Life Day 23995: Schmeckfest

March 23, 2013 at 12:00 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning German/Russian Mennonite festival lovers. Today is Saturday, March 23, 2013. The first holiday today is Schmeckfest. The 2013 Schmeckfest will be held the third and fourth weekends in March: March 15 and 16 and March 22 and 23. Schmeckfest (festival of tasting) is an annual four-day festival in Freeman, South Dakota, that celebrates the heritage and culture of Germans of Russian Mennonite heritage who emigrated to North America starting in the 1870’s. Established in 1959, Schmeckfest showcases the traditional foods and crafts of the Freeman community with an ethnic meal, demonstrations and displays. Schmeckfest has been held every spring since and has grown to accommodate more than 5,000 guests every year. The event is held at Freeman Academy, a grade 5 to 12 private school, and raises about $90,000 annually for the school. A multi-course meal and a musical are the main fundraising events. “Fiddler on the Roof” has been announced as the musical production for 2013. If you cant make it to Freeman, SD for this years event, you can hold your own private Schmeckfest. You Betcha. First, go through your closet and find your most appropriate German/Russian Mennonite attire. Second, display your most authentic German/Russian Mennonite knick knacks. Third, prepare a variety of German/Russian Mennonite foods, such as: Nudel Suppe (Noodle Soup), Grune Schauble Suppe (Green Bean Soup), Danpfleisch (Stewed Beef), Bratwurst (Pork Sausage), Gebratene Kartofflen (Fried Potatoes), Kase mit Knopfle (Cheese Buttons), Salat (Lettuce Salad), Geschmacke (Relishes), Zwiebach (Twin Buns), Schwarzbrotchen (Whole Wheat Buns), and Pluma Moos (Dried Fruit Sauce). And last, but not least, watch “Fiddler on the Roof”.

The next holiday is World Meteorological Day. Every year, on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization, part of the United Nations, celebrate World Meteorological Day to commemorate the founding of the organization in 1951. Each year, a different theme is featured. This year, the theme is “Watching the weather to protect life and property”.

OK, the third holiday today is OK Day. OK Day celebrates the coining of the word OK in 1839 by a group of editors in Boston, MA, who routinely made up nonsensical abbreviations to entertain their readers. OK meant “oll korrect” (all correct). Most of their comic abbreviations were soon forgotten, but OK gained momentum because of the Presidential campaign of Martin Van Buren in 1840. Van Buren was from Kinderbrook, NY, and he was nicknamed “Old Kinderbrook” (OK). He lost the election to William Henry Harrison, but OK survived to become one of the most commonly used words in America today. OK, got it?

Another holiday today is Near Miss Day. Near Miss Day commemorates the day a huge Asteroid nearly missed hitting the earth. On March 23, 1989, an asteroid the size of a mountain, came within 500,000 miles of a collision with Earth. In interstellar terms, it was a near miss. Had it collided with the Earth, it would have left a devastating crater the size of Washington, D.C. It’s affect on the planet would have been catastrophic. Since then, there have been other near misses. An asteroid approximately 70 meters long came within 288,000 miles in March, 2002. An asteroid approximately 10 meters in diameter came within 54,700 miles of earth on September 27, 2003. …..Whew!!

The last holiday today is National Puppy Day. National Puppy Day is a day  to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it’s a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, and to urge all pet stores to become puppy-free. National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Animal Behaviorist and Author, Colleen Paige. This website is full of ideas for ways to celebrate your puppy today. It would also be nice to donate to your local Humane Society or other Organization that helps puppies find loving homes.

The first food-related holiday today is National Melba Toast Day. Melba Toast is a delicacy named after the 19th-century opera singer Dame Nellie Melba in 1901. According to lore, the tiny thin, crispy toasts were first prepared for her by famed chef Auguste Escoffier, and were named by the eminent hotel magnate Cesar Ritz. Today, Melba Toast is sold in supermarkets everywhere, and is often marketed as reduced-calorie bread. If you are feeling adventurous, here is a recipe so you can make your own Melba Toast at home.
The second food-related holiday is National Chip and Dip Day. National Chip and Dip Day celebrates America’s favorite snack duet. If you re holding a party, it is almost certain that chips and dips will be on the snack list. Unlike Potato Chip Day, which we celebrated last week, National Chip and Dip Day is more generic and celebrates any kind of chip; corn, tortilla, pita, or any of the other “healthy” chips marketed today. As for the dip, choose whichever dip you deem appropriate for your chip of choice.
The last food-related holiday today is National Corn Dog Day. National Corn Dog Day is always celebrated on the first Saturday after the final 32 teams of the NCAA College Basketball Championship Tournament (March Madness) have been decided. It celebrates two of America’s favorite things; amateur basketball, and meat-on-a-stick. The tradition is purported to have originated was in 1992, in Corvalis, OR. I have no idea how the tradition spread nationwide.
Note: If you are clever enough, you should be able to adapt any of the above  food-related holidays to fit in with your Schmeckfest menu tonight.
Also, no matter how much you eat during your celebrations today remember: Like Jello, there’s always room for a corn dog.

On this date in 1857 – Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.
In 1775 – American revolutionary Patrick Henry declared, “give me liberty, or give me death!”
In 1794 – Josiah G. Pierson patented a rivet machine.
In 1806 – Explorers Lewis and Clark, reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east.
In 1836 – The coin press was invented by Franklin Beale.
In 1840 – The first successful photo of the Moon was taken.
In 1858 – Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar.
In 1868 – The University of California was founded in Oakland, CA.
In 1880 – John Stevens patented the grain crushing mill. The mill increased flour production by 70 percent.
In 1889 – U.S. President Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization.
In 1903 – The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent.
In 1909 – British Lt. Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.
In 1909 – Theodore Roosevelt began an African safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
In 1912 – The Dixie Cup was invented.
In 1917 – In the Midwest U.S., four tornadoes kill 211 people over a four day period.
In 1919 – Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
In 1921 – Arthur G. Hamilton set a new parachute record when he safely jumped from 24,400 feet.
In 1922 – The first airplane landed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
In 1925 – The state of Tennessee enacted a law that made it a crime for a teacher in any state-supported public school to teach any theory that was in contradiction to the Bible’s account of man’s creation.
In 1933 – The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act. The act effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.
In  1940 – “Truth or Consequences” was heard on radio for the first time.
In 1942 – During World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers.
In 1957 – 1957 – The U.S. Army sold the last of its homing pigeons.
In 1965 – America’s first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3.
In 1972 – Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after successfully jumping 35 cars.
In 1981 – U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law making statutory rape a crime for men but not women.
In 1983 – President Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. The proposal became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and “Star Wars.”
In 1989 – Two electro-chemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman, announced that they had created nuclear fusion in a test tube at room temperature.
In 1990 – Former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill.
In 1994 – Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s National Hockey League (NHL) career record with his 802nd goal.
In 1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that term limits for state lawmakers were constitutional.
And, in 2001 – Russia’s orbiting Mir space station plunged into the South Pacific after its 15-years of use.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following  notables:
Erich Fromm 1900 – German-American psychologist.
Joan Crawford 1904 – Actress.
Wernher Von Braun 1912 – Rocket scientist.
Marty Allen 1922 – Comedian. (I had the pleasure of meeting him in person. He is a remarkable man).
Martha Wright 1926 – Actress.
Roger Gilbert Bannister 1929 – Neurologist, British athlete.
Craig Breedlove 1937 – Land speed record holder.
Ric Ocasek 1949 – Musician.
Chaka Khan 1953 – Singer.
Moses Malone 1954 – Basketball player.
Teresa Ganzel 1957 – Comedienne, actress.
Amanda Plummer 1957 –  Actress.
Hope Davis 1964 – Actress.
Richard Grieco 1965 – Actor.
Marin Hinkle 1966 – Actress.
Jason Kidd 1973 – Basketball player.
Michelle Mohoghan 1976 – Actress.
Nicholle Tom 1978 – Actress.
And finally, Princess Eugenie (Eugenie Victoria Helena) 1990 – Daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York. 

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