Good morning ebony feline aficionados. Today is Thursday, October 27th. The holidays today are:
Black Cat Day
There are a number of feline-related holidays each year including at least one more related specifically to black cats. Halloween is nigh upon us, and black cats are still considered by some to be omens of bad luck or misfortune. In religion-centric cultures, people often fear anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and, along with many other superstitions, black cats somehow became associated witches and demons, and were thought to be the vessels they used to do their evil. Often, it was common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets and even kill the animals themselves — Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, black cats are still often seen as mischievous or unlucky.
Interestingly, some cultures actually revered black cats. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen an omen of good luck. Cats in ancient Egypt, regardless of color, were highly regarded, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.
Black cats seem to be the last ones chosen for adoption in animal shelters and too many are euthanized. That’s a shame because I speak from personal experience when I say that black cats make wonderful pets. If you don’t want to adopt a black cat today, making a small donation to your local animal shelter can help countless felines, and get you in good with the cats of this world…you know, just in case they really are the spawn of Satan.
Navy Day was established in 1922 by the Navy League of the United States. This date was suggested by the Navy League to recognize Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. Roosevelt had been an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and supported a strong Navy as well as the idea of Navy Day. In addition, October 27 was the anniversary of a 1775 report issued by a special committee of the Continental Congress favoring the purchase of merchant ships as the foundation of an American Navy. Initially, this holiday did receive national recognition by President Warren G. Harding, but national support waned after that. In the 1970’s, research determined that the birthday of the U.S. Continental Navy was actually October 13, 1775, and the celebration was moved to that date. This was never an official holiday, and it was last officially observed on October 27,1949.
National Potato Day
Last August, we celebrated Potato Day. I guess that since this Potato holiday has “National” in front of it, it’s a different holiday. Whatever! I like “spuds” of all types, prepared in a variety of ways, so I’m up for two “potato” holidays in one year anyway.
There are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes worldwide. They can be classified into three main groups: waxy, floury, and all-purpose.
Waxy varieties include fingerlings, red jacket, new and white round potatoes. They have more moisture and less starch. The lower starch level enables them to hold their shape well during cooking. When boiled, steamed or roasted, waxy potatoes come out firm and moist—the ideal consistency for potato salad.
Floury varieties include the iconic Idaho, russet, and russet Burbank (there are many varieties of russet potato)—russets are a variation bred to be harvested in the warmer months; Idahos are harvested in the cooler months. They are lower in moisture (drier) and high in starch. Due to their low sugar content, they tend to fall apart when boiled. Floury potatoes do not hold their shape well after cooking—think of the crumbly texture of a baked potato. That’s why floury/starchy potatoes are easier to mash. Also use them for deep-frying (French fries, potato pancakes).
All-purpose varieties include Katahdin (named after the highest mountain in Maine), Kennebec (a leading chipping potato), purple Peruvian, yellow Finn and Yukon gold. They combine the characteristics of both waxy and floury potatoes, so can be used for any purpose.
American Beer Day
American Beer Day is observed annually on October 27th.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the United States. Over 2,500 breweries produce more than 6.5 billion gallons annually. American breweries range in size from large, well-known national brands, to regional beers, brewpubs, microbreweries, and increasingly popular craft breweries.
American beer is produced in a variety of styles, but the most popular is a pale lager. Other common styles include brown ale, IPA, porter, and stout. Fun fact: Americans drink more than 50 billion pints of beer each year — that’s 156 pints for every person (man, woman, and child) in America – enough to fill 1 out of every 25 residential in-ground pools in the United States.
More American Beer Factoids:
- Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
- After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
- In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
- The majority of the new breweries in the United States are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
- The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
- Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980s, produce a range of styles.
- Beer styles originating in the United States include American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.
On this date in
- 1659 – William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson became the first Quakers to be executed in America.
- 1787 – The first of the Federalist Papers were published in the New York Independent. The series of 85 essays, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, were published under the pen name “Publius.”
- 1858 – Roland Macy opened Macy’s Department Store in New York City. It was Macy’s eighth business adventure, the other seven failed.
- 1878 – The Manhattan Savings Bank in New York City was robbed of over $3,000,000. The robbery was credited to George “Western” Leslie even though there was not enough evidence to convict him, only two of his associates were convicted.
- 1904 – The New York subway system officially opened. It was the first rapid-transit subway system in America.
- 1925 – Fred Waller received a patent for water skis.
- 1927 – The first newsreel featuring sound was released in New York.
- 1938 – Du Pont announced “nylon” as the new name for its new synthetic yarn.
- 1954 – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were divorced. They had been married on January 14, 1954.
- 1954 – The first Walt Disney television show “Disneyland” premiered on ABC.
- 1962 – The Soviet Union adds to the Cuban Missile Crisis by calling for the dismantling of U.S. missile basis in Turkey. U.S. President Kennedy agreed to the new aspect of the agreement.
- 1978 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.
- 1994 – The U.S. Justice Department announced that the U.S. prison population had exceeded one million for the first time in American history.
- 1997 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 554.26 points. The stock market was shut down for the first time since the 1981 assassination attempt on U.S. President Reagan.
- 2002 – The Anaheim Angels won their first World Series. They beat the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the series.
- 2002 – Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) became the all-time leading rusher in the NFL when he extended his career yardage to 16,743. He achieved the record in his 193rd game. He also scored his 150th career touchdown.
- James Cook 1728 – Explorer.
- Nicola Paganini 1782 – Composer, violinist.
- Theodore Roosevelt 1858 – 26th POTUS
- Emily Post 1873 – Author.
- Leif Erickson 1911 – Actor.
- Dylan Thomas 1914 – Poet.
- Teresa Wright 1918 – Actress.
- Nanette Fabray 1920 – Actress, comedienne.
- Ruby Dee 1924 – Actress.
- Floyd Cramer 1933 – Pianist.
- John Cleese 1939 – Comedian, actor.
- Lara Parker 1942 – Actress.
- Lee Greenwood 1942 – Singer, songwriter.
- Carrie Snodgress 1946 – Actress.
- Jack Daniels (Highway 101) 1949 – Musician (Highway 101).
- Garry Tallent 1949 – Musician (E Street Band).
- Jayne Kennedy 1951 – Actress, sportscaster.
- Peter Firth 1953 – Actor.
- Robert Picardo 1953 – Actor.
- Simon LeBon 1958 – Musician (Duran Duran).
- Scott Weiland 1967 – Musician (Stone Temple Pilots).
- Sheeri Rappaport 1977 – Actress.
- Kelly Osbourne 1984 – Daughter of Ozzy Osbourne.
Good morning fans of crossbred equines. Today is Wednesday, October 26th. The holidays today are:
National Mule Day
National Mule Day honors the importation of the first Spanish Jacks to the United States. They were a gift from King Charles III of Spain and were delivered on this date in 1785 in Boston.
One of the lesser-known annual observances that may not have made it onto your calendar, this holiday is designated to celebrate these unique hybrid animals. Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
Because donkeys and horses are actually different species with a different number of chromosomes, their offspring are nearly always sterile. The size of a mule is largely dependent upon the size of its mother. All kinds of horses are used to breed mules, and draft horses are a popular cross to create heavyweight mules. Today, breeders create designer mules using pinto or Appaloosa horses. Mules are valued for bringing the best characteristics of horses and donkeys into one animal. They are said to be stronger, smarter and have better endurance than either of their parents and because of these characteristics, they are still valued work animals. In recent years, they have even been used by the United States military to transport equipment in mountainous regions of Afghanistan. Mule enthusiasts have adapted to a changing equine market, and mules are used as companions and pleasure riding animals. They can be found under saddle and in harness at horse shows and out on the trails.
National Pumpkin Day
Oddly enough, National Pumpkin Day celebrates pumpkins. Pumpkins are a type of squash and are native to the Americas…though they can be grown on every continent except Antarctica. The oldest evidence of pumpkins dates back to somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BC to seeds found in Mexico. The word pumpkin originates from the Greek word “pepon”, which means “large melon”. However, before the Americans gave it its familiar name, it was known as ‘pompion‘ to the French, and then ‘pumpon‘ to the British.
The United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins, with Illinois producing more than any other state. The current North American record holding pumpkin weighed in at 2,145-pounds and was grown by Gene McMullen of Streator, Illinois in 2015. Although huge by any standard, the pumpkin is a couple of hundred pounds lighter than the current world record pumpkin. In 2014, a pumpkin weighing in at 2,323-pounds was grown in Switzerland and holds the world record.
Pumpkins are both delicious and decorative and, believe it or not, can be used in other ways besides pie filling and jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and, of course, Pumpkin Spice Latte and other drinks are perennial favorites.
And, humans aren’t the only species that can enjoy and benefit from pumpkins. Canned pumpkin puree may be recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats that are experiencing certain digestive ailments, and raw pumpkin can be fed to poultry as a supplement to their regular feed during the winter months to help with egg production.
Mince Meat Day
Mincemeat dates back to medieval times. Mincemeat is a mixture of minced (or chopped up) meats, suet, and fruits. The meat is usually finely chopped or ground beef. Fruits include raisins, apples, pears, and others. Sometimes liquor is added, most commonly brandy or rum. It was a way to preserve food. It was also a treat, mixed with sweet fruits. Somewhere in the early 1900’s, it lost its popularity. A whole generation has grown up, not knowing what it is, or having ever tasted it. Today, it is most often served as Mincemeat Pie. Over the years, the amount of meat in the recipes was reduced. In older recipes, you will find meat and/or suet among the ingredients. In more modern recipes, mincemeat contains no meat at all and is largely a fruity pie. It remains a traditional pie served by many families during the holiday season.
On this date in
- 1774 – The First Continental Congress of the United States adjourned in Philadelphia.
- 1825 – The Erie Canal opened in upstate New York. The 363-mile canal connected Lake Erie and the Hudson River at a cost of $7,602,000.
- 1858 – H.E. Smith patented the rotary-motion washing machine.
- 1881 – The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, AZ. The fight was between Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holiday and the Ike Clanton Gang.
- 1905 – Norway gained independence from Sweden.
- 1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Leyte Gulf ended. The battle was won by American forces and brought the end of the Pacific phase of World War II into sight.
- 1949 – President Harry Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.
- 1951 – Winston Churchill became the prime minister of Great Britain.
- 1955 – New York City’s “The Village Voice” was first published.
- 1958 – Pan American Airways flew its first Boeing 707 jetliner from New York City to Paris.
- 1962 – The Soviet Union made an offer to end the Cuban Missile Crisis by taking their missile bases out of Cuba if the United States agreed to not invade Cuba and would remove Jupiter missiles in Turkey.
- 1970 – “Doonesbury,” the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premiered in 28 newspapers across the America.
- 1972 – National security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, “Peace is at hand” in Vietnam.
- 1975 – Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to officially visit the United States.
- 1977 – The experimental space shuttle Enterprise successfully landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
- 1979 – South Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated by Kim Jae-kyu, the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.
- 1980 – Israeli President Yitzhak Navon became the first Israeli head of state to visit Egypt.
- 1988 – Roussel Uclaf, a French pharmaceutical company, announced it was halting the worldwide distribution of RU-486. The pill is used to induce abortions. The French government made the company reverse itself two days later.
- 1988 – Two whales were freed by Soviet and American icebreakers. The whales had been trapped for nearly 3 weeks in an Arctic ice pack.
- 1990 – The State Department issued a warning that terrorists could be planning an attack on a passenger ship or aircraft.
- 1991 – Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry arrived at a federal correctional institution in Petersburg, VA, to begin serving a six-month sentence for cocaine possession.
- 1993 – Deborah Gore Dean was convicted of 12 felony counts of defrauding the United States government and lying to Congress. Dean was a central figure in the Reagan-era HUD scandal.
- 1996 – Federal prosecutors cleared Richard Jewell as a suspect in the Olympic park bombing.
- 1998 – A French lab found a nerve agent on an Iraqi missile warhead.
- 2001 – It was announced that Fort Worth’s Lockheed Martin won a defense contract for $200 billion over 40 years. The contract, for the “joint strike fighter,” was the largest defense contract in history.
- 2002 – Russian authorities pumped a gas into a theater where separatist rebels held over 800 hostages. The gas killed 116 hostages and all 50 hostage-takers were killed by the gas or gunshot wounds.
- Joseph Aloysius Hansom 1803 – Architect, inventor (of the hansom cab).
- Charles William (C.W.) Post 1854 – Founder of Post cereals and products.
- H.B. Warner 1876 – Actor.
- Napoleon Hill 1883 – Writer.
- Jack Sharkey 1902 – Boxer
- Primo Carnera 1906 – Boxer
- Mahalia Jackson 1911 – Singer
- Charlie Barnett 1913 – Musician.
- Jackie Coogan 1914 – Actor.
- Francois Mitterand 1916 – President of France (1981-1995).
- Neal Matthews 1929 – Musician (Jordanaires).
- “Hot Rod” Hundley 1934 – Basketball player, sportscaster.
- Bob Hoskins 1942 – Actor.
- Mike Piano 1944 – Singer (The Sandpipers).
- Keith Hopwood 1946 – Singer, musician (Herman’s Hermits).
- Pat Sajak 1946 – TV host.
- Hillary Clinton 1947 – Former First Lady.
- Jaclyn Smith 1947 – Actress.
- Keith Strickland 1953 – Musician (B-52’s).
- Lauren Tewes 1954 – Actress.
- D.W. Moffett 1954 – Actor.
- Rita Wilson 1958 – Actress.
- Cary Elwes 1962 – Actor.
- Dylan McDermott 1962 – Actor.
- Marla Maples 1963 – Socialite, actress.
- Natalie Merchant 1963 – Musician (10,000 Maniacs).
- Thomas Cavanagh 1968 – Actor.
Good morning everyone. Today is Tuesday, October 25th. Today’s holidays are:
International Bandanna Day
One of the side effects of cancer treatment is often hair loss. This can be traumatic, especially to young children afflicted with the disease. International Bandanna Day urges you to proudly wear a bandanna today in support of cancer patients; who have to wear them every day to hide their hair loss.
To celebrate this holiday, make a donation to the American Cancer Society or another group that helps cancer patients.
Punk for a Day, Day
Like so many words in the English language, the word “punk” has evolved over time. In my day, a punk was an insolent, rebellious, disrespectful, destructive teenager. In the late 1970’s, “punk” took on an entirely different meaning with the advent of the Punk Music craze. Today, it means basically anyone who wants to be different; a non-conformist, especially one who identifies with the Punk Music scene and dresses the part.
If being “punk” is not something to which you normally aspire, why not step out of your comfortable, boring, “normal” life and try the “punk” persona today. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
1) Revamp your wardrobe with leather, denim, leopard print, and pants with lots of zippers and safety pins.
2) Either spike your hair or get a Mohawk (don’t worry, it’ll grow back). Then, color it some vibrant shade of pink, purple or blue.
3) Get a new piercing or tattoo, but make sure it’s visible and makes your coworkers cringe.
4) Listen to “Punk Rock” groups like the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, the Dead Kennedys, or the Clash.
Life is all about maintaining balance. Last week, we celebrated Sweetest Day, so to maintain balance, it’s only fitting that today we celebrate Sourest Day. Sourest Day is the cynic’s answer to Sweetest Day. When life gives you lemons… but not today! If life gives you lemons today, shout out your displeasure to the rest of the world. Feel free to be as grumpy, irritable or cantankerous as you want today about the world and everything and everyone in it. If you smell flowers, look for the funeral. If you see a rainbow, get prepared for the ensuing thunderstorm.
To celebrate this holiday, give out lemon drops to everyone you encounter.
International Artists Day
International Artists Day honors the contribution artists have and are making to society. Art is generally thought to encompass painting, sculpture, writing and music. Artists bring the timeless dimension of beauty and grace to humanity. Artists have chronicled our human condition for centuries. Art galleries are filled to overflowing with their work, yet the artists themselves remain an enigma. Why do they do what they do?
Celebrate this holiday by taking your favorite “starving artist” to lunch; try to discover what motivates him/her. Buy that painting or sculpture that has been niggling in the back of your mind since you first saw it in that quaint little shop. Visit an art gallery, attend a symphony, or create your own “masterpiece”.
World Pasta Day
It should come as a surprise to no one that World Pasta Day promotes the consumption of pasta around the world. It also seeks to increase awareness of the health benefits and nutritional value of pasta. World Pasta Day was established as an annual event at the first World Pasta Congress held on October 25, 1995, in Rome, Italy, and is promoted by pasta manufacturers around the world.
To celebrate this holiday, serve up a big dish of your favorite pasta and sauce today.
National Greasy Foods Day
Although perhaps not the healthiest choice available, everyone loves the taste of greasy food. From pizza and nachos to burgers and French fries, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the guilty pleasure of greasy foods. Even if it’s just for today, allow yourself to indulge in a little greasy food. You can always go back to eating healthy tomorrow.
Factoid: Fried chicken is the most ordered meal in sit-down restaurants in the United States.
On this date in
- 1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Lord James Cardigan received an order to attack the Russians. He took his troops into a valley and suffered 40 percent casualties. Later it was revealed that the order was the result of confusion and was not given intentionally.
- 1870 – The first U.S. trademark was given. The recipient was the Averill Chemical Paint Company of New York City.
- 1917 – The Bolsheviks (Communists) under Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power in Russia.
- 1929 – Alber B. Fall, a member of President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, was found guilty of taking a bribe. He was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000.
- 1951 – In Panmunjom, peace talks concerning the Korean War resumed after 63 days.
- 1954 – A U.S. cabinet meeting was televised for the first time.
- 1955 – The microwave oven, for home use, was introduced by The Tappan Company.
- 1958 – U.S. Marines withdrew from Beirut, Lebanon. They had been sent in on July 25, 1958, to protect the nation’s pro-Western government.
- 1960 – The Accutron watch by the Bulova Watch Company was introduced.
- 1962 – U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson presented photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the United Nations Security Council.
- 1962 – American author John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
- 1971 – The U.N. General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and admit mainland China.
- 1983 – U.S. troops and soldiers from six Caribbean nations invaded Grenada to restore order and provide protection to U.S. citizens after a recent coup within Grenada’s Communist (pro-Cuban) government.
- 1990 – It was announced by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney that the Pentagon was planning to send 100,000 more troops to Saudi Arabia.
- 2000 – AT&T Corp. announced that it would restructure into a family of four separately traded companies (consumer, business, broadband and wireless).
- 2001 – It was announced that scientists had unearthed the remains of an ancient crocodile which lived 110 million years ago. The animal, found in Gadoufaoua, Niger, grew as long as 40 feet and weighed as much as eight metric tons.
- Georges Bizet 1838 – Composer.
- Pablo Picasso 1881 – Artist.
- Richard Byrd 1888 – Naval officer, explorer.
- Leo G. Carroll 1892 – Actor.
- Whit Bissell 1909 – Actor.
- Sarah Ophelia Colley 1912 – Comedienne (Minnie Pearl).
- Lee MacPhail 1917 – Baseball executive.
- Bobby Thomson 1923 – Baseball outfielder.
- Billy Barty 1924 – Actor.
- Marion Ross 1928 – Actress.
- Jeanne Cooper 1928 – Actress.
- Tony Franciosca 1928 – Actor.
- Jeanne Black 1937 – Country singer.
- Bobby Knight 1940 – Basketball coach.
- Ann Tyler 1941 – Novelist.
- Helen Reddy 1942 – Singer.
- Jon Anderson 1944 – Musician (Yes).
- Taffy Danoff 1944 – Musician (Starland Vocal Band)
- Glen Tipton 1948 – Musician (Judas Priest).
- Brian Kerwin 1949 – Actor.
- Nancy Cartwright 1957 – Actress.
- Mark Miller 1958 -Musician (Sawyer Brown)
- Christina Amphlett 1960 – Singer (Divinyls)
- Tracy Nelson 1963 – Actress.
- Michael Boatman 1964 – Actress.
- Adam Goldberg 1970 – Actor.
- Midori (Goto) 1971 – Concert violinist.
- Pedro Martinez 1971 – Baseball pitcher.
- Lamont Bentley 1973 – Actor.
- Katy Perry 1984 – Singer.
Good morning 9 – 5ers. Today is Monday, October 24th. Today’s holidays are:
40-Hour Work Week Day
40-Hour Work Week Day celebrates the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which went into effect on this date in 1938. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 also established a minimum wage and outlawed child labor.
The 40-hour work week was nothing new. Ford Motor Company implemented a 40-hour work week for its factory workers a dozen years before this Act went into effect. Manufacturers all over the country, and the world realized that shortening a worker’s hours actually increased productivity and garnered company loyalty, and soon followed Ford’s lead, and the Monday-to-Friday workweek became standard practice for many. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 simply codified into law what smart businessmen were already doing.
National Crazy Day
Many of us act a bit crazy at times…some more than others. We all know that one person who marches to the beat of a different drum and National Crazy Day is your opportunity to march right along with them. National Crazy Day was established to allow everyone to have just one day set aside each year to act as crazy as they want. Do what you want to do (within the bounds of the law, that is), wear what you want to wear, be a free spirit. Don’t let societal norms dictate your behavior.
In celebration of National Crazy Day, I will endeavor to alter my behavior accordingly. The rest of you can just be yourselves.
National Bologna Day
Bologna is a sausage derived from and somewhat similar to the Italian mortadella (a finely hashed/ground pork sausage containing cubes of lard that originated in the Italian city of Bologna. United States government regulations require American bologna to be finely ground, and without visible pieces of lard. Bologna can alternatively be made from chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison or soy protein…or any combination thereof.
Bologna is a lunchtime favorite for sandwich lovers across the country. Although this American sausage is spelled bologna, it is commonly pronounced “baloney.” In some parts of the country, it is also called “jumbo.” Bologna is cooked and smoked with a wonderful bouquet of spices that add to its delicious flavor. There are many variations of bologna including German bologna and Kosher bologna.
Americans eat 800 million pounds of bologna annually. To celebrate this holiday, enjoy a bologna sandwich (or two) today. Don’t worry, this is one day of the year when it is perfectly OK to be “full of bologna”.
Good and Plenty Day
Good and Plenty’s chief claim to fame is that it’s considered by food historians to be the first brand-named candy in the United States, according to the Encyclopedia of junk food and fast food. The Quaker Oats Company introduced the licorice pastilles in 1893 and trademarked the name in 1928. A thin candy coating protects the overwhelming mix of anise and molasses flavors inside the capsule-shaped confection. Good and Plenty is now part of Hershey Company.
On this date in
- 1537 – Jane Seymour, the third wife of England’s King Henry VIII, died after giving birth to Prince Edward. Prince Edward became King Edward VI.
- 1632 – Scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, Holland. He created the first microscope lenses that were powerful enough to observe single-celled animals.
- 1648 – The Holy Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by the Peace of Westphalia that brought an end to the Thirty Years War.
- 1788 – Poet Sarah Joseph Hale was born. She wrote the poem “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
- 1795 – The country of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia.
- 1836 – Alonzo D. Phillips received a patent for the phosphorous friction safety match.
- 1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Lincoln.
- 1901 – Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.
- 1929 – In the United States, investors dumped more than 13 million shares on the stock market. The day became known as “Black Thursday.”
- 1931 – The upper level of the George Washington Bridge opened for traffic between New York and New Jersey.
- 1939 – Nylon stockings were sold to the public for the first time in Wilmington, DE.
- 1945 – The United Nations was formally established less than a month after the end of World War II. The Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.
- 1945 – Pierre Laval of France and Vidkum Abraham Quisling of Norway were executed. The two men were recognized as the two most prominent collaborators of the Nazis.
- 1948 – The term “cold war” was used for the first time. It was in a speech by Bernard Baruch before the Senate War Investigating Committee.
- 1949 – The cornerstone for the United Nations Headquarters was laid in New York City.
- 1960 – All remaining American-owned property in Cuba was nationalized. The process of nationalizing all U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuban had begun on August 6, 1960.
- 1962 – During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.
- 1989 – Reverend Jim Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $500,000 for his conviction on 24 counts of fraud. In 1991, his sentence was reduced to eighteen years and he was released on parole after a total five years in prison.
- 1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.
- 1997 – In Arlington, VA, former NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was spared a jail sentence after a courtroom apology to the woman he’d bitten during a sexual encounter.
- 1999 – An Israeli court sentenced American teenager Samuel Sheinbein to 24 years in prison. The crime was killing an acquaintance in Maryland in 1997.
- 2001 – The House of Representatives approved legislation that gave police the power to secretly search homes, tap all of a person’s telephone conversation and track people’s use of the Internet.
- 2001 – NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.
- 2003 – In London, the last commercial supersonic Concorde flight landed.
- James Sherman 1855 – 27th VEEP.
- Preston Foster 1900 – Actor.
- Moss Hart 1904 – Playwright.
- Bob Kane 1915 – Comic book artist, writer.
- Y.A. Tittle 1926 – Football quarterback.
- J.P. Richardson 1930 – Singer (The Big Bopper).
- Bill Wyman 1936 – Musician (Rolling Stones)
- Santo Farina 1937 – Musician (Santo and Johnny)
- F. Murray Abraham 1939 – Actor.
- David Nelson 1936 – Actor, director.
- Jerry Edmonton 1946 – Musician (Steppenwolf).
- Kevin Kline 1947 – Actor.
- Kweisi Mfume 1948 – Politician, activist.
- B.D. Wong 1962 – Actor.
- Monica 1980 – Singer, songwriter.
Good morning mole mavens. Today is Sunday, October 23rd. The holidays today are:
National Mole Day
National Mole Day does not celebrate “mole”, the annoying, unsightly burrowing rodent; nor does it celebrate “mole”, the annoying, unsightly, potentially cancerous skin growth. It also does not celebrate “mole”, that traitorous weasel that rats you out to your boss for every minor infraction of company policy; nor does it celebrate “mole”, the informant embedded deep within a criminal organization or foreign government. It does not celebrate “mole”, the seawall built in the ocean to protect a harbor. And finally, it does not celebrate “mole” (pronounced mo-le), the Mexican sauce made with chilies and chocolate and served over meat.
What National Mole Day does celebrate is “mole”, the chemistry term. National Mole Day was created as a way to nurture children’s interest in chemistry, and is celebrated by schools throughout the country. It was first conceived in an article in The Science Teacher in the early 1980’s.
In chemistry, a “mole” is: “The amount of a substance that contains as many atoms, molecules, ions, or other elementary units as the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon 12.” The number is 6.0225 × 1023, measured in grams, (hence the celebration on October 23 [10/23] from 6:02 AM to 6:02 PM). It was discovered by Italian chemist Amedeo Avogadro (1776 – 1856) and is known as Avogadro’s number It is also called a gram molecule. For example, carbon dioxide, CO2, has a molecular weight of 44; therefore, one mole of it weighs 44 grams.
Frankly, I have no idea what any of that means, however, if you are a chemistry buff I’m sure you understand it thoroughly and will be able to devise an appropriate way to celebrate National Mole Day on your own.
Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
In America, and especially in California, we look forward to the return of the swallows to Capistrano every March 19th, as a sign that Spring is nigh upon us. However, before the swallows return to Capistrano, they must first leave Capistrano. Historically, October 23rd is the date on which that happens. But, where do they go? Well, it seems that their winter vacation destination of choice is 6,000 miles south; in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. I wonder if Goyaites celebrate the return of the swallows to their city with as much excitement as we celebrate their return to Mission San Juan Capistrano?
TV Talk Show Host Day
Talk Show Host Day is celebrated on the birth date of legendary night-time talk show host Johnny Carson. Carson is considered the “King of late night Television”. He hosted The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992. His reign lasted a record 29 years, 7 months, 21 days. There were 4,531 episodes aired.
While this holiday is celebrated on Johnny Carson’s birth date, it is intended to show appreciation to all Television talk show hosts; daytime and nighttime. Celebrate this holiday by watching as many TV talk shows as you can today.
National iPod Day
It seems hard to believe that it was a mere 15 years ago, on this date in 2001, that the first incarnation of the iPod was unveiled. The iPod revolutionized the portable music industry. In a device that would fit in the palm of your hand, you could have at your fingertips, and playback, every song in your music library: And the storage capacity has increased with every subsequent version. My iPod is about ten years old now and contains about 6500 of my favorite songs…and I am using a small fraction of its capacity.
National Boston Cream Pie Day
A French chef named Sanzian invented Boston cream pie in 1856. He worked at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, which is also where the Parker House roll originated. Although it is called a pie, Boston cream pie is actually a cake. It consists of two round layers of sponge cake with a thick vanilla custard filling. It is usually frosted with a chocolate glaze but it can also be topped with confectioners sugar. The dessert is served in wedges just like a pie.
National Mother-in-Law Day – Fourth Sunday in October.
On this date in
- 1864 – During the Civil War, Union forces led by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis defeated the Confederate forces in Missouri that were under Gen. Stirling Price.
- 1910 – Blanche S. Scott became the first woman to make a public solo airplane flight in the United States.
- 1915 – The first U.S. championship horseshoe tourney was held in Kellerton, IA.
- 1915 – Approximately 25,000 women demanded the right to vote with a march in New York City, NY.
- 1929 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged starting the stock-market crash that began the Great Depression.
- 1930 – J.K. Scott won the first miniature golf tournament. The event was held in Chattanooga, TN.
- 1946 – The United Nations General Assembly convened in New York for the first time.
- 1956 – Hungarian citizens began an uprising against Soviet occupation. On November 4, 1956, Soviet forces enter Hungary and eventually suppress the uprising.
- 1956 – NBC broadcast the first videotape recording. The tape of Jonathan Winters was seen coast to coast in the United States.
- 1958 – Russian poet and novelist Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He was forced to refuse the honor due to negative Soviet reaction. Pasternak won the award for writing “Dr. Zhivago”.
- 1962 – During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. naval “quarantine” of Cuba was approved by the Council of the Organization of American States (OAS).
- 1962 – The Navy reconnaissance squadron VFP-62 began overflights of Cuba under the code name “Blue Moon.”
- 1971 – The U.N. General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and seat Communist China.
- 1973 – President Richard M. Nixon agreed to turn over the subpoenaed tapes concerning the Watergate affair.
- 1978 – China and Japan formally ended four decades of hostility when they exchanged treaty ratifications.
- 1980 – The resignation of Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin was announced.
- 1989 – Hungary became an independent republic, after 33 years of Soviet rule.
- 1992 – Japanese Emperor Akihito became the first Japanese emperor to stand on Chinese soil.
- 1993 – Joe Carter (Toronto Blue Jays) became only the second player to end the World Series with a home run.
- 1995 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin and President Bill Clinton agree to a joint peacekeeping effort in the war-torn Bosnia.
- 1998 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a breakthrough in a land-for-peace West Bank accord.
- 1998 – Japan nationalized its first bank since World War II.
- Gertrude Ederle 1906 – Olympic swimmer.
- James Daly 1918 – Actor.
- Ewell Blackwell 1922 – Baseball pitcher.
- Johnny Carson 1925 – Entertainer.
- Diana Dors 1931 – Actress.
- Jim Bunning 1931 – Baseball pitcher.
- Juan “Chi-Chi” Rodriguez 1935 – Pro golfer.
- Pelé 1940 – Soccer superstar.
- Eleanor (Ellie) Greenwich 1940 – Singer, songwriter.
- Michael Crichton 1942 – Author.
- Barbara Ann Hawkins 1943 – Singer (The Dixie Cups)
- Michael Rupert 1951 – Actor.
- Dwight Yoakam 1956 – Country singer.
- Sam Raimi 1959 – Director.
- “Weird Al” Yankovic 1959 – Parody singer, songwriter.
- Doug Flutie 1962 – Football quarterback.
- Mike Tomczak 1962 – Football quarterback.
- Roberto Trujillo 1964 – Musician (Metallica)
- Al Leiter 1965 – Baseball pitcher.
- Keith Van Horn 1975 – Basketball player.
- Ryan Reynolds 1976 – Actor.
- Masiela Lusha 1985 – Actress.