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It was a good news-bad news week for May Bill.

Daughter Janet Fink surprised her mother by inviting her to attend graduation ceremonies at Concordia where Janet received her master’s in education. May didn’t even know Janet was getting her master’s.

That happiness was quickly followed by intense pain when May learned that she had developed a kidney stone. Ugh. But after about a week in the hospital, all is well again.

Oh, congratulations to Janet on her degree.

The Friends of the Forest Park Library held its annual Christmas party and as a part of the festivities gave gifts to all the library workers. Paula and Clair Coonen set to work to try to win the Christmas game that Shirley Christell supplied. Hertha Orszula, secretary, kept the minutes while Jeanette Orszula, Teresa Stefan, David McNeely, Davie McNeilly, Phil Robinson, Eleanor Locati, Marge Zwadlo, Elaine Kovarick and Treasurer Evelyn Krueger worked feverishly to complete the Christmas quiz, which I think everybody won. After the game the friends dug feverishly into the treats.

Forest Park actress and singer Nancy Greco was a soloist with the Michael Treolis Singers as they celebrated the Christmas season in a recent concert.

To begin the New Year you may want to mark your calendar for Jan. 13. At 4:30 p.m., the Symphony of Oak Park River Forest will present this year’s free children’s concert at Oak Park-River Forest High School. Remember-it’s free for kids.

On Christmas Day, 1990, the bells of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow rang again for the first time since the death of Lenin in 1924.

Clara Barton was born in 1821. She was the founder and first president of the Red Cross.

Humphrey Bogart was born on Christmas Day in 1899.

The Metropolitan Opera Company made its radio debut performing Hansel and Gretel in 1931.

Dec. 26 is Boxing Day in many UK countries, including Australia. That’s the day to present gifts to the workers who render a public service; the mailman, the dustman and the lamplighter. (No more dustman? No more lamplighters?) How about the man who picks up our trash every week; the one who collects our recyclables?

On Dec. 26 in Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, revelers march from door to door asking for money. It’s called the Day of the Wren.

It is Kwanza on Dec. 26, which means “first fruit” in Swahili.

Radium was discovered Dec. 26 in 1898 by Marie and Pierre Curie, who won the Nobel Prize for physics.

Dec. 27 was the birthday of Marlene Dietrich, born in Berlin in 1901 and died in Paris in 1992.

Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy, was born in 1571.

Louis Pasteur, in 1822, formulated the rabies vaccination and also had the process of pasteurization named for him.

Dec. 28 is the feast of the Holy Innocents. King Herod had all the babies killed in an attempt to rid the country of the new born Jesus. Later studies seem to show that since the town of Bethlehem was so small, probably about six to 20 babies were murdered.

On Dec. 28, 1846, Iowa was admitted to the union.

It is also the date of the dreadful earthquake that occurred in Messina, Italy, in 1908. That quake killed more than 80,000 people and destroyed half the city.

In 1945, frequent recitation in schools of the Pledge of Allegiance was encouraged. It was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. In 1954, the Knights of Columbus added the words “under God.”

Poor Richard’s Almanac first appeared in 1732 and lasted until 1758.

Dec. 29 is the start if the Islamic New Year, depending on the visibility of the crescent moon at Mecca. The New Year actually begins at sunset the previous day.

Rasputin finally succumbed on this day in 1916. He had been poisoned and shot, and survived. Finally, he was dropped through a hole in the ice in the Neva River and his body was recovered three days later.

Celebrity Ted Danson celebrates his birthday on Dec. 29.

Birthdays this week in Forest Park include: on Dec. 27, Ryan Patrick Mintz and Benjamin Hoffman; on the 28th, Janet Scheiwe and Suzy Bjornson; Dec. 29th, Butch Jargstorf, Angela Spinelli, Tom Ahern, Nick Horvath and Mario Tricoci, and happy anniversary to fellow Review columnist Bob Sullivan and his wife Barbara; on the 30th, Hunter Treiber, Mark Rice, Brenda Riske Powers, Tom Cannon and Ryan Neff; Dec. 31, Lauren Trage.