History of Native American Heritage Month

In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants names (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.


“About National Native American Heritage Month.” Library of Congress. https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/about/.  (accessed on November 16, 2017).


Word of the Week: Stalwart

As in:

“It is difficult for modern Americans to fully understand the risks and sacrifices that Washington and the other Founders willingly accepted in order to mount a successful revolution. Today, a common perception of this epic struggle is that of a unified rebellion sweeping across 13 colonies with great spirit and boundless enthusiasm; a boisterous time of skirmishes, raids, and rallying cries during which most, if not all, of the period’s stalwart citizenry were active participants in the noble cause.” (Rees & Spignesi, 2007, p.39). 

Rees, J. C., & Spignesi, S. J. (2007). George Washington’s Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

For definitions of stalwart, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.




Word of the Week: Vanguard

As in: “Black World War II and Korean War veterans represented the vanguard of grassroots civil rights leadership in the war against white supremacy and social oppression during the 1950s and 1960s” (Cox, 2013, p.74).

Cox, M. S. (2013). Segregated soldiers: Military training at historically black colleges in the Jim Crow South. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.library.emmanuel.edu:2048/lib/emmanuel/reader.action?ppg=74&docID=1092476&tm=1503165756340

For definitions of vanguard, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.



A Brief History of Halloween

While the origins of Halloween are not entirely clear, is definitely intertwined with religious practices and celebrations of the past. Wiccan and Pagan groups are amongst largest groups who celebrate the holiday, while some Christian groups fear that demonic activity increases around this time of the year. A pre-Christian Celtic holiday called Samhain is thought by many to be the precursor to the holiday, Halloween, we celebrate today. It is difficult to completely trace its origins, as it was Christianized in the fourth or fifth century; we are unsure today what traditions and ideologies were added on because of this. Samhain was a day of heightened spiritual activity, and they believed that fairies, spirits, and souls of the dead could pass through their world to ours much easier that day. To protect themselves from these spirits and possible demons, the Celts would build massive bonfires, they would burn crops, and they wore costumes to ward off the spirits.

giphy[2]However, the Halloween we know today is a concoction of several different, borrowed traditions; many rituals of Halloween we see today are derived from times later than that of Samhain. In the 600s, Pope Boniface IV named November 1st All Saints’ Day to honor saints and martyrs. Some believe that picking that day was deliberately meant; they wanted to Christianize Samhain, which happened just the day before. Despite this coincidence, it is not clear if this was the intention. On All Saints’ Day, people would dress up, possibly to ward off spirits they thought were coming back from the dead. At this time, people in England went around and practiced “souling”, a practice in which they would ask for food and in return would give them a prayer for the dead. This is a possible precursor for trick-or-treating, especially because as time progressed, people would give out the soulers sweet “soul cakes”, mimicking the candy we get today. These are only possible origins for Halloween, as its true ones are not entirely certain or uncovered yet.

Works Cited:

Giphy. “Vintage Halloween.” https://giphy.com/gifs/vintage-halloween-z8UZbZzCPig2A. (accessed October 30, 2017).

Henry, Andrew. “History of Halloween.” ReligionForBreakfast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVB5rPfWPtc (accessed October 30, 2017).

Jabaji, Rawan. “Halloween.” Public Broadcasting System. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/halloween/4594/ (accessed October 30, 2017).

Word of the Week: Parochial

As in:

“Critics have hypothesized that the parochial contraction of horror fiction’s concerns in the post-war years was due to the war’s traumatizing revelation of a human capacity for evil that superseded any imaginable in supernatural fiction” (Dziemianowicz, 1999, p.201). 

Dziemianowicz, S. (1999).Contemporary Horror Fiction, 1950-1998. In Barron, N. (Ed.), Fantasy and horror: a Critical and historical guide to literature, illustration, film, TV, radio, and the internet (pp. 199-343). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

For definitions of parochial, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.





Word of the Week: Burnous

As in:

“The moments leading up to the Orient Express’s departure for Europe are crammed especially full of exotic detail, as Lumet provides passersby in turbans, burnouses, fezzes, yarmulkes, and Chinese dress to mingle briefly with the stars”(Leitch, 2002, p. 178). 

Leitch, T. (2002). Crime films. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.library.emmanuel.edu:2048/lib/emmanuel/detail.action?docID=202033

For definitions of burnous, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

For images of burnouses see Credo Reference.




Word of the Week: Pedantic

As in:

“It was proven that the food which the characters in the novels eat and the times at which and ways how they eat it shows what kind of people they are, from the fussy and pedantic Poirot with his elaborate menus and sandwiches cut in right angles, and the hedonists Adriadne Oliver and Tuppence with their love of fruits and rich meals…” (Baucekova, 2015, p. 182).               

Baucekova, S. (2015). Dining room detectives: Analysing food in the novels of Agatha Christie. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.library.emmanuel.edu:8443/lib/emmanuel/detail.action?docID=4534678

For definitions of pedantic, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.




October Dispatches: Isn’t It a Pity? The Real Problem with Special Needs

In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Cardinal Cushing Library and Learning Commons will be releasing a series of TedTalks. These discussions, released throughout the month via Cardinal Cushing Library and Learning Commons Social Media, will be personal narratives that discuss the views of individuals with disabilities and the people affected individuals with disabilities (e.g. parents and siblings) in contemporary society.

Topics will include: social views of disability, peer-to-peer relationships, parental and sibling experiences with disabilities. Other topics will include: employment, higher education and dating. #EmmanuelOSAMP #InclusionWorks

Today’s talk comes from Torrie Dunlap who discusses the various prisms that society views people with disabilities:


Word of the Week: Opprobrium

Book Cover: Al Franken: Giant of the SenateAs in:
“In late 2005, I told a friend that I was very seriously considering running for the Senate.
‘Why would you do that?’ he asked incredulously.
‘Well,’ I said, ‘I think I could accomplish a lot. And what do I really have to risk?’
My friend looked dubious. ‘Um, public opprobrium?’” (Franken, 2017, p.63).

Franken, A. (2017). Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. New York: Twelve, 2017.