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. . . text and images throughout this Website often contain active links . . ."forsan et hæc olim meminisse iuvabit."

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History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies -- Alexis de Tocqueville

Slowly rocking the Max Schmeling Halle -- Craft Beer in Italy

Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground. Quote from Noah Webster, US writer & lexicographer (10/16/1758 – 05/28/1843)

Some French Cities HERE (and Belgium)
German and Swiss City links

Images of 1916 coinage, Early Roman Emperors, later Roman era, Byzantine Coinage

Maclet -- A Mystery of Art -- Baseball Cards
More Art -- Sunsets -- Cumberland Falls

The past screams to us, but will we listen ???
The article's oldest link (and comments): HERE

Tour de France -- 2012 -- A Paris Page -- Some Mountains in Southern France -- Austrian Wines -- German wine growing areas: Rheingau Wine region -- Ahr Wines -- Bad Schussenried

Stamp Link -- Engelberg -- Bremen, Hamburg und Hanover -- Salzburg -- (Fall 2015)-NEW

A modern hymn -- Truth is heavy; therefore, few wear it. -- Midrash Shmuel on Avot: 4 (פרקי אבות)

More Verses and Selections: Page 1 -- Page 2 -- Page 3

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias [40:3] the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the Salvation of God.”

“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, in whom ye delight: behold, He advanceth, saith the Lord of hosts.” [ecce ego mittam angelum meum et præparabit viam ante faciem meam et statim veniet ad templum suum dominator quem vos quæritis et angelus testamenti quem vos vultis ecce venit dicit Dominus exercituum] Malachi 3:1 {“And, who can endure the day of His advent? Who can stand when He appears”}

This is none other than the dwelling place of God, and this is the gate of Heaven
This is the Gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it

Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes !

November 22, 2005: The first chancellor from East Germany ist auch die erste Bundeskanzlerin. Angela Merkel was chosen Tuesday, after weeks of uncertainty, to lead the German governing coalition (Koalition aus Union und SPD vom Parlament). Die Pfarrerstochter Merkel addierte zur Eidesformel den religiösen Zusatz „So wahr mir Gott helfe” hinzu -- her oath included by choice so help me God. Also, the seven Union and eight SPD Ministers were sworn to office in the afternoon. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

November 22, 1935: The first transpacific airmail flight departed with over 20,000 folks waving good-bye. The China Clipper began its 8,000-mile journey with 110,865 letters on board, piloted by Captain Edwin Musick. The Pan American Martin 130 took off from San Francisco International. Nearly 60 hours later, it landed at Manila in the Philippines Islands. Two other denominations featuring this aircraft may be seen HERE

JFK 50 years - 1963-2013 -- Death of CS Lewis

When President Kennedy spoke in Berlin, a few short months before his assassination, he emphasized his solidarity with the citizens of the beleaguered city, separated by The Wall. He could not know that another US President 20 years in the future would make a similar plea for freedom. Most forget the second German phrase used, equally compelling, roughly translated, "Let them come to Berlin." He was speaking about those who thought the Soviet system was not all that bad, that it was simply a different system for ordering economic priorities. The structure, the barbed wire, the guards, vividly loomed before all people, on which ever side of it one stood, with only one clear message, there is a prison here. Until it fell, all nations, like the citizens on both side of the Wall, were not fully free. If you seek peace, tear down this wall. Fifty years later . . .

November 23, 1846: The Augusta Canal system began operation. Conceived two years earlier as a way to to provide water power for manufacturing and thus aid Augusta's depressed economy, the canal system diverted water from the Savannah River seven miles north of Augusta. Because the city was situated on the Fall Line, the ground elevation was higher seven miles to the north. The thirteen-foot difference in elevations would cause the water in the canal to flow southward into Augusta with enough speed to power factory turbines. Water first flowed into the canal on Nov. 23, 1846, and Petersburg cotton boats quickly began using the canal. True to its intended purpose, the canal led to construction of the Augusta Factory -- a cloth manufacturing firm -- in 1847. WJBF TV channel 6 in Augusta, Georgia (ABC) began broadcasting this day in 1953 to commemorate this event. On November 23, 2009, the same station is broadcasting on digital channels 42-1 and 42-2.

November 24th: Today is the 329th day of the year (2008). Only 37 days remain until the end of the year. Tasmania was discovered today by the European culture of the time (1642). To celebrate the event, the Apollo 12 command module splashed safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second reported mission to earth's moon. Charles, Duke of Orléans arrived this day in 1394, as an unknown poet, as did William F. Buckley Jr. in 1925. John Knox of Scotland departed this day in 1572. At soon to be named Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John Forbes (1707-1759) captured Fort Duquesne, after the French had destroyed it exothermically (1758), one of the first firework displays over the peaceful Point Park.

According to legend, Charles of Valois, Duke of Orléans and father of the popular King Louis XII (Father of the People), sent the first Valentine messages (letters and poems) to his second wife, Bonne of Armagnac, in 1415, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt {100 Years' War}. He, however, was not beheaded, and lived a full life. Unfortunately, until 1440, it was spent in English captivity. He never saw his wife Bonne again. Orléans, an accomplished poet, composing in both French and English, was exceptional among his French contemporaries. So it is that the British Library has a copy of his works from about 1500, composed in French, English and Latin. He makes an appearance in Shakespeare's King Henry V (Act 4. Scene VIII), when his name is mentioned as one of the captives taken on October 25th -- Saint Crispin's Day.

November 24, 2003: Former Brave's pitcher Warren Spahn died at age 82. Spahn was an ace for the Boston and later Milwaukee, Braves. He won more games than any other left-hander in the history of professional baseball. Although he never pitched for the Braves after the franchise moved to Atlanta, he was honored in 2003 with a statue at Turner Field, also known as Atlanta's Olympic stadium. In 1973, in his first year of eligibility, Spahn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He received the Cy Young Award in 1957.

November 24, 2006: William Diehl passed away this day. His death, announced on the 28th was followed by an obituary that appeared in the Atlanta morning paper on November 29th. He was working on the ending of what would be his 10th novel at the time of his death. Mr. Diehl’s other novels included Primal Fear, a tale about a defense lawyer and a client accused of killing an archbishop (an open and shut case). It too became a film in 1996. from The LA Times

Sharky's Machine, a 1981 motion picture directed by Burt Reynolds (who also starred in the title role of Sgt Tom Sharky), adapts William Diehl's first novel, Sharky's Machine (1978), to the big screen. Diehl, who was age fifty when he wrote the novel, saw the movie shot on location in and around his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. According to the Internet Movie Database, this film has the distinction of a stunt record. As of 2004, at 220 feet, the stunt from Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel still holds up as the longest outdoor free-fall (no wires) stunt to ever be performed for commercial film. The stuntman was Dar Robinson. Diehl had a cameo role.

Diehl joined the Army Air Corps at age 17 after falsifying his birth date. Never-the-less, he served as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 during World War II. His conduct in action earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

Without the Channel, how would history have changedNovember 25, 1120: The events collectively known as "The Anarchy" represent one of the least known periods of English history (post 1066). This particular period of English civil unrest has its origins on the fateful night of the 25th of November 1120, when the "White Ship" sank in the Channel off the Normandy coast when it struck a submerged rock. The shipwreck killed the only direct heir of King Henry I, William Adelin. The cause of the ship's sinking remains uncertain, but some reports describe a night of binge drinking by crew and passengers alike. Rumors of purposeful destruction persist today. The "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" recalls the 19-year reign of King Stephen, that followed Henry's death as an era “when Christ and his saints were asleep." Henry I King of all England and Normandy had designated Matilda (known as Maud) his daughter to be the Queen (she was married to Geoffrey of Anjou who had contested the control of Normandy by Henry. After trading victories in battle Maud and Stephen were at a stalemate. Before the coronation of the Queen could take place, Londoners stormed out of the "City" to attack Westminster, compelling Matilda to flee, her plans in flames. Eventually, an agreement recognized Henry II (Henry 's grandson by Maud) as rightful heir, when the men of the opposing armies refused to fight, weary of the seemingly unending struggle. Indeed, after the accord the once and future Kings were at peace personally, appearing together.

HENRI Plantagenêt, born March 5, 1133, in Le Mans, Maine Province (Sarthe), France; died July 6, 1189 at Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France; was crowned HENRY II, King of England, on December 19, 1154. He is buried at Abbey-et-Fontevrault, Maine-et-Loire, France. On May 11, 1152, Henry married ELEANOR of Aquitaine, born about 1122 in Aquitaine, France. She passed on June 26, 1202, at Mirabell Castle, France. ELEANOR was the daughter of GUILLAUME X, Duke of Aquitaine, and his wife ELEANORE. Æleanor d'Aquitaine previously had married to LOUIS VII, King of France, on July 4th or 22nd, 1137, but was divorced by him on March 21, 1152. This change of heart, as you might expect, fostered problems between the two countries, as ownership issues were again in play. ÆLEANOR of Aquitaine is buried at the Monastery of Fontevrault located in Maine-et-Loire, France.

MATILDA (Maud) was the daughter of MATILDA, born about 1082 in Scotland; died May 1, 1118 at Winchester, Hampshire, England; baptized name was EDITH of SCOTLAND, a Princess of Scotland. On November 11, 1100, MATILDA married English King HENRY I BEAUCLERC, born about 1068 at Selby, Yorkshire, England; died December 1, 1135, at Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France. Henry I was the youngest son of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, King of England. HENRY I, crowned King of England on August 5, 1100, at Westminster was buried at Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England on January 4, 1136. William the Conquerors heritage back to Charlemagne and before is well-known.

MATILDA was the daughter of Sainte MARGARET, born about 1043 in England; died November 16, 1093, at Edinburgh Castle, Mid-Lothian, Scotland. She was a Princess of England; buried at Dunferline, Fife, Scotland; canonized as a Saint by Pope Innocent IV in 1251. In 1068 she had married Scottish King MALCOLM III CEANNMOR, born about 1031 in Scotland; died November 13, 1093, near Alnwick in Northumberland, England. Three of Sainte MARGARET's children became Scottish Kings, the fourth married the English ruler.

It is through the heritage of Queen Matilda, who was the spouse of King Henry I of England (he the son of William I, First Norman King of England) and the daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, that many of the later Kings and Queens of England and Scotland are able to claim direct descent from the earlier English (Anglo Saxon) Kings as will be shown below, as well as the Scots of Dalriada (Malcom III's line). The current royal family also directly descends from the Scots of Dalriada, through this line, by way of the House of York (White Rose), Mary, Queen of Scots, James I, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, the Duke of Brunswick (Hanover) and his son George I, King of England. The lineage of the Scots of Dalriada goes back about 95 generations before Matlida, where we find one named Gaodhal (or Gæls) son of Niul, grandson of Phœniusa and further back to Japhet one of the sons of Noah. From there it is only 10 generations to Adam.

November 25th: The devotion to Sainte Catherine (of Alexandria), which grew greatly in Europe starting in the 12th Century, peaked in France (15th century), when it was rumoured that she had spoken to Jeanne d'Arc and, together with Ste. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser. Many think Catherine did not exist or was some amalgam of many martyrs, and she was removed from the Catholic Church's calendar of feast days (1969-2002). Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honor for a Latin Hymn, which begins: vox sonora nostri chori. (the sonorous (pleasant but powerful) voice of our choir [in praise]

Then [Roman Emperor] Maximin, with his heart of stone, commanded that Catherine be carried outside the city, and scourged and then beheaded. So it was done; but when she was dead, angels bore her body over the desert and over the Red Sea, and laid it away on the top of Mt. Sinai. As for the tyrant, he was slain in battle, and the vultures devoured him. Raphael; A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The Painter With Introduction And Interpretation, Estelle M. (Estelle May) Hurll, EText-No. 19314, Release Date: 2006-09-19

So, I will leave it to you to discern what all this has to do with the price of hats for a few lassies in Paris.

November 26, 1864: A day after the anniversary of the Battle of Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga, Tennessee-in a defeat that many believe ended the South's hope of a negotiated end to the war), southern troops reoccupy Atlanta, as General Sherman moves south and east toward Savannah. The town is a mess. Civilians, who were forced to leave after the battle, slowly return. You may find the previous two week period recounted HERE.

November 27, 511: Clovis, often called the first King of France, died on this date. Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orléans to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orléans. Clovis I is interred today at Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (pictured here), not in the Saint Denis Basilica (near Paris) and not in Tournai (Belgium), as was his father and previous Salian Frank kings. The Parisian church that rises near where the Roman Forum once stood, contains Pascal’s tomb, who died while he was in the parish and Racine’s ashes -- transferred to this church from Port-Royal in 1711. Furthermore, it contains the shrine of Ste. Geneviève’s remains, the patroness of Paris. The reliquary contains only a few fingers, bones and ashes, because during the la Révolution français , the remains were burned and scattered. Also with Clovis is his wife Ste. Clotilda. Upon his death, Clovis's realm was divided into 4 parts, creating about a 240 year period of disunity for the resulting kingdoms. A map and timeline of kings, mayors and other rulers is HERE on our page about Metz.

November 28, 1095: – On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appoints Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land. The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the western Church. Pope Urban delivered a speech at the closing of the Council, purportedly ending his oration with the words Deus vult ("God wills {it}"). This phrase became the battle cry of the Crusaders. Filled with zeal at the prospect of liberating the Holy Land (and earning an indulgence, that erased time in Purgatory, they ended the Council. In 1095, Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus had sent envoys to the west to request military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. The message was received well by Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza. Later that year, in November, Urban called the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. In convoking the council, Urban urged the bishops and abbots, whom he addressed directly, to bring with them the prominent lords in their provinces.

On this date in 1520, After navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first known Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean from the east. Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain on this voyage with five ships, but the voyage proved more difficult than anticipated. Indeed, Megellan and most of his men and ships did not survive this voyage. The aim of Christopher Columbus' 1492–1503 voyages to the West had been to reach the Indies and to establish direct commercial relations between Spain and the Asian kingdoms. The Spanish soon realized that the lands of the Americas were not a part of Asia, but a new continent. The 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas reserved for Portugal the eastern routes that went around Africa, and Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese arrived in India in 1498. It became urgent for Spain to find a new commercial route to Asia, and after the Junta de Toro conference of 1505, the Spanish Crown set out to discover a route to the west. Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean in 1513 after crossing the Isthmus of Panama. Magellan's voyage would open the "spice route" without damaging relations with the neighboring Portuguese. On August 10, 1519, the five ships under Magellan's command, the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepción, Victoria and Santiago, left Seville. It took 3 and 1/2 months to find the Pacific.

In 1666 on this date, some 3000 men of the Scottish Royal Army led by Tam Dalyell of the Binns defeated 900 Covenanter rebels in the Battle of Rullion Green, in Lothian, Scotland. The rebels included experienced professional soldiers as well as citizenry, and were commanded by Colonel James Wallace of Auchens. The Pentland Rising (of which this was the penultimate battle) must be viewed in the context of the long-running government campaign to impose episcopalianism upon Scotland (versus Presbyterianism (Calvin) or Catholicism) against the will of the people.

November 28, 1794: On this date, Friedrich von Steuben passed away at Remsen, New York (born in Magdeburg, Germany). Steuben had been a Prussian officer. At the behest of Benjamin Franklin, he aided the ailing effort of the American Colonies. Arriving in 1777, Washington placed von Steuben in the line of command for troops at Valley Forge. He retrained these forces and wrote a manual, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. The city of Steubenville, Ohio bears his name.

November 28, 2007: Churches and schools for many years sponsored Boy and Girl Scout units in Waltham. Indeed, in 1974, the W.R. Nichols Company was the chartering organization for a Sea-Scout Ship. Today such a group would be a crew within Venturing, a program for young men and women under the BSA umbrella. This evening, was the 97th anniversary of the founding of the earliest documented maritime-themed Scout unit in the United States. That date in 1910 was a Monday and the time was evening at 321 Crescent Dr, Waltham, Massachusetts. The man who first brought a Sea Scout group together (in the USA), Arthur Astor Carey, lived in Waltham, which is on the Charles River. A prominent worker in the burgeoning arena of youth development of the period, Carey founded the local Scout district council, too. Carey's Little chapel Harbor -- Waltham, Massachusetts Public Library from same time period.

Carey's unit began as a Scout troop, of course, as that was the only type of Scouting program that existed then. Less than a month later these Scouts had acquired the use of an eighty-two (82) foot converted fishing boat, then moored in nearby Boston. The group spent much of the following months working on their water skills at Camp Sherwood on the Sudbury River. In the summer of 1911, the newly-christened BSS Pioneer conducted the first Long Cruise.

Mr. Carey apparently was never actually a Sea Scout Skipper [often called a Seascoutmaster in the early days], he functioned more as a combination Chartered Partner Representative and Committee Chairman in today's terms. He did go out on the Pioneer and participated in the Long Cruise. A wealthy man who was active in such diverse fields as the arts deco and neurasthenic studies, he is considered to be the first national Sea Scout director, preceding James Wilder of Hawaii.

There is some evidence pointing to a possibility that Mr. Carey had been acquainted with General Baden-Powell in England (1909) and that his encounter may have been a factor in his interest in Scouting. His daughter Alida married into the Gulick family, the founders of the Campfire Girls. Carey was the same age as Sir Robert Baden-Powell, but predeceased him by some 18 years (1923). information researched by D R McKeon SSS Sargasso Ship 22 (Atlanta Area Council) Tucker, GA.

Some say November 29, 1745-the monument on the site says the 28th, but I say serendipity like a pendulum swings: In November 1745, French troops and native allies burn Saratoga, New York (and later Albany), to retaliate for British efforts to encourage the Iroquois to fight during King George's War (War of the Austrian Succession (1744-1748)). The Saratoga of 1745 was on the site of the present Schuylerville, NY, on the west bank of the Hudson River about eleven miles east of the present Saratoga. One hundred forty-five years later in nearby West Point, New York, the United States Naval Academy defeated the United States Military Academy 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. Another interesting point, if you look for counseling at 1745 Saratoga Avenue, you will be in San Jose, California. You might be surprised to learn that San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. It is the first civilian settlement, or pueblo, in Alta California.
November 30th 1016, saw an important event in English History, when the son of King Æthelræd the Unready met an untimely end. ÆTHELRÆD II {the Unready} was the son of EDGAR THE PEACEFUL. Coinage of the King shows his portrait as well as the hand of God, between the alpha and omega symbols.

England, under one rule since Alfred's son, Edward, had unified the title in 921, was ruled by Æthelræd the Unready who had become monarch aged 10 in 979. But his perceived non-preparedness had persuaded a new generation of Vikings that Britain was again for the taking and since the 980s they had been trying to do just that. East Anglia was in the front line.

King Edmund II of England (nicknamed Ironside for his military prowess), the son of King Æthelræd, was elected King of England in London upon his father's death in 1016, but his Danish rival, Canute the Great, enjoyed greater support throughout the rest of the countryside. Edmund was eventually defeated by the Danes, but he was allowed by Canute to keep the Kingdom of Wessex (Wessex is key because traditionally it held the overlordship of the rest of England), under an understanding that whoever of them survived the other would become ruler of the whole of England. Shortly after making this agreement, Edmund II died, on November 30, 1016, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey on the Isle of Avalon. A Danish claim was established over the whole of England for the next 50 years. To secure the claim, one of Canute's first order of business was to marry Emma, Æthelræd's widow of Norman descent. One of Æthelræd's children outlived Canute's direct heirs (Emma was the mother of all Canute's and Æthelræd's children).

Some years later, the survivor -- King Edward the Confessor, another son of Anglo-Saxon King Æthelred (the Unready), was recalled from Normandy after decades of exile, where he had secured sanctuary with his Norman Christian cousins. Not unexpectedly, Edward's reign witnessed increasing Norman-French influence, which had begun when Canute married Æthelred's widow, Emma of Normandy, daughter of Richard the Fearless, then Duke of Normandy. Edward oversaw completion of Westminster Abbey, which he finished just in time for his burial in January 1065/66. Before his death he had named a Norman heir, but the Saxon council of electors (witenagemot) wanted a man closer to their own cultural heritage.

WilliamEdward's unexpected death without an heir left the succession in doubt and in dispute. The electors of the witenagemot chose Harold, Earl of Wessex. The Earl had once been held hostage by a Scandinavian cousin, named Harald (Haardraade). He was released only upon giving up any interest in the English throne. This relative, now King Harald III of Norway, wished to claim his prize. The third contender and cousin was William Duke of Normandy (also of Scandanavian-Viking heritage and related to Edward and Harold and Harald).

Harold, then currently English King, Harold II, fought off an invasion by the first Scandinavian claimant, defeating him at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 1066. Notwithstanding this success, the course of world history radically changed at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066; because, Duke William (the Conqueror) established a beachhead in England without opposition, while Harold had busied himself up north. When Harold's exhausted Anglo-Saxon army turned its attention to the second set of invaders, time and energy had run their course. French Barons, née Viking pirates, had established the new English royal family and noble retinue. English King William was crowned in Westminster Abbey on the next Christmas Day in 1066. More HERE. All of this is every bit as complicated as the events we would see later regarding the succession to the English Crown as the Tudor line ended and the Reformation of the Church in England began. A very good anglo-saxon Websource:

Richard I of Normandy (born 28 August 933, in Fécamp, Haute Normandy, France died November 20, 996, in Fécamp) was the leader of Normandy (princeps Nortmannorum at Rouen) from 942 to 996; many consider him to be the first to actually have held that title. He was called Richard the Fearless (French, Sans Peur). Richard was still a boy when his father died, and so he was powerless to stop Louis IV of France when he seized Normandy. Louis kept him in confinement in his youth at Laon, but he escaped with the assistance of Osmond de Centville, Bernard de Senlis (who had been a companion of Rollo of Normandy), Ivo de Bellèsme and Bernard the Dane (common ancestor of houses of Harcourt and Beaumont). In 968, Richard agreed to "commend" himself to Hugh, Count of Paris. He then allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders, drove Louis out of Rouen, and took back Normandy by 947. He later quarreled with Æthelred II of England. The Dukes of Normandy descend in an unbroken line to Wooden (Odin of Nordic Mythology) of the Thracian Æsir, whose peoples migrated from the Black Sea; said to be a remnant of the House of Troy.

Facing the abbey church (L'Abbatiale de la Trinité), the remains of the ducal palace bring to mind the Norman Rolland (Rollo) of Fécamp, and rest upon the remains of an early 10th century castle built by William I. Today the site hints at what housing was like in the 10th and 11th centuries. Behind the abbey church , the old town bears witness to Fécamp's rich past, along France's Alabaster Coast. The abbey church of the Trinity, a masterpiece of primitive gothic (12th century), possesses the grandeur of a bishop's cathedral. It still retains numerous gems, including the chapel of the Virgin and its 14th century stained glass as well as later additions and art. The Church of Saint Stephen (Étienne) is a much later structure from the 16th Century.

Fécamp is situated in the valley of the river Valmont, at the heart of the Pays de Caux. It sits about 50 miles NE of Cæn and about 40 miles NW of Rouen. According to legend, the trunk of a fig tree carrying the Precious Blood of Christ collected by Joseph of Arimathea was washed ashore on the riverbank at Fécamp in the 1st century. In short order, the relic attracted many pilgrims. Many items of the Gallo-Roman period have been found locally, such as gold coins and celtic axes. Two Gallo-Roman cemeteries have also been discovered.écamp Charles II of England landed at Fécamp in November 1651, soon after the Battle of Worcester, where he had been defeated by Cromwell. This recalls Edward the Confessor (son of Æthelred the Unready and his second wife, Emma of Normandy), King of England's exile to the same city, where he stayed with his cousins.

November 30, 1782: In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles, later formalized in the Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783). The British recognized the independence of the American states. John Adams, who would become the second President, was one of four named American Representatives on the negotiating team (Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens were the other three).

The US and British negotiators agreed on the new nation's boundaries. The two sides secretly agreed to an article that affected Georgia's southern boundary west of the Chattahoochee River. If Spain allowed Britain to retain her two Florida colonies, the northern boundary of West Florida would continue as it was prior to the American Revolution -- a line marked at latitude 32° 22' N stretching from the Chattahoochee River to the Mississippi River. If, however, Spain insisted on the return of the two Floridas, West Florida's norther boundary would return to 31° (as originally stipulated in the Treaty of Paris of 1763). Thus, a substantial area of Georgia's western territory was in question. Spain would claim, in due course, the entire area of West Florida for its role in defeating the British. The secret text would plague U.S.-Spanish relations until 1795, when Spain finally agreed to give up its claim to western Georgia north of the 31st parallel, still holding on to the rest of its Florida empire. see

However, all was not really settled, and we went to war with the British Empire once again in 1812. In September 1814, an impressive American naval victory on Lake Champlain forced invading British forces back into Canada. This led to the final peace arrangements concluded in Ghent, Belgium. John Adam's son, John Quincy Adams (the sixth US President) would negotiate the Treaty of Ghent (December 24, 1814), ending that conflict. News of the signing would not reach the USA until 1815. This delay gave US General Andrew Jackson, later a US President, the time to achieve a still greater American victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Jackson expected the British assault and had prepared. The shallow-draft steamboat Enterprise, completed in Pittsburgh under the direction of keelboat captain Henry Miller Shreve, left for New Orleans to deliver guns and ammunition to General Jackson on December 1st of 1814. On December 13th General Andrew Jackson announced martial law in New Orleans, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city. The British then moved south and east of the Chalmette Plantation, a then goodly distance out from town. On the 23rd of December General Jackson stopped the first advance, but tactically retreated about 3 miles within the Parish of Saint Bernard and threw up fortifications.

On the 8th of January 1815, the British resumed their march toward New Orleans. In separating Louisiana from the rest of the United States, the British had aimed to control and would have in fact controlled the Mississippi and the trade to America's heartland, thereby protecting their possessions on the American frontier and in Canada. The British found the volunteer militia, citizens and Gentleman Pirate Jean Lafitte's men (all under General Andrew Jackson's command), strongly entrenched at the Rodriquez Canal, 6 miles from the French Quarter.

Because of its provisions of the treaty ending our last declared war with Great Britain, regarding the Georgia borders, many Georgia politicians called on the President Madison (who authored the Bill of Rights) to renounce the Treaty of Ghent and continue the war against Britain. This did not happen, the United States was exhausted. Never-the-less, the Florida Territories would come into US possession by treaty in 1819.

On November 30th: In 1803, 21 years after the preliminary agreement ending the war for freedom was reached, at the Cabildo building in New Orleans, the Spanish (Governor Manuel de Salcedo and the Marqués de Casa Calvo) officially transfered the Louisiana Territory to the French. Pierre-Clément de Laussat (Napoléon's Colonial Prefect, born in Pau) accepts possession of Louisiana from Spain in a retrocession ceremony at noon. Jean Ètienne de Boré (1741-1820) becomes the first Mayor of the city, a democratic ville for the first time. Just 20 days later, France transferred the same land to the United States and the US Flag rose on the 20th of December above the Cabildo. William C. C. Claiborne and General James Wilkinson are commissioners overseeing the transfer.

On this date in 1819: The steamship Savannah returned home after being the first steam-powered vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Actually the ship had sails, carried very little coal and so could use steam only as an assist when wind failed (or to steam into port up the Savannah River). It had left the City of Savannah in May. For more information, please see our Georgia Sea Traditions Webpage.

In the mid-20th Century: On November 30th 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (who celebrated his birth in 1874 that day) and the leader of the Soviets (USSR), Josef Stalin, would agree to an invasion of Europe, codenamed Operation Overlord. The Allies, sans Josef, would come ashore at Normandie.

Ah, (eleven years later) elle a sorti le ciel, débarquant juste un peu de sud de Sylacaugie !!! In Alabama, a small {eight pound-eight ounce} sulfide stony meteorite strikes a home across from the Comet Drive-In Théâtre, near Sylacauga. The object hits Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges in the living room, after it punctures her roof and actively ricochets off her radio. As you may guess, this results in a rather nasty bruise, but she becomes the first person in recorded history to survive a close encounter of this kind -- at least the first American, well maybe first Alabamian -- You do not want to miss this story at Website:

Not one web site claimed the Hodges meteorite was a hoax, a cover up or a conspiracy. None claimed the Hodges event never happened. Interesting. Could it be that some strange stuff you read on the net is actually ... true? Yes. Some.
To celebrate this event, Creedence Clearwater Revival placed a track called It Came Out Of The Sky on its First Album, released November 2, 1969: It came out of the Sky -- con subtitulos

Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes !

December 01, 1420: On this date the King of England visits Paris, a big city in his Kingdom. The originator of the term "Band of Brothers" was six feet 3 inches in height. You know him as Henry V, of the Lancaster dynasty. Starting in August 1417, Henry officially promoted the use of the English language, and his reign marks the appearance of Chancery Standard English as well as the adoption of English as the language of record throughout his Government. He was the first king to use English in his personal correspondence, since the Norman conquest, which occurred 350 years earlier.

Following Agincourt (the victory is seen as Henry's greatest, ranking alongside Crécy and Poitiers), On June 2, 1420, Henry V married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter; he had already been named as heir and French Regent under the Treaty of Troyes. However, political intrigue and open rebellion continued under the Dauphine. Hungarian King (later Holy Roman Emperor 1433-1437) Sigismund made a visit to Henry in hopes of establishing a lasting peace between England and France. His goal was to persuade Henry to modify his demands. Henry lavishly entertained the Hungarian ruler and even had him enrolled in the Order of the Garter. Sigismund in turn inducted Henry into the Order of the Dragon. Henry had intended to crusade for that order after uniting the English and French thrones, but he died before fulfilling his plans. Sigismund left England several months later, having signed the Treaty of Canterbury, acknowledging English claims to to the French throne.

December 1, 1824: The U.S. presidential election was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, this after no candidate received a majority of the electoral vote. The contenders -- Georgian William H. Crawford, along with John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. The man who negotiated the end of the War of 1812 would become the 6th President. Like his father, Adams would be a one-termer. Four years later on December 3rd, Andrew Jackson became 7th president-elect of the United States beating John Quincy Adams. Resentment of the restrictive credit policies of the first central bank, the Bank of the United States, fueled a populist backlash that elected Andrew Jackson. Former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on December 4, 1831, while Jackson would preside over the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation toward the end of his second term. Jackson would withdraw from the bank, causing a panic by 1837 for his successor for the five year depression that followed. Who had the better record of service, the populist democrat or the gentlemen ?

December 1, 1990: Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the English Channel. They have dug the Chunnel, a ground connection between the island of Great Britain and the mainland of Europe, the first in recorded history. The land bridge from England to France submerged to form the English Channel for the last time some 7-9 thousand years ago. Three theories are discussed in:

  • Time line for Sea-side city of Shoreham in Sussex, England -- it references the generally accepted theories of the scientific community
  • Sudden flood -- a tsunami of a theory -- Troubled Times, indeed wash right over you
  • The Atlantian Theory -- Aliens, too; need I say more -- an interesting must read for the Druid fan
    Warning: Not about a city in Georgia.
  • Wednesday December 01, 2004: The President made an official visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, today to thank the people of Canada, especially Halifax, for their help and support. He recognized the many acts of kindness of the citizens in this northern city, when US airspace shut down for several days in September 2001.

    “Immediately, Canadians opened their homes and their hearts,” Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said in toasting Mr. Bush at a dinner in Ottawa Tuesday night. “Three days later, on September the 14th, 100,000 Canadians spontaneously gathered on Parliament Hill in what was and is the largest vigil ever seen in our capital.”

    “You opened your homes and your churches to strangers. You brought food, you set up clinics, you arranged for calls to loved ones and you asked for nothing in return," the President noted. "Thank you for your kindness to America in an hour of need.”

    “Beyond the words of politicians and the natural disagreements that nations will have, our two peoples are one family and always will be," he added. "We're bound by history and geography and trade, and by our deepest convictions ... With so much in common and so much at stake, we cannot be divided.”

    December 1, 2005: Sandy Springs became a Georgia city. Legislation incorporating the Fulton County community had been enacted at the 2005 session of the General Assembly, but the effective date of incorporation was delayed until one second past midnight on the first day of December 2005. And in 2008, Dunwoody officially became a new Georgia' city. Legislation incorporating the DeKalb County community had been enacted at the 2008 session of the General Assembly. Both new cities share a common border and encompass portions of the Hightower Trail, itself an historic border.

    December 2, 1737: A disillusioned John Wesley sailed from Georgia to Charleston, and subsequently on to England. Wesley had hoped to serve as a missionary to Georgia's Native Americans. In the nearly two years since he arrived, he had not been able to pursue this goal. The Georgia Colony's founder and Chief Executive Officer, James Edward Oglethorpe, had wished Wesley to minister to the needs of Savannah's population. Wesley, perceived as too formal in his Anglican practices, did not succeed. Toward the end of his stay, it is reported that he also had become romantically involved with a young woman. He proposed marriage. She refused and subsequently married another. Apparently, this led Wesley to refuse her communion, prompting the new husband to sue. Facing a local trial, Wesley departed for home. After his return to England, he had his life-changing experience.
    December 2, 1804:
    Napoléon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He becomes the first Emperor crowned in France since 800AD. The premier Emperor, Charles the Great King of the Franks, came from the Carolingian line. This second familial dynasty of France had replaced the Merovingian line (see a better map HERE, and came to power in order to push the Moors back from the first Islamic invasion of Europe, a time celebrated by the Chanson (le 15 août 778).
    The Carolingians, under Pepin's son, Charlemagne, annexed all of southern Germany and the lands in the north and northeast, held by the Saxons. Charlemagne, crowned emperor of a new Holy Roman Empire in 800AD by Pope Leo III, patterned his court after the western Roman Empire. He ruled from Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), which is today within Germany, on the Dutch Border. The official work of his court was done in Latin; however, the day - to - day language (in the east) congealed into what has evolved into Hoch Deutsch today. Why not French ? Because, upon his death the empire split into three kingdoms because of the tradition that gave each son an equal share of inheritance. The western portion eventually became France and the romantic (n'est pas) language base of Latin prevailed. Indeed, even in 800AD the language between the west and the eastern part of the empire showed marked differences. So much so, that the treaty named after Virodunensis (Verdun -- see below-843AD) had to be written in two languages. The middle kingdom included the land generally between the Rhône/Saône/Meuse and the Rhine Rivers. This is also that area over which and in which most of the European Wars for 1200 years would be fought. For example look at what happened to Alsace. This was the pattern set up with the Treaty of Verdun in 843 AD.

    Otto I, an old-Saxon chief, emerged as the King of East Francia by 962AD. He became the leader of the [Holy] Roman Empire {Römischen Reich}, an official designation {Rede} which remained in use, and in German hands, for another nine centuries. Toward the end of that time period, the words Reich, Reiches or Reichs were used without any other direct attributes, still signifying however, a continuation of the empire from the previous Millennium. Frankfurt became the city where the emperors of the German Reich, traditionally, were elected and crowned.

    You may think of Napoléon strictly in political terms, but he had a great impact on Art History, if only because his Musée du château du Louvre would become the most well-known, best endowed art museum --- tout le monde. Bonaparte celebrated the first anniversary of his coronation with a victory at Austerlitz (also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors) over a Russian and Austrian army. Some 200 Years later, la Lourve celebrated the event with a special exhibit.

    Napoléon commissioned the Arc de Triumph (Paris-1806) to revive the custom of the triumphal arch (one of Louis' favorite construction projects). These arches once had celebrated the victories of the Roman emperors. Napoleon, crowned emperor of France, used this to symbolically unite him with those ancient rulers. In so doing we see this neo-classical style expand throughout France and the west (in the US, first with the Federal style). Not everyone remained enamored. Beethoven will rename his Third Symphony from the Napoléon to the Eroica after Bonaparte crowns himself.

    This 1822 painting by French neoclassical painter, Jacques-Louis David, shows Emperor Napoléon I 
and the Empress, Josephine, during the coronation at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris France

    On December 14, 2004, the readers of The Wall Street Journal [back page of Section IV] were treated with a very fine article on the Louvre exhibit and a view of the painting by Jacques-Louis David about the accession of Napoléon. Note: our readers (of the Vanguard) had information about this event several weeks before. The Wall Street Journal author had a very brief discussion about France's love-hate relationship with its controversial leader. Astute visitors to this Website know that within the confines of our pages we have tried to put some of it all in broader context -- from Roman conquest to the Bastille and beyond, and what this history has meant for America, as well as France. Our pages on French (and German) cities are an endeavor in this regard. We will continue so to do, God willing and if the creeks don't rise.

    December 2, 1823: President Monroe, replying to the post-napoleonic era pronouncements of the Holy Alliance (1816), proclaimed the principles known as the Monroe Doctrine, “that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by European powers.” His doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere ensured that the American sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere remained unquestioned. Although oft challenged, it still governs policies today -- in 2009 we are looking at Iran and South American dictators working together.

    Le coup d'État du 2 décembre 1851: Le coup d'État est effectué par Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, président de la République, qui arrive par ce moyen à dissoudre l'Assemblée nationale française sans en avoir le droit constitutionnel, à devenir seul maître de la France, et rétablit le suffrage universel, précédemment aboli par l'Assemblée. Ces décisions et la prolongation de son mandat à 10 ans sont plébiscités par référendum tout comme l'établissement du Second Empire à compter du 2 décembre 1852 devenant ainsi « Napoléon III, empereur des Français »'État_du_2_décembre_1851.

    December 2, 1942: A self-sustaining nuclear device was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago, on the squash court underneath the football stadium. Scientists initiated this nuclear activity at 3:45 in the afternoon local time. They removed control rods which dampened the process from the nuclear pile of uranium and graphite. Energy increased, revealing that neutrons from fissioning uranium split other atoms, which in turn split a greater number in the un-dampened field. This cascading event is known popularly as a chain reaction.

    The experimental reactor was part of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret plan to develop an atomic bomb before the Axis powers in World War II. The group of scientists was led by Enrico Fermi. We now know that the Nazi's had placed nuclear research on the back burner, but at the time a race to exploit the atom for weapons seemed necessary. Some believe that the Japanese Empire was much closer to achieving this goal. Indeed, some evidence suggests that man's third atomic blast occurred not at Nagasaki, but off a small Island in what is today a restricted area of North Korea (then under Japanese control).
    Some, at the time, worried at the time that a fission bomb would get out of control and destroy the Earth. Similar worries arose with testing of the fusion bomb. Today we have worried that the particle device in Europe will do the same, by creating mini-blackholes of the kind that will not evaporate.

    December 2, 1956: Fidel Castro landed on the coast of Cuba. Castro brought a small armed force to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. Che Guevara was one of the few who survived the disastrous landing of the rebels’ boat, the Granma. Castro was successful. On December 2nd of 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist who would lead Cuba to a Communist paradise. Soon thereafter followed the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962), where the Monroe Doctrine was tacitly employed to reduce foreign European influence (Soviet Union), as the world moved close to a nuclear exchange. Fidel Castro proved too ill to attend his delayed 80th birthday festivities and a military parade in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the landing. During 2007 his words appeared in print, along with pictures -- In Fall 2007 he is reported to have said he would outlive the current US President's term in office - he was right.

    December 2, 1978: Chanting anti-Shah protesters tear through Tehran. A year later, some 2,000 Libyans ransacked the US embassy at Tripoli, Libya, supporting the radical Islamic terrorist regime that took power and hostages in Iran earlier in the year. The problem remains with us today, because of the failure to come to terms with it then. Sort of like all the aspects crisis we deal with today ... ?

    le 3 décembre 1973: Pioneer 10 effectue le 1er vol autour de Jupiter (en passant à 130 000 kilomètres au-dessus la planète). Pioneer 10, la sonde américaine, est la première a donner des informations sur de Jupiter. Lancée le 3 mars 1973, Pioneer 10 est devenu la plus ancienne des sondes interplanétaires américaines. Elle disparaîtra dans l'espace en janvier 1998 (Kuiper Belt). As everyone may remember, some years later it is captured by the borg collective, who retrofit it for a return voyage to earth, renaming her the Borg-Ship Vegan, and hiding the craft in a comet. It is intercepted at Ice-station Babylon by the cast of the Starship Ænterprise, where it is diverted to Doone thru a staregait manœuvre. There, it is set-up at quai-ballay to be forever revered as the mother of all secret stones. At least I think that's the story. If I have offended anyone, mea culpa. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that use, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. — C.S. Lewis : Truth is heavy; therefore, few wear it. -- Midrash Shmuel on Avot: 4

    Le 4 décembre 1290: The monument called the Eleanor Cross sits in front of London's Charing Cross Station. This is the point from which all distances traditionally are measured in the City and England. Why? Because of a cherished Queen, too soon departed from her people. More pictures of the Charing Cross bridge (by e.g. Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro) follow Here and Here.

    Le 04 décembre 1290, Éléonor (ou Aliénor) de Castille décède à Herdeby (Angleterre). Elle est la sœur du roi Alphonse X de Castille et l'épouse bien-aimée du roi d'Angleterre Édouard 1er. Édouard, très affecté par la mort de sa femme, fait élever des croix et peindre son portrait partout où s'arrête le cortège funèbre en route pour l'abbaye de Westminster. Le quartier londonien de Charing Cross conserve le souvenir de l'une de ces croix (Charing viendrait de « chère reine » et serait une déformation du français en usage au XIIIe siècle à la cœur d'Angleterre).

    Le 5 décembre 1360 -- Naissance du franc: Le 5 décembre 1360, à Compiègne, le roi Jean II crée une nouvelle monnaie, le «franc», de même valeur que la monnaie existante, la livre tournois. Le 5 décembre 1978: Adoption du SME (Système monétaire européen) lors du Conseil européen réunit les 4 et 5 décembre 1978 à Bruxelles. Le franc perdure comme monnaie de référence de la France jusqu'au 31 décembre 1998, dernier jour avant l'euro.


    Le franc de 1360 est en or fin de 3,88 grammes. Une version ultérieure, en 1365, représentera le roi à pied (le « franc à pied »). Les pièces de monnaie tirent leur valeur de leur poids en métal précieux et non, comme aujourd'hui, de la seule fiabilité de l'émetteur (État ou banque). La France, du Moyen Âge à la fin du XIXe siècle, se montre attachée au bimétallisme: pièces principales en or et subdivisions en argent.

    Jean II le Bon (c'est-à-dire le Brave) a été fait prisonnier à la bataille de Poitiers. Il a subi une longue captivité en Angleterre et son geôlier, le roi anglais Edouard III, lui a réclamé une énorme rançon. Le roi crée le « franc ». La nouvelle pièce commémore sa libération comme l'indique son appellation (franc et affranchissement sont synonymes de libre et libération). « Nous avons été délivré à plein de prison et sommes franc et délivré à toujours », rappelle le roi dans son ordonnance.

    Les pièces de différents pays peuvent circuler côte à côte, leur attrait dépendant de la confiance que le public accorde à l'émetteur, lequel peut tricher sur la quantité de métal précieux ou laisser faire les faux-monnayeurs. La pièce représente le roi à cheval avec la légende Johannes Dei Gratia Francorum Rex --

    Le 5 décembre -- another French happening this date in 1560: At the age of ten Charles IX Valois becomes King upon the death of his brother, François II. Soon, France would be in the midst of turmoil as Protestants fought Catholics beginning in 1562 (guerres de religion). Charles' Queen-mother, Catherine de Médicis, became his Regent until his death in 1573. She would die in 1589 (at age 70), after seeing her 4th son become King in 1575 (Henri III). He, the last Valois, in turn died later in the same year at the hand of an assassin. Henri IV (of Navarre, the first Bourbon King) would follow on the throne, and he too would die by assassination (1610). France would continue its internal struggles under the reign of his son Louis XIII.

    Le 6 Décembre   C'est sa fête : Nicolas

    SinterKlaas sur un timbre canadien Évêque de Myre (Asie Mineure) au IVe siècle, Nicolas aurait ressuscité des enfants mis au saloir par un méchant aubergiste. Ce saint est encore aujourd'hui très populaire en Russie, en Pologne, dans les pays germaniques ainsi qu'en Lorraine, en Alsace, en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas. Il est connu dans ces pays sous les noms de Saint Nicolas, Sankt Niklaus, Saint Niclaus ou encore Sinter Klaas. La première mention du saint remonte au 13e siècle en Belgique francophone (Wallonie) et aux alentours de 1380 en Flandre. Il est dans ces pays le patron des enfants mais aussi des passeurs d'eau et des bateliers.

    In the Low Countries, especially in the Netherlands, the eve of Nicholas' feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, christian and non-christian, generally without any religious overtones. Although Sinterklaas is always portrayed in the vestments of the bishop, his status as a canonized saint has had little to do with the traditional Protestant festival. His strong influence in the Low Countries - an area heavily engaged in trade and navigation - primarily was due to his role as patron of sailors and merchants.

    Saint Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD. He was buried in his Cathedral, but in 1087, his relics were moved to Italy, because of muslim destruction of anything Christian. They remain in a town called Bari. These relics have a fragrant oder from a substance called myrrh. Traditionally people who are sick, anoint themselves with myrrh and are healed. Myrrh was among the first Christmas gifts, given by the three kings at Epiphany

    All Dutch children know that Sinterklaas (the name is a corruption of Sint Nikolaas) lives in Spain. Exactly why he does remains a mystery even today. Interestingly, Columbus was in the new World on this feast day in 1492. He discovers what today is known as Haiti at Mole Saint Nicolas. On St. Nicholas's Feast Day, it is customary to serve Speculaas cookies, a spicy Dutch cookie, cut into shapes relevant to the life of St. Nicholas (coins, mitres, ships, balls, money bags), and painted with colorful icing:

        Speculaas Cookies (makes 3 dozen depending on size)
        1 Cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, at room temperature
        2 cups dark brown sugar
        2 eggs
        Grated rind of 1 lemon
        2 teaspoons cinnamon
        1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
        1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
        1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
        1/8 teaspoon cardamom
        1/8 teaspoon salt
        4 cups flour
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        Icing: Powdered sugar, Water, Lemon juice, Food coloring &
        A small portion of beaten egg white for improving consistency, if desired

    December 6, 1884: The Army Corps of Engineers topped off the Washington Monument, 101 years after George Washington approved the location. Construction had begun on the 555-foot Egyptian-style obelisk on July 4, 1848, when a private citizens' group, the Washington National Monument Society, raised enough money to go forward. The original design called for the familiar obelisk surrounded by a large building with a statue of Washington driving a Roman chariot on top. Work ceased in 1854. The money had run out. The monument stood unfinished for 22 years, looking, as Mark Twain put it, like a factory chimney with the top broken off. In 1876, during Ulysses S. Grant's administration, Congress authorized the funds to finish the memorial -- but without the ornate building and classical statue. When the final capstone and 9-inch aluminum pyramid were set in place in 1884, the completed Washington Monument became the tallest structure in the world until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower took over that role for a while. Do you know what city had the tallest monument before this date ? (Hint: Strasbourg Cathedral in France, St-Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany, Cathèdrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France, or Cologne Cathedral in Germany)

    December 6, 1889: Businessman and philanthropist Robert W. Woodruff was born in Columbus, Georgia. His family moved to Atlanta when he was four. After attending (but not graduating) from Emory College at Oxford, Woodruff quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder working for White Motor Company, meanwhile investing a considerable amount of his earnings in the hometown stock of Coca-Cola. To help protect that investment, and to return to Atlanta, he took the position of President of the Coca-Cola Company in 1923 (his father was president of Trust Company Bank and leader of the group of investors that had purchased Coca-Cola from the Asa Candler family). He left an $85,000 annual salary with White Motors (worth over a $million) to take a $35,000 position (not counting stock options).

    Under his leadership, the Coca-Cola Company became an international and multi-faceted organization. Even after his retirement, Woodruff stayed on to chair the company's finance committee. He was the driving force behind the soft drink firm's phenomenal success. Woodruff had an influential, yet friendly, way with people. He looked at the "big picture" while trusting his employees for the details. His motto, engraved in his office, was: There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.

    Woodruff, renowned for his personal philanthropy and for the Woodruff Foundation established by his parents, earned the nickname, Mr. Anonymous, though his insistence on not being publicly recognized. He and the foundation have donated over $400 million to educational, artistic, civic, and medical projects. Among these were gifts to Emory University to develop its medical center and for Emory's endowment program, to the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center and the Atlanta Arts Alliance. Atlanta's the High Museum of Art, among many local charities benefiting from his benevolence. Woodruff died on March 7, 1985.

    December 6, 1902: The US Post Office issued an 8¢ stamp featuring Martha {Dandridge} [Custis] Washington, the wife of the first US President, George. The stamp was the first U.S. definitive stamp to feature any woman. A small picture of Queen Isabella of Spain had appeared on the rarely seen $1 commemorative issued for the Columbian Exposition on January 21, 1893, and as a portrait (together with Columbus) on the more rare $4 Columbian Exposition stamp.

    The first president's adopted grandson, Col. George Washington Parke Custis (the grandson of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington through her first marriage), owned and constructed the mansion, which he had intended as a permanent memorial to George Washington, on an 1,100-acre tract of land which he had inherited. Custis hired George Hadfield, an English architect who came to Washington in 1785 to help construct the U.S. Capitol, to design his estate masterpiece. The Greek revival structure took Custis 16 years to complete. It still stands today, but few realize that it was first a tribute to President Washington.

    One could argue that the large portrait on the eight cent stamp represented a change in attitude and a growing awareness of a woman's contribution to American society. It would be only another eighteen years before the 19th Amendment to Constitution of the United States gave women the right to vote; but the women's suffrage movement was already in full bloom. After much bickering over the appropriate woman to give this premier honor, Martha Washington received the nod. The artwork and choice of color, "dark lilac", resulted in what many have deemed to be the most beautiful stamp in the definitive series of related designs. The 8¢ stamp underwent a color change, as it was issued in deeper and deeper shades until it nearly took on the "dark slate" black color originally reserved for the 13¢ stamp. The original lilac stamps are said to bring a small premium.

    December 6, 2011: Austin's esteemed mayor, Lee Leffingwell, proclaimed December 6th Day of the Beard in Capital of Texas. Honored were the members of the Austin Facial Hair Club and their representation of the great state of Texas in the "Whisker Wars" throughout the Nation and in World competition. The AFHC celebrated the one year anniversary of the city-wide honor at the Mohawk.

    December 7, 374: On this day Ambrose was consecrated bishop of Milan, Italy -- where he still remains at the Basilica Sant' Ambrogio, one of the most ancient churches in Italy that still stands. It was built in 379-386 by St. Ambrose and has become one of the most symbolic sites in the city of Milan. The first bishop to stand up to the emperor and win (thus creating a church-state precedent that would influence the West for a millennium), Ambrose was also an influential theologian, especially regarding doctrines of the Holy Spirit. His preaching led to the conversion of Augustine of Hippo. see Saint Ambrose was born in about 340, most likely in Trier (today in modern Germany). He was the son of a Roman nobleman who was serving in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire as Prefect of Gallia.

    Enfin il a montré le lieu et le chemin, quand il a dit: Où je vais, vous le savez, et vous savez le chemin. Le lieu, c'est chez le Père; le chemin, c'est le Christ, comme il l'a dit lui-même: Moi je suis le chemin, la vérité et la vie. Nul ne vient au Père que par moi. par Saint Ambrose {7 décembre} Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes ! (Jérémie 6:16)

    December 7, 521: Columba, who would become an Irish monk and missionary to Scotland founding the community at Iona, is born in Donegal. Just as Patrick evangelized Ireland, Columba was a powerful Christian presence in the North of England. In about 563 AD, Saint Columba brought a Celtic-rite Christianity to Iona, as the Scots (a celtic tribe from Ireland) sought to occupy and control Caledonia. He would travel among the native Picts, distant cousins of the newcomers. Because of Columba's efforts at Iona, his follower, Saint Aidan, at the request of Oswald, Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria, would establish the famous monastery at Lindisfarne about 80 years later. Saint Aidan would die the night that Cuthbert had his vision in AD 651. S.V.P. see generally Our article on Venerable Bede and Northumbria.

    December 7, 1864: General W.P. Howard, of the Georgia State Militia, sent Governor Joseph E. Brown an eyewitness account on the extent of damage to Atlanta following Sherman's occupation of the city. Howard's report dramatically portrayed a city largely in ruins. More about a whole month of events leading up to this day can be found HERE.

    December 7, 1917: The American Congress approves a war resolution act against Austria-Hungary, the remnant of the Holy Roman Empire. Another Joint Resolution, declaring that a state of war existed between the Imperial German Government and the United States, had been passed on April 6th.

    December 7, 1941: America is attacked suddenly and without warning by forces of Imperial Japan at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii. In Atlanta, guards were doubled at the municipal waterworks and defense manufacturing plants. Major General John P. Smith, commander of the U.S. Army's Fourth Corps Area (which included Georgia), issued the following warning, that all manufacturers and industrialists in states of the Fourth Corps Area take every precaution against sabotage in their establishments. Atlanta Mayor Roy LeCraw, who was inactive as a Lt. Colonel in the National Guard while he held office, officially requested that he be placed on active duty. Georgia's congressional delegation also had strong anti-Japanese reactions.

    U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell responded to the barbarity by stating: Japan has committed national hari-kari. I cannot conceive of any member of Congress voting against a declaration of war in view of the unpardonable, unprovoked attack on us. I am utterly astounded. U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, Chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, added: Of course we will have to declare war. There is nothing else for Congress to do. This is a concerted action by the Axis Powers, but I am confident our Navy is ready and will render a glorious account of itself. It probably means we will be drawn into the world conflict on both oceans. Vinson turned out to be right about the conflict and declaration; but, we weren't exactly ready on land sea or air. In 2012, the current administration is planning to reduce the number of ships-of-the-line to less than those available before the conflict began in 1941. Indeed in the past week (of December 2012), his Navy has retired the US Enterprise, an aircraft carrier of distinction. The ability to carry out defense on two major fronts will also be lost in 2013. Those who fail to remember history will find themselves (or their heirs) repeating it.

    One year later -- December 7, 1942: “Hawaii is the key to our position in the Pacific and we've got to hold it. The supply line to Australia and the southwest Pacific is only slightly less important.” Establishing and holding these lines became the chief task for the Pacific Fleet in the first months after Pearl Harbor. The Gilbert and Marshall raids, offensive tactics, were part of this defensive strategy: they smelled out the enemy at a point where it threatened the our new supply lines -- possibly averting a breach those lines. Only when the lines were functioning was the Navy ready for limited offensive measures. Then the first offensive moves partly were intended to secure the Navy's southwest Pacific communication network.,10987,773997,00.html

    More of December is HERE
    Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls
    A Paris area Page -- And Another -- Paris Environs -- Mérovingiens and Metz -- Late-winter in Paris 2007 (an impression of what is out in the plain air)

    Art in Bercy -- Mont Saint-Michel -- Other Churches and structures -- Art -- Maclet -- Clymer --- Georgia's Golden Isles

    Who Were The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes? . . . the Essenes? -- Images of Pittsburgh -- Texas
    May we also suggest for adventure:

    We have obtained ideas from a lot of places, but in particular from: -- -- -- -- -- -- --

    An historical recounting for the entire months of:  January -- February -- March -- April -- May -- June -- July -- August -- September -- October -- November -- December

    More Flags -- Flag Day
    Early GA Flag Gwenn Ha Du 
qui est le drapeau breton 
circa 1925* * *  04/25/03  * * * 
a flag based on history, 
but yet looking to the future

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    1015 EST

    The scrolling digital display shows Universal Time (UTC), which is 5 hours in winter and 4 hours in summer ahead of Eastern and EDT, respectively. So, the summer solstice took place on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 0504 Universal time, which was 1:04 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time and 11:04 P.M. on the 20th, if you were in Casper Wyoming (Mountain Time) at that moment.