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Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I volunteered to help our local homeschool group* with the monthly newsletter by contributing trivia, which suits me just fine, as I'm sure most of you would agree. You want filler? I got filler.**

Here then is a collection of miscellany for the month of December:

December is: Safe Toys and Gifts Month; Universal Human Rights Month

1 -- Basketball invented by James Naismith, 1891
-- Rosa Parks Day, anniversary of arrest, 1955
-- Antarctica set aside as scientific preserve, 1959

2 -- Monroe Doctrine created, 1823

6 -- Saint Nicholas Day

7 -- Pearl Harbor Day, 1941
-- Chanukah begins at sundown

12 -- Soviet Union dissolved, 1991
-- Poinsettia Day (honors Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the Central
American plant to the U.S.)

14 -- South Pole Discovery by Roald Amundsen, 1911

15 -- Ratification of Bill of Rights, 1791

16 -- Celebration of Las Posadas begins
-- Boston Tea Party, 1773

17 -- Wright brothers’ first powered flight, 1903

20 -- Louisiana Purchase, 1803
-- Sacagawea dies, 1812
-- South Carolina first state to secede from Union, 1860

21 -- First crossword puzzle compiled and printed, 1913
-- Humbug Day (allows those preparing for Christmas to vent their frustrations;
twelve “humbugs” allowed)
-- Pilgrims land at Plymouth
-- Winter begins

25 -- Christmas

26 -- Kwanzaa begins

31 -- New Year’s Eve


2 Georges Seurat, 1859
4 Leaf Munro, 1905 (author of The Story of Ferdinand)
5 Walt Disney, 1901; Martin Van Buren, 1782
9 Clarence Birdseye, 1886; Jean De Brunhoff, 1899 (author of The Story of Babar)
10 Emily Dickinson, 1830
14 Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, 1832
16 Ludwig Van Beethoven, 1770
24 Christopher “Kit” Carson, 1809
25 Clara Barton, 1821
27 Louis Pasteur, 1822
28 Woodrow Wilson, 1856
30 Rudyard Kipling, 1865
31 Henri Matisse, 1869


At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year.
-- Thomas Tusser

“I am the ghost of Christmas past.”
“Long past?” inquired Scrooge.
“No. Your past.”
-- Charles Dickens

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”
-- Clement Clarke Moore (A Visit from St. Nicholas)

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you!

Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.
-- Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me…
-- Jill Jackson and Sy Miller

* Yes, we're officially back with the so-called inclusive group, at least for the once a month Park Day. They quit opening with a prayer which pleased me, not because I am against prayer per se, but because the content alienated Pagan and Muslim members. A small victory.

** All dates taken from The Teacher's Calendar School Year 2004-2005, loaned to me by the head of the newsletter committee. Could she make it any easier? An interesting book, but let's just hope the editors of Chase's performed due diligence while researching their factoids.

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