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Quote of the Month

In Flanders Fields

~Lt Col John McCrae, MD (Canadian Army)


In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.



News of the Month

In May 1868, General John A Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War. On Decoration Day, as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Logan probably adapted the idea from earlier events in the South. Even before the war ended, women’s groups across much of the South were gathering informally to decorate the graves of Confederate dead. The Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia resolved to commemorate the fallen once a year - a decision that seems to have influenced John Logan to follow suit, according to his wife.

Although the term Memorial Day was used beginning in the 1880s, the holiday was officially known as Decoration Day for more than a century until it was changed by federal law. Four years later, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 finally went into effect, moving Memorial Day from its traditional observance on May 30 (regardless of the day of the week), to a set day - the last Monday in May. The move has not been without controversy, though. Veterans groups, concerned that Americans associate the holiday with the first long weekend of the summer and not its intended purpose to honor the nation’s war dead, continue to lobby for a return to the May 30 observances.

Despite the increasing celebration of the holiday as a summer rite of passage, there are some formal rituals still on the books: The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, and then raised to the top of the staff. And since 2000, when the US Congress passed legislation, all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 pm local time.





Then and Now

May is Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month.

then and now button   05/01/1898 - Commodore George Dewey gave the command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

then and now button   05/01/1931 - New York City dedicated the 102-story Empire State building.

then and now button   05/01/1948 - The People's Democratic Republic of Korea was proclaimed.

then and now button   05/01/1960 - The Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

then and now button   05/01/1971 - Amtrak went into service.

then and now button   05/01/2023 - May Day

then and now button   05/01/2023 - Law Day

then and now button   05/01/2023 - Loyalty Day (signed into law by George Bush in 2002)

then and now button   05/01/2023 - Beltane (Northern Hemisphere) and Samhain (Southern Hemisphere) - Wicca, Celtic

then and now button   05/02/1519 - Leonardo Da Vinci died in France.

then and now button   05/02/1670 - England's King Charles II chartered the Hudson Bay Company.

then and now button   05/02/1863 - Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s men accidentally wounded him at Chancellorsville VA. He died eight days later.

then and now button   05/02/1936 - Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premier in Moscow.

then and now button   05/02/2011 - US Special Forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad Pakistan.

then and now button   05/02/2023 - Brothers and Sisters Day

then and now button   05/03/1802 - Washington DC was incorporated as a city.

then and now button   05/03/1921 - West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax. Wouldn't you love that distinction?

then and now button   05/03/1979 - Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female Prime Minister.

then and now button   05/03/2003 - President George W. Bush told reporters it was a matter of when - not if - weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq.

then and now button   05/04/1626 - Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island.

then and now button   05/04/1904 - The US began building the Panama Canal.

then and now button   05/04/1961 - A group of Freedom Riders left Washington for New Orleans to challenge racial segregation in interstate buses and bus terminals.

then and now button   05/04/1970 - Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

then and now button   05/04/2023 - National Day of Prayer

then and now button   05/04/2023 - Festival of Cerridwen – Wicca, Celtic

then and now button   05/05/1816 - O Solitude, John Keats' first published poem, appeared in The Examiner.

then and now button   05/05/1862 - Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.

then and now button   05/05/1925 - Tennessee authorities arrested John Scopes for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.

then and now button   05/05/2023 - Cinco de Mayo

then and now button   05/05/2023 - Visakha Puja (Buddha Day) – Buddhist

then and now button   05/06/1935 - The Works Progress Administration began operation.

then and now button   05/06/1962 - In the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.

then and now button   05/06/2001 - Pope John Paul II, during his visit to Syria, became the first pope to enter a mosque as he called for brotherhood between Christians and Muslims.

then and now button   05/07/1847 - The American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia.

then and now button   05/07/1939 - Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

then and now button   05/07/1945 - Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France.

then and now button   05/08/1541 - Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto reached the Mississippi River.

then and now button   05/08/1886 - Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola.

then and now button   05/08/1945 - President Truman announced in a radio address that WWII had ended in Europe.

then and now button   05/08/1973 - Militant American Indians who'd held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for ten weeks surrendered.

then and now button   05/08/2023 - V-E Day, commemorating the Allies' defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII.

then and now button   05/08/2023 - World Red Cross Day

then and now button   05/08/2023 - Lag B'omer begins at sunset and ends tomorrow evening –Judaism

then and now button   05/09/1960 - The FDA approved a pill, Enovid, as safe for birth control use.

then and now button   05/09/1961 - FCC Chairman Newton Minow condemned television programming as a "vast wasteland" in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.

then and now button   05/10/1775 - Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British fortress at Ticonderoga NY.

then and now button   05/10/1869 - A golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the US.

then and now button   05/10/1924 - J. Edgar Hoover became FBI director.

then and now button   05/11/1946 - The first CARE packages arrived in Europe.

then and now button   05/11/1949 - The UN admitted Israel as the 59th member.

then and now button   05/11/1973 - Citing government misconduct, Judge William Byrne dismissed charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the Pentagon Papers.

then and now button   05/11/1981 - Reggae artist Bob Marley died.

then and now button   05/12/1949 - The Soviet Union announced an end to the Berlin Blockade.

then and now button   05/12/1978 - The Commerce Department said it would no longer give only female names to hurricanes.

then and now button   05/12/2023 - Mangers pour divers loas – Vodún

then and now button   05/13/1607 - The English colony at Jamestown VA was settled.

then and now button   05/13/1918 - The first US airmail stamps, featuring a picture of an airplane, were introduced.

then and now button   05/13/1958 - Rocks thrown by anti-US demonstrators in Caracas Venezuela battered Vice President Nixon's limousine.

then and now button   05/13/1981 - A Turkish assailant shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square.

then and now button   05/14/1804 - Lewis and Clark's expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory left St. Louis.

then and now button   05/14/1904 - The 1st Olympic Games held in the US opened in St. Louis.

then and now button   05/14/1942 - The Women's Auxiliary Army Corps was established.

then and now button   05/14/1948 - The independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv.

then and now button   05/14/1955 - Representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland.

then and now button   05/14/1973 - The US launched Skylab One, its first manned space station.

then and now button   05/14/2023 - Mother’s Day

then and now button   05/15/1602 - English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold discovered Cape Cod.

then and now button   05/15/1918 - US airmail began service between Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

then and now button   05/15/1940 - Nylon stockings went on general sale for the first time in the US.

then and now button   05/15/1972 - George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed while campaigning in Laurel MD for the Democratic presidential nomination.

then and now button   05/15/2023 - Peace Officers Memorial Day

then and now button   05/16/1868 - The Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its 1st ballot on one of eleven articles.

then and now button   05/16/1929 - The first Academy Awards were presented during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The movie Wings won for Best Production. Emil Jannings won the award for Best Actor. Janet Gaynor won the award for Best Actress.

then and now button   05/16/1975 - Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

then and now button   05/16/1991 - Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the US Congress.

then and now button   05/17/1792 - Brokers, meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street, founded the NY Stock Exchange.

then and now button   05/17/1875 - The first Kentucky Derby ran ... the winner was Aristides.

then and now button   05/17/1946 - President Truman seized control of the nation's railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.

then and now button   05/17/1948 - The Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel.

then and now button   05/17/1954 - The Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that racially segregated public schools are inherently unequal.

then and now button   05/17/1973 - The Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal.

then and now button   05/18/1980 - Mount St. Helens in Washington exploded.

then and now button   05/18/2023 - Manger pour Gran'n Aloumandia – Vodún

then and now button   05/18/2023 - Ascension of Jesus – Christian

then and now button   05/19/1921 - Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

then and now button   05/19/1958 - The US and Canada formally established the North American Air Defense Command.

then and now button   05/19/1967 - The Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the US and Britain banning nuclear weapons from outer space.

then and now button   05/19/2023 - Endangered Species Day

then and now button   05/20/1927 - Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island aboard the Spirit of St. Louis.

then and now button   05/20/1961 - A white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery.

then and now button   05/20/1969 - Following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War, US and South Vietnamese forces captured Hamburger Hill.

then and now button   05/20/2023 - Simbi Blanc (through tomorrow) – Vodún

then and now button   05/21/1832 - The first Democratic National Convention got under way in Baltimore.

then and now button   05/21/1881 - Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

then and now button   05/21/1991 - A suicide bomber assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during national elections.

then and now button   05/21/2023 - Malcolm X Day

then and now button   05/22/1761 - The first life insurance policy in the US was issued in Philadelphia.

then and now button   05/22/1947 - The US Congress enacted the Truman Doctrine and appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.

then and now button   05/22/2023 - Biodiversity Day

then and now button   05/23/1430 - The Burgundians captured Joan of Arc and sold her to the English.

then and now button   05/23/1934 - In an ambush in Bienville Parish LA, police shot and killed bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

then and now button   05/23/2023 - Declaration of the Bab – Baha'i

then and now button   05/24/1830 - The first passenger railroad in the US began service between Baltimore and Elliott's Mills MD.

then and now button   05/24/1844 - Samuel FB Morse transmitted the message, "What hath God wrought!" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.

then and now button   05/24/1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, opened to traffic.

then and now button   05/24/1962 - Astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.

then and now button   05/25/1787 - The Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.

then and now button   05/25/1961 - President Kennedy asked the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

then and now button   05/25/1963 - The Organization of African Unity began in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

then and now button   05/25/2023 - Shavuot begins at sunset and ends the evening of 05/27 – Judaism

then and now button   05/26/1521 - The Edict of Worms banned Martin Luther because of his religious beliefs and writings.

then and now button   05/26/1805 - Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned king of Italy.

then and now button   05/26/1978 - The first legal casino in the eastern US opened in Atlantic City.

then and now button   05/27/1647 - The first recorded American execution of a ‘witch’ took place in Massachusetts.

then and now button   05/27/1933 - Walt Disney's The Three Little Pigs was released.

then and now button   05/27/1937 - The Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County opened to the public.

then and now button   05/27/2023 - The Texas sales tax holiday for school items begins today and runs through the 29th.

then and now button   05/28/1863 - The first black regiment from the North left Boston to fight in the Civil War.

then and now button   05/28/1892 - The Sierra Club organized in San Francisco.

then and now button   05/28/2023 - Ascension of Baha'u'llah – Baha’i

then and now button   05/28/2023 - Pentecost – Christian

then and now button   05/29/1943 - Norman Rockwell's portrait of Rosie the Riveter appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

then and now button   05/29/1992 - The Texas Lottery began operation with the scratch-off game Lone Star Millions.

then and now button   05/29/2023 - Memorial Day

then and now button   05/30/1431 - Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

then and now button   05/30/1539 - Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto landed in Florida.

then and now button   05/30/1922 - Chief Justice William Howard Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

then and now button   05/30/1971 - The American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Florida on a journey to Mars.

then and now button   05/31/1819 - Poet Walt Whitman was born in West Hill NY.

then and now button   05/31/1913 - The 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of US senators, took effect.

then and now button   05/31/1961 - South Africa became an independent republic.

then and now button   05/31/1977 - The trans-Alaska oil pipeline began operation after three years in the making.






Online Resource Links

then and now button   How Wobbly Is Our Democracy?

then and now button   What ISIS Really Wants: The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy and for how to stop it  |  ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks First of the Storm  |  Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group  |  Isis: The Inside Story  |  Frontline: The Rise of ISIS  |  Council on Foreign Relations: A Primer on ISIS  |  Cracks in ISIS Are Becoming More Clear  |  How ISIS’ Attacks Harm the Middle East Timeline: the Rise, Spread and Fall of the Islamic State

then and now button   What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States (PDF)

then and now button   Check out Today's Front Pages. Each day, you can see the front pages of more than 800 newspapers from around the world in their original, unedited form.

then and now button   Whether or not you noticed, the earth's population passed 7 billion a while back. You might enjoy NPR's wonderful video, Visualizing How a Population Grows to 7 Billion.

then and now button   Check out the St. Louis Fed's presentation The Financial Crisis: What Happened?. The original video is no longer available but you can view the power point presentation.

then and now button   Want to take a survey but not sure how many responses to collect? This Survey Calculator gives you the number for any given population size and desired confidence level. A reverse calculator lets you enter characteristics of an existing survey and gives the confidence interval (±X%) to apply to the results. The Survey System site, sponsored by a survey software company, also gives clear explanations of statistical significance, survey design and related concepts. Also check out 20 Questions a Journalist (and You, too!) Should Ask About Poll Results.

then and now button   PBS's 30 Second Candidate allows you to view more political ads than you ever knew existed. Choose the Historical Timeline link to see how political ads have changed over the years. Start with the infamous Daisy Ad that Lyndon Johnson used against Barry Goldwater. Click on Watch Johnson ads. Then click on either the QuickTime link or the Real Video link next to Daisy.

then and now button   Check out Political Compass. The site does a good job of explaining political ideologies (although with definitions different from those I use) and gives you a chance to discover your own political philosophy.

then and now button   Law Library of Congress: North Korea: Collection of links to websites on North Korean government, politics and law. Includes legal guides, country studies and links to constitutions and branches of government (where available). Council on Foreign Relations: North Korea: Background, articles and opinion pieces about North Korea government and politics. Many of the articles focus on North Korea's nuclear program. From the Council on Foreign Relations, "an independent membership organization and a nonpartisan think tank and publisher."

then and now button   State of the Union (SOTU): The site uses an interactive timeline to provide a visual representation of prominent words in presidential State of the Union addresses by displaying significant words as "determined by comparing how frequently the word occurs in the document to how frequently it appears throughout the entire body of SOTU addresses." The Appendices section describes the statistical methods used. Also includes the full text of addresses.

then and now button   Small Town Papers: This site provides access to scanned images of recent issues of dozens of small town newspapers from throughout the United States. Newspapers are updated periodically, 2-3 weeks after publication. The site also includes a searchable archive (of articles, photos and advertisements), which covers different periods for each paper, some as far back as the 1890s. Access to the archives requires free registration.

then and now button   This website serves as a centralized location to learn about the Congressional Research Service and search for CRS reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress. (CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report.) Features a searchable database with more than 8,000 reports, a list of recently released reports, other collections of CRS reports and a FAQ about CRS.

then and now button   Stem Cell Research: See the official NIH resource for Stem Cell Research. In 2005, NOVA aired an overview of The Stem Cell Issue.

then and now button   Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2020: This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.

then and now button   Government Product Recalls

then and now button   Homeland Security Knowledge Base

then and now button   If you're worried about retirement, try some of the following sites.
        IRS Tax Information for Retirement Plans
        Social Security Retirement Planner
        Retirement Planning Resources from Smart Money

then and now button   Keeping the Shi'ites Straight Based on the opinion that no story has been more confusing for the Western news media to cover in postwar Iraq than the politics of the country's Shi'ite majority, this article provides a basic outline of Shi'ite religious history. Discusses the Sadr family (Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, and Muqtada as-Sadr), Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and other figures.

then and now button   This commercial site presents brief information about dozens of Black Inventors from the United States. Some entries include portraits and images. Also includes a searchable timeline covering 1721-1988. Does not include bibliographic information.

then and now button   Annenberg Political Fact Check: This site describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in US politics. The site provides original articles, with summaries and sources, analyzing factual accuracy in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Searchable. From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

then and now button   White House Tapes: The President Calling: Three of America's most compelling presidents -- Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon -- bugged their White House offices and tapped their telephones. In this documentary project, American Radio Works eavesdrops on presidential telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics to shape history. Includes audio, a transcript of the documentary and background information on each president and the tapes.

then and now button   The State of State and Local Finances: New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being. The Year of Living Dangerously: While leaders in a growing number of states appear to believe they're serving the public good by squeezing government dry, there's little question that minimizing management carries a host of dangers that directly affect the lives of citizens.

then and now button   Government Debt by Country Map: Shows countries' general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP in 2012.

then and now button   First Amendment Library: Provides info on Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence,  including rulings, arguments, briefs, historical material, commentary and press coverage.


Memorial Day




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Copyright © 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   05/07/2023 1630

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