Life Day 24022: Want To Hang Out?

April 19, 2013 at 12:11 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning everyone. Are you just hanging out today? Today is Friday, April 19, 2013. The first holiday today is National Hanging Out Day. What the heck is Hanging Out Day anyway? If you are in the Google+ community, and you guessed that today is a day to start or join a “Hang Out”, you would be…Wrong. If you guessed that today is a day congregate with your friends and just “hang out”, you would be…Wrong. National Hanging Out Day celebrates the newest, hippest, most energy-efficient innovation in solar and wind energy technology; the clothesline. You could save hundreds of dollars each year by using a clothesline instead of that energy inefficient dryer. I don’t know about you, but I miss the smell of clothes dried on a clothesline. If you don’t have a clothesline in your backyard, today would be a good day to visit your favorite home center and buy all of the materials necessary to install one. Even if you don’t use it all the time, you’ll still be saving money when you do.

The second holiday is John Parker Day. Who is John Parker, you ask? Captain John Parker, was a member of the Massachusetts Militia. He and his troops encountered a group of British soldiers on a routine mission to search for stores of weapons and ammunition in Lexington, MA on this date in 1775. A stand-off ensued. It is believed that the orders he gave his men were: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Shortly thereafter, a scrimmage began. No one knows who fired the first shot, but the scrimmage ended with eight militia killed and ten wounded; with only one British soldier wounded. Later that day, Captain Parker rallied his men and attacked the regulars returning to Boston in an ambush known as “Parker’s Revenge”. Thus began the Revolutionary War.

The third holiday today is  DNA Day. I could not determine a reason why today is DNA Day. On April 2, 1953, James D Watson and Francis Crick discovered that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was a double helix, not a triple helix as was commonly believed. Sometime in April, 2003 (no specific date given) the Human Genome Project was completed. Nonetheless, today is DNA Day. Click here if you are interested in learning more about this holiday.

The last holiday today is Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day. I shouldn’t need to remind you what a senseless tragedy, and act of cowardice this event was. I am not going to re-hash the events of that awful day here. If you need a “refresher course” on the timeline of this despicable event, click here.

The first food-related holiday today is National Garlic Day. National Garlic Day promotes the many uses of Garlic. Garlic is a relative of onions and chives. Garlic is usually used in cooking as a vegetable or an herb to add flavor and can be found in cultural dishes all over the world. Garlic sprouts can also be used to season your dishes as well. Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It aids in treating the common cold, strep throat, lung infections and fungal infections. It lowers blood cholesterol levels, and reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries. Garlic originated in China. Today China is still the largest producer of garlic, followed by India, South Korea, Russia and the US. Most of the garlic in the US is grown in Gilroy, California which wrongly calls itself the ‘Garlic capital of the world”. Garlic is considered to be easy to grow and can grow year round in mild climates. One advantage to growing garlic is that they will not be attacked by pests. Oops, I almost forgot to mention the most beneficial quality of garlic: It wards off evil spirits and vampires.

The other food-related holiday is National Amaretto Day.  Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored, Italian liqueur. It is made from a base of apricot pits or almonds, sometimes both. The name is a diminutive of the Italian amaro, meaning “bitter,” indicating the distinctive flavor lent by the mandorla amara–the bitter almond or the apricot kernel. However, the bitterness is not unpalatable, and the flavor is enhanced by sweeteners, and sometimes sweet almonds, in the final products. Therefore, the liqueur’s name can be said to describe the taste as “a little bitter”. I am not a big fan of alcohol in general, and liqueurs in particular; and Amaretto is no exception.

On this date in 1993 – The Branch-Davidians’ compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.
In 1587 – English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet.
In 1689 – Residents of Boston ousted their governor, Edmond Andros.
In 1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.
In 1782 – The Netherlands recognized the new United States.
In 1802 – The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.
In 1861 – Thaddeus S. C. Lowe sailed 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC.
In 1861 – President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.
In 1897 – The first annual Boston Marathon was held. It was the first of its type in the U.S.
In 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.
In 1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
In 1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his “Old Soldiers” speech before the U.S. Congress. In the address General MacArthur said that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
In 1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
In 1956 – Actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The civil ceremony took place on April 18.
In 1958 – The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first major league baseball game on the West Coast.
In 1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.
In 1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots.”
In 1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
In 1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.
In 1987 – The last California condor known to be in the wild was captured and placed in a breeding program at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
In 1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
In 1998 – Wang Dan, a leader of 1989 Tienanmen Square pro democracy protests, was freed by the Chinese government.
In 2000 – Letters written by Greta Garbo were put on exhibit. The letters were made public ten years after Garbo’s death.
And, in 2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished people:
David Ricardo 1772 – Economist.
Ole Evinrude 1877 – Inventor.
Eliot Ness 1903 – G-Man.
Frank Fontaine 1920 – “Crazy Guggenheim”.
Hugh O’Brian 1925 – Actor.
Jayne Mansfield 1932 – Actress.
Dick Sargent 1933 – Actor.
Dudley Moore 1935 – Actor.
Elinor Donahue 1937 – Actress.
Bobby Russell 1941 – Singer, songwriter.
Tim Curry 1946 – Actor.
Tony Plana 1952 – Actor.
Ashley Judd 1968 – Actress.
Bekka Bramlett 1968 – Singer.
James Franco 1978 – Actor.
Kate Hudson 1979 – Actress.
Hayden Christensen 1981 – Actor.
Catalina Sandino Moreno 1981 – Actress.
And finally, Maria Sharapova 1987 – Tennis player.

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