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Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:20 PM
BOSTON — It's one of the most famous Christmas carols, but a Boston University professor is calling it racist.
BU theater historian Kyna Hamill makes the argument in a research paper published earlier this year, “The story I must tell:" "Jingle Bells" in the Minstrel Repertoire.
"Jingle Bells" is a hometown favorite for people from Medford. It was written by James Lord Pierpont, and there's a plaque in the city commemorating where he wrote the song.
But Hamill said she looked into the history of the song, and of Pierpont's life. She said there's a different story entirely behind it.
"I don't have the definite answer to where he sat down and wrote the song," Hamill said in an interview for BU Today. "But—and this is where my town is going to be mad at me—it was absolutely not written in 1850 at the Simpson Tavern in Medford."
Hamill tracked down Pierpont's history, and found he was living in California in 1850, which is the year the song was allegedly written in Medford.
And that's not all, Boston25News reported.
Hamill found a playbill from the Harvard Theater Collection that shows the first time the song was performed was at Ordway Hall on Sept. 15, 1857, in blackface, during a minstrel show.
"The legacy of ‘Jingle Bells’ is, as we shall see, a prime example of a common misreading of much popular music from the nineteenth century in which its blackface and racist origins have been subtly and systematically removed from its history," Hamill argues in her research paper.
Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 12:40 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 12:40 PM
Today marks the Ides of March, which may vaguely remind you of a high school English class. Here are some things to know about the 15th day of the month.
Day marks the assassination of Julius Caesar
Most famously on this date, some 2,060 years ago, Roman dictator Julius Caesar died in an assassination by senators at the Curia of Pompey.
Tensions had been simmering between senators and Caesar before his death, fueled by Caesar's continued consolidation of power. However, Caesar considered the senators his allies. Just a few years before his death, Caesar was named “dictator in perpetuity,” a move that further strained relations.
According to historians, sixty senators planned and participated in the conspiracy to kill Caesar in 44 B.C.
Death marked a turning point in Roman history
Caesar was popular with the lower class people of Rome, who saw his death as an unwelcome decision made by the aristocratic class. With Caesar no longer leading, potential leaders waged war to fill the power vacuum.
The civil wars eventually culminated in the end of the Roman Republic and beginning of the Roman Empire.
'Beware the Ides of March' made famous by Shakespeare
In case you really did forget your high school English class, it's worth noting the phrase “Beware the Ides of March” was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his tragic masterpiece “Julius Caesar.”
In the play, a soothsayer warns Caesar to be careful on March 15, although the ruler ignores the mystic with tragic consequences.
Famous line based on historical events
It may come as a surprise to know the well-known phrase was actually inspired by real events.
According to Greek historian Plutarch, a seer really did warn Caesar that he would be at the very least injured by the Ides of March.
Caesar did not heed the warning.
On the day of his death, he saw the oracle and joked that he had made it to the Ides of March, to which the seer responded the day had not yet ended.
So why is it called the "Ides of March?"
The Romans kept track of days on its calendar by dividing each month up into three separate points marking the beginning, middle and end of the month. You may have guessed it but the Ides fall in the middle of the month, on the 15th of March, May, July and October and the 13th for the rest of the year.
The Ides were sacred and marked a monthly sacrifice to the Roman god Jupiter. Various other religious observances also took place on the Ides of March.
Other famous events on this day
1972: Forty-four years ago (yes, that number is right) Francis Ford Coppola's three-hour crime epic "The Godfather" first played in theaters. Before "Jaws" came along in 1976, the film was the highest-grossing film ever made. It went on to win three Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture.
1917: Czar Nicholas II was forced by the revolting Russian people to abdicate the throne after ruling the country for more than 20 years. The February Revolution -- so named because Russia used the Julian calendar at the time -- broke out just four days before the czar abdicated his throne.
1767: Our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, was born on this day somewhere between the Carolinas near the end of the colonial era. His exact place of birth is disputed.
Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 8:18 AM
— From flowers to a gift to dinner out, Valentine's Day can be an expensive holiday.
To help you save some money, these restaurants are offering some cheap or free Valentine's Day meals.
If you're without a significant other this Valentine's Day – or even if you've found a new sweetie and want to score some free wings – participating Hooters locations will help you shred your ex. Shred online and print a coupon to take to the restaurant or bring in a photo of your former love and let Hooters shred it. In return, you can buy 10 boneless wings and get 10 free – and maybe a bit of catharsis. Learn more at www.hooters.com.
Fogo de Chão
If you make a reservation and dine at a participating Fogo's location anytime from Feb. 10 through Feb. 17, you'll be able to save on a return visit. You'll receive a complimentary churrasco dining card that you can use next time you're in the restaurant. (As is usually the case, "certain restrictions apply.") Learn more at http://fogodechao.com.
Join us for Valentine’s Day and all week from Feb. 10-17 and receive a dining card for complimentary churrasco on your next visit. Visit https://t.co/4SsBgE2ACl for more information and restrictions. pic.twitter.com/QZty32ia3p— Fogo de Chão (@fogorestaurants) February 7, 2018
Qdoba Mexican Eats
Take advantage of the restaurant's "Qdoba for a Kiss" promotion, and you'll be able to buy one entrée and get one free at participating restaurants on Feb. 14. Bring your significant other to kiss, smooch a photo of your favorite celebrity on your cellphone or even pucker up to a burrito – anything goes!
On top of that sweet deal, from Feb. 6-28, if you share a kissing photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #QdobaForAKiss, Qdoba will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry. For more information, visit www.qdoba.com.
Outback Steakhouse offers a Valentine's Day meal for two at participating restaurants from Feb. 12-16. For a special price (which varies by location), a couple can share a Bloomin' Onion, choose two entrees (center cut sirloin, grilled salmon or Alice Springs chicken), two sides, two salads and cheesecake for dessert. Learn more at www.outback.com.
Fall in love with our Bloomin' Aussie Meal - a 4-course celebration for two! ❤️ Available February 11-14 pic.twitter.com/eygfPnff07— Outback Steakhouse (@Outback) February 11, 2018
California Pizza Kitchen
Enjoy a "Sweet Deal for Two" at participating California Pizza Kitchen locations from Feb. 14 to 18, and you'll get an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert from their special menu for $35. Choose from among three appetizers, 10 entrees or four desserts. As a further incentive, if you tag your sweetie or best friend in California Pizza Kitchen's Facebook post with the hashtag #CPKgiveaway, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card. Learn more at www.cpk.com.
We’re toasting to your love --and delicious food! 😍🥂 Celebrate with our special Sweet Deal for Two menu, only for a limited time! Click below for details. https://t.co/0hADk7QUwi— CPK (@calpizzakitchen) February 8, 2018
Waffle House probably isn't the restaurant you think of when you're picturing a candlelit dinner with cloth napkins and tablecloths, but that's just what they're doing on Valentine's Day. You can enjoy alcohol-free champagne as the lights are dimmed, and choose from breakfast favorites or special offerings like ribeye and eggs. Many locations are participating, so check for your location's phone number and contact person for reservations. Learn more at ww.wafflehouse.com.
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 @ 5:16 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:21 AM
— Looking for a place to get married? A new study claims that there is a premiere wedding destination in our own backyard.
According to WalletHub, Orlando ranks as the top city for weddings in the United States, and Atlanta is right behind at third. The study looked at factors such as the average cost of a wedding, the number of wedding chapels, churches and bridal shops in an area and the area with the most attractions.
WalletHub said its methodology involved comparing 15 U.S. cities in cost, activities and attractions and facilities and services.
Las Vegas lost its top spot in 2018, with Orlando now number one, and Sin City coming in at number 2.
Take a look at the rankings:
Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made the list at 11th, 19th, 23rd and 28th, respectively.
Other cities on the list include Spokane, Washington, 54th; Pittsburgh 35th, Seattle 12th, Tulsa, Oklahoma, No. 46th, and Memphis, Tennessee, 51st.
The full list ranking 182 cities can be found at WalletHub.
Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.
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Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 10:31 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 7:02 AM
— Hospitalized babies can pull at the heart strings of even the most courageous among us.
When babies are sick or born prematurely, the families of these children are under enormous emotional and, often, financial pressure.
Some 380,000 babies, or one in every 10, are born prematurely, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, in the United States every year, the March of Dimes estimated. Most end up in the hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, the March of Dimes said.
In Kansas City, Missouri the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Saint Luke’s Hospital is aware of the hardships parents face when their babies are hospitalized. That’s why they planned a special Valentine’s Day celebration in recent years.
The staff and volunteers, calling it a “special celebration of love,” assembled tiny knit caps with hearts that each baby in their care will wear for a special Valentine’s Day photo shoot. They’re also making baby footprint valentines for the parents.
“Every day a child is in the NICU can be frightening and uncertain, but holidays are especially tough, as families miss the normal joys of celebrations at home,” March of Dimes NICU Family Support coordinator, Rebecca Keunen said in a press release.
The nonprofit developed the NICU Family Support program to help families while their babies are in the intensive care unit, but even when these babies leave the hospital, they often face serious health challenges. The March of Dimes said these children are at higher risks for lifelong disabilities, including breathing problems, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.