Friday, October 25, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10 - 25 Saint Crispin's Day

Click here to download St. Crispin's Day card.
For some reason famous battles immortalized in English Literature tend to occur on October 25, known in Shakespeare's "Henry V" as St. Crispin's Day.  Henry's famous St. Crispin's Day Speech as presented by the Bard of Avon inspired his heavily outnumbered English forces to fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt. The Speech, one of the best pre-battle speeches ever ends like this:

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Saint Crispin's day honors two Christian saints, Crispin and Crispinian - twins who were martyred in 286 A.D. The twins are the patron Saints of cobblers, leather workers and tanners. Though their holiday was removed from the Catholic official Saint's day calendar after Vatican II, it still rates bold lettering on the church calendar.  The day is famous as the day on which several important history-making battles were fought.  The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is the most famous as the setting for Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech to his troops just before the English demonstrated the power of the English longbow and introduced the military strategy of the "killing field" to a whole lot of French knights who generally were not used to be slaughtered wholesale in that fashion.

The Battle of Balaklava was another disastrous battle (for the Brits this time) that was made famous by poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in his oft-quoted Charge of the Light Brigade).

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

The battle took place during the Crimean War in 1854. The generals screwed up and sent 600 men into a killing field with no chance of victory and sadly, they obeyed orders.

A more successful fight (for the Allies in WWII) was the Battle of Leyte Gulf which took place between the combined US/Australian fleet and the Japanese Navy in the Pacific during 1944. It was possibly the largest naval battle in history and after it was over the Japanese Navy was never able to muster enough of a fleet to challenge the Allies again.

Other Crispin's Day battles include The Fall of Lisbon to Crusaders from England, Portugal and Flanders,  The Battle of Dorylaeum (Turks defeat German Crusaders), second battle of Cape Finisterre (British Admiral Sir Edward Hawk defeats the French Navy), the American Frigate United States under Captain Stephen Decatur) captures the British HMS Macedonian (sending the British Navy into a deep depression) and Operation Urgent Fury (The US invades and liberates Grenada from Cuban occupation).

You can also click here to download the card.

Send your wife or sweetheart a St. Crispin's Day card today to commemorate your winning the Battle for Her Heart! Just click on the caption below the picture of the archers who were the English secret weapon at the Battle of Agincourt. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet. And if you haven't won the battle for her heart yet, why not?  Just go ahead and ........


© 2013 by Tom King

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