[Popgenlunch] This week in PopGenLunch: No meeting as it's Admission Day

Joe Felsenstein joe at gs.washington.edu
Tue Nov 10 14:36:54 PST 2015

Folks --

There is no PopGenLunch this week because of the holiday Wednesday. I append below (*) a little information on exactly which holiday. Here is the schedule for the remainder of the quarter:

November 11

November 18
John Ranola (Statistics)
Fast spatial ancestry of human populations of Africa

November 25
(possibly me)
topic: TBA

December 2
Erick Matsen (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
Preliminary results on B cell receptor sequence evolution

December 9
Serge Sverdlov (Statistics)
Separability theory and the genotype-phenotype relationship

Any volunteers for 11/25 ?

(*)OK, so which holiday is it tomorrow? It is Veterans' Day, but when I was a child that was called Armistice Day. It commemmorated the armistice than ended World War I. They timed the armistice to occur on 11/11 at 11am. For some reason they did not end the war 11.1111... minutes later. They were being "cute" but many soldiers involved were mad at them because the armistice could have been called several hours earlier, and some soldiers died in between. In 1954, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was claiming to be the proponent of "Peace". In the U.S., anyone advocating "peace" was being suspected of being subversive. Having a day devoted to an Armistice sounded un-American. So Congress changed the name to Veterans' Day, which was more martial.

However, in Washington State, even before November 11, 1918 the day was celebrated as a school holiday. How could they have known in advance about the Armistice? Well, they didn't. The day was called Admission Day. Because in a coincidence, in 1889, it was the day on which Washington became a state, rather than a territory. Reference to this holiday as Admission Day is sometimes still found on calendars, and even a few decades ago there was some uncertainty over which of those events Washington State children were celebrating when they were off school for the day.

Happy holiday

Joe Felsenstein joe at gs.washington.edu
Department of Genome Sciences and Department of Biology,
University of Washington, Box 355065, Seattle, WA 98195-5065 USA

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