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Handel's Hallelujah Chorus

Posted 12-14-2011 at 09:42 AM by lauriebear
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Handel's Messiah is a story of resurrection. It is both the biblical story of Christ's life and resurrection on earth, and the story of Handel's return from oblivion.
Like many of the great composers, Handel was a child prodigy. He began composing operas at young age and by his twenties he was the best paid composer on earth with people fighting for seats whenever he performed. However, fame is fleeting and Handel’s music soon became old-fashioned. No matter what Handel tried, his compositions failed. Bankruptcy and depression followed. Handel had a stroke and developed a palsy that crippled his fingers.
It seemed that Handel’s career was over. Frederick the Great wrote that “Handel’s great days are over, his inspiration is exhausted.” Yet the very situations that seemed to destroy Handel changed him and gave his compositions more depth and feeling.

The Inspiration for the Oratorio


Handel’s friend and patron Charles Jennens sent him a libretto...
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She Helped Give Us Thanksgiving

Posted 11-22-2011 at 01:23 PM by lauriebear

Why do we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November? Abraham Lincoln declared it a holiday in his famous Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863. But who put Lincoln up to it?
The answer is Sarah Josepha Hale, arguably the most successful midlife woman in American history.
In addition to moving President Lincoln to action, Sarah Hale was the first to urge equal education for American girls. She was the first to start day nurseries for working women, the first to suggest public playgrounds, and the first editor of the first woman's magazine in America.
Hale authored two dozen books and hundreds of poems, including the best known nursery rhyme in the English language: "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
And perhaps the most remarkable part is, she did it all after she turned 40.
Widowed and penniless at 34, with five small children to raise, Hale supported herself with sewing and poetry. Then, at 39, her first novel, Northwood...
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Sarah Josepha Hale , "The Mother of the American Thanksgiving”

Posted 11-17-2011 at 02:06 PM by lauriebear

Sarah Josepha Hale , "The Mother of the American Thanksgiving”
There is much more to Sarah Josepha Hale's life than is included in this short essay. It will behoove the reader to investigate her involvement in fundraising for the Bunker Hill Monument, her work with the Seaman's Aid Society of Boston, and her other points of influence
Suffice it to say that the beautiful Sarah Josepha Hale, with her trademark long curls, was an inspiration in her time.Her thought’s, are timeless and live on in the hearts of those who still read and enjoy her work. In New Hampshire, we claim her as one of our own, made of sturdy New England stock, determined to succeed even when the odds were against it. Guided by the Hand of Providence, succeed she did.
The next time you sit down to a Thanksgiving meal, please think of Sarah Josepha Hale and all of her diligent work to make her dream of a universal American Thanksgiving celebration come true. She sought the good of all, even...
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Let's all sayThank you to Sarah Josepha Hale...

Posted 11-16-2011 at 02:17 PM by lauriebear

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Here is the letter she sent to President Abraham Lincoln...

From Sarah J. Hale to Abraham Lincoln, September 28, 1863
Philadelphia, Sept. 28th 1863.
Sir.
Permit me, as Editress of the "Lady's Book", to request a few minutes of your precious time, while laying before you a subject of deep interest to myself and -- as I trust -- even to the President of our Republic, of some importance. This subject is to have the day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.
You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition...
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Fixing the date of the holiday; Thanksgiving Day

Posted 11-15-2011 at 02:45 PM by lauriebear

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sara Josepha Hale) to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.
It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason...
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