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Calendar for September 29th, 2014

Michaelmas

The feast day of St. Michael, the archangel and overcomer of the Devil, is a Christian celebration based on the ancient Celtic calendar. Its main importance in people's lives was that of a seasonal signpost in the year. In the British Isles, crops were harvested and the surplus sold by late September, so this became the time when farmers would pay their yearly rents to landowners. Everyone ate goose at Michaelmas to bring prosperity, and many farmers included "a goose fit for the lord's dinner" with their rent payments. Great market fairs occurred just before the feast day, and the large crowds these attracted made it convenient to hold elections at this time. Michaelmas is also a "Quarter Day." The ancient Celtic people divided the year into four major sections, or quarters, and then divided each of these in half to make an eight-part year that reflected the natural progression of the seasons. Foods traditional for Michaelmas include new wine; goose; cakes of oats, barley, and rye; and carrots. Some groups in the United States, such as the Pennsylvania Dutch, have kept Michaelmas, or "Harvest Home," traditions alive.

Every Year

  • Michaelmas

  • 1700s

  • Born 1703: Francois Boucher (painter)

  • 1810s

  • Born 1810: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (author)

  • 1830s

  • Born 1838: Henry Hobson Richardson (architect)

  • 1890s

  • Born 1897: Herbert Agar (journalist)

  • 1900s

  • Died 1902: William Topaz McGonagall (poet)

  • Born 1907: Gene Autry (actor)

  • 1910s

  • Born 1912: Michelangelo Antonioni (director)

  • Born 1913: Stanley Kramer (producer)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1935: Jerry Lee Lewis (musician)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1942: Madeline Kahn (actress)

  • Born 1943: Lech Walesa (Polish labor leader)

  • Born 1948: Bryant Gumbel (broadcast journalist)

  • 1960s

  • 1962: Canadian satellite, Alouette 1, was launched

  • 1970s

  • Died 1973: W. H. Auden (poet)

  • 1980s

  • 1988: Space shuttle Discovery launched

  • 1990s

  • Died 1997: Roy Lichtenstein (artist)

  • 1999: $389,500 paid for Lou Gehrig's last baseball glove

  • 2000s

  • 2002: 2-pound 13-ounce southern kingfish caught near Sandbridge, Virginia

  • 2003: Adventurer David Hempleman-Adams became the first person to cross the Atlantic solo in an open wicker basket balloon, landing in England after surviving hail, snow and a Concorde's sonic boom. He lifted off from Sussex in New Brunswick, Canada

  • 2005: John G. Roberts Jr. was sworn in as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

  • 2010s

  • Died 2010: Tony Curtis (actor)


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