flag day

a little history

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I never knew Flag Day was such a big deal. Matt gave me the suggestion to write a post about Flag Day to inform people on what it is. After accepting his idea on the blog post, I realized that I had no idea what Flag Day really was either. Flag Day is actually really interesting and I am happy to hear what I’ve learned with you.

June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stated the design of the American flag, “that the flag of the United States shall be of  thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new constellation.”  Though the Continental Congress fought for this resolution the observance of the adoption of the flag was not seen in their lifetime. Although there are many claims to the first official observance of Flag Day, all but one took place more than an entire century after the flag’s adoption in 1777.  Both President Wilson, in 1916, and President Coolidge, in 1927, issued proclamations  asking for June 14 to be observed as the National Flag Day. But it wasn’t until August 3, 1949, that Congress approved the national observance, and President Harry Truman signed it into law.

Now to some present day facts:

The National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution as part of its observance of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.

Dimensions are enormous: 30 by 42 feet. Fashioned of red, blue and undyed wool, with cotton for the 15 stars, the banner was planned as a bold statement to the British who were sure to come. When they did come in September 1914, Key witnessed the forceful — but unsuccessful — bombardment of the Fort. As the story goes, thus inspired, he wrote his famous words on the back of an envelope. Various Reisterstown residents, some years later, undoubtedly had chats with Francis Scott Key, Jr. and his famous father when the two came shopping in the village from Key Jr.’s home, “The Elms,” several miles up Westminster Pike.

This flag was turned over many years later to the Smithsonian, after a $7 million restoration — thanks in part to designer Ralph Lauren — now is displayed in a temperature-controlled chamber.

 

test your knowledge

on American history

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Everyone isn’t a history buff, and that’s fine. However, there are somethings I truly think you should know. After watching his clip from the O’Reilly Factor I am utterly applauded with my generation of Americans.  On Memorial Day, O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters headed to a Long Island beach to ask beach-goers basic U.S. history questions like “Who did America fight in the Revolutionary War?” and “What was the Civil War about?” Are those questions you can answer without Googling? Take a look at the clip blow and let me know your thoughts.

 

Take it from Glenn Beck my friends, “We know our educational system is bad, right? But if you asked simple questions about the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, you would think that we would know [the answers],” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Here is the stunning result.”

presidents day?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Happy Presidents Day, my fellow Americans. I hope you are enjoying your day off and doing something truly American and celebrating our forefathers.

My friends, Presidents Day is really a myth. Today, I read a really interesting article that talks about the myth and consistory behind this day. As a teaser, this is what the opening paragraph has to say (maybe it will make you want to read more). “When is Presidents Day 2014? The correct answer to that question is “never.” When it comes to federal holidays, there is no such thing as Presidents Day. We’ve been saying this for years, but shockingly, the charade continues.”

PS- if you haven’t done anything yet to celebrate our forefathers, let me give you a few ideas:

– drink whiskey
– go to the shooting range
– eat blueberry pancakes
– wave the American flag
– watch Saving Private Ryan

SOTU

The State of The Union Address 2014

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Tonight we have the opportunity to watch President Obama address the Union. If you aren’t attending a watch party or don’t have cable, you have multiple options of how to watch the State of The Union.

The President will present his SOTU address before a joint session of Congress. The speech will begin at 9 PM ET.

From his SOTU addresses in the past, President Obama focused on the economy. He touched on jobs, innovation and cooperation as well. It will be interesting tonight to see how the President’s previous SOTU will compare to this one.

Many networks will cover the event live but you can also tune in online. The following sites will have a live stream.

The White House will also have a feed going during the SOTU, check it out here White House Live. Keep up with the conversation both on Twitter and Facebook.

new year, new books

a good read

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

This year I am challenging myself to read at least seven new books. While in college, I never wanted to read for enjoyment because my textbooks took precedents. Since being out of school, I’ve read dozens of books, some I couldn’t even tell you the names. I am a firm believer that reading is something to keep the mind active and your imagination running wild.

Finding a new book to read is hard. Sometimes, even reading a book is hard. When you go to a movie with someone, you have instant gratification once the film ends because each of you will spit comments back and forth. For me, it’s hard to read a book sometimes becasue I won’t get that opportunity to discuss a book–this is probably why book clubs started.

Currently, Monuments of Men is on my docket. This book has been on my back burner since I saw a preview for it in the Summer. I am excited about reading this book and really diving into it. Based on a true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, what’s there not to be excited about? They’ve turned this book into a film that will be released at the end of February. Take a peek at the trailer, doesn’t this make you want to read the book?

If you have any suggestions for books to read, please let me know! I am interested in reading all, and any books this year.

to JFK

fifty years after his assassination

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

November 22 will never be the same for America. Fifty years ago on November 22 we lost President John F. Kennedy. November of 1963 marks when the stunned nation grieved and  millions conspiracy theories were born.

It was just after noon local time on Nov. 22, 1963, when the limousine carrying Kennedy entered Dealey Plaza in Dallas, its bubble top down so a smiling president, riding in the back seat with First lady Jackie Kennedy, could wave to an adoring crowd. A a World War II Navy hero and former U.S. senator from Massachusetts, was only 46 and not just three years into his first term as President.

Today, I was reading an interesting article from the USA Today about how the Assassination would have been different if it were to happen now, in the era of social media. During 1963 they had live around-the-clock TV coverage of big news. Take a peak to see how it would have played out on social media.

Today, we remember what a great man we lost. It was only fifty years ago, and our Nation grieved as we do again today.

Take a look at this as well. It’s an interesting take on how magazines flood newsstands with difference approaches to JFK, the assassination, the fifty year anniversary and how Americans are taking it.

celebrating 150 years

Gettysburg

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Gettysburg is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. The first and only (so far) time, I’ve been to Gettysburg is quite the story. For a quick synopsis re: Ann Marie, Joel and I were on a big adventure to Washington, DC. The parents helped move me across the country post graduation. As suspected I told them I wanted to stop at Gettysburg on our way, now understand that Gettysburg is not along the way at all. They said no. The next day after moving me in, they picked me up we got in the car and we drove to Gettysburg. Mind you, it was off season. When we got there, there were no tours (fail). We bought the CD collection that would allow us to stay in the car, and get out on our own time to see the sights. It was a fantastic trip. I cannot wait to go back and to explore more. The battle grounds were awesome, and the town is amazing.

Enough about me, Gettysburg is celebrating 150! This celebration is specifically happening today, November 19th and again on the 23rd.  Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address will take stage as the nation commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the speech as well as the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Gettysburg commemorates these events with a special ceremony, a parade and an illumination of the cemetery.

The Soldiers’ National Cemetery was established after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. About 17 acres are dedicated to bury over 3,500 fallen Union troops. President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg November 18th to attend the dedication ceremony for the cemetery the next day. On November 19, he delivered the Gettysburg Address, which honored those who fought and died at Gettysburg and continues to be one of the most revered speeches in American history.

For more information about the events going on to commemorate the Gettysburg Address click here. This is going to be an awesome week in Gettysburg. If you make a stop, let me know how it is.

the world series

the history of the world series

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

The World Series is underway. We are a few games in and it is a breathtaking game. There is still no outcome of who will win and come out on top. It is a fist clenching series, which will keep you on the edge of your seat.

To me, the World Series are an important time in baseball, and I would argue that any baseball fan feels this strongly about the World Series as well. The World Series isn’t about your team, it’s about the game…okay, okay it is a little bit about the teams, but if your team doesn’t make it, then it’s absolutely about the game. It’s about the beauty of uncertainty, power, the excitement and the fans. Sometimes there is an underdog who takes it all; honestly it’s about the game.

There were other postseason championships that took place as early as 1884. These were World Series, too, matching the champion of the National League against that of the American Association, but when the latter circuit folded in 1891, there was no interleague postseason contest until the warring AL and NL came to a peace agreement in 1903. The World Series is Don Larsen’s perfect game. The Babe’s called shot. Willie Mays robbing Vic Wertz.

The World Series is about the best of the best that season. Each year, teams play each other in hopes that at the end of the season, they will play in the championship. The World Series is a best of seven series that celebrates our national pastime. I would say this is an event every year which is as an important as any holiday. This is as important as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve and even the Fourth of July. Just  like the start of any season, we are anxious with anticipation; we are anxious for the World Series. I am more anxious for the World Series than I am for Christmas Eve.

For a little history, many changes were on the horizon and in 1901, the American League was established much to the dismay of the senior circuit. Suddenly, baseball found itself engaged in a “civil war” as both rival leagues competed separately for the fan’s loyalty and attention. Two years later, a truce, previously known as the “National Agreement”, was redefined outlining baseball’s employment, salary and travel requirements. The 1903 compromise produced the business blueprint for major-league baseball and resulted in a merger that has lasted to this day. Once again, Boston and Pittsburgh, the top American and National League teams, found themselves competing against one another in the first official “World Series”.

in closing, I read an article the other day that just about sums it all up. The article was found on Slate.com and called, Why Kids love Baseball, by Jordan Ellenberg.

I tried to make my son into an Orioles fan, like me. But the day at Miller Park he saw Carlos Gomez steal second, then third, then break for home, scoring on a wild pitch, like he was playing Atari baseball against a team of hapless 8-bit defenders, he became a Brewers fan for life. (To be precise, he describes himself as 70 percent Brewers, 30 percent Orioles.) We get along fine, in our mixed household. The inconsistency of our rooting interests doesn’t bother him. If there is a lesson baseball can offer us, it’s one about our deepest commitments; that they’re arbitrary, and contingent, but we’re no less committed to them for that. If I’d been born in New York, I might have been a Yankees fan, but luckily for me, I was born in Maryland, so I’m not. Jerry Seinfeld once remarked that baseball fandom, in the age of free agency, amounted to rooting for laundry. That’s not an insult to the game, as Seinfeld, a giant Mets fan, surely understood; it’s a testament to its deepest strength. My son’s love for the Brewers, like mine for the Orioles, is a love with no reason and no justification. True love, in other words.

There you have it folks. You just love the things you do, and there is no changing it. To me, baseball is something I will always love; baseball was the first thing I fell in love with. It is like true love.

let’s talk baseball

game 1: World Series, let’s do this!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

The Church of Baseball

Ladies and gents, welcome to the first day of the 2013 World Series. Tonight, we enter Game 1 as the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals duke it out on the field in a best of seven; winner takes all. Now let’s face the facts: the Red Sox and Cards haven’t faced each other in more than five years (under circumstances that mattered).

As we all know I am not a Red Sox fan, and by any stretch of the means I am absolutely not a Cardinals fan. However, I am a baseball fan. The World Series is always an exciting time for a baseball fan, regardless if your team makes it or not.

Since both teams are very well-rounded, we can expect this to be a long series with many ups and very few downs. The mistakes will be limited on both sides. Both the Red Sox and the Cardinals have proved their record this past summer making it even more evident that these games will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Break-down of the teams

Red Sox

Over all a kick-ass team. They are powerful with offense, disciplined and a have a high rate of reaction to situations. They have an incredible team. There is a the triple threat of Dustin Pedroia (second baseman), Big Papi (David Ortiz, the DH) and Mike Napoli (catcher/first baseman). The Sox have this not so secret weapon, who is a sure thing. Allow me to introduce you to Koji Uehara. Honestly, if any of the games go past the 9th inning I feel sorry for what is coming to the Cards because of the Ninja closer, Koji Uehara.

Cardinals

Randy Choate (LOOGY) he has a niche and a valued unique skill set for pitching, defense in stealing,  and strength. Michael Wacha (pitcher) he is 0 for 26 in a post season. The cool thing about Wacha is he is a rookie who was called up not too long ago, can you imagine being a rookie and pitching in the World Series–mind blown, in my opinion he’s one of the best things the Cards have going from them! Oh and Matt Carpenter, he’s kind of a knockout as well, with hardly ever missing a base post hit– he should be someone the Red Sox are keeping their eyes on. Did you know that the Cardinals ranked No. 1 in the majors with a caught stealing percentage of 40?

Right now, the Red Sox have a 57% change of winning it all. It is very uncommon that the fate will be determined within the first game, but anything can happen. As the Red Sox have a home-field advantage and are the favored team this year–it looks like things could turn out for the best for them. This year’s postseason have been exciting. We have seen David Ortiz and Carlos Beltran put themselves in the center of attention at critical times, and we have seen others pack up their bags for an early vacation. This is the time we get to see who is going to give it there all and contribute to their team. Now is the time when that extra work out, the late night batting practice and the additional hype is going to pay off.

This is the beginning of a beautiful series and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. Take a seat and enjoy the game; play ball!

halloween in the city

nothing like celebrating halloween

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I love tours and tours in DC are never disappointing. There is always something to learn and something to see, over all it’s a wonderful time. I bring you three Ghost Tours that DC has to offer. Granted I haven’t been on one yet, the reviews say they are some one scary. These tours will dive into the ghostly history of DC. What are you waiting for?

National Building Museum Ghost Tour

This tour is recommended for ages 10 and up, so feel free to bring your kids along on this one. Tales of mystery, murder and ghosts are just a few of the things you can expect to hear. If legend is to be believed, you may see a few things of interest as well.

Tours are offered weekly in the fall, so visit the museum site for more details.

Natalie Zanin’s Ghost Story Tour of Washington

Started in 2001, this tour bills itself as the district’s longest running ghost tour. They must be doing something right (or wrong, to keep having these undead spirits haunting around them all the time). The Ghost Story Tour is another family-friendly attraction (children age eight and older are welcome). Purchase tickets online here.

Washington, DC Ghost Tour

These tours are getting more and more family-oriented. The Washington D.C. Ghost Tour prides itself on providing accurate information on the rich (and sometimes scary) history of the nation’s capital. The tour takes place in Lafayette Park, which is also known by the less inviting “Tragedy Square,” and seeks to be one of the most creepily informative tours you’ll ever take.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Fright at the Museum: Dead Man Walking

This sounds like so much fun! Fright at the Museum takes place at the Crime Museum in DC. The museum is turned into a haunted house, and said to be one of the scariest in the city.

Tickets can be purchases online here.

THE ZOO– of course they celebrate Halloween. Check out these awesome events.

Boo at the Zoo

October 25-27, 2013, 5:30-8:30 p.m. National Zoo, Washington, DC. Visit bats, spiders, owls, and other animals at the zoo while trick-or-treating. Enjoy animal encounters, keeper talks, festive decorations, and haunted trails at the annual National Zoo’s Halloween celebration. Costumed volunteers will hand out candy at more than 40 treat stations.

Night of the Living Zoo

October 30, 2013, 6:30 – 10 p.m. National Zoo, Washington DC. Wear your best costume while enjoying the zoo by moonlight. Experience bone-chilling and mind-boggling performance art including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists. You must be at least 21 years old to attend this event. A valid ID is required for admission. This is an adults-only event.

With all of these awesome events going on in DC for Halloween, I will certainty get my fill. I can’t wait to go on a ghost tour, learn about the city’s history and to event step into a haunted house. For me Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and this year I will be celebrating properly.