Tybee Island Lighthouse

By Damien Knight

This past July I went to Tybee Island, Georgia. Tybee Island is known for having one of the oldest lighthouses in the U.S. The lighthouse was established 1736. The property is beautiful with a lot of history. The lighthouse there now is 3rd building built. It has 178 steps.

Usa Georgia Lighthouse Tybee Island Lighthouse

 

We began our assent up those steps and my children were scared each set of 25. Each 25 steps there is a window showing the view. I felt out of breath after the first 50 stairs. Once I got up 75, I was certain my legs would collapse. I kept going though, and the view was worth it.

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The first lighthouse on the property was a daymark. They had to replace it and the second daymark due to erosion. The current lighthouse was rebuilt from the third lighthouse at the end of the civil war. They also have 3 light keepers houses.

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The lighthouse has a gift shop. We purchased smashed pennies. I was elated and relieved to have made it all the way to the top and back down. I could not walk without pain for 2 days but it was worth it.

For more information on the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Hours Visit : Tybeelighthouse.org

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Profiles in Courage

By Damien Knight

President John F. Kennedy was elected president in November 8 1960 against the then Vice President, Richard Nixon. Kennedy was the first Catholic and the youngest presidential candidate in history. At the time of his bid for presidency “anti-Catholicism was alive and well”, (Champion, Owen F) and for many Americans there was serious concern over having a Catholic president. He overcame this with his charisma during televised debates and beat Nixon in a landslide and on January 20th 1961. It was during his inaugural address he told Americans those famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” (The 6th Street Museum, Dallas)

President Kennedy was poised to begin his “New Frontier” policies. On March 1 1961 he formed the Peace Corps fulfilling for Americans a way for them to “do for their country,” and the world. He was a cultured president who held art viewings and socialites in the white house. He was also human and prone to err like the rest of us. During April 17 1961 the bay of pig invasion was launched. A thousand exiled Cubans attacked Cuba in a failed bid to overthrow Dictator Fidel Castro. (JFK Assassination Timeline) Kennedy bravely and publicly accepted the failure. In response to this disaster Kennedy created The Situation Room to filter military intelligence he would receive. This showed he was willing to act on his failing. Soon after Kennedy authorizes 400 U.S. Soldiers to go to Vietnam.

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Cyrus The Great: Document Analysis Freeing of the Jews

Written By Damien Knight

When King Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon around 538 BCE, he wrote a decree that is often described as the first decree of human rights. The document describes the release of captives of Babylon and returning of them to their homeland. The second part of the reading is a document written by the Jews on their perspective of gaining freedom and the benevolence of the Persian king.

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April Fool’s Day

By Damien Knight

(Originally written on April 1st 2017)

I have never been one to really get into this holiday. I don’t like surprises or pranks. I hate people jumping at me and sneaking up on me. Today is also my son’s favourite day to do all the above. This got me thinking, why do we celebrate April Fools day.
According to Snopes, it started with a legend. Once upon a time we started the year in March 25th and the new year was celebrated on April 1st. History.com also cites this as a potential origin,  stating that it started in France and those who did not know the new year changed to January were “April Fish” a term to describe being easily caught.
Even though this legend seems plausible the celebration goes back even further and might even link to the Roman Festival of Hilaria where Romans wore disguises. During this time of year even Mother Nature gets in on the act giving us tricky weather.
Snopes states those who, like myself, respond poorly to hoaxes will call bad luck on themselves. Another supposed rule is hoaxes past noon bring bad luck on the prankster. Either way I hope all you pranksters and the “fish, gowks and fools” had a great Fools Day.

Halloween: A Brief History

By: Damien Knight

(Written in Oct 2016)
As All Hallow’s Eve or as we today call it Halloween approaches I thought it pertinent we reflect on the origins of this so called “Devils Holiday.” For me it is particularly important as my family follows the tradition of the Samhain feast. A feast that is said to have come from old harvest feasts back in Europe before the spread of Christianity and is supposedly the original purpose of Halloween.
Samhain was an ancient Celtic festival that celebrated the end of harvest and the preparation of winter. It was believed by the Celts that during this time the spirit world veil was thinnest. Many other cultures today still believe this which is why the Day of The Dead is celebrated on November second while the veil is still ‘thin.’ Like the Day of the Dead, Samhain also featured paying respect to the deceased and Aos Si (old gods, fae) that they might survive the coming winter. They would do this by leaving an offering of drink and a small portion of that years harvest.
It is customarily believed costumes were donned at some point to trick spirits. The earliest known use of costumes for trick or treating was in mediaeval Europe during Hallowmas on November first. Poor folk would go door to door begging for food in return for praying over the houses dead. This practice was called Souling. This was followed by All Souls Day on November second which was similar to the Day of the Dead in today’s modern culture.
Halloween was slow to pick up in America. The earliest report of something like trick or treat in America was in the early 1900’s. While stories portray Halloween as an invention by American adults to keep kids from performing trick (pranks) and instead get treats this is not entirely true. In some places kids had to stage protests due to adult unwillingness to celebrate. By 1952 Halloween became a well-established American custom.
All around the world people celebrate Halloween and various other death honouring holidays. While today we enjoy getting our scare on it is good to remember that Halloween was a day to pay respect to those who passed on. It isn’t about fearing death but respecting it and enjoying life. Happy Halloween!

Nintendo: A History

By Jayson Knapp

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Nintendo started Sept. 23 1889 as a card company. The game was called harafuda, an ancient Japanese game. When Nintendo was losing money they put Disney characters on their game cards. Then they did a left turn from cards and toys. In 1977 they made their first video games like, Duck Hunt, for the Atari 2600.

In between 1974 and 1976 Nintendo created their first games and consoles. First, in the us is the NES or the Famicon. The Famicon was already popular in Japan. The NES sold millions of copies as Famicon, but in America they changed from using all game cartridges to only NES ones. The system used was the 10 NES. The GameCube came out in Japan on Sept. 14 2001.It was released to the U.S. Nov. 18 2001. The D.S. came out 2004, people like it’s improved graphics The Wii came out at the end of 2006 with games like New Super Mario Bro’s Wii.

By 2017 Nintendo had new games and a console. The Nintendo switch is a new day combination of Wii and Wii U. The Nintendo Switch sold 600, 000 in 8 days. With Mario still a hit on the console the Switch is their all in one console.

Cited Sources

MacNeil, J. (2016, September 23). Nintendo is founded, September 23, 1889. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/edn-moments/4421502/Nintendo-is-founded–September-23–1889
Erbland, K. (2014, October 09). A Brief History of 125 Years of Nintendo. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/59057/brief-history-125-years-nintendo
Nintendo History. (2015, November). Retrieved July 22, 2017, from https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Corporate/Nintendo-History/Nintendo-History-625945.html
Cohen, D. (2016, October 18). The History of Nintendo Part 2 – Goodbye Playing Cards – Hello Video Games. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from https://www.lifewire.com/history-of-nintendo-video-games-729735

The History of Father’s Day

By: Damien Knight

The barbeque is lit and hotdogs are on the grill, kids are playing and Dad is wearing his grilling apron. It’s that time of year again, Father’s Day.  You watch your dad crack a cold one and laugh about the gaudy tie your mom bought for the occasion. Then it comes to mind, how did Father’s Day get it’s start?

While Mother’s day was established in 1908, it took another 6o years for Father’s day to become an official National Holiday. The first unofficial Father’s Day was celebrated in 1910 but it did not pick up right off like Mother’s day. Mother’s Day was officially started by Anna Jarvis to honor her mother and backed by a retail store. People of that time felt father’s did not garner the same affection as mothers. It would not be profitable.

Washington State was the first state to celebrate Father’s Day state wide on June 19, 1910. From that point on it slowly gained traction. By 1916 President Woodrow Wilson wanted to promote Father’s Day but Congress resisted. He still celebrated the day by using the telegraph system to unfurl a flag in Spokane. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge urged that Father’s Day become a national holiday, but he did not issue a national proclamation. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who made the first proclamation honoring Father’s Day.

It took almost 60 years of fighting, and a major war to really make Father’s Day become official. The Vietnam war may have speed up the long stalemate over the holiday. Many father’s had fought in the war and people were wanting to honor the sacrifices of these men. It was 1972 when Richard Nixon signed the holiday into law.

A side note the U.S. isn’t the only one to celebrate Father’s Day. Europe and many catholic countries celebrate this day on May 19th instead. This day is called St. Joseph’s Day.

Cited Sources:
History.com Staff. (2009). Father’s Day. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day

Father’s Day. (2017, June 18). Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day

Waxman, O. B. (2017, June 15). The Forgotten Origins of Father’s Day. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from http://time.com/4819580/forgotten-origins-of-fathers-day/