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From experiences this week, I determined that this classic and informative post from our research assistant Miss Info Asperger needs to be re-posted, studied and memorized. – Editor.
Every year at this time I get the same question – whatever happened to America’s grand patriotic celebration of the Boxer Rebellion the day after Christmas, and why is it that since 1986 only the British and Canadians observe it? I hope that this year you print out my answer and save it, so that next Dec. 26 I can concentrate on discarding all these cardboard containers.
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The history of American military involvement in 50′s-60′s China under Mao was extensive and checkered. The controversial alliance between Colonel Harlan Sanders and General Tso, although felicitous for the cause of chicken cuisine, led directly to the abuses of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” and the tragedies of Tiananmen Square.
Many miles to the southwest in a Tibetan monastery, a young woman named Barbara Boxer (now California’s junior Senator) began hearing voices in her head which she believed to be from Gautama Buddha, instructing her to storm Beijing with an army of dogs and scantily clad Caucasian men.
For many months Barbara and her plucky troops held that province in a grip of fear, thousands of boxer dogs nipping at the heels of the city’s residents, until Mao’s infamous Gang of Four managed to capture the youthful warrior-princess. The subsequent negotiations for Miss Boxer’s release were the proximate cause of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s famed visit to the Forbidden Kingdom, and the subsequent thaw and detente in our foreign policy.
For decades this incident, coming the day after the obscure Christian holiday of the Nativity, was a great point of patriotic pride in the United States, and was observed in many American towns by the “Running of the Boxers” – during which dogs of that breed would be unleashed to chase men (and sometimes women) clad only in medium-length, loose-legged, striped cotton underpants, down the streets, helter-skelter. It is said that President Nixon purposely conducted his illegal bombing of Cambodia on Dec. 25 so as not to interfere with the sacredness of Boxing Day.
So what went wrong? The answer to that begins with one of Miss Boxer’s top lieutenants during the Rebellion, a young black man named Muhammad Ali, who, decades later, refused for religious reasons to serve in the Vietnam War, despite all the medals he had won in the Boxer Rebellion.
Right wing firebrand (and secret male lesbian) North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, finding himself in a tight election that year, decided to make an issue of Ali’s conscientious objection by demonizing the observance of Boxing Day, carrying a resolution condemning the holiday through the Republican-dominated Senate.
Washington DC was soon overrun by Jerry-Falwell-led Moral Majority members, chanting “Think outside the Box!” For several years, even the boxer breed of dogs became unpopular, and were often to be found abandoned on the streets and scrounging for scraps.
By the mid-1990′s, America had switched its winter holiday observance to the day before Boxing Day, the alleged birthday of Jesus Christ, the founder of the Christian religion, which was given the name of “Christmas.” And the rest, as they say, is history. [Source = wikipedia.]
Miss Info will be here every Sunday answering ALL your questions if they aren’t too stoopid!