Statue of Liberty Facts: July 4th Reopening and More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 2, 2009   View Article

This Fourth of July visitors will once again be free to visit the Statue of Liberty’s crown for the first time since 9/11.

The New York City landmark’s upper reaches are set to reopen after being closed for safety reasons after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The move follows the reopening of Liberty Island in late 2001 and of the statue in 2004.

Father’s Day 2009: Facts, Gifts, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 18, 2009   View Article

On Father’s Day 2009, which falls on Sunday, June 21, millions of dads across the U.S. will open boxes, peel back tissue paper, and break into a smile as they admire their new neckties

Earth Day Facts: When It Is, How It Began, What to Do

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 20, 2009   View Article

From not-so-humble beginnings in 1970, when 20 million participated across the U.S., Earth Day has grown into a global tradition, with a billion expected to take part in 2009. Find out when it is, how it started, how it’s evolved, and what you can do.

St. Patrick’s Day Facts: Snakes, a Slave, and a Saint

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 16, 2009   View Article

On St. Patrick’s Day—Tuesday, March 17—millions of people will don green and celebrate the Irish in, and around, them with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a pint of beer.

But few St. Patrick’s Day revelers have a clue about St. Patrick, the man, according to the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography.

“The modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man,” said classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa.

Friday the 13th Strikes Again – Two Months in a Row

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 12, 2009   View Article

You’re not having a nightmare. It really is Friday the 13th again.

For the first time in 11 years, Friday the 13th is falling in two consecutive months. This double threat can only occur in certain non-leap years and only in a February-March combination. Look for it—or avoid it—again in 2015.

Hawaiian New Year a Melting Pot of Traditions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 28, 2006   View Article

The New Year will arrive on the Hawaiian Islands with loads of bang, food, and good luck, according to local experts.

The Pacific Ocean islands are home to a culturally and ethnically diverse group of people that have created a unique set of New Year’s traditions, explained DeSoto Brown, the collection manager of the Bishop Museum archives in Honolulu.

“War on Christmas” Echoes Past Debates, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 23, 2005   View Article

Is political correctness killing the Christmas spirit? Some say yes. Others disagree.

Whatever you believe, Vaughn Bryant, an anthropologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, says the current debate deserves historical context.

“It seems like we are reverting back to the days when Christians were trying to abolish Christmas,” Bryant said.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach