January full of character, fun history
December 31, 2008
The eve of a brand new year is upon us. I look at it as a gleaming sheet of white paper and I haven't had a chance to smear it. Wouldn't it be great to keep it that way?
January is the month of birthdays for quite a few persons of renown: Paul Revere, George Washington Carver, Carl Sandberg, Ethan Allen, Jack London, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Daniel Webster, Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Burns, Albert Schweitzer and Benedict Arnold to name a few and, I will add my own persons of renown, my Father and Mother, Sam and Anna Park and husband "Red" Brooks.
There were many notable events such as France recognizing the independence of American Colonies in 1778, the peace treaty between Great Britain and the United States being ratified in 1784, our first national election in the choice of George Washington as President in 1789, The Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the penny postage was established in 1840, the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
In 1902 the first football game in the Rose Bowl was played, in 1912 Captain Robert Scott reached the South Pole, in 1913 parcel post was established, in 1915 New York and San Francisco were united by telephone, in 1927 the first telephone message traveled across the Atlantic, in 1946 the United Nations opened its first Assembly, in 1957 our first satellite (Explorer I) was in orbit. Those will do for starters.
Alfred Tennyson penned his feelings:
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild, wild sky...
The year is dying in the night...
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new...
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
An important day in January will occur to us Americans this year. A new President will be inaugurated promising us a change which we are all hoping and praying for.
January's Birthstone is Garnet. Various superstitions surround it. People born in
January were supposed to have worn them as protection against sickness. A garnet could protect its owner from accidents when traveling. In primitive days, some Asiatics used these stones as bullets. They believed the glowing shade of the gems made them more deadly.
January boasts two flowers, the carnation and snowdrop. At one time it was believed that carnations could preserve the human body and keep away unpleasant dreams. On Mother's Day a white carnation is worn in memory of a deceased mother and red is worn in honor of a living mother. The snowdrop is the earliest blooming plant, often pushing its way through the snow.
I gleaned all your history lesson for today from a book I have had for years, "All
about the Months" by Maymie R. Krythe.
Happy New Year!
— Country Cousin