Tag Archives: US History

Giving Thanks.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

The tradition was started in the year 1621 when the surviving Pilgrims on the Mayflower celebrated a fruitful harvest and 90 members of a neighboring Wampanoag tribe joined in the celebration and feast. It was first declared a holiday by the Continental Congress in 1777.

While the holiday has changed significantly over the last 400 years, we hope that however you may celebrate, the spirit of thankfulness and love for our neighbors will rule the day.

Imagine how different our country might have been if the Wampanoag had refused to help the Pilgrims that first winter?

It seems today, more than ever, we all could use a little reminding of our history in this country and that apart from a very small minority of Americans, everyone’s ancestors hailed from some place far away. But let us not speak of politics, let us focus on the positive, on the love, and on the spirit of what Thanksgiving means.

 

thanksgiving ecard

 

You can read more about the details of the first Thanksgiving, including all the names of the Pilgrims in attendance of that first fateful meal by clicking here.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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March On NYC.

Dear Friends,

On Monday, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and we find that so many of his profound words still have so much meaning in today’s world.
One of his most famous quotes reads: Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

And it is in that spirit that we are writing to you. The Women’s March Alliance is organizing a march this Saturday and we wanted to urgently invite you to join. We received the following email yesterday from ATPAM:

Dear Member of ATPAM –

I invite you to join IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb, myself and sisters and brothers from other IATSE NY area locals as we take to the streets for the New York City Women’s March this coming Saturday, January 20. The march begins at 11am and will go down Central Park West, across Central Park South and down 6th Avenue, ending at 43rd Street at around 4pm.

Meeting place for the IATSE cohort will be on Central Park West between 65th and 66th Streets, near the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Look for the IATSE signs!

Bring a sign (no wood or metal), do your vocal warmups (so they can hear us down in Washington!) and keep an eye on the weather reports to dress accordingly. Comfortable shoes are a must.

If you can’t attend the march in New York, check with your local labor council – either city or state – to find out where people are marching in your area.

Let’s keep the pressure on and continue to make noise about issues that affect working men and women across this country.

I hope to see you on Saturday!

In solidarity,

Nick

We suggest that you support this powerful movement—even if you cannot make it to the march, there are many ways to support it. For you, for your daughters, for your mothers, for your sisters, for your great-great-granddaughters.

To join the march (which starts right outside our door step!), donate to the cause or learn more click here: https://womensmarchalliance.org/2018-womens-march-on-nyc/

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

 

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Pearl Harbor

Dear Friends,

Today is December 08, 2017—one day and 76 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our entry into WWII.

I remember the day so well, exactly where I was standing by a building up in Connecticut about 2:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  What an incredible shock!

In recent years, I visited the War Memorial in Honolulu—built where the battleship, USS Arizona was sunk with 1,700 sailors on board.  The Memorial is quite lovely and poignant and very significant.

It seems so easy to forget a war that happened nearly 80 years ago.  How many wars have we had since then? How about Vietnam?  Every now and then when I happen to see a map of the Far East, I ask myself “how in God’s name could we have gone there and done that?”

A woman who worked for my parents was married to a man who died in the Bataan death march, where 700 American soldiers were marched through the Philippines shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Please forgive all of these musings.  The resulting thought is, of course, why?  Why do we have to get into wars?  Why do so many people have to die?  Now we have North Korea so eager to do so—they are reported in the paper today as saying “we have to go to war very soon.”

I guess they don’t remember Pearl Harbor, where 2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded.  Nor must they remember 340,000 Japanese who died because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 06 and August 09, 1945 respectively.  Nor do they remember the nearly 1.4 million people who died in the Vietnam War.

We cannot forget—or we are doomed to repeat history.  What can we do?

Sincerely,
Philip and Marilyn

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The Power of Theatre

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to discuss with you an incredible theatre happening that occurred a couple of weeks ago:

It is the conflict between The Theatre, as represented by Hamilton, and the Government-to-be, as represented by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence.

As you all know, Vice President-Elect Pence went to a performance of Hamilton where he was specifically addressed by the cast at the end of the performance (their spokesperson being Brandon Dixon).

Mr. Dixon made a plea to Vice President-Elect Pence–as a representative of our new government starting 20th of January.  The cast requested that Vice President-Elect Pence look out for their interests, aka those of the common people.  While Mr. Pence was walking out of the theatre at the time of the speech, he stopped and listened to what Mr. Harris had to say.

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To us, it is a fascinating happening.  It is The Theatre showing its influence on our world.  Not only in the message that the play itself gives the audience, but in this historic case, the actors themselves sent out a message that was viewed—thanks to social media—all around the world.  Theatres have often had an effect on society in the past, starting with William Shakespeare himself.

Personally, we experienced this in mid-1950s with McCarthyism.  At a time when everyone was afraid of being locked up for being a Communist, Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible, which was set during the Salem Witch Trials but in fact, was the very replica of what was happening in America at that time.  The play was so sensational that Miller was interrogated by the US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities!

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President-Elect Trump’s comments aside, we do hope that Vice President-Elect Pence will take these words to heart.  Not as an attack, but as a plea from those who have real concerns for the ideals and path that the new administration seems to be leading us down in order to “make America great again.”  We have always looked to the theatre to lead in voicing current political concerns and we are very proud of the cast of Hamilton for continuing this tradition!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Go Vote.

Dear Friends,

As you know, tomorrow will be historical in that for the first time ever The United States will have a woman on the ballot, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Is she perfect?

No, she is not.  No one is, especially when under the scrutiny that she has endured over the years.  But of all the candidates who are on the ballot is by far the most qualified for the position of President of the United States.

Hillary has spent her life trying to make this country better and that is why we are with her.

with-her

But that’s not entirely why we are here today.  We are also here to urge you to go vote.  Voter turn-out for Presidential Elections hovers at an appalling 50% of the population eligible to vote.  50%!  Unlike many countries where voting is mandatory, here in the United States it is not.  Thus, rather than electing officials that are a true representation of what the people want, we elect officials based on what 50% of the population wants.

If you truly don’t like the political path this country is on—and we think that was shown by the Republican shirking all their top party officials to nominate a businessman—then make the time to go vote.  Not just for President, but for Federal and State Congressman and Senators, for the Mayor of your town, for the County Judge.  It all starts with a vote—your vote.  Yes, lines will be long but isn’t it worth standing in line to have your voice heard?

We are voting at 4pm tomorrow, how about you?

Be heard.  Be a part of history.  Go vote.

uncle-sam-vote

Best regards,

Philip and Marilyn Langner

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate the birth of America, we’d like to share with you our post from last year…

Happy July 4th!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Happy 4th of July!

On this date 239 years ago, 13 British colonies decided to declare their independence from England by adopting The Declaration of Independence and forming the sovereign state of The United States of America.

declaration_of_independence_stone_630
There was such passion and poetry in this historical document that we believe it is really worth taking a few minutes to read it (photo above and transcript below courtesy of The National Archives). By the way, the 13 colonies were having all sorts of arguments about it (just like we’re arguing today). While the arguments may have changed, they are no more or less important in that they (opinions of everyone) are what have formed this amazing country we call home.
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IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to…

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