Holiday Ensigns

American flag backlitAccording to U.S. Naval Regulations, Chapter 12;

1.  The ceremonial hoisting and lowering of the national ensign at 0800 and sunset at naval commands ashore and aboard a ship of the Navy not underway shall be known as morning and evening colors respectively and shall be carried out as prescribed in this article.

2.  A band and the guard of the day will assemble in the vicinity of the hoist of the ensign.

3. “Attention” shall resound, followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the band.

4. At morning colors, the ensign shall be started up at the beginning of the music and hoisted smartly to the top of the peak or truck.  At evening colors, the ensign shall be started from the peak or truck at the beginning of the music and the lowering so regulated as to be completed at the last note.

5. At the completion of the music, “Carry-on shall be sounded.

6. In the absence of a band, or an appropriate recording played over the public address system, “To Colors” shall be played by the bugle during morning colors and “Retreat” at evening colors. The salute shall be rendered as prescribed for the National Anthem.

A larger national flag or ensign is flown on Sunday and Holidays.

According to my shipmate, Carl Snow:

The national ensign flown on Sundays and holidays is sized according to the ship’s length.
The largest size, for ships longer than 451 feet is size 5: 8 feet, 11 3/8 inches at the hoist and 17 feet at the fly for the holiday ensign, and size 7: 5 feet at the hoist and 9 feet, 6 inches at the fly for daily use. The jack is the same size as the blue field on the ensign that is being flown.
Jack of the United States
The Jack displayed on the bow of Navy ships
According to wikipedia
The jack of the United States is a maritime flag representing U.S. nationality, flown on the jackstaff in the bow of U.S. vessels that are moored or anchored. … The jack is flown on the bow (front) of a ship and the ensign is flown on the stern (rear) of a ship when anchored or moored.

Carl Snow, Scuttlebutt Editor

Carl’s anecdote about the wrong holiday flag allegedly being flown off the stern of his ship:

When I was a Chief Petty Officer aboard USS Lockwood (FF-1063) based in Yokosuka, Japan we found ourselves tied up to berth seven at pier 6 with USS Worden (CG-18) at berth six on the other side of the same pier. USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) was moored at berth nine “around the corner” from both Lockwood and Worden with a clear view of both our sterns. Commander Seventh Fleet was embarked, with his staff, in Blue Ridge.

On Sunday morning I had the fore-noon quarterdeck watch and checked to make sure that the holiday ensign was ready for morning colors at 8:00 am. Colors were rendered and both ours and Worden’s ensigns shot simultaneously up the staffs at our sterns. Almost immediately the off-ship telephone rang, and the petty officer of the watch picked it up and handed it to me. It was the Seventh Fleet Staff duty officer, an Ensign, who began berating me for not having the holiday ensign up. I assured him that our ensign was, indeed, the holiday size. He told me in no uncertain terms that he was “looking right at your ship and it is apparent that your ensign is considerably smaller than the other ship at the same pier.”

I reminded him that the “other ship” was a cruiser, a hundred feet longer and almost four thousand tons heavier in displacement. The beam of the two ships, however, was only about five feet different. Maybe he was assuming that we were both of the same size, since he could only see our sterns.

He promised to get back to us and “fix” this. He hung up and we never heard back from him or anyone else on the admiral’s staff.


To read more about Carl Snow click here.



Twitter Power

All the little birds on Jaybird on loved to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet.--“Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day

TwitterTwitter or Tweets have come a long way since this song was released by Bobby Day as a single in 1958.

According to Lifewire, Twitter is used for

  1. Connecting people
  2. Sharing Information in Real-Time
  3. Marketing in business
  4. Educational tool

It can also be used to share Misinformation in Real-Time.

From Wikipedia–Twitter diplomacy, also “Twiplomacy” or “hashtag diplomacy“, is the use of social network and microblogging website, Twitter, by heads of state, leaders of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and their diplomats to conduct diplomatic outreach and public diplomacy

Donald Trump may not have been the first person to use twiplomacy, but he has become the poster child for its use.

Accidental AdmiralHowever, in 2011, Admiral James Stravitis, then the supreme allied commander at NATO, caused a “diplomatic stir by sending out a tweet to the world explaining what I would recommend to the twenty-eight ambassadors later that day.  News organizations picked it up and soon the story of ‘the first war whose end was announced on Twitter’ was making the rounds.”  from The Accidental Admiral by James Stravridis,  USN (Ret.) ( Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2014), p. ix

On March 21, 2016, Brian Mastrioni at CBS News wished Twitter a Happy 10th Birthday by writing  “Tweet-worthy Milestones from Twitter’s First 10 Years.

Gayle Osterberg wrote on December 26, 2017 “In 2010, the Library of Congress announced an exciting and groundbreaking acquisition—a gift from Twitter of the entire archive of public tweet text beginning with the first tweets of 2006 through 2010, and continuing with all public tweet text going forward. The Library took this step for the same reason it collects other materials – to acquire and preserve a record of knowledge and creativity for Congress and the American people. The initiative was bold and celebrated among research communities.”

That changed to:

The Library now has a secure collection of tweet text, documenting the first 12 years (2006-2017) of this dynamic communications channel—its emergence, its applications and its evolution.

Today, we announce a change in collections practice for Twitter. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Library will acquire tweets on a selective basis—similar to our collections of web sites.

Twitter had outgrown even the Library of Congress’s ability to archive its public totality.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

st patricks dayNo parades, no bar or pub gatherings, no public celebrations, BUT did you know

1.  That Corned Beef and Cabbage was an American invention?

2.  That the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in America?

3.  That Ireland had no snakes so St. Patrick could not have banished them?

4.  That leprechauns are based upon Celtic fairies?

5.  That the shamrock was considered a sacred plant?

Click here to read about these and other fun St. Patrick Day facts.

St. Patrick’s color is really blue and not green.

While I eating some delicious Irish whisky cake during a Celtic discussion,  I was told that Jamison was the Catholic Irish Whisky and Bushmill was the Protestant Irish Whisky because Jamison was distilled in Northern Ireland and Bushmill in County Cork.

Jameson and Bushmills

However, this is an Irish-American fallacy.

According to Ask Your Bartender,

Jameson was pretty much founded in 1780 when John Jameson – a Scottish guy – purchased the Bow Street Distillery, which at the time was one of the biggest distilleries in Ireland. Now, it’s important to note that the Scottish Reformation occurred in 1560, so odds are in favor of the founder of the Jameson distillery, being Scottish, was a damn Protestant.

Bushmills, on the other hand, was officially licensed in 1608 by King James I (of Bible fame) and despite of its location deep in the heart of Protestant country (and this next bit is straight from my local Bushmills rep, so take it or leave it) has a Catholic as a master distiller.

According to everyone I’ve spoken with on the subject, you only really find this debate in the States, where Irish-American support of the Republic can sometimes be blind and often fueled by the very product we’re speaking of. But none of it means much, anyway: both distilleries are owned by huge international entities: Jameson by French liquor conglomerate Pernod-Ricard, and Bushmills by the English firm Diageo.

Reblog: Ways for Bibliophiles to Honor Women’s History Month


In Library School  I traced the publishing history of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  One of Jane’s quotes I included

“the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a Brush, as produces little effect after much labour.”

Jane Austen collageSix years later, When I saw how small her writing table (which is not to be confused her austen's writing writing desk) at her home in Chawton, England, I realized she did not have much space to write on.

From author’s homes to feminist bookstores, there are multiple ways to celebrate women authors.

March 6 is National Oreo Cookie Day

oreo cookiesThe National Oreo Cookie Day is celebrated every 6th of March each year. This holiday aims to celebrate the Oreo Cookie – one of the most favorite cookies by not only Americans but also people from all over the world. The Oreo Cookie was developed by the National Biscuit Company back in 1912. It is a crème filled cookie that has been a favorite of cookie lovers of all ages. It is best paired with milk, where people dunk Oreos on. The National Oreo Cookie Day is indeed a fun day to celebrate.

Oreo’s Evolution

As the years went by, lots of varieties of Oreos were developed and sold to the people. These include the following:

  • Double Stuf Oreo in 1974
  • Football Oreo in 1976
  • Big Stuf Oreo in 1987
  • Oreo Minis in 1991
  • Mega Stuff Oreos in 2013
  • Oreo Thins in 2015

Some limited-edition Oreo cookies were also developed and sold. These include the following:

  • Birthday Cake Oreos
  • Lemon Twist Oreos
  • Fruit Punch Oreos
  • Cinnamon Bun Oreos
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Gingerbread Oreos
  • Pumpkin Spice Oreos

What is your favorite flavor of oreos?

FUN FACT:  Did you know that the Belted Galloway breed is known as Oreo Cows because of their appearance?

Oreo Cows

The Belted Galloway is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle. It derives from the Galloway cattle of the Galloway region of south-western Scotland, and was established as a separate breed in 1921. It is adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region.

March Days to Celebrate

Mars statueThe name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October when the season for these activities came to a close.

Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC, and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year’s celebrations. Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first.

March is also Women’s History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

March is also recognized as the start of the meteorological Spring.  March 19, 2020, is the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Eggs-bunny and flowers

Ezra Jack Keats’ birthday is March 11, author of the Snowy Day.  He was born March 11, snowy day1916, and died May 6, 1983.   A Caldecott Winter, The Snowy Day tops the New York Public Library All Time Check-out List.

St Patrick’s Day is March 17. Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

st patricks day

st joseph and jesusSt Joseph’s Day, when the sparrows return to  San Juan Capistrano is March 19. Also called the Feast of Saint Joseph,  in Western Christianity, it is the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ.

World Poetry Day is March 21.  Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

magnetic fridge poetry

Randolph Caldecott’s birthday is March 22. Randolph Caldecott was an English artist and Caldecott Awardillustrator, born in Chester. The Caldecott Medal was named in his honour. He exercised his art chiefly in book illustrations. His abilities as an artist were promptly and generously recognised by the Royal Academy. The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Reblog: UVA Exhibit Celebrates Black Sisterhood through the Centuries

Photo of a book by Elizabeth Beckly.  She was born a slave in Virginia and became Mary Todd Lincoln’s modiste  or dressmaker, confidant and friend in the White House.

For centuries, women have often had to rely on each.

From family photos to soul groups’ album covers, a new exhibit in the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library pays tribute to the powerful stories of African American women – from their daily lives, alone and together, to groundbreaking successes, locally and on the national stage.

Combing through the library’s manuscript collections and University Archives, staff members Ervin Jordan, Regina Rush and Sony Prosper brought together 70 photos, documents and artifacts in honor of Black History Month and last year’s 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to what would become Virginia.
Related Story
Snapshots of Local History, Displayed Anew

The exhibit, located in the two long cases on the walls outside the Rare Book Room in the Harrison/Small building, will be on display until June 13.

Jordan, an associate professor and research archivist, along with Rush, a reference librarian, and Prosper, resident librarian, organized the exhibit around five themes: “Black UVA Women: Being First,” “Charlottesville-Albemarle Women: Groundbreakers on the Homefront,” “Artwork & Authors: Black Female Voices and Faces,” “Fashions & Livelihoods: The Way They Wore” and “Love, Marriage & Family: The Ties that Bind.”

Coat and Tie Rebellion–February 16, 1969

Only at UVA would you have a  1960’s protest in Coat and Tie.

From President Ryan’s tweet announcing new historic markers on UVA’s ground.

Another marker near the Rotunda will commemorate the “Coat and Tie Rebellion” on Feb. 16, 1969, when students staged an anti-war and pro-civil rights demonstration intended to show widespread support from the student body. Hundreds rallied in coats and ties, a nod to traditional dress code, and presented 11 demands to then-President Edgar Shannon, calling for an increase in black student enrollment, an African American dean of admissions, a black studies program, and union efforts for University workers. The demonstration helped to build momentum around efforts to make UVA a more welcoming place for students of all backgrounds.

From the Virginia magazine Antiwar Stories:  May Days, 1970:  The Week that  Would Change UVA Forever” by  Ernie Gates

Protesting on the Lawn outside the Board of Visitors meeting on Feb. 15, about 150 students called for the board to be remade to reflect the makeup of Virginia by race, gender and income level. Pointedly, they demanded the ouster of board member C. Stuart Wheatley (Law ’30), who as a state legislator had supported the state’s racist policy of Massive Resistance to school integration. In his Virginia Commonwealth University master’s thesis on the growth of the New Left at UVA, Thomas M. Hanna (Col ’34) notes that some moderates reacted immediately to support the radicals’ demands but not their style. A consensus was forming.

The next day, a meeting in Rosen’s room on the Lawn produced the Student Coalition, which encompassed establishment liberals, antiwar radicals and fraternity leaders. In his recent UVA memoir, From Rebel Yell to Revolution, Joel Gardner (Col ’70, Law ’74) cites this meeting as a turning point. “The key,” writes Gardner, who is not related to the activist Tom Gardner, “was to forcefully demonstrate that the forthcoming actions of the coalition did not represent the ideas of wide-eyed radicals and agitators, and that support for stronger actions to address the racial issues at the University was widespread.”

In the next two days, hundreds of students responded to the coalition’s call to rally at the Rotunda, in what became known as the “Coat and Tie Rebellion” because its dress code matched the traditional Old U standard. Rosen, who now practices law in his native Charleston, South Carolina, says, “I was the good liberal. We’re going to wear coats and ties. The whole idea of the coalition was to get the majority of students on our side.” Half-joking, he recalls the purpose as, “Let’s get all the real people, not just the scrungy communists.”

NPS Program: Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

The success of the movie Harriet, has brought the Underground Railroad back into the public consciousness. A couple of years ago, Colson Whitehead wrote a fictional book about the Underground Railroad.  Despite including a literal (if fictitious) underground railroad, the book won the Pulitzer prize in 2017.  To learn more about the real Underground Railroad….

In 1998, legislation titled, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998, was passed, creating the Network to Freedom program. It’s mission, through collaboration with local, state and federal entities, as well as individuals and organizations, is to honor, preserve and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, which continues to inspire people worldwide. Through its mission, the Network to Freedom helps to advance the idea that all human beings embrace the right to self-determination and freedom from oppression.

Underground Railroad Memorial

From Wikipedia, “The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19 century, and used by enslaved African-Americans to escape into free states and Canada. The scheme was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees.”

Scholastic has a  teacher’s guide about the many  myths surrounding the Underground Railroad including the supposition that abolitionists were the main workers on the Railroad, that there was a single route North, and that most slaves waited for a conductor like Harriet Tubman to come free them.

Days to Celebrate in February

The Roman month Februarius was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC) when it became the second month. At certain times February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was occasionally inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.

American Heart MonthFebruary is American Heart Month.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

How can American Heart Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.2.
  2. Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
  3. Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.

african american history monthFebruary is also African-American History Month.

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid-century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Ground Hog Day is celebrated on February 2.  It is also called Candlemas or Imbolc.
Ground Hogs are also known as whistle pigs or woodchucks.

February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s 211th birthday. Lincoln was the 16th president of the lincoln27sbirthdayUnited States and president during the American Civil War. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, dying the following day on April 15.

Valentine’s Day is February 14. It began as a bloody pagan festival.

During the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for a year.

For more Valentine’s Day Facts, click here

valentine book page.

Although Washington’s birthday is actually February 22, we celebrate President’s Day on the third Monday in February. In 2020 that is February 17. The history of President’s Day 2020 dates back to the year 1800, following the death of President George Washington in 1799. His birthday on February 22 became a significant day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was recognized as the most important figure in American history.

February 18 is National Drink Wine Day.


The purpose of National Drink Wine Day is to spread the love and health benefits of wine.  Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships.  We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life.

Now that I can drink to! What type of wine do you like best?

February 29 is Leap Day.  It occurs once every four years.  If it’s  Leap Year, then Americans elect their president and the Summer Olympics are held.  It is also known as St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.

A Quote to Ponder

alexander hamilton statueWhen a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.  Alexander Hamilton (and it’s not from the musical.)

January 26 is National Spouses Day

National Spouses Day:

is an unofficial holiday which encourages couples to celebrate each other on this day. On this day, people are supposed to take time out of their busy schedule to show just how important their spouse is to them. After all, the love that isn’t tended is most likely the one that doesn’t thrive. This holiday shouldn’t be confused with Military Spouses Day – a holiday which falls on May 12th.

Interesting Facts About Marriage

  • The average married couple has sex once a week
  • 20% of married couples have a sex-less marriage
  • It’s legal to marry someone who is dead in France
  • Over 300 couples marry in Las Vegas every single day
  • The 3rd year of marriage is usually the happiest for most couples
  • Every hour, there are a 100 divorces in the United States
  • Interracial marriage was banned in the U.S up until 1967  (Ironcially, it was a couple called Loving that brought this to an end. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down laws banning interracial marriage as violations of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)
  • Gamophobia is the fear of commitment
  • Wedding rings go back to Ancient Egypt

Marriage as handcuffs

How are you going to celebrate?

Maps That You May Have Seen Before

From a multi forwarded email so I don’t know its origins.
1. This map shows the world divided into 7 sections (each with distinct color)  —  each section containing  1 billion people.
2. This map shows (   in white)   where 98 percent of Australia ‘s entire population lives.    
3. It may not come as a surprise   ,   but more people live inside the circle than outside it.   
4. This map shows what is on the other side of the world from where you’re standing.  For the most part   ,   it’s water.   
5. Apparently you can’t get Big Macs everywhere.  This map shows (   in red   ) the countries that have McDonalds.   
6. This map shows the countries (   in blue   ) where people drive on the left side of the road.   
7. This map shows countries (   in white   ) that England has never invaded  There are only 22   (in the whole world)!   
9. This map shows the countries that  have “   heavily restricted  access” to the  Internet in 2013.   
1   0. This map shows (   in red   ) countries that were all Communist at one point in time.   
11. This map shows (   in red   ) the countries that don’t use the metric system.   
12. This map shows (   in blue   ) places where Google  street view is available.   

13. This map shows (   in green   ) all the landlocked countries of the world.   
14.   And this is what the world would look like      if all the countries with coastlines sank.   
15. This is a map of the all the rivers in the United States.   
16.   And these are all the rivers that feed into the Mississippi River   
17.This is a map of the highest paid public employees in the US.  (   It is q   uite telling as to wh   ere   our ‘priorities’  lie   .)   
18. This map shows how much space the United States would occupy on the moon.