Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Where Did Thanksgiving Come From and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

The First Thanksgiving, reproduction of an oil painting by J.L.G. Ferris, early 20th century.

NOTE: This was first posted on November 24, 2011. We re-post and update it each year.

By Allen Payton, Publisher

It was 396 years ago, this year, that the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Indian friends in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts.

Who were the Pilgrims?

Christian Protestants in England, became known as Puritans, because of their differences with the Church of England. Most remained within the Church of England, but a small group of Puritans, known as Separatists, who chose to leave the church, were persecuted for their faith. Around 1607 or 1608 about 300 Separatists left England and relocated to Holland.

Then in 1620, some of the Separatists chose to leave Holland for a place where they could be free to practice their faith. Along with adventurers, other colonists recruited by the venture’s financial backers and the ship’s crew, for a total of 102 people, the Separatists sailed to the New World on the ship the Mayflower.

It was William Bradford, their second governor, who gave the Separatists the label of Pilgrims, from the Bible verse in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, verse 13, which states “they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” He stated “They knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country.”

According to what became known as The Mayflower Compact, the voyage was “undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our kind and country…to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia” Instead, the voyagers first spotted land on November 9, 1620 and then chose to set anchor in Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts on November 11.

“The Mayflower Compact was signed that day on board the Mayflower, which was at anchor in Provincetown Harbor.  The document was drawn up in response to ‘mutinous speeches’ that had come about because the Pilgrims had intended to settle in Northern Virginia, but the decision was made after arrival to instead settle in New England.  Since there was no government in place, some felt they had no legal obligation to remain within the colony and supply their labor.  The Mayflower Compact attempted to temporarily establish that government until a more official one could be drawn up in England that would give them the right to self-govern themselves in New England.”(1)

Read the complete Mayflower Compact by clicking here.

They then settled across Cape Cod Bay at Plymouth, Massachusetts and only 53 of the Pilgrims survived that first winter, thanks to the help of the local Indians. But, the following summer was good for them.

The First Thanksgiving Celebration

“After their first harvest, the colonists of the Plymouth Plantation held a celebration of food and feasting in the fall of 1621. Indian chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset joined in the celebration with ninety of their men in the three-day event. (2)

According to William Bradford, in his journal entitled Of Plimoth Plantation: “They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; fFor as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no want.  And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees).  And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, &c. Besids, they had about a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corn to yt proportion.  Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained,  but true reports.”

According to Edward Winslow in his book Mourt’s Relation: “our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others.  And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want,  that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.”

The First Official Thanksgiving Day

In 1623, the first official day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford

Bradford’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

–William Bradford

Ye Governor of Ye Colony

Through the years, subsequent Thanksgiving Day proclamations were made and dates for celebrating it were set by Congress and various U.S. presidents.

1777 Proclamation by the Continental Congress

On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was approved, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of the Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was officially set aside: “…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot hem (their manifold sins) out of remembrance… That it may please Him… to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’…”

First Thanksgiving Proclamation by the American Government

In 1789, it was President George Washington who issued the first Thanksgiving Proclamation by the American government: WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. –George Washington – October 3, 1789

Mass Centinel masthead Where Did Thanksgiving Come From and Why Do We Celebrate It? Washingtons Thanksgiving Proclamation in Mass Centinel 1789 Where Did Thanksgiving Come From and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Lincoln Makes Last Thursday in November Official Day of Thanksgiving

Then in in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday in November as the day of national thanksgiving with his Thanksgiving Proclamation:

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Since 1863, every President has issued an annual proclamation calling for the people of the nation to celebrate a national day of thanksgiving.

1941 Vote by Congress and President Roosevelt

But it wasn’t until October 6, 1941 that our federal government made it an official, national holiday, when Congress approved it.

“In 1939…the last Thursday in November fell on the last day of the month. Concerned that the shortened Christmas shopping season might dampen the economic recovery, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a Presidential Proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November. As a result of the proclamation, 32 states issued similar proclamations while 16 states refused to accept the change and proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday in November. For two years two days were celebrated as Thanksgiving – the President and part of the nation celebrated it on the second to last Thursday in November, while the rest of the country celebrated it the following week.

To end the confusion, Congress decided to set a fixed-date for the holiday. On October 6, 1941, the House passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day. The Senate, however, amended the resolution establishing the holiday as the fourth Thursday, which would take into account those years when November has five Thursdays. The House agreed to the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, thus establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.” (3)

President John F. Kennedy’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1961

OCTOBER 27, 1961

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES A PROCLAMATION :

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.”

More than three centuries ago, the Pilgrims, after a year of hardship and peril, humbly and reverently set aside a special day upon which to give thanks to God for their preservation and for the good harvest from the virgin soil upon which they had labored. Grave and unknown dangers remained. Yet by their faith and by their toil they had survived the rigors of the harsh New England winter. Hence they paused in their labors to give thanks for the blessings that had been bestowed upon them by Divine Providence.

This year, as the harvest draws near its close and the year approaches its end, awesome perils again remain to be faced. Yet we have, as in the past, ample reason to be thankful for the abundance of our blessings. We are grateful for the blessings of faith and health and strength and for the imperishable spiritual gifts of love and hope. We give thanks, too, for our freedom as a nation; for the strength of our arms and the faith of our friends; for the beliefs and confidence we share; for our determination to stand firmly for what we believe to be right and to resist mightily what we believe to be base; and for the heritage of liberty bequeathed by our ancestors which we are privileged to preserve for our children and our children’s children.

It is right that we should be grateful for the plenty amidst which we live; the productivity of our farms, the output of our factories, the skill of our artisans, and the ingenuity of our investors. But in the midst of our thanksgiving, let us not be unmindful of the plight of those in many parts of the world to whom hunger is no stranger and the plight of those millions more who live without the blessings of liberty and freedom.

With some we are able to share our material abundance through our Food-for-Peace Program and through our support of the United Nations Freedom-from-Hunger Campaign. To all we can offer the sustenance of hope that we shall not fail in our unceasing efforts to make this a peaceful and prosperous world for all mankind.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN F. KENNEDY, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, the twenty-third day of November of this year, as a day of national thanksgiving. I urge all citizens to make this Thanksgiving not merely a holiday from their labors, but rather a day of contemplation. I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England thanksgiving, thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man’s efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God. Let us observe this day with reverence and with prayer that will rekindle in us the will and show us the way not only to preserve our blessings, but also to extend them to the four corners of the earth. Let us by our example, as well as by our material aid, assist all peoples of all nations who are striving to achieve a better life in freedom.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed. DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-seventh day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

Click here to read Kennedy’s final Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1963, just weeks before his assassination.

Read more Thanksgiving Proclamations by Presidents Carter, Reagan and George H.W. Bush here  and this year’s proclamation by President Obama here.

So we continue the celebration, today, with our family and friends, of giving thanks to God for his provisions to us personally and to our great nation, even in spite of our current economic challenges.

God bless you, God bless America and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

References:

(1) www.MayflowerHistory.com

(2) www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/firsts/thanksgiving/

(3) www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving/

www.pilgrimhall.org/1stthnks

Learn more from the book Plymouth in the words of her Founders by Dr. Paul Jehle at http://www.amazon.com/Plymouth-Words-Founders-Paul-Jehle/dp/0972417346

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A brief history of Veterans Day

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Local military veterans join American Legion State Commander Janet Wilson, center in red, and muralist Scott LoBaido, front kneeling, for a photo in front of the new mural at the Antioch Veterans Memorial Building, located at 5th and E Streets, on Friday, April 3, 2015. Herald file photo

From military.com

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally, on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non- government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.

United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as “National Veterans Awareness Week.” The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day

Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.

From the Herald – thank you to our military veterans for your service. We know freedom isn’t free and without your service and sacrifice Americans wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we do, today. Remembering that and honoring you, today.

 

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Tall ship Lady Washington returns to Antioch Tuesday, Oct. 31

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Historic vessel will dock at Antioch City Marina through Nov. 6

Few are familiar with the term “tall ship”, but the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is on a mission to change that. Their historic sailing ships, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, travel the west coast year-round introducing the public to maritime history.

“Some people imagine a modern ship, or a Navy cutter,” says Executive Director Brandi Bednarik. “’Pirate ship’ comes pretty close, but it leaves out the truth of why ships like these sailed-mostly for trade, exploration, and in military action. Our mission is to share this history with the American public.”

From October 31st to November 6th, the Lady Washington will dock in Antioch City Marina (5 Marina Plaza, foot of L Street, Antioch). Dockside visitors can expect to tour the vessel and talk with the crew, while sailing passengers will experience the crew in action and the ship under wind power. The vessel’s public program schedule is as follows:

October 31 (Tuesday)

ARRIVAL in Antioch

November 1 (Wednesday)

Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)

November 2 (Thursday)

Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)

November 3 (Friday)

Tours: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($5 donation)

November 4 (Saturday)

Tours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($5 donation)

Adventure Sail: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($42-$49)

November 5 (Sunday)

Tours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($5 donation)

Adventure Sail: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($42-$49)

November 6 (Monday)

Passage: Antioch to Monterey

Est. Trip Time: 26 hours

Aside from the rare opportunity to see a historic sailing vessel in action, a point of interest is often the crew themselves. The Lady Washington typically has a crew of 10-14, from paid officers to volunteer deckhands to participants in our two-week maritime training program. Some sail for the fun of it, others to learn the job skills of the maritime industry. The nonprofit recently announced a new job skills training program, Sea School, which will launch in 2018.

Launched in 1989 as part of Washington State’s centennial, the wooden-hulled Lady Washington has appeared in several motion pictures and TV shows, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and Once Upon A Time.

If you’re ready to run away to sea, a full schedule of events, tickets, and volunteering information can be found on the organization’s website, www.historicalseaport.org. For the seasickness-prone but curious, free walk-aboard tours never leave the dock.

The vessel will be docked at Antioch City Marina, 5 Marina Plaza at the foot of L Street in Antioch.

Please call (800) 200-5239 for directions. For tickets visit: http://www.historicalseaport.org/public-tours-sails/sailing-schedule/antioch-california/

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Americans are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Constitution Day is September 17 – Take the Preamble Challenge

PHILADELPHIA –– Many Americans are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions, according to a new national survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey finds that:

  • More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution;
  • More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment;
  • Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government.

“Protecting the rights guaranteed by the Constitution presupposes that we know what they are.

The fact that many don’t is worrisome,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania. “These results emphasize the need for high-quality civics education in the schools and for press reporting that underscores the existence of constitutional protections.”

Illegal immigration and constitutional rights

The APPC survey, conducted Aug. 9-13 among 1,013 adults in the United States, finds that 53 percent think that people who are here illegally do not have any rights under the Constitution. That incorrect belief is especially strong among self-identified political conservatives – 67 percent think it is accurate, compared with 48 percent of moderates and 46 percent of liberals.

In fact, immigrants who are in the United States illegally share some constitutional protections with U.S. citizens. More than a century ago, in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), a case involving an undocumented Chinese immigrant, the Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens were entitled to due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Other cases have expanded upon those rights. (For more on Yick Wo, see this video on Annenberg Classroom’s website.)

Most respondents, though not all, know that under the Constitution, U.S. citizens who are atheists or Muslim have the same rights as all other citizens. Seventy-nine percent of respondents know it is accurate to say that U.S. citizens who are atheists have the same rights as other citizens, and 76 percent know it is accurate to say that citizens who are Muslim have the same rights as other citizens.

What does the First Amendment say? 

Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights. And far fewer people could name the other First Amendment rights: 15 percent of respondents say freedom of religion; 14 percent say freedom of the press; 10 percent say the right of assembly; and only 3 percent say the right to petition the government.

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Contrary to the First Amendment, 39 percent of Americans support allowing Congress to stop the news media from reporting on any issue of national security without government approval. That was essentially unchanged from last year. But the survey, which followed a year of attacks on the news media, found less opposition to prior restraint (49 percent) than in 2016 (55 percent).

Many don’t know the branches of government 

Only 26 percent of respondents can name the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative), the same as last year. People who identified themselves as conservatives were significantly more likely to name all three branches correctly than liberals and moderates. The 26 percent total was down significantly from APPC’s first survey on this question, in 2011, when 38 percent could name all three.

In the current survey, 33 percent could not name any of the three branches, the same as in 2011.

The phone survey, conducted for APPC by the research firm SSRS, has a margin of error of ±3.7 percent. For more on the methodology and questions click here.

Constitution Day and the Civics Renewal Network

APPC’s Annenberg Classroom, presented by the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics, has created a series of free, award-winning videos for educators and the public, including Yick Wo and the Equal Protection Clause, The Role of the Courts, and Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States.

Annenberg Classroom has joined with 30 other nonpartisan organizations to create the Civics Renewal Network, which offers free, high-quality educational materials online. Among CRN’s partners are the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Constitution Center, the U.S. Courts, the NEH’s EDSITEment Project and iCivics.

Constitution Day (Sept. 17) will be observed Monday, Sept. 18. To mark it, the U.S. Courts are holding naturalization ceremonies nationwide and educators will lead students in the “Preamble Challenge,” celebrating the Preamble to the Constitution.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center was established in 1994 to educate the public and policy makers about the media’s role in advancing public understanding of political, health and science issues at the local, state and federal levels. Find APPC on Facebook and Twitter: @APPCPenn. Follow the Civics Renewal Network: @CivicsRenewal.

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Antioch Sports Legends 2017 inductees to be honored at gala Oct 7

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Starting its second decade of honoring Antioch’s “Best of the Best”, the Antioch Sports Legends, a program of the Antioch Historical Society, will be honoring its eleventh class of Inductees. Legends Weekend kicks off with the Sports Legends Alumni Golf Tournament, open to all golfers, on October 6th at 12:00 Noon. A welcome reception will follow at 6:00 PM and the culmination of the weekend will be the Induction Gala the following night at 6:00 PM. All events will be at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center.

This year they celebrate and recognize a stellar and diverse group of athletes, a team, a coach and a community service recipient. Antioch Sports Legends Class of 2017 Inductees are:

Brian Boccio, Football AHS 1993  

The speedy running back held school records in single season and career rushing yards and touchdowns for 22 years until Najee Harris eclipsed both.  He was a two- time All-BVAL running back and team MVP as a senior. Boccio went on to the University of Nevada at Reno where he earned three varsity letters and became the Wolfpack’s starting outside linebacker

Daniel Denham, Baseball, DVHS  2001

With a blazing fastball Daniel Denham dawned the young Deer Valley baseball program in 1998. He was a four-year starting pitcher and earned All-BVAL 1st Team in 1999, 2000 and 2001.  Denham was named All-State and 2nd team All-American his senior year.  He was drafted with the 17th pick in the 1st round by the Cleveland Indians and pitched professionally for nine years and was named to three All-Star teams.

Brian White, Cross-Country   AHS 1991

Two-time team MVP White had an amazing senior year finishing 6th overall at the State Cross-Country Championships and followed that up with a blistering track season where he set school records in the 2 Mile and 5,000 Meter Runs.  He won the 1,600 and 3,200 at the BVAL meet and ran the 3,200 at the State Track Meet.   White later went on to DVC and set a school record in the 10,000 Meters and ran in the state community college championships in both sports.

Willis Ball, Track and Field Coach AHS

Ball coached track and field at Antioch High for over 25 years and was instrumental in the growth of so many athletes. His specialty was the Shot Put and Discus and his athletes won over 50 individual league or section titles. Six of his athletes finished in the top eight at the California State Meet.   In 1990 Ball was recognized by his peers as the Honor Track Coach of the North Coast Section.

Angela Lindsay, Water Polo AHS 1996

Lindsay was named to back to back All-BVAL and East Bay first teams and garnered Honorable Mention All-American Honors.  In her senior year, she was one of only 13 players nationally to be selected and play for the Under 17 USA Water Polo team.  Lindsay was a two-time team MVP and selected twice to the Top 50 Female Athletes by the CC Times.  She earned five varsity letters at UC Davis in Water Polo and Swimming.

Horace “Zedo” Catollico, Community Service Recipient

“Zedo” as he is known to so many, started coaching little league baseball in 1970 and his coaching career would continue through the turn of the century.  His teams won over six championships and he led three all-star teams to post season success.  Catollico was also a director for the Junior Giants and Junior Warriors programs and worked with the Antioch Recreation Department for 18 years setting up baseball and softball fields.

Tasha Cupp, Softball AHS 1994

Cupp was named 1st Team All-BVAL and All-East Bay in 1994.  She was the team and leagues Most Valuable Player.  Upon graduation Cupp enrolled at Harvard University and rewrote the Crimson softball record books.   She was named to four All-Ivy League teams and in 1998 she led Harvard to its first post season appearance in school history while earning League Pitcher of the year.  Her perfect game that year is still listed as a top 25 moment in Harvard sports.  Cupp was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Herb Miles, Wrestling  AHS 1965

A three-sport star at AHS, Miles excelled on the wrestling mat winning the DVAL Championships and placing 2nd at North Coast and going on to wrestle in the Northern California Championships his senior season. After playing baseball for two years at DVC, he embarked on a boxing career that earned him a Golden Gloves Championship and an invitation to the Olympic Trials in 1976 where after two victories a broken hand ended his career.   He was a sparring partner of Heavyweight Champion of the World, George Foreman.

Sheree Ogden,  Track and Field   AHS 1987

Regarded as one of the top weight throwers in Antioch High history. This three time DVAL champion became the first AHS track athlete to qualify for the State Meet in both the Shot Put and Discus in 1987, where her 7th place finish in the discus is the highest ever for a AHS female thrower.  Thirty years later Ogden is still ranked in the top three all time in both events.

Kris Gravelle, All-Around Female Athlete    AHS 1991

A six-time All-BVAL performer, Gravelle mastered three sports Volleyball, Basketball and Softball and capped a fabulous junior season by being named All- League in all three sports.   She then catapulted that success into a three-year varsity Volleyball career at UC Davis.   At UC Davis Gravelle earned All-Conference First Team, and Honorable Mention, was named to the All-Region and All-District Academic teams while leading her Aggie teams to three straight conference titles and NCAA post season appearances.

Chris Hurd, Football    DVHS 2001

The four-year starting quarterback for Deer Valley High earned All-State underclassmen honors as a sophomore and ALL-BVAL as a senior in addition to being named honorable mention “Best in the West”.  His career passing yards of 4,804 is the most ever by any quarterback in Antioch history.  Hurd earned a full ride scholarship to Washington State University where he was a member of the 2003 Rose Bowl team.

Chuck Stapleton, Football     AHS  1948

Stapleton was an All-Contra Costa County Athletic League selection on both offense and defense his junior and senior seasons.   This rugged tackle was a foundation for three of legendary coach Jack Danilovich’s teams of the late 40’s   He was selected to the All-Northern California team in 1946 and ‘47 and was team MVP his senior season. He later went on to be a very successful local business owner and community leader.

Shannon Felix, Wrestling    AHS 1982

Felix was a three-time DVAL Champion, a three-time place winner at North Coast Section and wrestled at the State Meet in 1982.  He followed up his stellar prep career by being named a Junior College All-American in 1984 and earned a scholarship to San Jose State University where he finished third at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in 1985.

Tom Rhoads, Track and Field     AHS 1976

Rhoads won the Diablo Valley Athletic League and North Coast Section Division championships in the discus his senior year setting the stage for a brilliant 5th place finish at the State Meet in 1976 and was named the Contra Costa Times Field Athlete of the Year. After 41 years, Rhodes’ top mark of 173’ 7” is still second-best discus throw of all time at AHS.

Ryan Walker, All-Around Male Athlete     AHS 1991

This amazing all-around athlete was a three-time BVAL and two-time North Coast Section champion in Wrestling and placed 4th at the State Meet in 1991.  He also was a Second Team All-BVAL performer as a ferocious hitting strong safety in football.  Walker capped his amazing senior year by winning the BVAL Diving Championship and took 5th at North Coast.  He accepted a wrestling scholarship to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after turning down football scholarships from Hawaii and UNLV.

1995 AHS Boys Volleyball Team

Coach Lou Panzella’s fabulous team rode a perfect 10-0 league record and three Invitational Tournament Championships into the North Coast Section Playoffs where they ran through to the title match versus top-seeded College Park.  The mighty Panthers were too tough that day and downed the Falcons to earn its first NCS Banner.   The team was led by Larry Lentz II, Lawrence Lentz III, Joe Peck, Matt Dunn and Jon Tiernan.

The Class of 2017 will be enshrined on October 7th at the Induction Gala at 6:00 PM at the Lone Tree Golf and Event Center. A limited amount of tickets are available for $65 from September 1-17 or when sold out. Checks can be made out to Antioch Sports Legends and sent to Joanne Bilbo, 234 Flagstone Drive, Antioch, CA  94509.

For details on the alumni golf tournament, open to all golfers, contact Steve Parks at (925) 550-3819 or sdparks43@gmail.com

More information about Antioch Sports Legends, the Induction Gala, Golf Tournament and becoming a volunteer is available at www.antiochsportslegends.com  or the ASL Office at (925) 757-1326 Ext. 12.

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Antioch Sports Legends announces Class of 2017 Inductees

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

To be honored at October dinner

From the Antioch Sports Legends Facebook page:

We are very proud to announce the Class of 2017 Inductees into the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame. The Induction Gala will be held on Saturday, October 7th, culminating Legends Weekend. A limited amount of tickets will be available to the public later this month. Stay tuned here on our Fan Page for updates. We encourage all of you to “Like” our Fan Page and invite your friends to “Like” the page as well.

Congratulations to the Hall of Fame Inductees of the Class of 2017…..

Willis Ball, Track & Field Coach Brian Boccio, Football Horace “Zedo” Cattolico, Community Service Recipient Tasha Cupp, Softball Daniel Denham, Baseball Shannon Felix, Wrestling Kris Gravelle, All-Around Female Athlete Chris Hurd, Football Angela Lindsay, Water Polo Herb Miles, Wrestling Sheree Ogden, Track & Field Tom Rhoads, Track & Field Chuck Stapleton, Football Ryan Walker, All-Around Male Athlete Brian White, Cross-Country and Track & Field, and the 1994-95 AHS Boys Volleyball team

We again congratulated this stellar class of athletes and look forward to Legends Weekend, kicking off with the ASL Alumni Golf Tournament on October 6th at Lone Tree Golf and Event Center. The tournament is open to all golfers.

The Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame is located in the Antioch Historical Society Museum at 1500 West 4th Street in Antioch and is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m. For more information call (925) 757-1326 or visit www.antiochsportslegends.com. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities available.

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The Declaration of Independence – signed 241 years ago and which we celebrate, Tuesday

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

A copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Following is the text of the Declaration of Independence in celebration of Independence Day, July 4th, 2017:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1

Georgia:

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

Column 2

North Carolina:

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

Column 3

Massachusetts:

John Hancock

Maryland:

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

Column 4

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

Column 5

New York:

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

Column 6

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

Massachusetts:

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:

Matthew Thornton

From the website: www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html

Happy Independence Day from the Antioch Herald!

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Get your tickets now for the Antioch Historical Society BBQ & Beerfest, Sunday, May 7

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Download the ticket form, here: BBQ-Beerfest2017

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