February 15, 2017 Day 27 of the First Year - History

February 15, 2017 Day 27 of the First Year - History

February 16, 2017 Day 27 of the First Year

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT participates in a Congressional listening session

Roosevelt Room

1:25PM THE PRESIDENT speaks with President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia by telephone

Oval Office

2:30PM THE PRESIDENT meets with the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions

Oval Office

3:15PM THE PRESIDENT signs H.J. Res. 38

Roosevelt Room

3:50PM THE PRESIDENT tapes his Weekly Address

Cabinet Room


There's a lot to like about the economy during the first year of the Trump administration.

Economists and historians will tell you that presidents get too much credit or blame for the state of the economy, especially in their first year when their policies have only barely started to affect businesses and consumers. Many factors make the country's economic fortunes go up and down.

And the economy doesn't have an on-off switch that gets flipped every four or eight years.

"We tend to act like the economy is based on what the president does. That's just the way the national mind thinks of things," said historian Douglas Brinkley. "But there are so many forces at play. If the stock market is setting records or unemployment is low, you might as well take credit because you'll be blamed when it goes the other way."

At the same time, the president -- along with lawmakers on Capitol Hill -- clearly play a central role shaping economic and financial policy. Plus, the president has a bully pulpit that can influence sentiment.

We looked at the facts -- key measures in the first year of the seven presidents who have served over the last four decades.


​National First Responders Day timeline

UCLA and Eastern Kentucky University are the first to invite national accreditors to review their EMT programs.

Health experts begin to theorize that more could be done in out-of-hospital settings, including advanced airway management, vascular access and medication administration. This leads to the creation and implementation of the emergency medical technician–paramedic (EMT-P) curriculum.

The popular TV series shows paramedics providing care in a manner that most Americans had never seen. Although purely fictional, Emergency! sets new expectations for the job and encourages many Americans to pursue careers in EMS.

Advanced cardiac life support training provides a crucial new tool to treat patients experiencing a heart attack or some other form of cardiac arrest. Still, it’s not required for paramedic training and certification until the mid 1980s.

Andrew Collier, brother of Sean Collier, an officer killed during the Boston Marathon bombing, helped establish a day of recognition.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Cotton, along with Representatives Mark Meadows, Michael Capuano and Elijah Cummings introduced a resolution to establish National First Responders Day.

The state approved a bill honoring every first responder.


The History of Tax Day — America's First Taxes, and Why The Deadline Is April 15

April 15 isn't most Americans' favorite day, and that's because most years, it's the official, federal tax deadline. Tax Day, as it's called, has a long and interesting history in the States that goes all the way back to Abe Lincoln's leadership.

While organizing your personal taxes each year may be daunting, and tedious at best, doing so submits you to a civic duty that has been around since the early 1900s.

Here are some facts that outline the history of tax day, how it all began and why we've settled on April 15 as the due date day each year.

Note: 2020 acts a bit differently. Because of COVID-19, the American government extended the year's tax return deadline to July 15.

1861: The First Federal Income Tax

Abraham Lincoln, who was an American president from 1861 to1865, proclaimed the first federal income tax his first year in office. 1861&mdashparticularly August 5&mdashis the historical day that marks the future-changing decision.

Lincoln enacted a three percent federal income tax to any household making over $800 a year, according to the History Channel. With today's inflation, that's about $23,500 in 2020, according to officialdata.org. The three percent tax was made a law in 1862 and is called The Revenue Act of 1862.

The president made the decision to tax Americans because of the Civil War&mdash he was having trouble funding the Union's efforts from the government's pockets. Though we're still taxed federally today, Lincoln's system was repealed in 1871.

1909: The 16th Amendment Passes

It wasn't until 1909 that today's tax system passed. Though there was a brief trial for a new tax system in 1894, it didn't pass in Congress because it didn't account for the differences in state sizes. Even the states agreed with the federal decision in 1913, and the tax program, which is solidified as the 16th Amendment of the Constitution, was enacted.

1955: Tax Day Becomes April 15

So how did the American government settle on April 15 as tax day? It started in 1913 with a March 1 deadline, but that's changed. The first shift was to March 15, which the History Channel claims had no real reason. It wasn't until 1955 that April 15 became the new, and lasting deadline.

The decision wasn't really governmentally-based. According to Time, "They switched income-tax day from March 15 to April 15, thus giving the taxpayer an extra month to recover from Christmas expenses and sparing him the yearly ordeal of hearing and reading clichés about the ides of March."


The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.

Last month, hours after a jury acquitted former police officer Jeronimo Yanez of manslaughter in the shooting death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, protesters in St. Paul, Minnesota, shutdown Interstate 94. With signs that read: “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” the chant of “Philando, Philando” rang out as they marched down the highway in the dark of night.

The scene was familiar. A year earlier, massive protests had erupted when Yanez killed Castile, after pulling him over for a broken taillight. Dashcam footage shows Yanez firing through the open window of Castile’s car, seconds after Castile disclosed that he owned and was licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

A respected school nutritionist, Castile was one of 233 African-Americans shot and killed by police in 2016, a startling number when demographics are considered. African-Americans make up㺍 percent of the U.S. population but account for 24 percent of people fatally shot by police. According to the Washington Post, blacks are "2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers."

Today's stories are anything but a recent phenomenon. A cardboard placard in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and on view in the new exhibition “More Than a Picture,” underscores that reality. 

“The message after 50 years is still unresolved,” remarks Samuel Egerton, who donated the poster to the Smithsonian after carrying it in protest during the 1963 March on Washington. (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, gift of Samuel Y. Edgerton)

The yellowing sign is a reminder of the continuous oppression and violence that has disproportionately shaken black communities for generations—“We Demand an End to Police Brutality Now!” is painted in red and white letters.

“The message after 50 years is still unresolved,” remarks Samuel Egerton, a college professor, who donated the poster to the museum. He carried it in protest during the 1963 March on Washington. Five decades later, the poster’s message rings alarmingly timely. Were it not for the yellowed edges, the placard could almost be mistaken for a sign from any of the Black Lives Matter marches of the past three years.

"There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?" said Martin Luther King, Jr. in his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 march. His words continue to resonate today after a long history of violent confrontations between African-American citizens and the police. "We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality."

"This idea of police brutality was very much on people’s minds in 1963, following on the years, decades really, of police abuse of power and then centuries of oppression of African-Americans," says William Pretzer, senior history curator at the museum.

A poster, collected in Baltimore, Maryland, by curators at the National Museum of African American History, following the death of Freddie Gray. (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Modern policing did not evolve into an organized institution until the 1830s and '40s when northern cities decided they needed better control over quickly growing populations. The first American police department was established in Boston in 1838. The communities most targeted by harsh tactics were recent European immigrants. But, as African-Americans fled the horrors of the Jim Crow south, they too became the victims of brutal and punitive policing in the northern cities where they sought refuge.

In 1929, the Illinois Association for Criminal Justice published the Illinois Crime Survey. Conducted between 1927 and 1928, the survey sought to analyze causes of high crime rates in Chicago and Cook County, especially among criminals associated with Al Capone. But also the survey provided data on police activity—although African-Americans made up just five percent of the area's population, they constituted 30 percent of the victims of police killings, the survey revealed.

"There was a lot of one-on-one conflict between police and citizens and a lot of it was initiated by the police," says Malcolm D. Holmes, a sociology professor at the University of Wyoming, who has researched and written about the topic of police brutality extensively.

That same year, President Herbert Hoover established the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement to investigate crime related to prohibition in addition to policing tactics. Between 1931 and 1932, the commission published the findings of its investigation in 14 volumes, one of which was titled “Report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement.” The realities of police brutality came to light, even though the commission did not address racial disparities outright.

During the Civil Rights Era, though many of the movement's leaders advocated for peaceful protests, the 1960s were fraught with violent and destructive riots.

Police Disperse Marchers with Tear Gas by unidentified photographer, 1966 (Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Howard Greenberg Gallery)

Aggressive dispersion tactics, such as police dogs and fire hoses, against individuals in peaceful protests and sit-ins were the most widely publicized examples of police brutality in that era. But it was the pervasive violent policing in communities of color that built distrust at a local, everyday level.

One of the deadliest riots occurred in Newark in 1967 after police officers severely beat black cab driver John Smith during a traffic stop. Twenty-six people died and many others were injured during the four days of unrest. In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson organized the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate the causes of these major riots.

The origins of the unrest in Newark weren't unique in a police versus citizen incident. The commission concluded "police actions were 'final' incidents before the outbreak of violence in 12 of the 24 surveyed disorders.”

The commission identified segregation and poverty as indicators and published recommendations for reducing social inequalities, recommending an “expansion and reorientation of the urban renewal program to give priority to projects directly assisting low-income households to obtain adequate housing.” Johnson, however, rejected the commission’s recommendations. 

Black newspapers reported incidents of police brutality throughout the early and mid-20th century and the popularization of radio storytelling spread those stories even further. In 1991, following the beating of cab driver Rodney King, video footage vividly told the story of police brutality on television to a much wider audience. The police officers, who were acquitted of the crime, had hit King more than 50 times with their batons.

Today, live streaming, tweets and Facebook posts have blasted the incidents of police brutality, beyond the black community and into the mainstream media. Philando Castile’s fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the car with her daughter when he was shot, streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on her phone using Facebook live.

"Modern technology allows, indeed insists, that the white community take notice of these kinds of situations and incidents," says Pretzer.

And as technology has evolved, so has the equipment of law enforcement. Police departments with military-grade equipment have become the norm in American cities. Images of police officers in helmets and body armor riding through neighborhoods in tanks accompany stories of protests whenever one of these incidents occurs.

"What we see is a continuation of an unequal relationship that has been exacerbated, made worse if you will, by the militarization and the increase in fire power of police forces around the country," says Pretzer.

The resolution to the problem, according to Pretzer, lies not only in improving these unbalanced police-community relationships, but, more importantly, in eradicating the social inequalities that perpetuate these relationships that sustain distrust and frustration on both sides.

'There’s a tendency to stereotype people as being more or less dangerous. There’s a reliance upon force that goes beyond what is necessary to accomplish police duty," says Holmes. "There’s a lot of this embedded in the police departments that helps foster this problem."


History repeats itself

Roughly 80% of new businesses survive past their first year of operation. That was the case two decades ago and is still the case today.

Image source: U.S. Small Business Administration.

However, around half of all businesses no longer exist after five years. Only one-third make it past their tenth anniversary. These statistics have been remarkably consistent through the years. Interestingly, major economic downturns don't seem to affect the survival rates for new businesses.

The good news is that survival rates begin to flatten out after several years of operation. The longer a business lasts, the more likely it is to last even longer.

Keep in mind also, though, that a business that discontinues operations isn't necessarily a failure. Sometimes owners sell businesses or retire.


Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History

We all know that the world is going to hell. Given the rising risk of nuclear war with North Korea, the paralysis in Congress, warfare in Yemen and Syria, atrocities in Myanmar and a president who may be going cuckoo, you might think 2017 was the worst year ever.

But you’d be wrong. In fact, 2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity.

A smaller share of the world’s people were hungry, impoverished or illiterate than at any time before. A smaller proportion of children died than ever before. The proportion disfigured by leprosy, blinded by diseases like trachoma or suffering from other ailments also fell.

We need some perspective as we watch the circus in Washington, hands over our mouths in horror. We journalists focus on bad news — we cover planes that crash, not those that take off — but the backdrop of global progress may be the most important development in our lifetime.

Every day, the number of people around the world living in extreme poverty (less than about $2 a day) goes down by 217,000, according to calculations by Max Roser, an Oxford University economist who runs a website called Our World in Data. Every day, 325,000 more people gain access to electricity. And 300,000 more gain access to clean drinking water.

Readers often assume that because I cover war, poverty and human rights abuses, I must be gloomy, an Eeyore with a pen. But I’m actually upbeat, because I’ve witnessed transformational change.

As recently as the 1960s, a majority of humans had always been illiterate and lived in extreme poverty. Now fewer than 15 percent are illiterate, and fewer than 10 percent live in extreme poverty. In another 15 years, illiteracy and extreme poverty will be mostly gone. After thousands of generations, they are pretty much disappearing on our watch.

Just since 1990, the lives of more than 100 million children have been saved by vaccinations, diarrhea treatment, breast-feeding promotion and other simple steps.

Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor, explores the gains in a terrific book due out next month, “Enlightenment Now,” in which he recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life. “Intellectuals hate progress,” he writes, referring to the reluctance to acknowledge gains, and I know it feels uncomfortable to highlight progress at a time of global threats. But this pessimism is counterproductive and simply empowers the forces of backwardness.

President Trump rode this gloom to the White House. The idea “Make America Great Again” professes a nostalgia for a lost Eden. But really? If that was, say, the 1950s, the U.S. also had segregation, polio and bans on interracial marriage, gay sex and birth control. Most of the world lived under dictatorships, two-thirds of parents had a child die before age 5, and it was a time of nuclear standoffs, of pea soup smog, of frequent wars, of stifling limits on women and of the worst famine in history.

What moment in history would you prefer to live in?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time. I suggest these: The world is registering important progress, but it also faces mortal threats. The first belief should empower us to act on the second.

Granted, this column may feel weird to you. Those of us in the columny gig are always bemoaning this or that, and now I’m saying that life is great? That’s because most of the time, quite rightly, we focus on things going wrong. But it’s also important to step back periodically. Professor Roser notes that there was never a headline saying, “The Industrial Revolution Is Happening,” even though that was the most important news of the last 250 years.

I had a visit the other day from Sultana, a young Afghan woman from the Taliban heartland. She had been forced to drop out of elementary school. But her home had internet, so she taught herself English, then algebra and calculus with the help of the Khan Academy, Coursera and EdX websites. Without leaving her house, she moved on to physics and string theory, wrestled with Kant and read The New York Times on the side, and began emailing a distinguished American astrophysicist, Lawrence M. Krauss.

I wrote about Sultana in 2016, and with the help of Professor Krauss and my readers, she is now studying at Arizona State University, taking graduate classes. She’s a reminder of the aphorism that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. The meaning of global progress is that such talent increasingly can flourish.

So, sure, the world is a dangerous mess I worry in particular about the risk of a war with North Korea. But I also believe in stepping back once a year or so to take note of genuine progress — just as, a year ago, I wrote that 2016 had been the best year in the history of the world, and a year from now I hope to offer similar good news about 2018. The most important thing happening right now is not a Trump tweet, but children’s lives saved and major gains in health, education and human welfare.

Every other day this year, I promise to tear my hair and weep and scream in outrage at all the things going wrong. But today, let’s not miss what’s going right.


___ Chinese New Year Festivities: The 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year

First day, zhengyue 1, ’Birthday of Chicken’
The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Traditional Chinese: 正月 Pinyin: zhēngyuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th this day is called Lantern Festival.
The first day of the New Year is known as Yuan Dan (Chinese: 元旦 pinyin: yuándàn (First Morning of the year), New Year’s Day, First Day (or Duan Ri).

During the 15 day period new year visits (Traditional Chinese: 拜年 pinyin: bài nián, translated: pay respect, worship, salute the year) will be made to family and friends.

On the first day, the oldest and most senior members will be visited, the visits serve to strengthen family ties. Bài nián refers to both, pay a New Year's call as well as 'wishing somebody a Happy New Year'.

There is also the tradition of welcoming guests with tea and sweet treats, such as sugared fruits which are supposed to sweeten one’s upcoming year. Sweets and fruits are served on a round or octagonal tray - the form resembling togetherness and hence the tray is most commonly translated as the "Tray of Togetherness".
Most likely the amount of sweets will be arranged in eight units, as the number eight symbolises luck. At times, an arrangement of nine units can be found, the number represents wealth, good fortune and family unity (note that for the Chinese the number '8' is a lucky one and for the Thai- Chinese it is as well the number '9').
The visitor will bring a small gift to the household which will be visited- usually oranges, tangerines, mandarins or such alike, as the fruit symbolises gold, hence wealth and good fortune.

The day symbolises as well a new start in one’s life, refreshing hopes for prosperity, wealth and happiness.

The first day of the first lunar month is characterised by different names:
New Year: Traditional Chinese:新年, Pinyin: xīnnián
Spring Festival: Traditional Chinese: 春 節 Pinyin: chūn jié
Agricultural calendar new year, based on farmers' experiences (Traditional Chinese: 农历新年 , Pinyin: nóng lì xīnnián). Historically the calendar was sponsored by the Emperor. Not only did a calendar serve practical needs in agriculture as in when to plant to receive the best results, but even more did the calendar show the connection between the Heaven and the Imperial Court.

A traditional Buddhist vegetarian dish called "Jai" (Traditional Chinese: 羅漢齋 or 齋 pinyin: luóhàn zhāi) or Buddha's delight is prepared on the first day of Chinese New Year using eighteen different ingredients as the Chinese believe eighteen to be a lucky number signifying wealth and prosperity (Traditional Chinese: 羅漢全齋 pinyin: luóhàn quánzhā). Of course, each single one of the ingredient represents a certain symbolic meaning.

Abstaining from meat consumption on the first day is believed to enhance longevity. Additionally, a vegetarian dish helps to purify and cleanse out the body as well as it honors a Buddhist tradition that nothing living should be killed on the first day of the New Year. (See also: Food Symbolism)

According to a Chinese legend, Nüwa (Traditional Chinese: 女媧 Simplified Chinese: 女娲 Pinyin: nǚwā) is the goddess who created the world. She created certain animals on different days, hence each day is considered the birthday of the corresponding animal. Human beings were created from yellow clay on the seventh day after the creation of the world.

Lion Dances can be seen on the street, or a troupe might be invited to perform on private premises.
During the Chinese New Year Festivals, Chinese operas and Dragon Dances will be performed in the streets.

Second day, zhengyue 2, ‘Birthday of Dog’
People say that after being offered sacrifices, Tsai Shen, the God of Wealth, leaves for heaven on the second day of the lunar New Year.
People will burn the picture they welcomed on the New Year’s Eve and see the deity off, wishing for a luckier and more prosperous year.
In honour of the deity, people will eat wonton, resembling the shape of a ingot.

Traditionally married women will visit and pay respect to their birth parents.
On the second day, the Chinese pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods.
Since the day is characterised by the birthday of the dogs, pets and strays will be fed well.

Third day, zhengyue 3, ‘Birthday of Pig’
Families who had an immediate relative deceased in the past 3 years will not go house-visiting as a form of respect to the dead. The third day of the New Year is allocated to grave-visiting instead. Some people conclude it is inauspicious to do any house visiting at all, as it is believed that evil spirits roam the earth this day and hence it would be bad luck to be outdoors.

Businesses which had been closed during the prior festivities will be reopened and prayers will be held in order to be blessed with prosperity in the upcoming year. Conservative Chinese businesses do not open until after the fifth day due to priviously mentioned roaming ghosts.

Fourth Day, zhengyue 4, ‘Birthday of Sheep’
The fourth day is basically a continuity of the third day.

Fifth day, zhengyue 5, ‘Birthday of Ox, Cattle’
The day is regarded as the birthday of the God of Wealth and hence respect is payed to the god. Also, it is considered not too wise to leave the house for too long, just in case the God of Wealth should pay a visit to the family's house.
All businesses will be reopened on that day.
Sweeping the floor is not considered bad luck anymore.

In northern China, people eat Jiǎozi (dumplings) on the morning of pò wǔ (Traditional Chinese: 破五, Pinyin: pò wǔ, translated: break five).
Friends and classmates will be visited.
The day is as well considered to have a connection to the five basic colours, hence to the Five Elements Theory.

SIx day, zhengyue 6, ‘Birthday of Horse’
The sixth day marks a time to visit temples, relatives and friends.

Seventh day, zhengyue 7, ‘Birthday of Men’
The seventh day of the first lunar month is named renrì (Traditional Chinese: 人日, Pinyin: rén rì), literally Human Day and is considered to be the birthday of ordinary, or common men. The day is also called Day of Men or Men Day.

According to Chinese legends, Nüwa (Traditional Chinese: 女媧 Simplified Chinese: 女娲 Pinyin: nǚwā) is the goddess who created the world. Two legends refer to her creations.
Nüwa and her brother Fuxi survived a devastating calamity, which had wiped out all other life. Retired to Kunlun Mountain they prayed for a sign from the Emperor of Heaven. The divine being approved their union and the siblings set about procreating the human race.
Note: in some texts or according to other legends, Nüwa is considered to be Fuxi’s wife.

According to a different legend Nüwa created certain animals on different days as she was lonesome and wanted the animals as company. On the seventh day after the creation of the world, Nüwa created human beings from yellow clay. With the divine power entrusted to her, Nüwa made the clay figurines to become alive.

Renri is the day, when all common men are growing a year older and the day is celebrated with certain foods according to the origin of the people.
The ingredients of the dishes have a symbolic meaning and they should enhance health.

To honour Nüwa's creation of animals either vegetable dishes will be eaten or a raw fish and vegetable salad called yusheng (simplified Chinese: 鱼生 pinyin: yúshēng).
Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish (鱼)" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance (余)", Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homonym for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.

Traditional Chinese: 余, Pinyin: yú, translated: extra surplus remaining)
Traditional Chinese: 升, Pinyin: shēng, translated: to raise to hoist to promote)

Eighth day - The Completion Day
On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to the Jade Emperor.

Ninth day
The birthday of the Jade Emperor, highly revered in taoist believe. The Jade Emperor is also known as the Yù Huáng or Yù Dì, and is identified as the God of Heaven, the Ruler of all Heavens (of which the Chinese have over 30), Earth and the Underworld/ Hell, Creator of the Universe, later the Emperor of the Universe, and Lord of the Imperial Court. He is said to have been born several millennia before our era as the offspring of the King of the Pure Felicity Kingdom of Lofty Heavenly Majestic Lights and Ornaments and of the Empress of Precious Moonlight.

From the Tenth to the Twelfth Day
of New Year there is more feasting with friends and family.

Thirteenth day
A time to diet a bit after so much rich food, vegetarian food like rice and mustard greens are eaten to cleanse the digestive systems.

Forteenth day, The Lantern Decoration Day
Preparations will be made for the Lantern Festival.


Lanterns at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok.

Fifteenth day, Lantern Festival
(Traditional Chinese: 元宵節 , Pinyin: yuán xiāo jié, literally: first night festival)
The 15th day marks the first full moon after the Spring Festival and of the New Year, also known as yuán xiāo jié meaning "first night of the full moon". The day is as well known as Lantern Festival day.
Another reunion dinner is held with lanterns and oranges being a large part of the celebrations.
It is customary to eat special sweet dumplings called yuanxiao resembling the shape of the full moon. These round balls are made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with sugar fillings, symbolizing reunion.

Yuanxiao are also called tāngyuán (Traditional Chinese: 湯圓, Simplified Chinese: 汤圆 ) or tāngtuán (Traditional Chinese: 湯團, Simplified Chinese: 汤团).
Tāngyuán literally means "round balls in soup", tāngtuán translates to "round dumplings in soup".

During this festival lanterns are displayed, at times as lantern fairs, and children are carrying lanterns to temples.
The festival is associated with guiding lost and ill bred evil spirits home, while celebrating and cultivating positive relationship between people, families, nature and the higher beings as they are believed to be responsible for bringing and returning the light each year.

Another legend associates the Lantern Festival with Taoism. Tian Guan is the Taoist 'Ruler of Heaven' and the god responsible for good fortune, bestowing wealth and good luck. His birthday falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. It is said that Tian Guan likes all types of entertainment, so followers prepare various kinds of activities during which they pray for good fortune.


February 15, 2017 Day 27 of the First Year - History

A Discovery of Biblical Timelines

A Discovery of Biblical Timelines

This web site looks for the best scenario of the coming time in light of the Bible and history. It is not an absolute prediction.

Please send e- mail to join the mailing list for updates. Send your e- mail to: Daniel Matson

The Great Sign of Revelation 12 occurs in 2017


While the sign of Revelation 12 pictures Israel and the Messiah, it is still a great sign in heaven . It should be treated as a sign of major significance. The problem is that some have viewed this sign as relating to the middle of the Tribulation. The reason that is done is because of its context with the dragon (Satan) who is thrown down from heaven to persecute Israel for 1,260 days (3.5 years) until the conclusion of the 70th Week. However, this sign is broader in scope since it also refers to the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago. Some have even tried to say this sign played out at the time of Christ’s birth, but the planetary alignments put forward of that time do not compare to what occurs in 2017.

For those who have been following this work here, there was an important discovery made here eight years ago regarding the Great Pyramid and its heavenly alignment just three days earlier on September 20, 2017. It almost seems comical now that the great sign of Revelation 12 was missed at that time while focusing in on three days earlier. However, that find, along with this sign of Revelation 12, frame what seems now to become one of the most significant days in future history. That day is known as the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah (the awakening blast), the Day of Shouting, the Day of the Resurrection, Coronation Day, and the Last Trump. It is believed this day is the day of the transformation of the dead and living saints at the time known as the Rapture. The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah is in the middle of these signs.

The sign of Revelation 12 has many details that are common, but uncommon when all put together. The first part of the sign is the woman clothed with the sun. This happens every year, but it narrows the time down to one month around the autumnal equinox. That woman is represented by Virgo- - the virgin. She is clothed by the sun from mid- September to early October. September 23, 2017 meets these requirements.

The next requirement is that the moon must be under the feet of Virgo. With the sun in Virgo and her feet to the east, the moon must be a few days past new moon. Since the Hebrew Calendar is lunar and the Feast of Trumpets (September 21, 2017) is on the new moon, September 23- 25 places the moon in the correct position. This happens every year on the Hebrew Calendar as long as the new moon did not occur too early or too late in relation to the equinox, which would put the sun too high or low in Virgo. Here it is perfect. The requirement of the moon and sun narrows it down to a few days of the year. The rest of the parts of the sign must then coincide with this time if we are able to observe this sign.

On September 23, 2017 there are four planets in the vicinity that complete the sign and its ultimate uniqueness. Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter play their parts. Above the head of Virgo is the constellation Leo. In Leo at this time there will be Mars, Venus, and Mercury. With Leo being a constellation of nine principle stars, the three wandering stars make it twelve at this time. Thus the garland of twelve stars is upon the woman. For three planets to be in Leo at this time with all of the other preconditions makes this rare. Combined with the final piece of the picture below is what makes this sign difficult of not nearly impossible to replicate anywhere close to the time in which we live. How rare? A search 150 years before and 150 years after September 23, 2017 produced no results.

The final piece of the sign is Jupiter. Jupiter was known by the Jews as the planet of the Messiah. Jupiter enters the sign of Virgo on August 27, 2016, which coincides with a close conjunction of Venus. The next such close conjunction with these two brightest planets is 49 years later. Jupiter itself enters Virgo about every 12 years. The August 27, 2016 conjunction comes exactly 400 days before Yom Kippur 2017. Yom Kippur always ends Teshuvah, which is a 40 day season of repentance. Does Jupiter and Venus mark a ten- fold application needed at that time?

Jupiter then spends those 400 days in Virgo. As the sign of Revelation 12 forms on September 23, 2017, Jupiter is in the womb of Virgo and is about to be born. Remember, the meaning of Tribulation refers to the period of labor pains before birth. The world is going to go through a period of delivery to result in the Messianic Kingdom. This sign speaks to those coming seven years–the worst in human history. However, we have been warned and God will deliver those who have put their trust in Christ by taking them to heaven before the seven years begins. For those who will miss that opportunity, God’s grace will still abound for those who change and believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, but they will have to endure the Tribulation.

Jupiter, though spends more than 400 days in Virgo. It is provocative that six days before what looks to be the start of the 2520 days of the Tribulation, Venus and Jupiter make another conjunction (but not visible because of the sun) on November 13, 2017. This is 444 days from the conjunction of August 27, 2016. Is it any accident then that Jupiter leaves Virgo when the Tribulation will begin? The next sign in the Mazzeroth (Zodiac) is the scales of Libra–judgment. It all lines up at the right time.

However, let us go back 1260 days from the sign of Revelation 12 to the day of the first lunar eclipse of the Tetrad of 2014- 2015. The eclipse of April 15, 2014 occurred at a specific place in the heavens. As a time marker that points to the sign of Revelation 12, it should also have some significance. This eclipse on Passover 2014 occurred right next to star of Spica in Virgo. Jesus’ own body was sacrificed for us on Passover. He was the Seed of the Woman. He was the ear of grain that must die that life may abound. Spica in Hebrew is Zerah meaning “seed”–the Seed of the Woman. It is the same word as found in the promises of Genesis. It is fitting then that this sign of the lunar eclipse points to the sign of Revelation 12, which speaks of the Messiah’s birth, but also to the necessary second part of Jesus’ coming back to earth.

With an interval of 1260 days between the signs, it would seem logical that the day count represented a leg of the Tribulation. But it cannot anymore unless one is to believe we are in the Tribulation, but we are NOT. However, this sign straight from Revelation 12 that appears in the sky from September 23 to September 25 cannot be ignored. Placing this sign in context with all of the other signs and calculations presented here, it would seem that this sign is a warning of the Tribulation that will soon begin.

The conclusion on this website is that it looks like the Rapture will occur on the Feast of Trumpets 2017, which would be on September 21. This day is sandwiched between the sign involving the Great Pyramid and Revelation 12. If the Tribulation ends on the Day of Atonement 2024, then 2,520 back from that day is November 19, 2017. The sign of Revelation 12 then comes 57 days before the Tribulation. This gap matches the gap between the end of Daniel’s 69 weeks on Palm Sunday and the beginning of the Church on Pentecost.

The sign of Revelation 12 makes sense as a sign warning to us all that the Tribulation is coming, just as depicted in the sign itself with the virgin (Israel) about to go through tribulation. For the Church, our time is then short. The requirements of the sign make it extremely rare making 2017 the only year in which it coincides with the final generation. By default, it must be a sign that precedes the Tribulation and signs should be a warning of what is soon coming. But all too often, the heavenly sign of Revelation 12 is glossed over and not looked at as a actual visible sign that can be observed. It happens in just over three years. It’s time to get ready.



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