On Tartan Day

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, when Americans of every stripe celebrate the nation’s Irish heritage. Today, April 6th, is Tartan Day, when Americans of every stripe celebrate the nation’s Scottish heritage. Wait, you haven’t heard of Tartan Day? Truth to tell, neither had I, until last year when buying Guinness for St. Patrick’s DayContinue reading “On Tartan Day”

First Invasion: The War of 1812

The History Channel showed tonight a documentary entitled First Invasion: The War of 1812. Being something of an enthusiast on the subject of America’s forgotten war, I tuned in, curious how they would distill the war, its causes and its effects, into two hours. I needn’t have bothered. The cause of the war? Impressment. WhatContinue reading “First Invasion: The War of 1812”

Comic Literary Footnotes

Thursday, March 6th, marked the anniversary of the death of English playwright Francis Beaumont, died in 1616. From the Forgotten English calendar of that day: One evening in a tavern, Mr. Beaumont and his writing partner, John Fletcher, were hammering out the details of either The Maid’s Tragedy or another of their tragic plays whenContinue reading “Comic Literary Footnotes”