Susan B. Anthony Day
Susan B. Anthony Day is a commemorative holiday to celebrate the birth of Susan B. Anthony and women's suffrage in the United States; the holiday is February 15—Anthony's birthday. The idea of honoring Susan B. Anthony with a holiday has only been around since 2011 when Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced the Susan B. Anthony Birthday Act, H. R.#655. Today, only the U. S. state of Florida has the holiday enacted with state offices closed. In the state of Wisconsin, Susan B. Anthony Day is an established state holiday, enacted into law April 15, 1976, from the 1975 Laws of Wisconsin, Chapter 307, section 20. In West Virginia, this day is celebrated on Election Day on years; this holiday is not celebrated at a national level. In 1985, The Seattle Times reported on a campaign to establish the holiday as one celebrated nationally; the U. S. state of California has made this day a legal holiday as of 2014. In 2004, New York governor George Pataki signed legislation. On February 11, 2011, Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York introduced the "Susan B.
Anthony Birthday Act" to the 112th session of Congress to honor the birthday as a U. S. national holiday on the third Monday of February. The bill was not enacted and its current status is "dead". Susan B. Anthony is known for her leadership in the long campaign for women's right to vote in the United States and abroad, she indicated her interest as early as 1852, when she attended the National Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse, New York. She was a vigorous opponent of slavery. In 1863, during the American Civil War and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Women's Loyal National League, the first national women's political organization in the U. S, it collected nearly 400,000 signatures on petitions to abolish slavery in the largest petition drive in the nation's history up to that time. By the end of the Civil War," according to historian Ann D. Gordon, "Susan B. Anthony occupied new political territory, she was emerging on the national scene as a female leader, something new in American history, she did so as a single woman in a culture that perceived the spinster as anomalous and unguarded...
By the 1880s, she was among the senior political figures in the United States."After the Civil War, Anthony worked for women's suffrage, the legal right of women to vote. This right was established over the course of several decades, first in various states and localities, sometimes on a limited basis, it was established nationally in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent, a friend of Anthony's; the amendment was popularly known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in recognition of her leadership in achieving its passage, she died in 1906. Public holidays in the United States Rosa Parks Day National Girls and Women in Sports Day International Women's Day, Harriet Tubman Day Helen Keller Day Women's Equality Day Martin Luther King Jr. Day Malcolm X Day Cesar Chavez Day Harvey Milk Day Susan B. Anthony Day Merriam Webster definition of Susan B. Anthony Day Susan B. Anthony had her Day yesterday Celebrating Women's History Feb. 15th is Susan B.
Anthony Day On this day in History - Prof. Boerner's Explorations President's Day Open Thread Wisconsin Public Schools Observance Day
In the United States, Super Tuesday, in general, refers informally to one or more Tuesdays early in a United States presidential primary season when the greatest number of U. S. states hold primary caucuses. More delegates to the presidential nominating conventions can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day of the primary calendar. Since Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses are held in a large number of states from geographically and diverse regions of the country, it represents a presidential candidate's first test of national electability. Thus, candidates seeking the presidency traditionally must do well on this day to help secure their party's nomination. In fact, convincing wins in Super Tuesday primaries have propelled candidates to their party's nomination. Super Tuesday is in either March of the presidential election year. During the 2016 election year, Super Tuesday was held on March 1; the particular states holding primaries on Super Tuesday have varied from year to year since each state decides separately.
Some years have had more than one Super Tuesday. In 2008, Super Tuesday was February 5 when 24 states held primaries or caucuses on this date, with 52% of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 49% of the total Republican Party delegates at stake; the phrase "Super Tuesday" has been used to refer to presidential primary elections since at least 1976. It is an unofficial term used by political pundits. In 2016, this date was dubbed the "SEC Primary" since many of the participating states are represented in the Southeastern Conference, one of the country's major collegiate athletic conferences. Tuesday is the traditional day for elections in the United States, a prime example being Election Day in the United States. United States politics are dominated by two major political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties, who choose their presidential candidates in nominating conventions attended by delegates from states. State law determines how each parties' delegates are chosen in that state including by either a primary election or a caucus and on what date those contests are held.
State governments are free to choose. With the broadened use of the modern presidential primary system, states have tried to increase their influence in the nomination process. One tactic has been to create geographic blocs to encourage candidates to spend time in a region. One motivation for the creation of Super Tuesday has been criticism and reform proposals of the current primary system many of which argue for creating a National Primary or a regional primary, such as the Rotating Regional Primary System adopted by the National Association of Secretaries of State in 1999, among other proposals; the 1984 primary season had three "Super Tuesdays". Decided on "Super Tuesday III" were delegates from five states: South Dakota, New Mexico, West Virginia and New Jersey; the proportional nature of delegate selection meant that Walter Mondale was to obtain enough delegates on that day to win the nomination at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, no matter who won the states contested. However, Gary Hart maintained that unpledged superdelegates that had announced support for Mondale would shift to his side if he swept the Super Tuesday III primary.
Once again, Hart committed a faux pas. Campaigning in California, he remarked that while the "bad news" was that he and his wife Lee had to campaign separately, "he good news for her is that she campaigns in California while I campaign in New Jersey." Compounding the problem, when his wife interjected that she "got to hold a koala bear", Hart replied that "I won't tell you what I got to hold: samples from a toxic waste dump." While Hart won California, he lost New Jersey after leading in polls by as much as 15 points. Mondale secured the majority of delegates from the primaries, leading the way for him to take the Democratic nomination. In the 1984 Republican Party primaries, incumbent President Ronald Reagan was the only candidate to secure delegates; the phrase "Super Tuesday" was next used to describe the primary elections that took place on March 8, 1988, in the Southern states of Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Georgia leading up to the 1988 November election. In the 1988 Democratic Party primaries, Southern Democrats came up with the idea of a regional primary in an effort to nominate a moderate candidate who would more represent their interests.
However, Dick Gephardt, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis split the Super Tuesday primaries, Dukakis was subsequently nominated. Meanwhile, George H. W. Bush secured most of the delegates in the 1988 Republican Party primaries. From 1996 to 2004, most of these Southern primaries were held the week after Super Tuesday, dubbed "Southern Tuesday" by news commentators. In 1992, Super Tuesday was on March 10. After losing earlier primaries, Democrat Bill Clinton won a number of Southern primaries on Super Tuesday en route to winning the 1992 Democratic nomination and the presidency. On the other hand, incumbent George H. W. Bush, faced opposition from Pat Buchanan in the Republican primaries that year. In 1996, Super Tuesday was on March 12. Bob Dole's swept Super Tuesday en route to his bid for the 1996 Republican nomination. Clinton, the incumbent president, secured all the delegates in the 1996 Democratic primaries. In 2000, Super Tuesday was on March 7. Sixteen states held primaries on Super Tuesday, the largest presidential primary election day in U.
S. history up to that point. In 2000 81
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. This is a town- or city-level meeting where decisions are made, in contrast with town hall meetings held by state and national politicians to answer questions from their constituents, which have no decision-making power. Town meeting is a form of local government practiced in the U. S. region of New England since colonial times, in some western states since at least the late 19th century. Conducted by New England towns, town meeting can refer to meetings of other governmental bodies, such as school districts or water districts. While the uses and laws vary from state to state, the general form is for residents of the town or school district to gather once a year and act as a legislative body, voting on operating budgets and other matters for the community's operation over the following 12 months.
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau said, in a speech entitled "Slavery in Massachusetts": When, in some obscure country town, the farmers come together to a special town-meeting, to express their opinion on some subject, vexing the land, that, I think, is the true Congress, the most respectable one, assembled in the United States. The painting Freedom of Speech depicts a scene from a town meeting; the Puritans, whose churches used the Congregationalist church governance sysytem, established town meetings when they established the various New England colonies. Its usage in the English language can cause confusion, since it is both an event, as in "Freetown had its town meeting last Tuesday", an entity, as in "Last Tuesday, Town Meeting decided to repave Howland Road." In modern times, "town meeting" has been used by political groups and political candidates as a label for moderated discussion group in which a large audience is invited. To avoid confusion, this sort of event is called a "town hall meeting."
Connecticut town meetings are bound to a published agenda. For example, in Connecticut, a Town Meeting may discuss, but not alter, an article placed before them, nor may they place new items on the agenda. If a Town Meeting rejects a budget, a new Town Meeting must be called to consider the next proposed budget. State Law allows the Board of Selectmen to adopt an estimated tax rate and continue operating based on the previous budget in the event a Town Meeting has not adopted a new budget in time, they do not exercise the scope of legislative powers as is seen in Massachusetts. A moderator is chosen at each meeting. Meetings are held in school auditoriums, however they may be moved to larger venues as needed. Town meetings can physically meet in another town if necessary to find a proper space to host the attendance. Votes are taken by voice, if close by show of hands. Meetings on controversial topics are adjourned to a referendum conducted by machine vote on a date in the future; such adjournment may come from the floor of the meeting, or by a petition for a paper or machine ballot filed before the meeting.
In towns with an Open Town Meeting, all registered voters of a town, all persons owning at least $1,000 of taxable property, are eligible to participate in and vote at Town Meetings, with the exception of the election of officials. Representative Town Meetings used by some larger towns consist of a large number of members elected to office; some towns utilize a so-called Financial Town Meeting, where an Open Town Meeting exists with limited jurisdiction to only vote on financial affairs and the town's legislative powers have been vested in a Town Council. In Maine, the town meeting system originated during the period when Maine was a district of Massachusetts. Most cities and towns operate under a modified version of it. Maine annual town meetings traditionally are held in March. Special town meetings may be called from time to time; the executive agency of town government is an elected, part-time board, known as the Board of Selectmen or Select Board, having three, five, or seven members. Between sessions, the board of selectmen interprets the policy set at Town Meeting and is assigned numerous duties including: approving all town non-school expenditures, authorizing highway construction and repair, serving as town purchasing agent for non-school items, issuing licenses, overseeing the conduct of all town activities.
The part-time selectmen serve as town assessors, overseers of the poor, as road commissioners. There are other elected town officers whose duties are specified by law; these may include clerks, tax collector, school committee and others. In 1927 the town of Camden adopted a special charter, became the first Maine town to apply the manager concept to the town meeting-selectmen framework. Under this system, the manager is administrative head of town government, responsible to the select board for the administration of all departments under its control; the manager's duties include acting as purchasing agent, seeing that laws and ordinances are enforced, making appointments and removals, fixing the compensation of appointees. From 1927 to 1939, eleven other Maine towns adopted special act town meeting-selectmen-
Easter called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and penance. Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension. Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun.
The First Council of Nicaea established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified, it has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, decorating Easter eggs; the Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, Easter parades.
There are various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally. The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern Dutch ooster and German Ostern, developed from an Old English word that appears in the form Ēastrun, -on, or -an; the most accepted theory of the origin of the term is that it is derived from the name of an Old English goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-century English monk Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says "was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month". In Latin and Greek, the Christian celebration was, still is, called Pascha, a word derived from Aramaic פסחא, cognate to Hebrew פֶּסַח; the word denoted the Jewish festival known in English as Passover, commemorating the Jewish Exodus from slavery in Egypt. As early as the 50s of the 1st century, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term to Christ, it is unlikely that the Ephesian and Corinthian Christians were the first to hear Exodus 12 interpreted as speaking about the death of Jesus, not just about the Jewish Passover ritual.
In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha. Pascha is a name by which Jesus himself is remembered in the Orthodox Church in connection with his resurrection and with the season of its celebration; the New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is one of the chief tenets of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will righteously judge the world. For those who trust in Jesus' death and resurrection, "death is swallowed up in victory." Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation. Easter is linked to Passover and the Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion of Jesus that preceded the resurrection.
According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as in the upper room during the Last Supper he prepared himself and his disciples for his death. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; the first Christians and Gentile, were aware of the Hebrew calendar. Jewish Christians, the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, timed the observance in relation to Passover. Direct evidence for a more formed Christian festival of Pascha begins to appear in the mid-2nd century; the earliest extant primary source referring to East
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover, it is known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday. Members of many Christian denominations, including the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services; the date of Good Friday varies from one year to the next on both the Julian calendars. Eastern and Western Christianity disagree over the computation of the date of Easter and therefore of Good Friday. Good Friday is a instituted legal holiday around the world, including in most Western countries and 12 U. S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day. A common folk etymology claims "Good Friday" is a corruption of "God Friday".
The term in fact comes from the sense "holy" of the word good. The Oxford English Dictionary gives other examples with the sense "of a day or season observed as holy by the church" as an archaic sense of good as in good tide meaning "Christmas" or "Shrove Tuesday", Good Wednesday meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week. In German-speaking countries, Good Friday is referred to as Karfreitag: Mourning Friday; the Kar prefix is a cognate of the English word "care" in the sense of woes. The day is known as Stiller Freitag and Hoher Freitag. In the Nordic countries it is called "The Long Friday". In Greek and Hungarian, Good Friday is referred to as Great Friday. In Bulgarian, Good Friday is called either Велики петък - Great Friday, or, more Разпети петък which translates to "Crucified Friday". According to the accounts in the Gospels, the royal soldiers, guided by Jesus' disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas received money for betraying Jesus and told the guards that whomever he kisses is the one they are to arrest.
Following his arrest, Jesus was taken to the house of Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas. There he was interrogated with little result and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest where the Sanhedrin had assembled. Conflicting testimony against Jesus was brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answered nothing; the high priest adjured Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying "I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?" Jesus testified ambiguously, "You have said it, in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven." The high priest condemned Jesus for blasphemy, the Sanhedrin concurred with a sentence of death. Peter, waiting in the courtyard denied Jesus three times to bystanders while the interrogations were proceeding just as Jesus had predicted. In the morning, the whole assembly brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, making himself a king.
Pilate authorized the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own law and execute sentencing. Pilate told the assembly that there was no basis for sentencing. Upon learning that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate referred the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Herod received no answer. Pilate told the assembly. Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asked for Barabbas, imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection. Pilate asked what they would have him do with Jesus, they demanded, "Crucify him". Pilate's wife had seen Jesus in a dream earlier that day, she forewarned Pilate to "have nothing to do with this righteous man". Pilate had Jesus flogged and brought him out to the crowd to release him; the chief priests informed Pilate of a new charge, demanding Jesus be sentenced to death "because he claimed to be God's son." This possibility filled Pilate with fear, he brought Jesus back inside the palace and demanded to know from where he came.
Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his own hands in water to show he had no part in this condemnation. Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot and to keep his job; the sentence written was "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Jesus carried his cross to the site of execution, called the "place of the Skull", or "Golgotha" in Hebrew and in Latin "Calvary". There he was crucified along with two criminals. Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. During his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3 pm, darkness fell over the whole land. Jesus spoke from the cross, quoting the messianic Psalm 22: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" With a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit. There was an earthquake
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, earlier served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. A determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, was praised for his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of State during the American Civil War. Seward was owned slaves, he was moved to the Central New York town of Auburn. Seward was elected to the New York State Senate in 1830 as an Anti-Mason. Four years he became the gubernatorial nominee of the Whig Party. Though he was not successful in that race, Seward was elected governor in 1838 and won a second two-year term in 1840. During this period, he signed several laws that advanced the rights and opportunities for black residents, as well as guaranteeing fugitive slaves jury trials in the state; the legislation protected abolitionists, he used his position to intervene in cases of freed black people who were enslaved in the South.
After many years of practicing law in Auburn, he was elected by the state legislature to the U. S. Senate in 1849. Seward's strong stances and provocative words against slavery brought, he was re-elected to the Senate in 1855, soon joined the nascent Republican Party, becoming one of its leading figures. As the 1860 presidential election approached, he was regarded as the leading candidate for the Republican nomination. Several factors, including attitudes to his vocal opposition to slavery, his support for immigrants and Catholics, his association with editor and political boss Thurlow Weed, worked against him and Abraham Lincoln secured the presidential nomination. Although devastated by his loss, he campaigned for Lincoln, elected and appointed him Secretary of State. Seward did his best to stop the southern states from seceding, his firm stance against foreign intervention in the Civil War helped deter the United Kingdom and France from entering the conflict and gaining the independence of the Confederate States.
He was one of the targets of the 1865 assassination plot that killed Lincoln, was wounded by conspirator Lewis Powell. Seward remained loyally at his post through the presidency of Andrew Johnson, during which he negotiated the Alaska Purchase in 1867 and supported Johnson during his impeachment, his contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as "one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints." Seward was born in on May 1801, in the small community of Florida, New York, in Orange County. He was the fourth son of his wife Mary Seward. Samuel Seward was a wealthy slaveholder in New York State. Florida was located some 60 miles north of New York City, west of the Hudson River, was a small rural village of a dozen homes. Young Seward attended school there, in the nearby county seat of Goshen, he was a bright student. In years, one of the former family slaves would relate that instead of running away from school to go home, Seward would run away from home to go to school.
At the age of 15, Henry—he was known by his middle name as a boy—was sent to Union College in Schenectady, New York. Admitted to the sophomore class, Seward was an outstanding student and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Seward's fellow students included Richard M. Blatchford, who became a lifelong legal and political associate. Samuel Seward kept his son short on cash, in December 1818—during the middle of Henry's final year at Union—the two quarreled about money; the younger Seward returned to Schenectady, but soon left school in company with a fellow student, Alvah Wilson. The two took a ship from New York to Georgia, where Wilson had been offered a job as rector, or principal, of a new academy in rural Putnam County. En route, Wilson took a job at another school, leaving Seward to continue on to Eatonton in Putnam County; the trustees interviewed the 17-year-old Seward, found his qualifications acceptable. Seward enjoyed his time in Georgia, where he was accepted as an adult for the first time in his life.
He was treated hospitably, but witnessed the ill-treatment of slaves. Seward was persuaded to return to New York by his family, did so in June 1819; as it was too late for him to graduate with his class, he studied law at an attorney's office in Goshen before returning to Union College, securing his degree with highest honors in June 1820. After graduation, Seward spent much of the following two years studying law in Goshen and New York City with attorneys John Duer, John Anthon and Ogden Hoffman, he passed the bar examination in late 1822. He could have practiced in Goshen, but he disliked the town and sought a practice in growing Western New York. Seward decided upon Auburn in Cayuga County, about 150 miles west of Albany and 200 miles northwest of Goshen, he joined the practice of retired judge Elijah Miller, whose daughter Frances Adeline Miller was a classmate of his sister Cornelia at Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary. Seward married Frances Miller on October 20, 1824. In 1824, Seward was journeying with his wife to Niagara Falls when one of the wheels on his carriage was damaged while they passed through Rochester.
Among those who came to their aid was local newspaper publisher Thurlow Weed. Seward and Weed would become closer in the years ahead as they found they shared a belief that governm
Mardi Gras in the United States
Mardi Gras in the United States is not observed nationally across the country, however a number of cities and regions in the U. S. have notable Carnival celebrations. Most trace their Mardi Gras celebrations to French and other colonial influences on the settlements over their history; the earliest Carnival celebration in North America occurred at a place on the west bank of the Mississippi river about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today. The earliest organized Carnival celebrations occurred in Mobile, New Orleans, Pensacola, which have each developed separate traditions. In addition, modern activities vary from city to city across the U. S. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a sedate French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair to defend France's claim on the territory of Louisiane, which included what are now the U. S. states of Alabama and Louisiana.
The expedition, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of March 2, 1699, Lundi Gras, not yet knowing it was the river explored and claimed for France by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1683. The party proceeded upstream to a place on the west bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today, where a small tributary emptied into the great river, made camp in what is now Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana; this was on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras day, so in honor of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras and called the small tributary Bayou Mardi Gras. Bienville went on to found Alabama in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana. In 1703 French settlers in that city began to celebrate the Mardi Gras tradition. By 1720, Biloxi was made capital of Louisiana. While it had French settlers, Mardi Gras and other customs were celebrated with more fanfare given its new status. In 1723, the capital of French Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718.
With the growth of New Orleans as a city and the creolization of different cultures, the varied celebration of Mardi Gras became the event most associated with the city. In more recent times, several U. S. cities without a French Catholic heritage have instituted the celebration of Mardi Gras, which sometimes emerged as grassroots movements to help accompany single people to celebrate something in late Winter, dominated by the commercialized and couple-centric Valentine's Day, as a result it has been co-opted as the single people's late Winter holiday. Mardi Gras is an official state holiday in Baldwin counties. Other counties in the state grant employees a day of personal leave in lieu of Mardi Gras. Mobile, founded by Bienville in 1702, is known for having the oldest organized Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States, beginning in 1703, it was host to the first formally organized Mardi Gras parade in the United States in 1830. Mobile's Mardi Gras celebrations revolve around mystic societies, private social organizations that have been a fundamental part of the social and business fabric of the city.
The mystic societies are organizations, similar to krewes in New Orleans, that present parades, masked balls, activities for the enjoyment of its members and the public. Mystic society membership is secret; the mystic societies build colorful Carnival floats and parade throughout downtown Mobile during the Carnival season with masked society members tossing small gifts, known as "throws", to the parade spectators. Throws were first introduced in Mobile during an 1837 Cowbellion de Rakin Society parade, they consisted of sugar plumbs and oranges. Throws may be trinkets, cookies, women's panties, artificial roses, stuffed animals, cups, can coolers, medallion necklaces, bead necklaces of every variety, the iconic Moon Pies. Mobile's mystic societies give formal masquerade balls, known as bal masqués, which are always invitation only and are oriented to adults. Attendance at a ball requires that costume de rigueur, be followed; the formal dress code involves full-length evening gowns for women and white tie with tails for male invited guests, masked costumes for society members.
The balls feature dramatic entertainment, dancing and drinks. Balls are based upon a theme, carried out through scenery, costumes, a tableau vivant. Mobile first celebrated Carnival in 1703 when French settlers began the festivities at the Old Mobile Site. Mobile's first Carnival society was organized in 1704, when Nicholas Langlois founded Société de Saint Louis. In 1711 it was renamed the Boeuf Gras Society. In 1830 Mobile's Cowbellion de Rakin Society was the first formally organized and masked mystic society in the United States to celebrate with a parade; the Cowbellions got their start when Michael Krafft, a cotton factor from Pennsylvania, began a parade with participants' carrying rakes and cowbells. The "Cowbellions" introduced horse-drawn floats to the parades in 1840 with a parade entitled, "Heathen Gods and Goddesses"; the Striker's Independent Society was formed in 1843. It is the oldest surviving mystic krewe in the United States. In 1856 six businessmen of Mobile, gathered at a club room in New Orlean's French Quarter to organize a secret society to observe Mardi Gras