Tom O'Connor Group

Economic and management consulting firm

Labor Day, 2019

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Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September celebrating the economic and social contributions of workers.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike. With the decline in union membership, the holiday is generally viewed as a time for barbecues and the end of summer vacations – and the first long weekend for schools in Fairfax County.

Scottish Railways from the 1930’s

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Railways in Scotland.

The Forth Bridge. Good general views of Glasgow. Trams pass. Buchanan Street, St. Vincent Street. LMS steamer. Dunoon. Street market and fish harbour of Aberdeen. A swing bridge. Loch Lomond pleasure boat trip. Inversnaid.. Coach trip to the Trossachs. Train trip. Oban. Isle of Iona with tourists walking up slipway. The church. Celtic cross. Fort William. Banavie. Loch Ness. Culloden battlefield

The Strathspey Steam Railway

 

We were in Aviemore, Scotland in August of 2015.   I got some good pictures of the train from that bridge – and some photos of the engineer backing the train up.  We were able to get tickets for a train leaving in about 15 minutes.  For the way up to Broomhill, we sat near the front of the train.

 

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We’re “train people” and this trip didn’t disappoint. The steam train went through Boat of Garten and turned around at Broomhill.

It was interesting at Boat of Garten when a couple bike riders stopped and took pictures of us – while we were taking pictures of them.

It was a nice, relaxing trip and I slept most of the way back. We saw River Spey again, sheep, cows, old rolling stock, people on bikes.

From http://www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk/the-journey/

Join us for a truly memorable trip through the heart of the Scottish Highlands, in the stunning surroundings of the Cairngorms National Park! Explore the areas along our line further and discover exactly why the Victorians brought a railway line to this unique area in the 1800s!

It’s roughly 15 minutes of train travel between each station, with a full return trip lasting between 90 minutes and 2 hours (depending on which Station you start your journey at).

You can split your journey up if you wish! Take the morning train in to Boat of Garten and explore its stunning surroundings and take the last train of the day back in to Aviemore!

 

Aviemore

The first departure point along our 9 and a half mile line is Aviemore (we’re at Platform 3 of Aviemore Station!) It’s located in the heart of the Monadhliath and Cairngorm Mountains and is the perfect base for those that love the outdoors and glorious sights! Once the train takes you past the modern architecture of the town, we steam you through heather-clad moores and woodland and alongside the majestic River Spey. 5 miles away lies our second station at Boat!

 

Boat of Garten

As you enter Boat of Garten (also known as The Osprey Village) you will see one of the area’s finest courses at Boat of Garten Golf Club, originally built by locals and railwaymen! The RSPB observation hide at the Osprey Centre lies just 3 miles from the village and it’s certainly worth a visit during summer, when these magnificent birds return from the warmer climates of Africa! There are also plenty of walk and cycle trails, perfect for families, couples or groups exploring the area! The newly opened 1896 Gallery and Cafe is also definitely worth a visit! Be sure to stop off and have a look!

 

Broomhill

5 miles of glorious steam travel from Boat heading north brings you to our Broomhill Station, the current terminus of our line. The Station originally served the nearby villages of Dulnain Bridge and Nethy Bridge on the original Great North of Scotland Railway line. The forests in this area offer real diversity – there’s plenty of wildlife and nature to explore here! And the views from Broomhill are AMAZING! Make sure you get off the train at the Station, get some fantastic scenic pics and meet your engine driver, fireman and get some photos on the footplate!

Our unique heritage railway boasts an incredible history and our line was the first to come to the Scottish Highlands, back in the mid 1800s. The future of our Railway is also of great importance! We’re working very hard to realise the railway’s dream of returning steam trains to Grantown on Spey!

 

 

Adapted from our trip blog post at http://maryoblog.com/2015/09/05/scotland-strathspey-railway/

World’s Highest Rail Track Reached Everest Gateway City

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CNN — The world’s highest railway rolls even closer to Mount Everest this month when China inaugurates a stretch of track connecting the Tibetan cities of Lhasa and Shigatse.

Traversing valleys, mountains and crossing the glacier-fed Brahmaputra River, the line takes in breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and majestic plateaus as it wends from the territory’s capital to its second city.

The track is an extension of the Qinghai-Tibet line — an engineering marvel named the “closest stretch of railway to the sky” after it first carried passengers above 5,000 meters 16,404 feet in 2006.

 

Read more at World’s highest rail track reaches Everest gateway city – CNN.com.

Independence Day, 2019

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Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, “This Land Is Your Land”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and, regionally, “Yankee Doodle” in northeastern states and “Dixie” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

A bit of audio for your listening pleasure, as played by Vladimir Horowitz…

Today is National Flag Day

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On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance.

He chose this date because Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day.

The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day.

Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin.

Memorial Day 2019

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Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after theAmerican Civil War to commemorate the Union andConfederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

A tribute to the men and women who fearlessly defend the freedoms we all enjoy. God bless them.

It’s National Read A Road Map Day Today, April 5

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Annually, Read a Road Map Day is observed April 5.

The earliest road map, Britania Atlas, was drawn by cartographer John Ogilby in 1675.

Fast forward a few centuries, and my how things have changed!  With satellites, GPS and voice commands do we really know how we get anywhere anymore?

National Read a Road Map Day reminds us to take some time to sharpen those map reading skills.  Take notice of your surroundings.  Do you know north from east?  If not, it’s a good time to learn.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Put away the electronic devices and unfold a traditional road map.  Familiarize yourself with it and take a little trip.  Do you have a knack for using a map?  Teach someone else to read a map.  Use #NationalReadARoadMapDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

Our research was unable to find the founder of National Read a Road Map Day.

Source: NATIONAL READ A ROAD MAP DAY – April 5 | National Day Calendar

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.

As most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones, The Daily visited the Army’s Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., to find out what members of the 82nd Airborne Division are doing — and are thankful for — this holiday.

Armistice Day 2018

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices had eliminated Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the war.

Also known as the Armistice of Compiègne from the place where it was signed, it came into force at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918  (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”) and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender.