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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hurricane Supplication Day!

Sorry, no post yesterday. Summer is a crazy time here at the Library, and time got away!

If you lived in the U. S. Virgin Islands (composed of the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John), then today would be a holiday. It is "Hurricane Supplication Day." What kind of holiday is that? you might ask. Some terrific/horrific storms develop in the Atlantic mid-August to late September. So, if you lived on an island in the ocean, you would quickly understand that it's a day to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Islanders attend church to pray--supplicate--for safety during the season.

Alexander Hamilton, a boy of 15, observed one such hurricane that took place in late August 1772,
It seemed as if a total dissolution of nature was taking place. The roaring of the sea and wind—fiery meteors flying about in the air—the prodigious glare of almost perpetual lightning—the crash of falling houses—and the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels.

If the islanders make it through hurricane season, then, on the third Monday in October they celebrate Hurricane Thanksgiving Day! Let's hope the season passes uneventfully.

If you'd like to visit the U. S. Virgin Islands, you may want to wait a few months. In the mean time, you can prepare yourself by reading about the Virgin Islands National Park in National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States [917.304 NAT], and by listening and dancing to Quelbe, the official music of the islands.

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