Raise the Flag

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 09 June 2021 > Celebrate

14 June every year is Flag Day in the United States. It commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag, a version of the familiar red, white and blue “Stars and Stripes” that survives today. On June 14, 1777, future President John Adams discussed the flag … Continue reading “Raise the Flag”

Trooping the Colour

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 09 June 2021 > Celebrate

Among many other special qualities, Queen Elizabeth II has two birthdays every year: the real one on 21 April (she was 95) and her official one on the second Saturday in June. That is marked by one of the great moments of British pageantry: the Trooping the Colour ceremony. Since 1748, the monarch’s official birthday … Continue reading “Trooping the Colour”

James Joyce and Bloomsday

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 09 June 2021 > Celebrate

Ireland has a rich literary heritage and is fond of honouring it. On 16 June every year, it is author James Joyce who is remembered, as Joyce fans all over Ireland and the world celebrate Bloomsday in honour of his novel Ulysses. Ulysses, published in 1922, consists of 18 episodes mirroring Homer’s Odyssey and takes … Continue reading “James Joyce and Bloomsday”

“Strange Fruit”: a Searing Protest Song

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 25 May 2021 > Celebrate

Jazz singer Billie Holiday’s 1939 recording of “Strange Fruit” has become one of the most potent protest songs in U.S. history. Its images of lynched African Americans accompanied the civil-rights movement but still evoke uncomfortable truths today. The song was written by a Jewish Communist high-school teacher, Abel Meeropol. It was originally a poem, written … Continue reading ““Strange Fruit”: a Searing Protest Song”

May the 4th Be With You!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 30 April 2021 > Celebrate

May 4 is international “Star Wars” Day in honour of the pun on this date: “May the fourth be with you.” In the movies the phrase “May the Force be with you” is used to wish an individual good luck and good favour with The Force. Since it began in 1977, Star Wars, an epic space … Continue reading “May the 4th Be With You!”

St George’s Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 21 April 2021 > Celebrate

23 April is a day for celebration in England. It’s the national day, in honour of England’s patron saint, St George. It’s both Shakespeare’s birthday and death day.  Each of the British home nations has a national day associated with its patron saint: George for England, David for Wales (1 March), Patrick for Northern Ireland … Continue reading “St George’s Day”

Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 15 April 2021 > Celebrate

On 15 April every year, all professional baseball teams in America celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, in honour of the player who “broke the color bar”, becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. In post-WWII U.S.A., professional baseball, like so many other things, was segregated. African-Americans could only play in the Negro Leagues, not … Continue reading “Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day”

Black Lives Matter Honoured

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 02 April 2021 > Celebrate

The Black Lives Matter movement has been awarded Sweden’s Olof Palme civil-rights prize, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Olof Palme Prize was created in memory of the Swedish Prime minister and human-rights advocate who was assassinated in 1986. Its jury noted that although Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013, … Continue reading “Black Lives Matter Honoured”

Red Nose Day is Back!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 17 March 2021 > Celebrate

Since 1988, British charity Comic Relief has been encouraging people to don a clown’s red nose and “do something funny for money”.  Red Nose Day is back on Friday 19 March and this time, it’s plastic free! In 2019, for the last Red Nose Day, Comic Relief received hundreds of letters from children and schools … Continue reading “Red Nose Day is Back!”