Life Day 24001: It’s Good Friday; or Good, It’s Friday

March 29, 2013 at 12:44 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning everyone. Today is Friday, March 29, 2013. The first holiday today is Good Friday. Good Friday always occurs on the Friday before Easter Sunday in the United States. It is the day when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith. It is not a federal holiday in the United States, although it is a state holiday in some states. As I am not Catholic, or even religious, what makes this Friday “good” for me? Well, to begin with, it’s Friday, and it’s not the 13th, so that’s “good”. I can (and will) eat meat, so that’s “good”. I don’t know about these days, but when I was growing up we only had to go to school for half a day, so that was “good”. Since I have no Easter feast planned, I don’t have to go shopping, so that too is “good”. So I guess that today is Good Friday for me after all.
The next holiday is Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day. Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day is celebrated by locals in the vicinity of Niagara Falls to commemorate the day, in 1848, that ice blockages caused rivers to run dry, and reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ 3,160 tons of water per second flow came to a halt. The flow was stopped for about 40 hours. It has never happened again.
The third holiday today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. The deck seems to be stacked these days against small businesses. The failure rate is somewhere around 70% to 80%, yet still each day thousands of stalwart individuals take the plunge and start a new business. Today we celebrate that “entrepreneurial spirit” which made this great nation great. If you own a small business, or have ever owned one, give yourself a pat on the back. If you have to shop for anything today, patronize the Mom & Pop store in your neighborhood rather than that National Chain or “Box Store”, even if you have to pay a little more.
Another holiday today is Smoke and Mirrors Day. Smoke and Mirrors Day is a day of illusions. The term is a euphemism used to describe the fact that things are not always as they seem. Magicians use this technique to perform most of their “magic tricks”. You see this everyday in one form or another. Advertisers use it all the time. Politicians are experts at it. Here is a prime example: While the “main-stream media” distracts us with all the hype about the Defense of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A.), President Obama signs into law  the “Monsanto Protection Act”, a bill written by the very people it benefits.
The final holiday today is Knights of Columbus Founders Day.  It was on this day in 1882 that Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut. Knights of Columbus, a volunteer force of “Knights” and family members totaling nearly six million, is a Roman Catholic Fraternal Organization. They annually donate tens of millions of dollars and volunteer hours to countless charitable projects.

The food-related holiday today is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day. An insurance salesman, aptly named Harry Baker, invented chiffon cake in the 1920’s. He sold his cakes to the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles and all of Hollywood fell in love with the dessert’s lighter-than-air texture. Baker carefully guarded the recipe for over twenty years before selling it to General Mills (home of the Betty Crocker brand) for an undisclosed amount. The recipe for chiffon cake debuted in a 1948 edition of Better Homes and Gardens. General Mills marketed it as “the first new cake in 100 years” and it quickly became a nationwide sensation. The secret recipe called for vegetable oil instead of butter or shortening, and instructed the baker to beat the egg whites and egg yolks separately. There are many flavors of chiffon cake, but today’s reason to celebrate is; lemon.  However, if you choose to celebrate one of the other flavors; including chocolate, orange, walnut, and/or maple, no one will be the wiser.

On this date in 1971 – Lt. William Calley Jr., of the U.S. Army, was found guilty of the premeditated murder of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial was the result of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968.
In 1638 – First permanent European settlement in Delaware was established.
In 1847 – U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott took possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.
In 1903 – A regular news service began between New York and London on Marconi’s wireless.
In 1906 – In the U.S., 500,000 coal miners walked off the job seeking higher wages.
In 1932 – Jack Benny made his radio debut.
In 1943 – America began rationing of meat, butter and cheese began during World War II.
In 1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed in June 19, 1953.
In 1961 – The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment allowed residents of Washington, DC, to vote for president.
In 1962 – Cuba opened the trial of the Bay of Pigs invaders.
In 1962 – Jack Paar made his final appearance on the “Tonight” show.
In 1971 – A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. The death sentences were later commuted to live in prison.
In 1973 – The last U.S. troops left South Vietnam.
In 1974 – Mariner 10, the U.S. space probe became the first spacecraft to reach the planet Mercury. It had been launched on November 3, 1973.
In 1974 – Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. All the guardsmen were later acquitted.
In 1975 – Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declared that he would reopen the Suez Canal on June 5, 1975.
In 1979 – The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.
In 1992 – Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton said “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again” in reference to when he had experimented with marijuana.
In 1993 – Clint Eastwood won his first Oscars. He won them for best film and best director for the film “Unforgiven.”
In 1995 – The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a constitutional amendment that would have limited terms to 12 years in the U.S. House and Senate.
And, in 1999 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:
John Tyler 1790 – 10th POTUS.
Cy Young 1867 – Early baseball pitcher.
Phillip Ahn 1905 – Actor.
Phil Foster 1914 – Actor.
Eugene McCarthy 1916 – Politician.
Sam Walton 1918 – Entrepreneur.
Pearl Bailey 1918 – Actress, singer.
John McLaughlin 1927 – TV host.
Judith Guest 1936 – Author.
Vangelis 1943 – Composer.
Eric Idle 1943 – Comedian.
Terry Jacks 1944 – Singer.
Bud Cort 1950 – Actor.
Chris Lawford 1955 – Actor.
Kurt Thomas 1956 – Olympic gymnast.
Christopher Lambert 1957 – Actor.
Amy Sedaris 1961 – Comedian, actress.
Elle MacPherson 1964 – Model.
Lucy Lawless 1968 – Actress.
And finally, Jennifer Capriati 1976 – Tennis player.

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