Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Some December Trivia

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December is the twelfth and final month of the Gregorian calendar and the first month of winter. It derives its name from the Latin word “decem”, meaning ten, as December was the tenth month of the oldest Roman calendar. 

The Latin name is derived from Decima, the middle Goddess of the Three Fates who personifies the present. 

Decima measured the thread of life with her rod. She was also revered as the goddess of childbirth.

The Fates, Nona, Decima and Morta . . . oops, wrong pic

The Fates
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December was originally the 10th month in the Roman calendar. The period of January and February didn't really count as months, and the Roman calendar was based on a 304 day year, based on the approximate lunar month of 29.5 days. 

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The birthstone of December is turquoise.

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Zodiac signs for December are Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) and Capricorn (December 22 - January 19).


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On December 7, 1941, The United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese planes which killed more than 2,300 Americans

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December 27th is National Chocolate Day

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On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers made their first flight.

Hard to believe that this was only 112 years ago . . .  how far we have advanced scientifically and how little in terms of peace and tolerance.
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The traditional Christmas plant we call a poinsettia was known by the Aztecs as cuetlaxochitl. Its current name came from the first U.S. envoy to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, who noticed the plant being used for holiday celebrations and sent a few north to the United States in the 1820s.


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Rudolph, who now resides at the North Pole, was born in Chicago in 1939. The Montgomery Ward department store chain assigned ad copywriter Robert May to compose a Christmas poem that could be distributed to customers nationwide. He wrote "Rollo the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but execs didn't like that name. They vetoed Reginald too. May's third name, Rudolph, was accepted, and the poem was shared with millions of customers.

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The Christmas tradition of kissing someone under the mistletoe took on a decidedly Chicago bent in 1975. Mayor Richard Daley was fiercely protective of his family. Responding to criticism that he funneled city business to a company that employed his son, he responded, "There's a mistletoe hanging from my coattail."




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