June 19, 2010

Juneteenth—United States

Juneteenth is sometimes called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. This holiday honors African American heritage, and it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. It is celebrated by more than just Texas—36 states call it a state holiday.

By the way, the term Juneteenth is an example of a portmanteau, which is a combination of two words, in this case June and nineteenth, to create a new word.

The words brunch and smog are two more examples of portmanteaus. Do you know what words they combine?

ANSWER: Brunch is a combination of the words breakfast and lunch. Smog is a mash-up of smoke and fog.


Happy Birthday, Lou Gehrig

Born on this day in 1903, in New York City, Gehrig was an awkward athlete as a youth. However, he worked hard and constantly practiced baseball—and he became a star! From 1925 to 1939, Gehrig played in every single Yankee game, which was a record 2,130 games in a row.

Unfortunately, Gehrig came down with a rare disease that forced him to retire and that took his life just two years later. That disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS—and sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease. The best known living ALS patient is the famous physicist Stephen Hawking.

I am busy making every day special by taking a trip through California, Oregon, and Washington.

The daily posts will be minimal during my trip. Happy summer to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere!

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