Undoing Thanksgiving – WIF Holidays

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The Undoing

of

Thanksgiving

… Somewhere ^UP^ There God watches as the United States of America is slowly but surely becoming alarmingly unthankful…

Not long after the Halloween pumpkin candles are extinguished and our children guard their sweet-stash with their lives, the Christmas holiday emerges earlier and earlier each year. Like a premature snowball rolling downhill, “here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down [fill in the blank] lane”.

Never mind that December 25th is a annual holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In this case, Santa Claus and his reindeer run over both Grandma and the Son of God.

Another victim of the Christmas season is the foundational act of gratitude, or the purpose of this article, Thanksgiving.

 Drive – Macy’s Parade – Football – Turkey – Mall Shopping – Nap

You can shuffle the order of the above verbs/nouns/activities to suit your own situation.

Feel free to add your own.

Granted… Thanksgiving is still universally celebrated, but more in the line of an excuse for a long weekend and mini-family reunions. My real beef is with the lack of thank you(s) for the provider of our bountiful lives. Thanksgiving was never intended to be a speed-bump  on the way to Christmas; a door-busting deal-of-the-day credit card assault on the closest mall.

But it is.

[To the faithful reader of Writing Is Fun-damental: feel free to include some of what the 1st Pilgrims to America celebrated after the fall harvest… before the coming winter… a huge thank you to a God who provides and protects.]

This is the closest thing that I could pirate from Google Images.

WIF is a globally consumed blog, so this scolding is aimed squarely at The United States of America. For my peeps in Germany, Japan, India Uganda, Australia and the United Kingdom… you know who you are… don’t take offense to this chastisement.

Americans are an arrogant sort, me included. We think the world revolves around us.

Heck, about .002% of us citizen-Americans even bother to be bilingual. It’s the King’s English, or some form of it, or nothing.

If I were better at creating GIF graphics, here is where I would share a picture of the USA w/all the other continents circling it.

I, Gwendolyn Hoff, is hereby thankful to God; for the right to live freely, the skill to put words to “paper”… and the Internet, which connects me to you wonderful people… otherwise impossible for a little known writer from Wisconsin USA, living in NE Illinois.

A little historical refresher from Wikipedia:

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.

In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence.

Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts.  “That the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest.[7][8]

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631. According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden. Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden’s autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims’ plans to emigrate to America. Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony’s thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

My opening calendar graphic is a loose visual of what we celebrate/commemorate after July 4th.

Below is a less serious take on the holiday I will forever be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for a God who loves us.

I am thankful I’m not a vegetarian.

My Granddaughter Norah is thankful that Mommy doesn’t humiliate her like this.

I did not have this nightmare

I’m the one on the left (NOW I’m dreaming)

“You know you’re a Redneck when you order out KFC.”

“Where did that turkey go?”

My dog Molly would not pose for this


Undoing God from Thanksgiving –

WIF Holidays

Halloween Legends or Myths – WIF Quiz

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Halloween Urban Legends

(Can You Tell Which Ones Are Real?)

wif-quiz-001

Halloween is a time that is filled with myth and lore and there are some creepy legends surrounding the spookiest day of the year. In this list, there are some entries that are fictional stories, while others really happened. Can you figure out which ones are true and which ones are merely urban legends?

10. The Ghost Who Solved Her Own Murder

ghostwoman

In the winter of 1896, Elva Zona Heaster married blacksmith Erasmus Shue, in Greenbrier, West Virginia. Rumors swirled around Shue, such as he was married twice before and both of his wives had died, perhaps not of natural causes.

A short time after getting married, mysterious bruises started appearing on Heaster, but she claimed it was her own fault. However, it was obvious that Heaster was a victim of spousal abuse. Then three months after the wedding, Heaster became mysteriously ill and no one was really sure what was wrong with her. Because she was sick, she was unable to do things around the house so Shue hired a young boy to do the chores.

Shue told the boy that if no one answered the door, he should just go inside the house. When he did, he found Heaster on the floor. He ran to get Shue, who summoned the physician. When the doctor arrived, he found Shue had put a shirt with a high collar on his wife and wrapped his arms around her neck and wept. The doctor was unable to get the body away from him, but he was able to confirm that Heaster was dead because there was no pulse on her wrist. The doctor initially cited the cause of death as heart failure.

At her funeral, her husband dressed her in a scarf, saying she was very fond of them, but no one remembered Heaster ever wearing one.

Heaster’s mother was suspicious of the death, but she had nothing to back it up. That was until she washed the sheets that her daughter’s body had been wrapped in and they turned pink. Later, she was visited by the ghost of her daughter, who stood in the corner of her bedroom wearing the same dress that she was buried in.The ghost said that she had been strangled to death by her husband after an argument because she hadn’t cooked meat for dinner.

Heaster’s mother went to the prosecutor and told him about the ghostly apparition, and amazingly, he believed her. The body was exhumed and Heaster’s death was ruled a homicide; she had been strangled to death. When Shue went to trial for murder, Heaster’s mother took the stand and the defense tried to make her look crazy for her story about the ghostly visitation, but she stuck to her story and the jurors liked her honesty. Shue was sentenced to life in prison.

9. The Candyman

pixy

On Halloween night 1974, in Houston, Texas, eight-year-old Timothy O’Bryan was out trick-or-treating with his sister, his father Ronald, and another family. When the group got to a house, Ronald would walk up to the house with the children, while the other father stayed on the sidewalk. When they came to one house where no one answered the door, the kids ran to the next home. Less than a minute later, Ronald caught up with them with five pixie sticks. He said that the person came to the door just a few seconds after the children ran off.

A short time later, it started to rain and everyone went home. An hour after returning home, Ronald called 9-1-1 because there was something wrong with his son Timothy. He was taken to the hospital and he was pronounced dead. It turns out that he had ingested cyanide, and it looked like it was from the candy he ate.

After the police investigated the death, they concluded that Ronald was actually the one who put the cyanide in the Pixy Stix. Ronald, who had a history of insurance fraud, had taken out a $20,000 life insurance policy on both of his children. He poisoned the Pixy Stix to kill both his children for the money, and then, he wanted to poison other children to hide his crimes. He was arrested, convicted, and executed for the murder of his son in March 1984.

8. The Outlaw Who Wouldn’t Give Up

8

In 1976, a television crew arrived at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, California, to shoot an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. They were shooting in a funhouse, and when the crew moved a prop of a hanging dead body, the arm fell off. When they looked at the arm, they saw it had a human bone in it.

It turns out that the body was real and his name was Elmer McCurdy. In 1911, he was killed in Oklahoma during a shootout after he robbed a train of $46 and twojugs of whiskey. He was embalmed and the funeral director thought he looked good in death, so he set the dead body up in a chair in the back of his parlor. He then charged people a nickel to see McCurdy, who was labeled “The Outlaw Who Wouldn’t Give Up.” People would put the nickel in McCurdy’s mouth and the director would get them afterwards.

In 1915, two men who said they were McCurdy’s brother showed up to claim the body. However, it turned out that they were carnival that wanted to buy the body earlier, but the director had turned down their offer.

McCurdy’s body travelled with the carnival for a while and then he was passed around for several decades. He was featured at amusement parks, a wax museum, and in a few low-budget films before ending up in the funhouse. When the crew ofThe Six Million Dollar Man found the body, it had been hanging there for four years.

7. The Masked Killer

masked

It was Halloween 1962, and the small town of Ketchum, Idaho, was throwing their annual Halloween masquerade at the town’s community center. The party was more popular than ever this year, with over 200 people attended.

Around 10:00 p.m. the picture above was taken by one of the guests at the dance. Shortly after the picture was taken, the man in the black mask grabbed a knife from the community center’s kitchen and began stabbing people at random. This caused a panic and people fled. When the police arrived, no one was inside the hall, except the people who had been stabbed. They also found the mask that the man was wearing. Police said that the killer removed his mask to blend in with the crowd and he got away.

In total, seven people were killed and the masked man was never identified. The murder has haunted the town of Ketchum, because, to this day, they do not know if the murderer was a stranger, or one of their neighbors.

6. The Crying Baby

baby

In 1998, it was getting close to 11:00 p.m. on Halloween night in Gainesville, Florida, and a woman, who lived alone and who was only identified as Rachel, was starting to get ready for bed. Suddenly, there was a loud knock at the door and it made her jump. As she neared the front door, she could hear a baby crying. She looked through her peephole, but there was no one outside. She also couldn’t hear the baby anymore.

Thinking that this was all too weird and worried for the safety of the baby, Rachel called 9-1-1, and explained that there was a knock at the door, and then the sound of a baby crying. The dispatcher told her to stay in the house with the doors locked and he was sending the police.

Within minutes, two squad cars arrived and the area was canvassed. The police couldn’t find a baby, but there was evidence of someone hiding in the bushes outside of Rachel’s house. Also, two neighbors also said that they heard a crying baby.

The police believe that it was all a trick to lure Rachel out of the house so she could be kidnapped. They also believe that the person who did it used the trick on two other women and sadly, both of those women were murdered.

To this day, the identity of the Babysitter, as he was dubbed in the media, remains a mystery.

5. The Halloween Decoration

decoration

In October 2015, in the town of Chillicothe, Ohio, people in one neighborhood noticed a grotesque Halloween decoration hanging from a chain link fence. It looked like the body of a dead woman, but the face was unrecognizable because it was all bloody. Everyone thought it was a sick joke, but no one actually went near it until about 8:30 a.m. on the following day. A construction crew went to move the prop and they discovered that was a real body.

The police were called, and the body was identified as Rebecca Cade, 31. On the day she was killed, Cade had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend, Donnie Cochenour Jr., 27. She tried to run away, but she fell into the fence and Cochenour hit her with a rock. He then proceeded to beat her to death, disfiguring her face enough to make it look like a Halloween prop. Cochenour was arrested and is currently awaiting trial.

4. The Physic and the Sorority Murder

sorority

In the late 1980s, Daytime talk shows would often have psychics on the show. Most of them were pretty forgettable. However, one appearance on The Geraldo Show in October 1989 stands out among the rest. Jeanne Dixon, a well-known psychic, said that on Halloween night, there would be a murder on, or near a college campus, somewhere in America.

Well, that prediction turned out to be true. On Halloween Night, someone broke into the Chi Omega sorority at Louisiana State University. Only three girls were home because the rest of the sisters were at a party. Sadly, Susan Prescott, Cheryl Milne, and Rebecca Dion, all 20, were murdered. They had all been stabbed to death. After killing the girl, the killer simply walked off into the night and no one knows his, or her, identity.

The only clue to who killed the three girls is that a witness saw a man wearing a Bo-Peep costume that was covered in blood. However, since it was Halloween, it’s unclear if the man was the killer or if it was just someone with a strange Halloween costume.

As for the psychic, critics think it was just a lucky guess while believers point to this as proof that some people do have psychic abilities.

3. The Spared Roommate

roommate

Sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., on Halloween 2004, a woman named Lauren living in Napa, California, saw her security light turn on and heard her dog bark. She just assumed that it was the cat that belonged to her roommate Adriane Insogna and went back to sleep. A short time later, Lauren heard someone come into the house. Lauren assumed it was her other roommate’s, Leslie Mazzara, boyfriend, and she again fell back asleep.

A blood curdling scream awoke Lauren next. It came from upstairs, where both of her roommates slept. Lauren stepped out of the bedroom and was suddenly frozen with fear. That’s when a man came barreling down the stairs. Lauren ran out the backdoor, but the problem was that the backyard was surrounded by a 6 foot fence and there wasn’t any way to get out, so she hid until everything went quiet.

Lauren didn’t know if the intruder was in the house or not, but she ventured back in. She tried to use the phone, but found that the line had been cut. She then ventured upstairs and in one of the bedrooms, it looked like a scene straight out of a horror movie. Both bedrooms were covered in blood, and Mazzara was dead, while Insogna was slowly bleeding to death. Lauren called 9-1-1, but sadly, it was too late for Insogna and she died at the hospital.

Eleven months later, the husband of one of Insogna’s friends, Eric Copple, confessed to the murder. He says that he was drunk when he broke into the house and went into Insogna’s room. He fell asleep on a pile of clothes, and when she woke up she screamed. So he attacked her with his knife. He then went down the hallway and stabbed Mazzara to death. As for why he didn’t kill Lauren, Copple just said that she was lucky.

2. The Cannibal in the Haunted House

cannibal

In October 2015, visitors at the Fright Night Haunted Dreams attraction in Austin, Texas, got a little more than they were expecting for their $15 admission. A few visitors to the attraction, which is a maze filled with terrifying scenes, came across a scene of a man with face tattoos eating a screaming teenage boy in a bloody bathtub. As they got closer, they realized that it wasn’t some skit and the man was eating the teen. They called 9-1-1 as they ran back to the entrance.

When the police arrived on the scene, they had to taze the man. However, it was too late for the victim; 17-year-old Tanner McMillan was pronounced dead at the scene. The cannibal, 27-year-old Phillip Harris, was taken into custody and PCP was found in his blood stream. He was sentenced to life in prison in July 2016.

1. The Trick-or-Treat Murder

trick-or-treat

It was Halloween night, 1973, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and Arlene Penn had just finished work. After work, she was supposed to go with her boyfriend, Gerald Turner, to her mother’s house for dinner. However, when Penn got home, Turner said he wasn’t feeling well and that she should go to her mother’s without him. Penn drove over and when she got there, she realized that her mother wouldn’t be home for another hour, so she returned to her home where she snuggled and watched TV with Turner and then left again for dinner.

Nine months later, Penn was shocked when Turner was arrested for the murder of nine-year-old Lisa French. On Halloween night, while Penn was still at work, Lisa left her home dressed as a hobo. She knocked on Turner’s door, but instead of giving her candy, Turner somehow lured Lisa into the bedroom he shared with Penn. Once there, he assaulted Lisa before strangling her to death. Her body was found dumped along a roadside three days later.

That means, Turner killed Lisa either before Penn got home from work, or he killed Lisa when she drove over to her mother’s house. When she returned home to await her mother, Lisa’s body would have been in the bedroom on the floor above. Also that night, Penn slept in the same bed where the little girl had died just hours before beside the man who had killed her.

Turner was arrested and given a life sentence

Which ones are true?

10. The Ghost Who Solved Her Own Murder

9. The Candyman

8. The Outlaw Who Wouldn’t Give Up

5. The Halloween Decoration

3. The Spared Roommate

1. The Trick-or-Treat Murder


Halloween Legends or Myths

wif-myths-legends2-001

WIF Quiz

4th of July in History

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Top 10 Events That Occurred

On The 4th Of July

For Americans, the 4th of July is one of the most significant dates in history. Yet, what many may not know is that a host of other historically significant events also occurred on this particular day. Here are ten of the most important for world history, arranged chronologically.

10. The Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)

Battle-of-Mantinea In a battle of Greek city-states, the Thebans, led by Epaminondas, actually managed to defeat the famed Spartans. Epaminondas won the battle while fighting in the front line, resulting in him sustaining a fatal wound. To make matters worse for the “victors,” the two Theban leaders whom he intended to succeed him perished. A dying Epaminondas thus instructed the Thebans to make peace, despite having won the battle. As a consequence, Theban hopes for hegemony faded, while the Spartans were unable to replace their losses. Because both sides had lost their most capable leaders at Mantinea and its aftermath, the battle paved the way for the Macedonian rise as the leading force in Greece. An ascendant Macedon went on to unite most of Greece, in a campaign under Alexander the Great that conquered most of the Persian Empire, including Egypt.

9. A Major Turning Point In The Crusades (1187)

Saladin During the Crusades at the Battle of Hattin, Saladin defeated and captured Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem. French knight Raynald of Châtillon died in the aftermath, personally beheaded by Saladin. The Muslim victory set the stage for their march on Jerusalem, which they besieged successfully a few months later in the Autumn of 1187. These two victories destroyed the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and thereby directly resulted in the coming Third Crusade, a major event in world history in which the Holy Roman Emperor joined with the kings of England and France to attempt to retake Jerusalem. They failed and as such, Saladin’s destruction of the Crusader army at Hattin, capture of Jerusalem’s king, and conquest of Jerusalem itself had long-lasting consequences for Middle Eastern history. If somehow Guy would have triumphed instead and prevented Saladin from moving on Jerusalem, the history of the Crusades and, therefore, of Christian and Muslim relations could have been quite different.

8. THE 4th of July (1776)

declaration-of-independence During the American Revolution, The United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Yet, American independence was not immediately recognized by the British. So, in 1778, American forces under George Clark captured Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign, one of many victories that would eventually encourage the British to acknowledge America’s independence. The result meant that the United States Declaration of Independence would go down as one of the most important documents of American times. At least two dozen countries around the world drew upon this document when drafting their own declarations of independence, in the nineteenth through twentieth centuries. Moreover, that it inspired Americans to successful liberate themselves from British rule was not only a hallmark in notions of human rights, but also in ideas of democracy. Consider the number of absolutist governments in the centuries before 1776 versus the increasing number of constitutional governments in the years afterwards. America’s success inspired many other countries’ elder statesmen, whose words regarding freedom bear obvious resemblance to that established by Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe.

7. The Deaths of America’s Founders (1826 and 1831)

july-4-dead-presidents Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, died the same day in 1826 as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Just a few years later, fellow founding father, and fifth President of the United States, James Monroe passed away on July 4th, 1831. That three of the first five American presidents died on the 4th of July is not only obviously symbolic, it also reflects something of the end of an era for the first leaders of one of history’s most powerful countries. Their passing was not just the deaths of well-known American politicians, but giants of Western civilization whose legacy still appears visually in numerous monuments, films, and even on currency.


6. Alice First Entered Wonderland (1862)

alice-in-wonderland On July 4th, 1862, Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels. Wonderland was subsequently published on July 4th, 1865. The number of adaptations of the book and its sequel, in films, television, and video games is enormous. Allusions to Carroll’s stories in popular culture are incredibly pervasive, especially throughout the Anglophone world, but also in non-English speaking cultures as well. Stories about Alice rival the Oz books and the writings of Jules Verne as far as being regularly adapted in various media over the years is concerned.

5. The Turning Points Of the American Civil War Concluded (1863)

ulysses-s-grant During the American Civil War, Vicksburg, Mississippi was surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege, while 150 miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate Army was repulsed at the Battle of Helena in Arkansas. On the same day, The Army of Northern Virginia withdrew from the battlefield after its loss at the Battle of Gettysburg, signaling an end to the Southern invasion of the North. These three defeats represented the turning point of the American Civil War. They prevented any remaining chance that a European power might intervene militarily on the South’s behalf. They also demonstrated decisively that the South could not successfully invade the North. For the remainder of the war, the South was now entirely on the defensive and, although she held out for two more years, they were two disastrous years that resulted in the deaths of numerous Southerners.

4. The New Colossus Enlightened the World (1884)

Statue-of-Liberty-1800s The people of France offered the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World to the people of the United States on July 4th, 1884. The two allies participated in this symbolic act nearly a hundred years after both of their revolutions began in (1776 for America, and 1789  for France.) The erection of the sculpture symbolized the triumph of Enlightenment ideas of liberty, ideas that continue to enrapture large chunks of humanity. Moreover, the magnificence and endurance of the sculpture has led many to refer to it as a “wonder of the modern world,” and “The New Colossus.”

3. The End Of A Dynasty (1918)

tsar-nicholas-II When Bolsheviks killed future Orthodox saints Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family, they effectively ended the Romanov dynasty that ruled the Russian Empires, one of the largest countries in human history after centuries of rule. The event also foreshadowed the end of other European dynasties amidst the cataclysmic First World War. Following the Russian examples, the Habsburgs of Austria, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, and the Ottomans of Turkey were also toppled by their people in rapid succession.

2. Modern Warfare Was At Its Most Massive Scale (1943)

battle-of-kursk During World War II, the Battle of Kursk (the largest full-scale battle in history and the world’s largest tank battle) began at Prokhorovka Village on July 4th, 1943. The battle resulted in over a million casualties on both sides (Germans versus Soviets) and the loss of over 10,000 tanks, guns, and aircraft. This decisive Soviet victory crippled Germany’s offensive power in the East, in what was Germany’s final strategic offensive on that front, and thus the final realistic chance for them to turn the tide on the Eastern Front.

1. Filipino Independence Achieved (1946)

Philippines-Independence-Day After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States. The independence of the Philippines coincided with a global trend in the years following World War II in which many African and Asian countries, previously colonized by Western powers, achieved their independence after centuries of Western domination. The end of Western Empires in the post-war era, beginning with the independence of the Philippines in 1946, was one of the Read more: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-events-that-occurred-on-the-4th-of-july.php#ixzz2Y6nyNrtv

4th of July in History

Leave a comment

 Events That

Occurred On

The 4th Of July

For Americans, the 4th of July is one of the most significant dates in history. Yet, what many may not know is that a host of other historically significant events also occurred on this particular day. Here are ten of the most important for world history, arranged chronologically.

10. The Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)

Battle-of-Mantinea

In a battle of Greek city-states, the Thebans, led by Epaminondas, actually managed to defeat the famed Spartans. Epaminondas won the battle while fighting in the front line, resulting in him sustaining a fatal wound. To make matters worse for the “victors,” the two Theban leaders whom he intended to succeed him perished. A dying Epaminondas thus instructed the Thebans to make peace, despite having won the battle. As a consequence, Theban hopes for hegemony faded, while the Spartans were unable to replace their losses. Because both sides had lost their most capable leaders at Mantinea and its aftermath, the battle paved the way for the Macedonian rise as the leading force in Greece. An ascendant Macedon went on to unite most of Greece, in a campaign under Alexander the Great that conquered most of the Persian Empire, including Egypt.

9. A Major Turning Point In The Crusades (1187)

Saladin

During the Crusades at the Battle of Hattin, Saladin defeated and captured Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem. French knight Raynald of Châtillon died in the aftermath, personally beheaded by Saladin. The Muslim victory set the stage for their march on Jerusalem, which they besieged successfully a few months later in the Autumn of 1187. These two victories destroyed the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and thereby directly resulted in the coming Third Crusade, a major event in world history in which the Holy Roman Emperor joined with the kings of England and France to attempt to retake Jerusalem. They failed and as such, Saladin’s destruction of the Crusader army at Hattin, capture of Jerusalem’s king, and conquest of Jerusalem itself had long-lasting consequences for Middle Eastern history. If somehow Guy would have triumphed instead and prevented Saladin from moving on Jerusalem, the history of the Crusades and, therefore, of Christian and Muslim relations could have been quite different.

8. THE 4th of July (1776)

declaration-of-independence

During the American Revolution, The United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Yet, American independence was not immediately recognized by the British. So, in 1778, American forces under George Clark captured Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign, one of many victories that would eventually encourage the British to acknowledge America’s independence. The result meant that the United States Declaration of Independence would go down as one of the most important documents of American times. At least two dozen countries around the world drew upon this document when drafting their own declarations of independence, in the nineteenth through twentieth centuries. Moreover, that it inspired Americans to successful liberate themselves from British rule was not only a hallmark in notions of human rights, but also in ideas of democracy. Consider the number of absolutist governments in the centuries before 1776 versus the increasing number of constitutional governments in the years afterwards. America’s success inspired many other countries’ elder statesmen, whose words regarding freedom bear obvious resemblance to that established by Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe.

7. The Deaths of America’s Founders (1826 and 1831)

july-4-dead-presidents

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, died the same day in 1826 as John Adams, second president of the United States, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Just a few years later, fellow founding father, and fifth President of the United States, James Monroe passed away on July 4th, 1831. That three of the first five American presidents died on the 4th of July is not only obviously symbolic, it also reflects something of the end of an era for the first leaders of one of history’s most powerful countries. Their passing was not just the deaths of well-known American politicians, but giants of Western civilization whose legacy still appears visually in numerous monuments, films, and even on currency


6. Alice First Entered Wonderland (1862)

alice-in-wonderland

On July 4th, 1862, Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels. Wonderland was subsequently published on July 4th, 1865. The number of adaptations of the book and its sequel, in films, television, and video games is enormous. Allusions to Carroll’s stories in popular culture are incredibly pervasive, especially throughout the Anglophone world, but also in non-English speaking cultures as well. Stories about Alice rival the Oz books and the writings of Jules Verne as far as being regularly adapted in various media over the years is concerned.

5. The Turning Points Of the American Civil War Concluded (1863)

ulysses-s-grant

During the American Civil War, Vicksburg, Mississippi was surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege, while 150 miles up the Mississippi River, a Confederate Army was repulsed at the Battle of Helena in Arkansas. On the same day, The Army of Northern Virginia withdrew from the battlefield after its loss at the Battle of Gettysburg, signaling an end to the Southern invasion of the North. These three defeats represented the turning point of the American Civil War. They prevented any remaining chance that a European power might intervene militarily on the South’s behalf. They also demonstrated decisively that the South could not successfully invade the North. For the remainder of the war, the South was now entirely on the defensive and, although she held out for two more years, they were two disastrous years that resulted in the deaths of numerous Southerners.

4. The New Colossus Enlightened the World (1884)

Statue-of-Liberty-1800s

The people of France offered the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World to the people of the United States on July 4th, 1884. The two allies participated in this symbolic act nearly a hundred years after both of their revolutions began in (1776 for America, and 1789  for France.) The erection of the sculpture symbolized the triumph of Enlightenment ideas of liberty, ideas that continue to enrapture large chunks of humanity. Moreover, the magnificence and endurance of the sculpture has led many to refer to it as a “wonder of the modern world,” and “The New Colossus.”

3. The End Of A Dynasty (1918)

tsar-nicholas-II

When Bolsheviks killed future Orthodox saints Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family, they effectively ended the Romanov dynasty that ruled the Russian Empires, one of the largest countries in human history after centuries of rule. The event also foreshadowed the end of other European dynasties amidst the cataclysmic First World War. Following the Russian examples, the Habsburgs of Austria, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, and the Ottomans of Turkey were also toppled by their people in rapid succession.

2. Modern Warfare Was At Its Most Massive Scale (1943)

battle-of-kursk

During World War II, the Battle of Kursk (the largest full-scale battle in history and the world’s largest tank battle) began at Prokhorovka Village on July 4th, 1943. The battle resulted in over a million casualties on both sides (Germans versus Soviets) and the loss of over 10,000 tanks, guns, and aircraft. This decisive Soviet victory crippled Germany’s offensive power in the East, in what was Germany’s final strategic offensive on that front, and thus the final realistic chance for them to turn the tide on the Eastern Front.

1. Filipino Independence Achieved (1946)

Philippines-Independence-Day

After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States. The independence of the Philippines coincided with a global trend in the years following World War II in which many African and Asian countries, previously colonized by Western powers, achieved their independence after centuries of Western domination.


4th of July

in History