The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear. In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.
No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and for many years, states observed the holiday on different dates. By federal law, however, Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May. Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs.
My understanding is that there are a couple of words that were derived from sailing, one being “posh” and the other being “news.” What are the true origins of these words, and is it true that they are derived from sail of old?
The origin of posh” is obscure.The most seen explanation for the origin ascribes it to the days of the British Empire in the 19th (and early 20th) century when there was constant steamship travel between England and India. In those pre-air conditioning days, it was unbearably hot crossing the Indian Ocean, and the coolest cabins were the most sought after. That meant, when traveling east, those on the port side; sailing west, those on the starboard. Consequently, those passengers who could afford the luxury booked “Port Outward/Starboard Homeward” or “P.O.S.H.” The acronym thus became a synonym for whatever is first-class or luxurious. A more likely definition is that it is a word from Romany, the language of Gypsies, meaning half. The word originally entered England’s underworld in the 17th century in such compounds as posh-houri, meaning half-pence, and soon became a slang term for money in general. And then the meaning changed to expensive or fancy.”News” has no nautical origin that we know of. It’s the plural of “new” and is from the old French word for new — noveles. Its original meaning was “new things, novelties,” and eventually came to encompass “tidings, or an account of recent events and occurrences brought as new information.” Now we use it in the singular form, but until this century the plural form was used.”
Advice of the Day
Try a paste of baking soda and witch hazel for poison ivy.
Home Hint of the Day
If you use masking tape to mask around woodwork, affix it on the day you are going to paint and remove it immediately after you finish. Dry masking tape can be hard to remove.
Word of the Day
The fear of heat
Puzzle of the Day
Which state is the happiest of the United States?
The state of matrimony
Bartholomeu Dias(Portuguese discoverer of Cape of Good Hope)–
Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan(at age 114 years 272 days was recognized as the world’s oldest person, died after a bout with pneumonia)–
Luc Bourdon(hockey player)–
John F. Kennedy(35th U.S. president)–
Rhode Island ratified the United States Constitution. They were the last of the original 13 colonies to do so.–
Rhode Island became the 13th U.S. state–
Wisconsin became the 30th U.S. state–
Canadian ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank in St. Lawrence River–
Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first men to reach the summit of Mt. Everest–
U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of state blue laws prohibiting commercial activity on Sunday–
Steve Fonyo, who lost one of his legs to cancer, completed a cross-Canada marathon for cancer research–
Discovery became the first space shuttle to dock with the International Space Station–
Hennie Van Andel-Schipper, who was born in the Netherlands, took the title of the oldest living woman in the world at the age of 113 years 335 days, following the death of Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan aged 114 years 272 days–
Great hailstorms in Kansas caused $6 million of crop damage–
Dime-size hail was reported in Keene, New Hampshire–