Navy Day comes on October 27th, one of the increasing number of October “Fly Your Flag Today” dates, and one of the score designated in the U.S. Flag Code.
Feel free to put your political brickbats in comments.
October 12 is the traditional, old calendar date upon which Columbus’s journals show he “discovered” land west of the Atlantic, after sailing from Spain. (Surely there is an explanation for why the date was not altered to conform with the new calendar, but I digress.) In the finite wisdom of Congress, the holiday is designated on the “second Monday of October,” in order to promote three-day weekends and avoid holidays in the middle of the week.
The U.S. Flag Code urges Americans to fly their U.S. flags in honor of certain days. Columbus Day is a traditional (since the 19th century) holiday (especially for descendants of Italian immigrants), and one of the score of dates denoted in the Flag Code.
Fly your flag today.
Or, if you’re in South Dakota, fly your flag for Native American Day.
October 9 – St. Denis’s Day, patron saint for those who have lost their head (Tea Party? House GOP?) 2014 editionOctober 9, 2014
Dear Reader: My apologies. As Cecil might say, we’ve been fighting ignorance since 1974, and it’s taking longer than we thought. My hopes to retire this post have not been realized. Heck, it doesn’t even need much editing from last year. Saints save us, please!
We might pause to reflect, too: 2014 has seen the media rise of actual beheadings. This practice, which now strikes many of us as barbaric, occurs in reality as well as memory and literature; unlike St. Denis, those beheaded do not usually carry on to do anything at all; like St. Denis, they are martyred. Vote well in 2014. Your vote should be directed at preventing anyone’s losing their head, even just figuratively.
Who? He’s the patron saint of Paris (and France, by some accounts), and possessed people. Take a look at this statue, from the “left door” of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris: portail de gauche). He was martyred by beheading, in about 250 C.E.
Our trusty friend Wikipedia explains:
According to the Golden Legend, after his head was chopped off, Denis picked it up and walked two miles, preaching a sermon the entire way. The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was made into a small shrine that developed into the Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the kings of France. Another account has his corpse being thrown in the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts.
Clearly, he is the guy to pray to about Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, intelligent design, and the Texas State Board of Education, no? In 2013, you can add Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louis Gohmert, the entire Tea Party, and the entire GOP crew of the House of Representatives. You catch my drift.
Perhaps you can use this factoid to some advantage, enlightenment, and perhaps humor. In Catholic lore, St. Denis is one of the “14 Holy Helpers,” and his aid is sought to help people with headaches, or who have been possessed.
Crazy GOP members who I suspect of having been possessed give me and America a headache. St. Denis seems to be our man.
Who else do you know of in this modern, vexatious time, who keeps talking after losing his/her head?
As Rod Stewart sang, just “let your imagination run wild.” Maybe St. Denis is listening.
- Today’s Saint(s): S. Denis, Bishop & Martyr (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
- The Basilica of Saint Denis (madameguillotine.org.uk)
- Basilica St. Denis (emarshall58.wordpress.com)
- Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Dennis, Bp with Rusticus & Eleutherius, Martyrs (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
- St. Denis Beheaded (Cosmos + Sun)
Yes, this is mostly an encore post. I had hoped to have to retire this post someday. I still hope. Perhaps this will be the last year we’ll have so many wackaloons running loose. Pray to St. Denis.
Photo from the collections of the Library of Congress:
This photo was taken by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration, documenting how farmers and other Americans lived during the Great Depression.
1938 was a year before DDT’s insecticidal properties were discovered, and at least six years before DDT became available for civilian work against malaria and the mosquitoes who spread the parasites.
Does this room look a little familiar? You’ve probably seen Howard Chandler Christy’s painting of the event we celebrate today.
Click to the Architect of the Capitol’s site for the story of the painting, intended by Congress to fill a gap in the story of America told by art in the Rotunda and throughout the halls of the building.
My old friend Dr. Gordon Lloyd of Pepperdine University, working with the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, created a study tool from the Christy painting which should be used a lot more in classrooms. Click over to the Edsitement site, and see for yourself.
Every year there are a few more tools on the internet to study the Constitution with, for teachers to use in the classroom on Constitution Day and every day. I wonder what will be the effects in another decade.
How important is it that students learn the Constitution, what it says, and how it affects our daily lives? How important is it that students learn the history of the creation of the Constitution, and does that history reverberate for those students as they venture out into their roles as citizens in the republic created by the document?
- “It’s Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History?” (larryferlazzo.edublogs.org)
- Focus on Education: Patriot Day, Constitution Day, District Meetings (modbee.com)
- COMMUNITY COMMENT: Constitution a vital, living document (courierpress.com)
- The Bill Of Rights Institute Celebrates Constitution Day With Free Education Resources (paramuspost.com)
- Governor Walker Declares “Read the Constitution Day”?!? (progressive.org)
- “Happy Constitution Day,” Washington Post blogs
Your flag is up. You’ve already read the Constitution and all 27 amendments.
Time to pass on greetings to others: Happy Constitution Day!
CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY, CONSTITUTION WEEK, 2014
- – – – – – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Eleven years after a small band of patriots declared the independence of our new Nation, our Framers set out to refine the promise of liberty and codify the principles of our Republic. Though the topics were contentious and the debate fierce, the delegates’ shared ideals and commitment to a more perfect Union yielded compromise. Signed on September 17, 1787, our Constitution enshrined — in parchment and in the heart of our young country — the foundation of justice, equality, dignity, and fairness, and became the cornerstone of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.
For more than two centuries, our founding charter has guided our progress and defined us as a people. It has endured as a society of farmers and merchants advanced to form the most dynamic economy on earth; as a small army of militias grew to the finest military the world has ever known; and as a Nation of 13 original States expanded to 50, from sea to shining sea. Our Founders could not have foreseen the challenges our country has faced, but they crafted an extraordinary document. It allowed for protest and new ideas that would broaden democracy’s reach. And it stood the test of a civil war, after which it provided the framework to usher in a new birth of freedom through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
America’s revolutionary experiment in democracy has, from its first moments, been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people around the world, inspiring some to call for freedom in their own land and others to seek the blessings of liberty in ours. The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. We are strengthened by our diversity and united by our fidelity to a set of tenets. We know it is not only our bloodlines or an accident of birth that make us Americans. It is our firm belief that out of many we are one; that we are united by our convictions and our unalienable rights. Each year on Citizenship Day, we recognize our newest citizens whose journeys have been made possible by our founding documents and whose contributions have given meaning to our charter’s simple words.
Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society. It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another. As we celebrate our Nation’s strong and durable framework, we are reminded that our work is never truly done. Let us renew our commitment to these sacred principles and resolve to advance their spirit in our time.
In remembrance of the signing of the Constitution and in recognition of the Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, the Congress, by joint resolution of February 29, 1952 (36 U.S.C. 106), designated September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” and by joint resolution of August 2, 1956 (36 U.S.C. 108), requested that the President proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as “Constitution Week.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2014, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and September 17 through September 23, 2014, as Constitution Week. I encourage Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that bring together community members to reflect on the importance of active citizenship, recognize the enduring strength of our Constitution, and reaffirm our commitment to the rights and obligations of citizenship in this great Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
In that case, Happy Constitution Week!
What should we do tomorrow?
Happy Constitution day! (Remember to fly your flag today.)
Have you read the U.S. Constitution lately?
Contrary to what your local Tea Party claims, it hasn’t changed. But most people need a refresher from time to time.
Okay, maybe that’s a little tough to read. Check out the on-line display of the National Archives and Records Administration in the Charters of Freedom section:
- A much-easier-to-read transcript of the Constitution (so you don’t have to strain at the image above)
- “A More Perfect Union,” an essay on the creation of the Constitution
- Questions and answers on the 1787 Convention in Philadelphia, and on the Constitution
- The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution
- Amendments 11 through 27 — notice that, although not ratified until 1991, the 27th Amendment was in the package of amendments proposed by James Madison in 1789, a package of twelve proposed amendments, of which ten were ratified within a few months to become the Bill of Rights
- Stories about the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787
- Faulkner murals in the Archives Rotunda, on the presentation of the Constitution (and Declaration of Independence)
- Information on visiting the actual documents, at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
- Constitution’s extra page shown in public for first time (news.yahoo.com)
- Sepetember 17th is Constitution Day! (rulibrary.typepad.com)
- OUR VIEW: The U.S. Constitution at 225 (tauntongazette.com)
- Baker Center celebrates Constitution Day (knoxnews.com)
- The Bill Of Rights Institute Celebrates Constitution Day With Free Education Resources (paramuspost.com)
- U.S. Day, March 4 — anniversary of the Constitution’s enactment
- Constitution Day 2008 – featuring links to interactive Howard Chandler Christy painting of the signing of the document
- Oh, heck — go directly there! Prof. Gordon Lloyd created an interactive version of Christy’s painting, linking to information about each of the delegates pictured – it’s fun
- Celebrating Constitution Day All Week Long! (teacherlingo.com)
- The Bill of Rights Institute Celebrates Constitution Day With Free Education Resources (educationviews.org)
- Lesson plans for the day from the U.S. Constitution Center
- Interactive Constitution (from the Constitution Center)
- Could you pass the test to become a U.S. citizen? Try this quiz from the Constitution Center
- Constitution in your pocket — from the Washington Post