Today in History

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by limbkiller, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Batista forced out by Castro-led revolution

    45 B.C.
    New Year’s Day
    • In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history as the Julian calendar takes effect.

      Soon after becoming Roman dictator,
      Julius Caesar decided that the traditional Roman calendar was in dire need of reform. Introduced around the seventh century B.C., the Roman calendar attempted to follow the lunar cycle but frequently fell out of phase with the seasons and had to be corrected. In addition, the pontifices, the Roman body charged with overseeing the calendar, often abused its authority by adding days to extend political terms or interfere with elections.

      In designing his new calendar, Caesar enlisted the aid of Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, who advised him to do away with the lunar cycle entirely and follow the solar year, as did the Egyptians. The year was calculated to be 365 and 1/4 days, and Caesar added 67 days to 45 B.C., making 46 B.C. begin on January 1, rather than in March. He also decreed that every four years a day be added to February, thus theoretically keeping his calendar from falling out of step. Shortly before his assassination in 44 B.C., he changed the name of the month Quintilis to Julius (July) after himself. Later, the month of Sextilis was renamed Augustus (August) after his successor.

      Celebration of New Year’s Day in January fell out of practice during the Middle Ages, and even those who strictly adhered to the Julian calendar did not observe the New Year exactly on January 1. The reason for the latter was that Caesar and Sosigenes failed to calculate the correct value for the solar year as 365.242199 days, not 365.25 days. Thus, an 11-minute-a-year error added seven days by the year 1000, and 10 days by the mid-15th century.

    • The Roman church became aware of this problem, and in the 1570s Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius to come up with a new calendar. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar was implemented, omitting 10 days for that year and establishing the new rule that only one of every four centennial years should be a leap year. Since then, people around the world have gathered en masse on January 1 to celebrate the precise arrival of the New Year.

    1863
    A Nebraska farmer files the first homestead claim
    • A farmer named Daniel Freeman submits the first claim under the new Homestead Act for a property near Beatrice, Nebraska.

      Signed into law in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln, the Homestead Act essentially legalized the long-standing American practice of squatting on the vast federal landholdings in the West. Ever since the United States became a nation, intrepid pioneers rushed westward well before the government was prepared to oversee an ordered transfer of land into private hands. Ignoring legal niceties like titles or rent payments, the pioneers began farming and ranching wherever they found promising land, and often the government simply looked the other way.

      By the mid-19th century, illegal squatting had become such an established practice in the Far West that pioneers began to argue for its legalization. Settlers pointed out that they were building a new civilization in the West with their own money and sweat. Why should they have to pay for public land when they had already shouldered the heavy cost of clearing, breaking, and fencing it? Since the government clearly wanted Americans to settle the West, settlers argued that the government should give land to anyone willing to work hard and sacrifice enough to develop it.

      Congress eventually agreed, and it passed a weak version of a homesteading bill in 1860. However, President James Buchanan vetoed the bill under pressure from pro-slavery southerners who wanted to slow the development of non-slave-holding western states. With the outbreak of the Civil War the following year, southern opposition was no longer a consideration, and Lincoln signed the even stronger Homestead Act into law in May 1862. The act authorized any citizen or intended citizen to settle on any surveyed but unclaimed 160-acre tract of public land. If settlers made the specified improvements to the land and paid a small fee, they would gain full title to the property after five years.

    • Unfortunately, the government failed to reserve much of the best western land for claim under the Homestead Act and instead let it pass into the hands of railroads and speculators. By the 1890s, many homesteaders found that only marginal semi-arid tracts were still available for homesteading. Profitable farming on only 160 acres of such dry land was nearly impossible, and at least half of the original homesteaders abandoned their claims before they gained title to the property. In the early 20th century, the claim sizes were gradually increased to as much as 640 acres, making irrigation and efficient large-scale farming techniques feasible. Thus, while the majority of early homesteads failed, more than 1.6 million farmers and ranchers eventually fulfilled their contracts and became landowners in the West.
     
  2. Dallas Knight

    Dallas Knight Max Otto von Stierlitz

    Jun 22, 2015
    Christmas is coming up for many in the Eastern Orthodox Christian religion. Christmas Eve, January 6th is December 24th on the “old calendar” (Julian calendar).
    https://www.euronews.com/2017/01/06/why-do-some-orthodox-christians-celebrate-christmas-in-january
    While many of these “eastern” countries follow the more universal Gregorian calendar in their civil affairs, for church and religious celebrations, they follow the Julian calendar. This was brought about by the schism between the “western” (Rome) church and the “eastern” churches (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) in 1054 AD. [Basically where the Roman Church excommunicated the eastern churches and vice versa over disagreements involving church dogma].
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    isialk likes this.

  3. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Thanks for kicking off a New Year with


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Another interesting posting. Happy New Year


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    limbkiller likes this.

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