Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia

A cloth painting of the Virgin Mary is the focus of a yearly celebration in the Dominican Republic. It was painted by a Spanish artist and brought to the Dominican Republic in the early 1500s. The portrait, which was crowned by a gold and silver tiara by Pope John Paul II in 1978, is located in a basilica in the city of Higuey, in the province of Altagracia. Every year on January 21, thousands of pilgrims visit the Higuey cathedral to worship. The feast day is a national holiday and is marked by all-night church services, singing, dancing, and festivals. Discuss
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Allan Haines Lockheed (1889)

Though Malcolm and Allan Loughead attended only elementary school, the mechanically gifted brothers built their first airplane in 1913. Malcolm soon left the industry, but Allan persisted. Though several of his aircraft companies failed, his name—with the spelling changed to Lockheed—would eventually be connected to one of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturers. Who once turned down a flight in Lockheed’s first plane by saying he would not fly in any plane “for all the money in California”? Discuss
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Azerbaijan Day of the Martyrs

On January 20, 1990, Soviet troops entered the Azerbaijan capital city of Baku to quell protests by Azerbaijani nationals, who were agitating for freedom from Soviet rule. Soviet soldiers were responsible for the deaths of 131 people, and the events have come to be known as “Black January.” The national holiday on January 20 honors those who died at the hands of the Soviet troops. Flags are flown at half-mast across the country, and the tragedy is commemorated at Martyrs’ Lane, where photographs of the victims decorate the tombstones and the president lays a wreath at the Eternal Fire.
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Because the Ethiopian Christmas, Ganna, falls on January 7, Epiphany (Timqat) is celebrated on January 19. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. It begins at sunset on Epiphany Eve, when people dress in white and go to their local church. From there, they form a procession with the tabot, or holy ark, in which the ancient Israelites put the Tablets of the Law, or Torah. They accompany it to a lake, stream, or pond. It is placed in a tent, where it is guarded all night while the clergy and villagers sing, dance, and eat until the baptismal service the following morning. Discuss
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Janis Joplin (1943)

Joplin began singing folk rock in Texas bars after running away from home at the age of 17. In 1966, she moved to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band catapulted Joplin to stardom. By the late 1960s, she was almost as well known for her unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, memorable vocals. Before her death from a heroin overdose at 27, she released hit albums with two other bands beside Big Brother. What were they called? Discuss
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