Archive | December 2013

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December 31 Saint of the Day – Melania the Younger

On this day in 1695, a window tax was imposed in England. Many shopkeepers bricked up their windows to avoid it. Fortunately, Parliament did not impose a brick tax. Melania the Younger (ca. 383 – 439) was a member of the famous Valeri family, one of the richest, or the richest, Roman patrician family, depending […]

December 30 Saints of the Day – Zoticus, Feeder of Orphans, and Egwin of Worcester

On this day in 1853, a dinner party was held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London. The menu consisted entirely of Jurassic water plants. Zoticus, Feeder of Orphans (IV cent.) worked for Constantine the Great during the conversion of Byzantium into Constantinople. […]

December 29 Saints of the Day – Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones, and Thomas Becket

On this day in 1852, Emma Snodgrass was arrested in Boston for wearing trousers. Asked what her excuse was, she replied, “My miniskirt is at the cleaners.” Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (d. 485), was born in Syria. He didn’t keep his parents long (through no fault of his own), and […]

December 28 Saints of the Day – The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia and the Holy Innocents

On this day in 1869, William Finley Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patented chewing gum, intended to clean the teeth and promote jaw strength. It was not for the faint-of-heart — suggested ingredients included chalk and charcoal. Good-tasting chewing gum had to wait for the discovery of the double mint. The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia […]

December 27 Saints of the Day – Fabiola and Theophanes & Theodore Graptus

On this day in 1871 the world’s first cat show was held, in the Crystal Palace, London. The list of judged events had to be tweaked when the cats refused to cooperate in the dressage competition. Fabiola (d. 399) was a patrician, and married to a patrician (Roman patricians in those days did not marry […]