Life Day 23954: Happy New Year (if you’re Chinese)

February 10, 2013 at 12:51 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning dragon breath. Today is Sunday, February 10th, 2013. The first “holiday” today is Chinese New Year. This year, it is the ‘Year of the Dragon’. Chinese New Year is an annual celebration marking the start of the new year according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Chinese New Year always falls in the months of January or February, and each Chinese new year is represented by 1 of the 12 creatures of the Chinese Zodiac. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, and in pre-modern times it would signal to farmers in China that they must begin preparation for the sowing of their fields. This link will explain it in greater detail.
The second “holiday” is Plimsoll Day. Most of you are asking right about now; “What the heck is a Plimsoll?” I’ll answer that shortly, but the real question you should be asking is; “Who is Plimsoll?” The answer to that question is Samuel Plimsoll, born on this date in 1824. He was a member of the British Parliament, who in 1876, was instrumental in the passing of the Unseaworthy Ships Amendment to the British Merchant Shipping Act (or Plimsoll Amendment). It had to do with the overloading of Merchant Ships, thus putting sailors lives at risk. Basically, he is the one responsible for the cargo line, or Plimsoll line that you see on Cargo Ships today. Now, as for the “What is a Plimsoll” question. That answer to that is, shoes; known originally as “sand shoes”, but known today as deck shoes, or sneakers. This link will give you a  more detailed and articulate explanation.
Yet another “holiday” is Umbrella Day. Brolly, gamp, parasol, bumbershoot, whatever you call it, umbrellas are made for one thing, protecting you from the elements. The umbrella is one of  the world’s most invaluable inventions. On a rainy, day, they protect our hair and clothing.  They are also used on sunny days to shade us from harmful UV radiation, and the heat of the sun. Umbrellas come in all sorts of sizes, colors, shapes, and, designs. The smallest umbrellas fit inside a purse or glove compartment. Golf umbrellas are popular sizes. Then, there are lawn and beach umbrellas. To celebrate today, make sure your umbrella is handy, just in case you decide to go outside. If you don’t own an umbrella, today is a good day to buy one.
The last “holiday” today is World Marriage Day. Each year World Marriage Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in February. It is sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the largest Catholic pro-marriage and family movement in the world. Take steps to strengthen your marriage. Sit down with your spouse and talk about what it was about them that originally attracted you. Make their favorite dinner (guys, this applies to you too). If you have a copy of, or can remember verbatim, you original marriage vows, recite them to each other again today.

The food-related “holiday” today is Cream Cheese Brownie Day. Who can resist the heavenly taste of a rich fudge brownie marbled with cream cheese? Its combination of sweet and tangy flavors will please almost everyone. The brownie is America’s favorite bar cookie. Although desserts called “brownies” have been around since the 1800’s, the cake-like confection we know and love today can be traced back to 1906. Culinary historians credit “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” with the first published recipe for the modern brownie, but this early recipe was far less chocolaty than what we’re accustomed to nowadays. It only called for two squares of baking chocolate. Sacrilege! Today there are hundreds of different brownie recipes. Many incorporate interesting add-ins like peanut butter, walnuts, caramel, peppermint, banana, or (of course) cream cheese. Celebrate today by enjoying the sweet, rich, and creamy flavors of a cream cheese brownie.

On this date in 1962, the Soviet Union exchanged capture American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for the Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel being held by the U.S.   Other significant historic events which happened on this date are:
In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. In the treaty France ceded Canada to England.
In 1846, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their exodus to the west from Illinois.
In 1863, in New York City, two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married.
Also in 1863, the fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane.
In 1897, “The New York Times” began printing “All the news that’s fit to print” on their front page.
In 1920, major league baseball representatives outlawed pitches that involve tampering with the ball.
In 1923, ink paste was manufactured for the first time by the Standard Ink Company.
In 1933, the singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
Also in 1933, Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Schaaf in round 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Schaaf died as a result of the knockout punch.
In 1934, the first perforated, un-gummed sheets of postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City.
In 1967, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment required the appointment of a vice-president when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability.
In 1981, the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino caught fire. Eight people were killed and 198 were injured.
In 1989,  Ron Brown became the first African American to head a major U.S. political party when he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
In 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, Miss Black American contestant
In 1998, a man became the first to be convicted of committing a hate crime in cyberspace. The college dropout had e-mailed threats to Asian students.
Also in 1998, Voters in Maine repealed a 1997 gay rights law. Maine was the first state to abandon such legislation.
And, in 2005, North Korea publicly announced for the first time that it had nuclear arms. The country also rejected attempts to restart disarmament talks in the near future saying that it needed the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following notable people:
William Allen White, 1868 – Newspaper editor.
Boris Pasternak, 1890 – Dr. Zhivago.
Jimmy Durante, 1893 – Comedian.
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1894 – British Prime Minister (1957 to 1963.
Dame Judith Anderson, 1898 – Actress.
Lon Chaney, Jr., 1905 – Actor.
Neva Patterson, 1922 – Character actress.
Leontyne Price, 1927 – Opera soprano.
Robert Wagner, 1930 – Actor.
Roberta Flack, 1939 – Singer.
Ral Donner, 1943 – Singer.
Mark Spitz, 1950 – Olympic swimmer.
Greg Norman, 1955 – PGA.
George Stephanopoulos, 1961 – TV Journalist.
Laura Dern, 1967 – Actress.
And finally, Elizabeth Banks, 1974 – Actress.

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