Holidays and Celebrations Archives
Martin Hayes - St. Patrick's Day
Forget the cloying confection of Celtic Woman or the puréed folk balladry of the High Kings, two Irish imports calculated to appease the pledge-drive hunger of U.S. public television stations. If you're seeking something genuinely special in your Irish musical diet this St. Patrick's Day, look no further than the fiddling of Martin Hayes.
. . .
"For me, the genius of Irish traditional music is in the music. It endures in appeal because of melodic structure, which can be very powerful and even hypnotic."
. . .
"I think a big problem in Irish music today is a disconnect with its dance origins," he said. "If I play a reel slowly, I'm still playing it with the syncopation of set dancing in Clare. Those set-dancer rhythms echo in my head. When I play gently and reflectively, it's not about eliminating the dance. It's about reducing its ratio to the melody."
"Fearlessness and Fidelity Mark This Irish Fiddler's Art," by Earle Hitchner, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2008
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
- Martin Hayes web site
- - Profile on Ceolas
- - Profile on GlobalVillageIdiot
- Album Details for Meet Paddy Canny. All-Ireland Champion: Violin - from IrishTune.info
- Tulla Ceili Band - from Set Dancing News
Faculty Favorites: Dining and Places - Mike Koempel
We asked our faculty and authors to share with us some of their favorite things about living in our nation's capital. Their responses are posted in "Faculty Favorites"
- Woodrow Wilson House, web site, 2340 S Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-387-4062
- Lincoln Memorial at night, web site, 23rd Street NW and West Potomac Park, Washington, DC, 202-426-6841
- Phillips Collection, web site, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-387-2151
- Two cathedrals, a basilica, and a monastery:
- St. Matthew's, web site, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 202-347-3215
- National Shrine, web site, 400 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC, 202-526-8300
- National Cathedral, web site, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 202-537-6200
- Franciscan Monastery, web site, 1400 Quincy Street NE, Washington, DC, 202-526-6800
- 4 Capitol Hill buildings:
- Afternoon tea at the Willard Hotel, web site, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 202-628-9100
- Walking the Dupont Circle-Embassy Row neighborhood, map (See "Embassy Row Tour" from embassy.org)
- Tours and events at the U.S. Botanical Garden, web site, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 202-225-8333
- Brookside Garden anytime including the holiday light and train displays, general web site, holiday lights web site, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton MD, 301-962-1400
- Bicycling anywhere on the hundreds of miles of paths, trails, and roadways in the metropolitan area - see "The Visitor's Biking Guide to Washington DC"
- Takoma Park Folk Festival, web site, Takoma Park, MD
- Takoma Park Fourth of July Parade, web site, Takoma Park, MD
- Tiffin (Indian), web site, 1341 University Boulevard East, Takoma Park, MD, 301-434-9200 [Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide]
- Udupi (Indian), web site, 1329 University Blvd East, Takoma Park, MD, 301-434-1531 [Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide]
- Thai Derm, web site, 939 Bonifant Street, Silver Spring, MD, 301-589-5341 [MenuPages]
- Vicino (Italian), 959 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 301-588-3372 [insider pages]
- Tabard Inn (American/continental), especially Sunday brunch in the garden while drinking mimosas, web site, 1739 N Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-785-1277 [WaPo]
For more, also see our Visiting Washington DC pages
What you can do - right now - for our troops
I am frequently asked the question, "What can we as individual Americans do for our troops, particularly those serving overseas?"
I have two answers and a recommendation. The two answers are to pray for them and to say, "Thank you," when you encounter serving military personnel and veterans.
The recommendation is to "send a few dollars to Operation Call Home."
Operation Call Home is the brainchild of Ladd Pattillo, an Austin, Texas, businessmen, U.S. Army Reserve colonel and personal friend.
"Operation Call Home," by Austin Bay, TCS Daily, December 21, 2006
You can buy calling cards for our troops through a Department of Defense Military Exchange program: Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards. Cards are distributed through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, USO, and the Soldier & Family Assistance Center.
Panto in DC - and Malvern, PA
If you want to see a holiday panto this Christmas, we found one in DC and another in Malvern, PA. Let us know if you are aware of others in or near DC.
- "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of A Christmas Carol," through December 31, 2006, at the Church Street Theater, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC, near DuPont Circle, 800-494-8497
- "Robin Hood," through December 31, 2006 on the Main Stage at People's Light Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA, Rt. 401 (between Rts. 30 and 202) Box Office: 610-644-3500
The Declaration of Independence
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
- The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription - from the National Archives
- The Declaration of Independence: A History - from the National Archives
- Library of Congress page for the Declaration of Independence
- Declaration of Independence website - from ushistory.org
- Declaration of Independence - from Wikipedia
- Biographical Index of the Founding Fathers - from the National Archives
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights - from the Library of Congress
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights - from The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights was "Written by George Mason (1725-1792), who Thomas Jefferson regarded as the 'the wisest man of his generation.'"
Veterans Day 2005
Thank you to the men and women who serve and have served our country.
In Flanders Fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
A roundup of Veterans Day-related posts and news
- Veterans Day Observances - from WTOP
- "The History of Veterans Day," from the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery
- "To honor America's 26 million living veterans, Military.com has set up a special site where folks who've served can find old buddies, get career help, and read war letters from every conflict in U.S. history." - DefenseTech
- Central Park - WWI Memorial, A Guy In New York
- "The Truths of Veterans Day," by Kevin Vargas, Letter to the Editor, The Washington, Post, November 11, 2005
- "Extra!: Veterans Day" CNN
- Google News roundup