Portuguese Restoration War Begins (1640)

Following the death of Henry, the cardinal-king of Portugal, in 1580, Philip II of Spain assumed control of Portugal by force of arms. The “Spanish captivity” lasted for 60 years. Finally, in 1640, the Portuguese took advantage of Philip IV’s preoccupation with a rebellion in Catalonia and revolted. The Portuguese dethroned him and reclaimed independence for Portugal. Undeterred, Philip fought for decades to regain control of Portugal. When did Spain finally recognize Portugal’s independence? Discuss
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Advent (Germany)

Many German households observe Advent with an Advent wreath. Traditionally fashioned from a fir branch entwined with gold and silver ribbons or bits of red thread, the wreaths also contain holders for four candles. German families display the wreath on a tabletop or suspend it from the ceiling. One candle is lit on each of the Sundays in Advent. Many German households light a “Star of Seven,” a seven-branched candelabrum, on Christmas Eve, and at midnight carry the lit “star” though the dark to the village church for the Christmas Eve service. Discuss
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Louis Allen “Lou” Rawls (1933)

Rawls was an American soul, jazz, and blues singer known for his smooth vocal style. He began singing in his church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local Chicago groups. Though he was pronounced dead after a severe car accident in 1958 that left him in a coma for several days, he recovered and went on to enjoy a successful career, winning multiple Grammy Awards and selling more than 40 million records. Who once credited Rawls with having the “silkiest chops in the singing game”? Discuss
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The Blue Angels

In 1946, the US Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as the Blue Angels, performed for the first time. Intended to enhance Navy recruiting and to represent American armed forces as international ambassadors of good will, the Blue Angels perform aerial demonstrations involving highly precise maneuvers while flying in formation. During the stunts, the jets can sometimes come within 18 inches of each other. Why is it that pilots in the Blue Angels squadron do not wear G-suits? Discuss
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