Tag Archives: American History

Showing That Irish Pride Every March


stpats

March is a month that I’ve always looked forward to every year. Parades, eating pot roast and potatoes, and donning the color green. I can remember one year, when I was in first or second grade, that I had gotten pinched for wearing too much green. I was covered in green from my shoes, socks, pants, and my tee. I never understood why a person would pinch someone for not wearing green or for wearing too much of it, but it was something that I can remember doing every year, supporting my Irish heritage.

It’s something I still do today, attend the local St. Pat’s parade, eat beef and potatoes, and wear as much green as I want without worrying about getting pinched.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day originated in America by the Irish who immigrated to the States over two centuries ago. It became a tradition in celebrating their culture, heritage, music, and of course their patron saint, Patrick every March, that it took off with popularity, continuing on with their descendants and is now celebrated in every major city in the US and almost every city in Ireland, bringing in attendees from every cultural background, including Irish.

According to Ireland of the Welcomes magazine, “the first St. Patrick’s Day parade every record, was in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted by the Irish Society of Boston.”

“Almost 25 percent of the population in Massachusetts is Irish, making it the most Irish state in the US. Boston is often called the capital of Irish America because of the thriving Irish community that dates back to colonial times.”

Here in Little Rock the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas hosts a parade every year on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a mile long and seems to grow in attendance every year. This year marks their 16th annual parade and will be this Saturday, March 14th at 1PM. The parade will start in front of Dugan’s Pub at Third and Rock, then will travel east on Third, the North on Sherman, towards President Clinton Ave, running in front of the river market, making a right turn on Main St, crossing over the river bridge, ending at Sixth and Main.

I find that the best areas for viewing is right in front of the river market on President Clinton Ave. Though if you have kiddos with sensitive hearing like my daughter, bring ear protection as the several motorcycles, handful of fire engines, and that one guy with the train, can create such a loud echoing noise in between those big city buildings, startling those wee ones.

Please click here for more information on the parade, as the Irish Cultural Society usually host an organization benefit. Last year, they collected canned food for the Rice Depot…There was a sponsored truck in the parade procession collecting canned food from the attendees, I proudly donated a few cans to them as they passed us.

Oh, if you decide to attend, and I hope you do, don’t forget to bring a bag so that the kiddos can collect candy and beads thrown to them from the parade procession.

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What Not To Say To A Native American


American’s have the advantage of free speech, whereas in some countries it’s illegal to speak out against things you’re opposed to, or to rally for things you’re for. That freedom of speech, at times, gives our western culture the idea to feel free to ask whatever is on our mind without having thought the question through, or say anything we wish to express, whether anyone around us agrees with it. American’s have no filter. It’s a birthright, I guess you can say. However, some take their ‘freedom of speech’ a bit too far.

For instance, when stated that I am Native American, it’s typical to hear in response, ‘how much Indian/Native American are you?’. It’s actually an insensitive question. I don’t ask anyone about their culture, race, or ethnic background, or how much of it are they really, it’s just plan rude. You are what you are, so why should I question it. I don’t ask to see your birth certificate or any other paperwork for that matter, to see if you are who you say you are, so why would anyone question a native american for being who they are?

There’s always a general question or comment brought up when native american’s are mentioned. My favorite, for instance, ‘my great-seven times back-grandma was a Cherokee princess’. Actually, there’s no such thing. There may be a chief’s daughter, but no royal titles were given, such as princess. You should see the facial expression I get when I tell people that, or hear the harsh comments I receive.

Certain words in our past history were used by Immigrants out of pretext for reasons that are not excusable. A word most often heard and should take precaution before being said is, ‘squaw’. It’s a derogatory word to mean whore, or to refer to a women’s genitalia. Redskin and brave are also derogatory words.

It’s rude to ask to touch someone’s hair, as well as it is to ask about oil rights and casino money. It’s also rude to ask, ‘do you live in a teepee?’, ‘do you receive any special benefits?’, ‘do you dance at powwows?’, ‘what do you really smoke in your peace pipe?’, ‘what’s your spirit animal?’, ‘why don’t you cut your hair?’, ‘do you celebrate Thanksgiving or Columbus Day?’.

You should always check yourself before asking anyone anything. If it sounds racist, it probably is and should not be said. Step outside your comfort zone and think, ‘if someone asked me this question or made this comment to me, would I be offended?’.

To Appomattox – A Mini-Series in the Making


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Most Americans should know of the American Civil War when asked. We learned about it in grade school from our History books. Some of us may have acted in school plays as Lincoln, reciting the Gettysburg Address. Some of us even have ancestors that fought in the civil war. There are also a few movies that could help fill in some of the blanks, Gettysburg, North and South, Lincoln, just to name a few.

On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. For four years, both the Union (The North) and the Confederates (The South) battled against one another in twenty three different states. The majority of those battles were fought in Tennessee and Virginia.

On April 9, 1865, Lee surrenders to Grant at the Appomattox court house, the Confederates lost, the war was over. The American Civil War still remains one of the bloodiest battles in history, with over 620,000 killed from combat, disease, or starvation, and over 476,000 wounded.

A mini-series is currently being filmed called, To Appomattox. It will be the most historically accurate presentation ever to be filmed. They currently have a Kickstarter page going, where you can become involved with their project by donating. With your donations, you can receive really awesome gifts such as cast autographed items, a behind the scenes DVD, a copy of the script, an opportunity to walk on the set, or be an extra, or have an actual speaking part in the mini-series. You can even be a part of the premiere in New York City or Hollywood, as well as the post-premiere party. You could take a tour of the set, or be a part of the meet and greet at one of the screenings. There are more things to list that you will receive from your donations. To see the full list, click here.

By donating, you get to be involved in the production of the mini-series. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, not just for Civil War historians or re-enactors, but for everyone. Everyone should be involved. Click here to find out more details about the mini-series or to donate now.

To Appomattox has a cast of amazing talent: Jason O’Mara, Stephen Lang, Noah Wyle, Richard Speight, Rascal Flatts, Kim Delaney, Trace Adkins, Kix Brooks, Powers Booth, plus many more other famous talents.

Here are some important links for you to visit:

http://www.toappomattox.com

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1258300090/to-appomattox-a-civil-war-event-miniseries

www.facebook.com/ToAppomattox

I’m asking for everyone to please, re-blog this, and/or share this blog post on every media outlet. Spread the word.

What is Mithraism


historical view of Heidelberg

historical view of Heidelberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Sociology class we are learning a little bit about religion in society. One particular religion that we discussed, other than Christianity, was sun worship. How ancient societies would worship the sun, until science came along and explained the world and it’s surroundings to us. I wrote a response paper on a particular sun worshiping group that I had seen on a TV show a few months ago. I had to do some research to make sure what I was saying was accurate, as always. Enjoy!

I love watching the History channel. Some of the shows on there always catch my attention, especially when it comes to talking about historical items in the museum, archeology, or historical exploration. Last year I started watching a show called America Unearthed. Scott Wolter, a world renowned forensic geologist is often called to check out some rock or stone someone has found. Usually that stone has some history relevance to a past society or tied to a particular group of people.

According to Wolter’s show, “these groups of people or societies are relatively known to have lived there, so history says, but with the evidence that’s being found today and the evidence that’s been looked at again from the past, says otherwise. Such as the Mayan’s built temples in Georgia, Egyptian tribes once lived in Oklahoma, the Knights Templar roaming in the Nevada desert. All of these groups of people past history says is inaccurate, but evidence being brought forth shows otherwise.”

The show is primarily based on correcting the history that we’ve been taught in school. Scott Wolter travels all over America, even across Europe, trying to put an answer to some of the items that are brought to his attention.

In Sociology class, we talked about a particular religion where people worship the sun. It reminded me of an episode I saw of America Unearthed called ‘A Deadly Sacrifice’. Evidence of a particular group called Mithraism was found in Oklahoma. Wolter says, “Mithraism is an ancient Egyptian cult of the Apis bull.” However, that is incorrect.

Mithraism was it was a secretive sect. It is part of the Zoroastrianism religion that was founded in the 6th century BC. What is known is that it dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.  

Mithras was a very important Persian god. He was a sun god and a bull slayer. Images are often found of Mithras slaying a bull. It is believed that those in the Mithraism sect sacrificed a bull to honor Mithras, but the blood was used to baptized newcomers.  

This particular group would have been outcast in America as they were very different from Christianity. However, archeological evidence shows that Christianity and Mithraism influenced one another. They both developed in the same area of the world. They both have communal meals and have similar beliefs and practices. It is believed that Christianity adopted one aspect of Mithraism, Christmas Day.

Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th; he was born sometime in the fall. December 25th is the day of the birth of the sun, or the sun god, to which is closely related to Mithras.

When Constantine converted to Christianity from Mithraism, he decided to change December 25th to Christ’s birthday, rather than Mithras’ birthday. Mithraism eventually died out in the 4th century AD when Constantine converted to Christianity.

This post is being brought to my attention and is not at all seen as what I was trying to get across. It seems that I will have to correct some errors.

Lincoln the movie


I was finally able to see the movie Lincoln. It was nominated for 12 Oscars, including one for Best Actor by Daniel Day Lewis. Lewis is the only actor in history to win three Oscars for Best Actor.

There may have been a few historical inaccuracies in the film, for example Mary Todd Lincoln, played by Sally Fields, sat in on the House proceedings surrounding the Amendment 13. History isn’t recorded that Mrs. Lincoln had ever sat in to listen to any of the proceedings.

I actually enjoyed the movie. It gave a better insight on how Lincoln fought to get the 13th Amendment to pass. He was in a small way like Moses, trying to free the slaves from bondage. England passed an Emancipation Act in 1833, abolishing slavery. It was about time that the United States should do the same, though it took the US until 1865 for that to happen.

Even though we all know what becomes of Lincoln, the movie didn’t show how it happened, more or less had a character come in and said Lincoln was shot and killed by Booth. The next scene shows Lincoln lying in bed, surrounded by men of importance, as a doctor calls the date and time of Lincoln’s death. The scene itself can be felt be the viewer as a scene of great sadness. I felt a moment of grief, as I stared at the TV screen, watching a moment in history replay itself.

Lincoln was a man of greatness, a man who was impassioned by ending slavery, and he fought hard to see it happen. He did live to see the bill pass, and lived only a short few months for it to take effect.    

Native American Ghost Dance


For my Cultural Anthropology class we are to write an essay on a topic that has to do with a culture; be it religion, food, an actual culture of people. I had picked Traditional Native Americans. Being Cherokee/Choctaw I know a little bit about Native American history.

In my essay I’m adding powwows and some of the dances. One of the dances is the Ghost Dance.

The Ghost Dance began in the 1860’s; created by a Northern Paiute Indian named Wodziwab.  He and his son Wovoka were the first Ghost Dance prophets. They both foresaw that all Indian ancestors will return and that all the whites would die, the Native American’s will be saved and the Great Spirit will return to Earth and live among them. The prophets began having a group of followers and taught them that this arrival would come more quickly if they began doing certain rituals such as, a series of dances, songs and wearing special painted clothing; these special painted shirts were to protect them from bullets.

Ghost Dancing soon spread to other tribes, including the Sioux. The Government was scared of the Sioux Ghost Dancing because they knew the meaning behind it and ordered them to stop. Only a small group listened, but the ones that didn’t met a tragic end. On 28 and 29 of Dec, 1890 the Seventh Cavalry arrived at Wounded Knee, killing 350 Sioux Ghost Dancers. Most of them were women and children.

With the Native American population declining heavily and the white population increasing rapidly, Ghost Dancing came to a stop.