The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Here’s The Simpsons’ version with a little help from James Earl JonesClick Here to Watch or read the original shown below.

 

By Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

"The Raven" depicts a mysterious raven's midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).

“The Raven” depicts a mysterious raven’s midnight visit to a mourning narrator, as illustrated by John Tenniel (1858).(1809–1849)\

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

raven on a crossOpen here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”Quote The Raven, "Nevermore"

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”Edgar Allan Poe and the Raven

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

 

 

Halloween Trivia

Trick or treating comes from the Middle-Age practice of the poor dressing up in costumes and going around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for prayers. The food given was often a Soul Cake, which was a small round cake which represented a soul being freed from Purgatory when the cake was eaten.

The tradition of adding pranks into the Halloween mix started to turn ugly in the 1930’s and a movement began to substitute practical jokes for kids going door to door collecting candy.

Happy Halloween

Trick or Treat!

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with Fall.  The color black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers as Number 1.
  • Candy corn was first made in the 1880s, and it was only more March through November.
  • Over 93% of children will go trick-or-treating. Approximately 84% of trick-or-treaters say candy and gum are their favorites with chocolate candy preferred by 50% and non-chocolate by 24%.
  • Kids’ least favorite items to get in their trick-or-treat bags are fruit and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderies Candy Company.
    National Candy Corn Day is on October 30th.
  • There are 25 colors of M&Ms, the most popular candy sold in the U.S.
  • It takes an average of 252 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
  • San  Francisco is the number one U.S. city for trick-or-treating
  • In 1955, UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund) for Halloween program began.  The original idea started in 1950 in Philadelphia, when a Sunday School class had the idea of collecting money for needy children when trick-or-treating.  They sent the money they made, about $17, to UNICEF which was inspired by the idea and started a trick-or-treat program in 1955.
  • A study from the National Retail Federation shows Americans spent over $300 million on pet costumes last year!

Halloween is also know by other names:

All Hallows Eve
Samhain
All Hallowtide
The Feast of the Dead
The Day of the Dead

  • The tradition of bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.
  • There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of pumpkin.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

Monster Trivia & Folklore

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.Werewolf in the light of a full moon
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, The Count Dracula Society was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
  • Dracula means “Devil’s son.”  Bram Stoker’s creation “Dracula” was based on the life of Prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476). He was also called Vlad the Impaler since he had a bad habit of impaling his victims on stakes. The name “Dracula” is Romanian for Devil’s Son.  Vlad Draculas father was a knight of the Order of the Draco (or dragon), so Dracula also translates as “the son of Draco.”
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • According to legend, you can kill a vampire by cremate it, pound a stake through its heart or bury it at a crossroads.  Sunlight is also said to kill them. Different countries have different ideas of how to destroy vampires.  Garlic and crosses only keep vampires away.
  • Allegedly, “Revenge falls upon whoever opens the coffin of a mummy.”
  • The country most associated with mummies is Egypt.
  • Zombies often wear chains for they are slaves; slaves of their evil masters who have brought them to life using magic.
  • Two areas of the world particularly associated with the zombie myth are Africa and Haiti, a country on the island of Hispaniola.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.

Witches

  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • In the Middle Ages, many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

Creepy Tidbits

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • In Medieval times, a spider was rolled in butter and used as a cure for diseases such as leprosy and the plague.
  • The famous magician, Harry Houdini, died on Halloween, 1926 in Detroit, MI.

The next full moon on Halloween night will be October 31, 2020.

haunted house, owl, spider and jack-o-lanterns

Happy Hallowe’en!

The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owl’s call meant someone was about to die.

Halloween is Oct. 31 – the last day of the Celtic calendar. It actually was a pagan holiday honoring the dead.

Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.

Halloween is correctly spelt as Hallowe’en.

Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.

Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

Obsolete Rituals focused on the Future and Love

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married.

  • In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.
  • In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)
  • Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.
  • Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.
  • Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
  • Bobbying for apples is a fertility rite, or a marriage divination and dates back to the Celtics. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.

bobbing for applesPumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexico, but now grow on six continents.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.
  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 24.03 seconds, smashing his previous record of 54.72 seconds. The rules of the competition state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears, and a mouth.

Jan. 23 – National Handwriting Day

Practice your “John Hancock.”  Dust off a pencil, grab a sheet of paper, and write to your grandmother, pen a love letter to your sweetie, or send a “Just thinking of you” note to a friend. It’s more personal than a text or e-mail.

 

Click here: Celebrate National Handwriting Day

 

 

John Hancock's signature

One of the most famous signatures is John Hancock on the United States Declaration of Independence. Hancock wanted to ensure that King George could read it without the use of glasses.

A “Thriller” Evening with Edgar Allan Poe starring Vincent Price

Actor Vincent Price was considered to be a “Merchant of Menace” as he was featured in several horror movies inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.

 

 

He also was immortalized (well, his voice) in the John Landis directed Michael Jackson music video “Thriller,” as seen below.

 

 

 

 

Summer Solstice Quiz Answers

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year.   In 2017, the solstice was at 11:24, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

 

Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:

bonfire

Many celebrate Summer by gathering around a bonfire.

1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) The Feast of St. John the Baptist

Midsummer Eve is also known as Saint John’s Eve because it is the night before the festival of the nativity of John the Baptist. Throughout Europe peasants often celebrated this night by lighting fires in streets and marketplaces. Although the fires were often blessed by priests, the celebration was generally conducted by the laity. Midsummer eve celebrations were a continuance of the Teutonic pagan festivals and fertility rites associated with agriculture at the time of the summer solstice.

 

Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?
1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) There is no relationship.

 

Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)

 

hands "holding" the sunQ4. The summer solstice is the official first day of summer. When does summer end?
1. At the winter solstice
2. At the autumnal equinox
3. At the vernal equinox

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) At the autumnal equinox

 

Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?
1. Imbolc
2. Yule
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
5. Mabon

CORRECT ANSWER
(1) Imbolc

 

Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above

CORRECT ANSWER
(6) All of the above

 

Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline star as Titania and Bottom (respectively) in William's Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline star as Titania and Bottom (respectively) in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

 

Q8.  In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?

1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr of "From Here to Eternity" - famous beach kiss

The famous Beach kiss – Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the film “From Here to Eternity.”

This sea-soaked embrace was considered quite risqué in 1953, even though the raciest footage ended up on the cutting room floor. What remains is indelible. Deborah Kerr, playing a disaffected army wife, tells her lover (Burt Lancaster), “I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?

1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4.  The Rookie

CORRECT ANSWER
(2) Bad News Bears

His son Bill Lancaster’s screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas – the son of Kirk Douglas – the Tatum O’Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.

Actors Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal in a scene from the movie "Bad News Bears"

Burt Lancaster was the inspiration for the movie “Bad News Bears” starring Tatum O’Neal and Walter Matthau.

 

Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator

CORRECT ANSWER
(1) The North Pole

 

Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?

1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather

 

CORRECT ANSWER

(2) The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.

If you thought that was a term your grandma made up, you’ll be surprised to learn the phrase dates back to ancient Rome. “Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August.

Therefore, the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season.

You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.” According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.”   Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light.

However, the ancients knew that the “Dog Star” was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year. While Sirius may be bright, the effects of its energy do not affect Earth as much. “Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from our sun – something the ancients didn’t know.”  As it turns out, when the ancients blamed the “Dog Star” for boosting the heat during the summer, they were barking up the wrong tree.

 

Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?

1. California
2. Iowa
3.  Florida

CORRECT ANSWER
(3) Florida

 

Q13.  Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?

1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D

 

CORRECT ANSWER
(4) Vitamin D

Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?

Pebbles of the Flintstones cartoon

Although she is cute, Pebbles was not the first one to wear a bathing suit. The Greeks invented the swim wear in  350 B.C.

A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age

CORRECT ANSWER
(A) Greece

The first bathing suit worn in Greece in 350 BC. Later, togas were worn when swimming and bathing reached the heights of its popularity in the ancient world.

Once upon a time, American men were required to wear a skirt with their bathing suit. According to the “Bathing Suit Regulations” published May 17, 1917, men’s suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks.

During the 18th century, ladies went so far as to sew lead weights into the hems of their bathing gowns. Black stockings and a ruffled cap or straw hat completed the fashionable sewing costume in the 1880s. Men started wearing rubber or synthetic bathing suits in the 1950s

The first bathing suit for women was created in the 1800s. It was long sleeved with woolen bloomers.
A Social History of Swimming Pools in America
The first public swimming pools in the United States were “large community bath tubs”-indoors, relatively small, and intended to encourage good hygiene among the poor. By the nineteen-twenties, pools had become elaborate “public amusements,” accommodating thousands. Wiltse’s history argues that, at every turn, these sites of “intimate and prolonged contact” between swimmers of different races, genders, and social classes stirred intense conflict. The book is most incisive in its discussion of swimming pools as what one editorialist called “one of the touchiest problems in race relations.” Between the wars, swimming pools began to mix the genders, but African-Americans were gradually excluded from the “sexually charged” spaces. In the fifties and sixties, as civil-rights activists persevered in the courts, many cities chose to close municipal pools rather than integrate them.

Imperial Chinese Sunglasses

Early sunglasses served a special purpose and it wasn’t to block the rays of the sun. For centuries, Chinese judges had routinely worn smoke-colored quartz lenses to conceal their eye expressions in court. It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern-type sunglasses came to be.

Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?

A. Africans
B. The Chinese
C. Europeans
D. Hollywood celebrities

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) Chinese

The Chinese invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses more than 2,000 years ago.

 

Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
A. Alaska
B. California
C. Florida
D. Puerto Rico

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) California

About one-quarter of the world’s lemons are grown in the U.S. California is home to the most lemon trees.

Although lemonade may be a popular summer drink, not everyone is aware that it is also the citrus fruit with the most uses. In addition to cooking and drinking, lemon juice is used for perfume and medical purposes as well as a cleaning agent. However, lemon juice is still the most popular use. About one-third of California lemon production is used for juice or concentrates.

 

banana split

Spoons and Banana Split — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit

CORRECT ANSWER
(B)  The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776.

Did you know that 98 percent of American households buy ice cream each year. Scientific experiments have established that on average a single scoop ice cream cone takes 50 licks to eat.

Dolley Madison created a sensation when she served ice cream as a dessert in the White House during an inaugural ball in 1812.

While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much!

The three American cities with the highest per capita consumption of ice cream are: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri.

 

 

Q18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?
A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria

 

CORRECT ANSWER
(B) Coney Island, USA
Naming the birthplace of the American hotdog is problematic as Coburg, Frankfort, and Vienna all claim the honor, although in truth the American hotdog is most likely a descendent of the traditional sausage eaten by many Europeans and brought to the U.S.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; King George VI of England; Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt (mother to her only child, the President); Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mother”); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Left to Right: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; King George VI of England; Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt (mother to her only child, the President); Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mother”); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR treated the British royalty to a summer picnic, including the American favorite combination: hot dogs and beer.

In 1939, King George IV partook of hot dogs and beer with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.  The movie Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR, features the first American visit from the English king.

The average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.

If you need help with your hot dog etiquette then you should consult the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s rules of Hot Dog Etiquette which includes such rules as: Don’t put the hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun; Don’t use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable; Do eat a hot dog on a bun with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns; Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wieners, seven bites are acceptable; and All condiments remaining on the fingers after the hot dog is eaten should be licked away, not washed.

 

 

Summer Solstice Quiz

Summer beach

Summer is finally here!

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. In 2017, the solstice falls on June 20 at 11:24 pm, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.

 

Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:
1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid

 


Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?

summer solstice moon

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2014, the solstice falls on June 21 at 6:51 A.M. EDT.

1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.

 

Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)

 

Q4. The summer solstice is the official first day of summer. When does summer end?
1. At the winter solstice
2. At the autumnal equinox
3. At the vernal equinox

 

Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?

Sun - Summer Solstice Prayer

Click here for the Summer Solstice Prayer

1. Imbolc
2. Yule
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
5. Mabon

 

Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above

 

Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

 

Q8. In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?

1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City

 

Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?

the movie cast of "The Sandlot"

The Sandlot” movie cast

1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4. The Rookie

 

Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator

 

dog in a hot dog costume

A REAL hot dog!

Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?

1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather

 

Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?

1. California
2. Iowa
3. Florida

 

Q13. Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?

1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D

 

Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?
A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age

 

Tom Cruise in sunglasses

So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades – Tom Cruise wearing the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model sunglasses in “Risky Business.”

Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?
A. Africans
B. The Chinese
C. Europeans
D. Hollywood celebrities

 

Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
A. Alaska
B. California
C. Florida
D. Puerto Rico

 

 

Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit

 

 

plate of hot dogsQ18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?

A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria

 

 

 

Quiz Answers will be provided tomorrow… so, enjoy the summer in the meantime and check back.

 

One Daughter’s Wish to Honor her Father

Sonora Smart Dodd

Sonora Smart Dodd – The woman behind Father’s Day

In 1898, a young teen named Sonora Louise Smart lost her mother after childbirth to Sonora’s fifth sibling.  The chore of raising six children was left to husband and Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart on a rural farm in eastern Washington State.  He lived long enough to see Father’s Day as the beloved holiday that we celebrate today.

In 1909, following a Sunday morning sermon about Mother’s Day, she questioned why fathers were not honored.  She mad it her mission to establish a Father’s Day, wishing to celebrate it on her father’s birthday on June 5.   On June 19, 1910, Father’s Day was observed locally in Spokane, Washington.  Her efforts were, at times, met with jokes and mocking.  It wasn’t until a noted political leader William Jennings Bryan began to support her cause.

In 1916, United States President Woodrow Wilson approved the bill to establish an official Father’s Day.  In 1924, a formal proclamation issued by President Calvin Coolidge designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day and then in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed it as a presidential proclamation.  It wasn’t until 1972, Father’s Day was created as a permeant national occasion by President Richard Nixon.

In 1978 at the age of 96, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd died seeing her dream become a reality — honoring her father, her husband and other men like them.