In the Gregorian calendar, December 31 is the last day of the year and celebrated as New Year’s Eve. This is also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day in many countries. In Thailand — where I have lived for the past twelve years — this marks the start of a four-day government and school holiday, the first of three New Year celebrations over the … Continue reading New Year’s Eve
The Gadsden Purchase (known in Mexico as Venta de La Mesilla, “Sale of La Mesilla”) is a 29,670-square-mile (76,800 km²) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States purchased via a treaty signed on December 30, 1853 by James Gadsden, American ambassador to Mexico at that time, The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio … Continue reading Gadsden Purchase
The Republic of Texas was admitted into the United States of America as the 28th state on December 29, 1845. It is currently the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the south central part of the country, Texas shares borders with the other U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the … Continue reading Texas Statehood
December 28 is observed in Thailand as King Taksin Memorial Day (Wan Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Maharat — วันสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช), commemorating the day in 1767 that the only king of the Thonburi Dynasty was crowned at Wang Derm Palace in Thonburi, the new capital of Siam. Taksin the Great (Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Maharat — สมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช), or the King of Thonburi (Somdet Phra Chao Krung Thon Buri — สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี) was a leader … Continue reading King Taksin Memorial Day / วันสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช
The French Protectorate in Morocco (Protectorat français au Maroc in French, or حماية فرنسا في المغرب — Ḥimāyat Faransā fi-l-Maḡrib in Arabic) was established by the Treaty of Fez on March 30, 1912, and existed until November 18, 1955, when it — along with Spanish Morocco and the international zone of Tangier became the independent nation of Morocco. French Morocco comprised the area of Morocco between the Corridor … Continue reading French Morocco #131 (1933)
The events of December 26, 2004, in the Andaman Region of the Indian Ocean and surrounding areas changed my life. For this was the day — the day following Christmas, traditionally termed Boxing Day by the British and her former colonies — that a massive earthquake of between 9.1 and 9.3 magnitude occurred under the sea bed off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake riggered a series … Continue reading Boxing Day Tsunami 2004
December 25 is celebrated in most parts of the world, as Christmas Day (from the Old English Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ’s Mass”). This is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people. Even in Thailand — a predominately Buddhist where I have lived for the past 12 years — the holiday is generally celebrated by … Continue reading Merry Christmas!
The popular Christmas carol “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht in German) was first performed on December 24, 1818, at St. Nikola parish church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. The song has been recorded by a large number of singers from every music genre. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling … Continue reading Silent Night