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For centuries, the mysterious force of lightning has usually been accompanied by feelings of  dread or despair, especially if one is caught outside or indoors during a violent thunderstorm. For centuries and throughout the world, numerous accounts exist recording such 'bolts of fire' and acts of death or destruction, associated with such events.  One can hardly read a 19th-century newspaper without encountering articles, practically on a daily basis, of deaths by lightning.
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Christ Church in Philadelphia
This article appeared in the free monthly HSP Newsletter, History Hits Hidden Histories
For centuries, children have utilized various rhymes in playing games, most of which many individuals believe to be farsical in origin or sentences simply designed to facilitate rhythm. Though this may be true in part, like other bits of folklore passed down through 'oral tradition,' an historical 'kernel of truth' often lies at the very foundation of a tale, or in this case, that of a 'jumping rope rhyme.'
Next year, the ‘Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War’ begins in earnest within the United States. Numerous commemoratory events will transpire throughout Pennsylvania and elsewhere, yet few realize that bloodshed, hardship, and even atrocities, were not events experienced only by residents living within the confines of the North and South. Other dramatic & tragic occurrences were transpiring within what is now the state of Minnesota.
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Next year the country will be celebrating the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Thus, it is only appropriate that today, on Veteran's Day, I relate one of my own favorite military accounts, derived from America's most bloody and violent conflict. Yet the following was an event truly 'civil' in nature; two men, though on opposing sides, quickly but tragically became friends, if only for a short period of time, during the 'Battle of Rome, Georgia,' fought on October 12th, 1864.
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With Halloween in mind, I will conduct two tours tomorrow of some "haunted" areas of the Historical Society building.

Noon and 6 pm Wednesday, October 20 (6 pm slot is sold out)
Most everyone is familiar with the lyrics, from the famous song, 'As Time Goes By,' as sung in the movie, Casablanca, which states how, "A Kiss is just a Kiss..." An article in a recent Metro News, for October 15-17, 2010, remarked how "a kiss from the one you love may be exactly what the doctor ordered." That is of course, normally the case.

This article appeared in the free monthly HSP Newsletter, History Hits.
The origin of two individuals shaking hands, as a sign of friendship, legal commitment or oath-taking, is lost in antiquity, though examples of it exist in both stone and illustration as far back as the 5th century B.C., in early Greece.
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