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Place de la Bastille

What is a Bastille?

On Bastille Day, the world parties in the name of France. But do you know what makes Bastille Day so important not just for France but the history of all democracies? The occasion is typically honored with military parades and copious consumption of libations. This mix of weapons and wooziness arguably sums up the legacy of July 14, 1789. [...]

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  • star-spangled banner 2

    The Forgotten Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? In 1814, the poet and [...]

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    The Origin and Grammar of Father’s Day

    While Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914, Father’s Day took a little longer to be considered a national holiday. The origin of Father’s Day lies in two unrelated tragic events.  About six months after the Monongah mining disaster of 1907, in which the small West Virginia town lost over 350 men, Grace Golden Clayton [...]

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