John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy Birthday, swampy!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Minc'd or Christmas-pies, nick-nam'd by the Puritans.
--B.E.'s Dictionary of the Canting Crew, 1699

Washington's Birthday
Thanksgiving on Washington's Birthday?

On February 22, 1631 -- on the first anniversary of the introduction of popcorn to settlers by Native Americans and exactly 101 years before the birth of George Washington -- an off-season thanksgiving celebration took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This Puritan version differed from the modern ones in that it focused on fasting -- abstinence rather than overindulgence. American humorist Charles Browne, better known as Artemus Ward, wryly looked back on these religious "pilgrims," writing in The London Punch Letters (1866): "The Puritans nobly fled from a land of despotism to a land of freedom, where they could not only enjoy their own religion, but prevent everybody else from enjoying his." The Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor, John Winthrop, was called "the father of his country" long before George Washington was born.

Well I'll be darn'd.

-The Gn'ch
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