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Daily Calendar for Friday, November 1, 2024

The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is a very old holiday observed on November 2, when all souls of the dead are believed to return to the world of the living. It’s primarily celebrated in Mexico and in Mexican-American communities, honoring those who have deceased. Practiced initially by Indigenous cultures, Día de Muertos was later adopted by the Catholic faith (after the Spanish arrived in the 16th century) to coincide with All Souls’ Day.

During this special time, many families visit and decorate graves; some hold intimate family gatherings and create special altars (ofrendas) to remember and honor those who passed away with photos of their deceased loved ones and their favorite foods and drinks.

The Day of the Dead has become more prevalent in today’s culture, thanks to modern movies (such as Coco or James Bond) and Halloween’s popularity, as well as larger Mexican-American communities celebrating with colorful parades and processions. Sweet pastries such as Pan de Muerto, or bread of the dead (made in the shape of a skull) are traditions, as are sugary chocolate skulls. Bright flowers decorate the stalls and streets; the marigold is the symbolic flower as its bright yellow-orange petals (like the brightly-colored costumes) are beacons to welcome the souls of the dead as they return home. 

November comes from the Latin word novem, meaning “nine,” because it was the ninth month of the early Roman calendar.

In Western Christianity, All Saints’ Day is celebrated on November 1. (In the Eastern Orthodox Church and others, it is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.) This is the day when all the saints are honored, especially those who do not have a day of their own. It’s also a family day to honor the memory of family members, visiting the graves of deceased relatives and lighting candles in remembrance. The Christian church often observes All Saints’ Day with a reading of the Beatitudes. Among the eight blessings, the best known may be: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

As the Roman Empire spread across Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans incorporated many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, from which the holiday Halloween developed. Around 800 years later, the Roman Catholic Church further modified Samhain, designating November 1 as All Saints’ Day. As All Saints’ Day was formerly known as All Hallowmas, the evening, or e’en” before the feast became popularly known as “All Hallow’s Even” or even shorter, “Hallowe’en”. (Hallow meaning to sanctify or make holy. Saints or holy people are called “hallowed.”)

All Saints’ Day is observed in Latin America as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. Relatives often visit the graves of their loved ones on this day bringing flowers, lights, and deceased’s favorite foods to the cemetery. In some countries, a common practice is to make or fry sweet dough, in the shape of donuts or braided strands or rolls.

Question of the Day

Why do my palms sweat when I am nervous?
Sweat is from the sympathetic nervous system that reacts when adrenalin is released. Adrenalin will be released when you become nervous.

Advice of the Day

November take flail; let ships no more sail.

Home Hint of the Day

To keep bugs out of flour and cereal without leaving any telltale flavor, place a few bay leaves in your bag or box.

Word of the Day

Twilight
The interval of time following sunset and preceding sunrise, during which the sky is partially illuminated. The three ranges of twilight are: civil (from sunset/sunrise to when the Sun is 6° below the horizon) nautical (greater than 6° and ending at 12°) astronomical (greater than 12° and ending at 18°—full darkness).

Puzzle of the Day

What is it that occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment, and once in a million years?
The letter M

Born

  • Antonio Canova (sculptor)
  • George Rapp (religious leader)
  • James Renwick, Jr. (architect)
  • Stephen Crane (American writer)
  • Robert Foxworth (actor)
  • Lyle Lovett (singer)
  • Fernando Valenzuela (baseball player)
  • Rick Allen (drummer of Def Leppard)
  • Sophie B. Hawkins (musician)
  • Toni Collette (actress)

Died

  • Ezra Pound (poet)
  • Mamie Eisenhower (U.S. First Lady)
  • Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. (pilot of U.S. B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay, whose crew dropped first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, during WWII; bomb nicknamed Little Boy was dropped on August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m. local time)

Events

  • Michelangelo’s fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was unveiled
  • Great earthquake at Lisbon, Portugal, accompanied by fire and flood, killed between sixty and ninety thousand people and destroyed the city
  • The first medical school for women opened in Boston, Massachusetts, founded by Samuel Gregory
  • First national weather service in U.S. began operation
  • Rainbow Bridge, an international bridge at Niagara Falls, opens to the public
  • U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt placed United States Coast Guard under Navy control
  • Two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassinate President Harry Truman following a week of political unrest on the island
  • In Toronto, CBLT made its first hockey TV broadcast as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2
  • The Mackinac Bridge, connecting Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, opened to traffic
  • Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante put on a face mask and became the first NHL goalie to regularly use face protection
  • First direct flight from Canada to USSR
  • Elvis Presley scored his first number-one hit in more than seven years with Suspicious Minds.” It would be his last”
  • The Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey changes its name to Exxon Corp
  • Boston Bruins’ Ray Bourque signed a five-year, $12 million contract
  • The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. It was the first time the Giants won a World Series since relocating from New York to San Francisco at the close of the 1957 season.
  • The Houston Astros won the World Series (against the LA Dodgers) for the first time in the club’s history

Weather

  • A Hatteras hurricane battered the Union fleet attacking Carolina ports

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