A look at Decembers past
A big month for holidays, December is host to Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. It also contains the shortest day, longest night and it officially launches winter. The symbols of December are narcissus or holly for the flower, Sagittarius or Capricorn are the Zodiac signs, and the birthstones are turquoise, zircon and tanzanite. Thought it would be fun to see what else I could learn and found some fascinating facts.
Originally, December was the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar. Its name comes from the Latin word, “decem” which means tenth. However, when the Romans added January and February, it became the twelfth month. They still kept the name, though. Speaking of calendars, December always starts on the same day of the week as the first day of September.
Historically, December is the month when William the Conqueror was crowned the King of England back in 1066 and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London opened in 1697. A century later, the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1791. Franz Joseph composed “Silent Night” in 1818 and Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol” in 1843. Did you know that the ever-popular “Jingle Bells” composed in December 1857 was actually intended to be a Thanksgiving song?
Popular inventions have made their mark in December when Thomas Edison exhibited the phonograph in 1877 and the Wright Brothers took their first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903. The clip-on tie was introduced in 1928 and Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City four years later. Medically speaking, the world’s first artificial heart transplant occurred 33 years ago. Holiday baking is in good company with National Cookie Day on the fourth and it’s also National fruitcake month.
The top three locations to celebrate the last day of December are Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City. In Times Square, the New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after a ban on fireworks. Originally, a 700-pound ball embellished with 25-watt bulbs made of iron and wood was dropped. Today it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
That’s it for my trivia time out giving me just enough space to extend my personal wishes for a most magical holiday season—one that warms your heart, makes you smile, and just maybe makes a little history along the way.