Farjeon!, And RIP, Richard III

Today (February 13, 2023), I'm reviving a post from just six months ago.  For a couple of reasons: First, because today is the anniversary of the birthday of the incomparable Eleanor Farjeon, who was born 142 years ago today, on February 13, 1881.  She's mentioned, although peripherally, in the post below. And second, because of… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Eleanor Farjeon!, And RIP, Richard III

History, Literature, Quote of the Day

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! On Hearts, Tempers, and the Magic of Touch

I rarely contemplate the works of Charles Dickens for very long before thinking about a college professor of mine (we're talking mid-1970s here).  This individual was a native of South Korea, and he taught at my alma mater, Duquesne University, from 1973-1990. I understand that--in his chosen field, as the 'writer-in-residence,' and as a professor… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! On Hearts, Tempers, and the Magic of Touch

Britishness, History, Royalty

Queen for a Day Three-Quarters of a Century

Seventy-one years ago today, upon the death of her father, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary ascended to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and all her other Realms and Territories. She spent the next seventy years of her life cheerfully (to outward appearance) doing her duty and serving the people she… Continue reading Queen for a Day Three-Quarters of a Century

History, Music, Plain Speaking

The Day the Music Died

It was sixty-four years ago today, on February 3, 1959.  Rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when their plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza, crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, when the pilot lost control of the plane in bad winter weather, and crashed into a cornfield.  All… Continue reading The Day the Music Died