Archive for the 'Historical Events' Category

Pool of Bethesda and the Red Sea Scrolls

The Bible mentions in John 5:4 the pool of Bethesda where the sick and dying would gather and wait for an angel to come down and trouble the waters. The first person into the waters would then be healed.

bethesdaJesus healing the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.

In May of 1967, sixty-one manuscripts dating back to Bible times were found near the Red Sea, hence the name the Red Sea Scrolls. These manuscripts and letters shed light on some of the events surrounding the pool of Bethesda. Below is an excerpt from one of the letters.

“A woman by the name of Eunice passed by the pool in the heat of the day, and she was fair to look upon.

Astonished by her beauty, a young man fell into the pool and troubled the waters. The people round about the pool believed that it was the angel of the Lord who had stirred the waters. The servants cast their lame, deaf, and blind masters into the pool to be healed.

The young man then stood in the pool and declared that it was he who had troubled the waters and not the angel of the Lord. Stricken, the servants mourned for their masters who had drowned.”


The Declaration of Independence: The Birth of Wite-Out

Long before the days of computers, Thomas Jefferson held his breath, wondering where he would mess up next on the Declaration of Independence.

“Thomas, you forgot the ‘w’ in ‘wholesome’ again.”

-Benjamin Franklin

The writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence was well-documented as many knew that this was a historic period of time. Because of that, many of the discarded drafts were kept and have surfaced in recent years.

Besides the obvious problems with cramping in the forearm and wrist, Jefferson became frustrated because of how many times he had to rewrite the Declaration. The many rewrites were caused by occasional rewording, misspellings, coffee stains, and Joseph Priestley (a friend of Ben Franklin’s who often dropped by) shaking Jefferson’s writing desk for a laugh.

Along the way, Jefferson made many mistakes. One of the funniest being that America was claiming independence from “England and the tyrant, King Gorge.”

The largest blunder was the second to last rewrite of the document. Jefferson presented the document to the Second Continental Congress, and all of the men signed it. It was not until the last man signed it that John Adams noticed that Jefferson had written June 4th instead of July 4th.

Thomas Jefferson’s 1,328 word blunder.

In the end, America gained its independence, and Thomas Jefferson began work toward creating Wite-Out.

Author’s Note: Read more about Joseph Priestley and his pranks involving Benjamin Franklin!

The Bald Eagle: What a Joke

Americans are known for their daring and bold sense of humor, which is epitomized in the Seal of the President of the United States.

Seal of the President of the United States

In 1780, Joseph Priestley began to poke fun at Benjamin Franklin’s balding head, going so far as to compare Franklin to a bald eagle. This enraged Franklin but he tried to endure it.

On June 19, 1782, the Continental Congress was told to adopt a national symbol and Seal of the President of the United States on the following day. Joseph Priestley, never one to pass up on a good joke, began to bribe members of the Congress to adopt the bald eagle as the national symbol.

The following day, the Continental Congress convened and, true to their word, they adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol of the United States of America.

Franklin immediately launched a campaign against the bald eagle. Franklin described the eagle as “a Bird of bad moral character,” “too lazy to fish for himself,” and “a rank Coward.” He argued that the Turkey was “a much more respectable Bird” although “a little vain and silly but a Bird of Courage.”

Despite Franklin’s protests, Joseph Priestley’s joke went through and has never been changed.

Author’s Note: Read more about Joseph Priestley and his pranks involving Benjamin Franklin!

The History of the Eskimo Kiss

The history behind this extraordinary kiss begins with an attempt to prevent frostbite. Two Alaskan children, Yupik and his girlfriend Seldovia, were the first to eskimo kiss. Seldovia often complained to Yupik that he often got her nose wet when he kissed her on the tip of her nose. The tip of her nose would often become icy, and she would have to thaw for a couple of minutes.

Yupik, age 3, was always a ladies man.

Traditionally shared between Eskimos, or people who have no lips, the Eskimo kiss is a sign of affection given between two people by rubbing their noses together.

Eskimo kissing began hundreds of years ago, but was not known about on a large scale until Robert Flaherty’s 1922 film Nanook of the North. The film gave the kiss exposure, sending teens during the 1920s into an Eskimo kissing frenzy.

Tracing Beauty Back to its Roots

Mary Tyler Moore, Actress

Doris Dawson, 1920s Actress

Queen Elizabeth

Pocahontas, Indian Princess

Marta, Farm Maiden

Gleega, Fashion Model

Feet: The Hands of Yesterday

Even today traces of the past can be seen, but like many diseases, the use of feet to pick up objects has all but been eradicated.

The use of feet as the primary way to manipulate objects began at the time of Creation. With no experience in the world, Adam began to use his feet to walk, eat, and move objects. When Eve came along, she followed Adam’s lead and quickly became adept at using her feet as Adam did.

As time passed, different civilizations began to use their hands while others continued the use of feet. The most evident use of feet is the low-quality of paintings early in the history of the world.

An early painting on a tomb, painted by the use of a foot.
An early painting, painted on a tomb with the use of a foot.

Early artists struggled to make a living because of their unattractive art, but the art community began to thrive when the use of hands became prevalent. While painting with feet died, some foot traditions have never died – the most notable being soccer, stomping grapes, and footsies.

The use of feet for eating and manipulating objects died a little after the 7th century, when the army from Constantinople wiped out Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian soldiers followed the tradition of other armies and fought with their feet, while Constantinople had trained their men to fight with their hands. The generals of Constantinople are regarded as the most innovative military leaders in world history because of the decision to have soldiers use their hands.

Today’s American society regards the primary use of feet as savage, but we all have to admit that no feeling in the world quite compares to picking up an object with our toes.

Betsy Ross and Her Rough Draft

Betsy Ross, the woman credited with sewing the first American flag continues to be an intriguing character in American history, in large part because not much is known about her personal life.

What is known is that she married at the age of 21 in 1773, but her husband died in 1776, sending her future into doubt. It was in May or June of 1776 when George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris gave her a chance to prove herself.

As a young, inexperienced seamstress she required several drafts. She was told to include the colors red, white, and blue. The flag would also need to contain thirteen stars to stand for each of the colonies.

The first flag concept presented by Betsy Ross.

The first flag concept presented by Betsy Ross was received with lukewarm reviews by the Colonial Flag Committee. The largest complaint was that it provided little room in case more colonies were created in the years to come. There were those in the committee who were happy with how it met the required colors and number of stars. In the end the draft was put on file, and as we know, used in the Civil War to represent the Confederate States of America.

For Betsy, the second time was a bit better as her second concept was met with mixed but mostly positive opinions within the committee. Like the first concept, the second flag featured the required colors and number of stars, but it did provide more flexibility than the first concept.

Betsy Ross presenting the finished flag.

When asked after the final meeting about the flags, George Washington said, “I really liked the first concept, and I wish we could’ve used it. I voted for it, but we’ve got some politicians in here looking to make their mark on history. It’s a shame that the first one wasn’t selected. Mr. Franklin and I, among others, were disappointed in the final decision, but we’ll move past this.”

General Washington and the colonies did move past the flag controversy and won the war over England.