Christendom: The Oracle of the Enlightenment – Montesquieu

On October 7, 2022, the Tocqueville Forum at Christendom College will be hosting a lecture and seminar on Montesquieu with Professor Khalil Habib (Hillsdale College): Dr. Habib will deliver a public lecture then lead a small seminar discussion with a group of select students. His overall topic is Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws--one of the […]

Lee University: Intercollegiate Symposium on Institutions and Inheritance

On October 7-8, 2022, Lee University’s Center for Responsible Citizenship will host its 7th Annual Symposium on Civic Virtue and Thought. The theme this year is “Institutions and Inheritance,” which will explore the role of tradition and institutions in framing political desires and discourse. “We sometimes forget that the right thing must be done in […]

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On this day in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire began

On this day in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire began, destroying thousands of buildings and claiming roughly 300 lives over the course of three days. A dangerously dry summer and gusting winds made conditions in the Midwest ripe for fire – the same day that the Great Chicago Fire started, devastating fires also broke out […]

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On this day in 1901, the White House officially became the “White House”

On this day in 1901, the White House officially became “the White House”. Prior to Theodore Roosevelt’s order, the White House was officially called “the Executive Mansion.” Did you know? As a nickname, “the White House” dates back to 1798, when the new building was first whitewashed to protect its porous sandstone walls from freezing. […]

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On this day in 1754, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley was born near Trenton, New Jersey

On this day in 1754, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (an inspiration for legendary Revolutionary War hero Molly Pitcher) was born near Trenton, New Jersey. Like many soldiers’ wives during the Revolution, McCauley followed her husband’s troop and performed mundane (but crucial) tasks like washing clothes and hauling water. Did you know? There is no definitive […]

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National No Beard Day!

It’s National No Beard Day! 🪒🪒🪒 Did you know? Nearly every U.S. president could celebrate this day – only 5 of our 46 presidents have worn beards, the first being Abraham Lincoln.🧔🧔🧔🧔🧔 11-year-old Grace Bedell famously wrote to him, urging Abe to grow a beard: “I have got 4 brothers and part of them will […]

Ursinus College “Charter of Unity: Can the Constitution Still Hold Us Together?” with Yuval Levin, October 20

Charter of Unity: Can the Constitution Still Hold Us Together? 7:00PM EDT PFAHLER HALL MUSSER AUDITORIUM Yuval Levin, director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute, studies the foundations of self-government and the future of law, regulation, and constitutionalism. He served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff […]

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On this day in 1797, the USS Constitution was launched in Boston Harbor

On this day in 1797, the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) was launched in Boston Harbor. Still afloat in Boston today, the USS Constitution is the oldest ship commissioned in the United States Navy and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Did you know? George Washington named the Constitution. The nickname, “Old Ironsides,” was […]

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The American origins of the Jack o’ Lantern

Jack o’ lanterns as we know them today have American origins. Pumpkins are native to the Americas (first grown in Central America) so the first jack o’ lanterns carved in Europe was made with turnips or other similar root vegetables. 🥔🍠🥔 Plentiful in America, pumpkins were a valuable source of food for early colonists in […]

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On this day in 1913, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 began

On this day in 1913, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 began. Over the course of 4 days, the blizzard killed over 250 people and sunk 19 ships. Bystanders reported whiteout snow conditions and hurricane-force winds as the storm tore through the Great Lakes region. 🌨❄️💨 Waves swelled up to 35 feet. 🌊🌊🌊 The blizzard […]

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On this day in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was created

On this day in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was created as the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution to form two battalions of Continental Marines to augment naval operations. The Marines made their first amphibious raid a few months later, successfully seizing British gunpowder and munitions at Fort Nassau in the Bahamas. Did you […]

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On this day in 1620, 41 colonists signed the Mayflower Compact

On this day in 1620, 41 colonists signed the Mayflower Compact off the coast of present-day Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A religiously divided group of Separatist Pilgrims and pro-Church of England colonists, the settlers needed some type of binding governance to survive together in a new land. The Mayflower Compact filled this need, organizing the colonists […]

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Happy Veterans Day!

Each year, Veterans Day honors the bravery and sacrifice of American veterans, both past and present. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 Did you know? For many years, Veterans Day was Armistice Day. Although World War I officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, fighting ceased much earlier with an armistice on November 11, 1918. President […]

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On this day in 1801, the first issue of the New York Post was published

On this day in 1801, the first issue of the New York Post was published. The newspaper was founded by Alexander Hamilton, and, like its founder, supported Federalist policies on a central bank and foreign policy. Did you know? Hamilton wrote attack pieces on Thomas Jefferson in the Post using the pseudonym, "Lucius Crassus," after […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from JMC! Thanksgiving, one of our country's oldest holidays, has roots in both Native American and European traditions. The Wampanoags and other Native American tribes traditionally held ceremonies of thanksgiving for successful harvests and instances of good fortune. Long before coming to North America, Europeans too gave thanks for good harvests with feasting […]

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First night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world

This evening marks the first night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world. Did you know? In comparison to major Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Hanukkah is actually a fairly minor religious festival. In the 19th century, however, both Hanukkah and Christmas saw a rise in popularity in the United States. […]

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On this day in 1835, American author Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri

On this day in 1835, American author Mark Twain (né Samuel Clemens) was born in Florida, Missouri. Popular for his colorful and humorous style, Twain nonetheless tackled serious issues in American society, such as slavery and race, morality, and human nature. His most famous book may be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which portrays slavery […]

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Happy National Cookie Day!

It’s National Cookie Day! 🍪 🍪 🍪 Did you know? Cookies in colonial America were made from simple ingredients like sugar and butter. These butter cookies were close relatives of teacakes and shortbread of the Old World. With progress in shipping and transportation, however, cookie varieties eventually exploded – in modern times we enjoy cookies […]

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Happy Bill of Rights Day! 📜 🖋 📜 🖋 📜 On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, consisting of the first ten amendments to our Constitution. […]

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It’s Christmas Day

Did you know? Although the holiday is believed to date back to 336 A.D., Christmas did not catch on across the United States until the latter half of the 1700s. During colonial times, celebrations (or lack thereof) greatly depended on the predominant sect of each region. In Puritan New England, Christmas celebrations were often banned […]

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17th president Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina

On this day in 1808, 17th president Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. The successor to Lincoln, Johnson had huge shoes to fill, wrestling with Reconstruction in a nation still heavily divided. Johnson was at odds with his “Radical Republican” Congress, who condemned his policies as too lenient to the South. This tension […]

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The first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square

On this day in 1907, the first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square took place in New York City. The first ball was tiny but heavy – only 5 feet in diameter, but 700 pounds, it was carefully lowered down a flagpole by pulley. Unlike the modern ball, which is famously covered in […]

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Happy New Year!

In colonial America, it was customary to exchange small gifts on New Year’s Day and visit with friends and neighbors. One common (and fragrant!) gift was an orange with cloves […]

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Happy National Bird Day!

One of the most famous (and rare) books of American birds is John J. Audubon’s Birds of America. Printed as a subscription from 1827 to 1838, the book contains over […]

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National Hot Sauce Day!

It’s National Hot Sauce Day! 🌶🌶🌶 Did you know that hot sauce has deep American roots? Chilis were domesticated in present-day Mexico around 5000 B.C. The Aztecs and Mayans combined […]

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Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

Happy National Peanut Butter Day! 🥜 🥜 🥜 This uniquely American treat was first patented in the late 1800s, as Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson and American John Harvey Kellogg experimented […]

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Happy Groundhog Day!

Today, the groundhog saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter! 🌨🌨🌨 Groundhog Day was first officially celebrated on this day in 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Members of the […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️❤️❤️ Though this holiday has origins in the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia and as a Christian feast day, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries […]

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Boston Massacre occurs on King Street in Boston

On this day in 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred on King Street in Boston, Massachusetts as colonists rioted and British troops panicked, opening fire and killing 5 men. The incident […]

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Harriet Tubman Day

On this day in 1913, American abolitionist and leading conductor in the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York. An escaped slave herself, Tubman took great personal risks […]

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀🍺🍀🍺🍀🍺 Irish-Americans (and not so Irish Americans) across the country celebrate Irish heritage today with parades, corned beef and cabbage, and festive green attire. The holiday, […]

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President John Tyler birthday

  Today marks the birthday of the 10th president John Tyler. Did you know that Tyler was the first vice-president to take office after the death of a sitting president? […]

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Official end of the Civil War

On this day in 1865, the Civil War unofficially ended as General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. ⁠ ⁠ Did you […]

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First Boston Marathon

On this day in 1897, the first Boston Marathon took place. Only 15 runners (all men) took part in the race, with John J. McDermott of New York finishing victorious. […]

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Minnesota admitted as 32nd State

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted into the United States as our 32nd state. Did you know? Minnesota was the first Union state to volunteer troops to fight in […]

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World Wrestling Day

May 23 is World Wrestling Day! Several U.S. presidents didn’t just wrestle, but were good at it, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Zachary Taylor. Abraham Lincoln was renowned […]

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Constitutional Convention begins

On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delegates from nearly every state, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, met to discuss the future of […]

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First Lady Ida McKinley born in Canton, Ohio

On June 8, 1847, First Lady Ida McKinley was born in Canton, Ohio. McKinley suffered from many tragedies in her life – aside from her husband’s assassination in 1901, she […]

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Loving v. Virginia

  On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that the prohibition of interracial marriage was unconstitutional. The case came to the Court after Mildred Jeter […]

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Happy Flag Day!

⁠Happy Flag Day! Today marks the  anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. First celebrated locally in northern states during the Civil War, June 14th wasn’t officially established as […]

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Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day was not, as one may imagine, founded by a father, but by a loving daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd. While sitting in at a church service for Mother’s Day, […]

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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! On this day in 1776, our nation was born as the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Independence Day has only been a federal holiday […]