Life Day 24032: “It’s A Zippity Do Dah Day”

April 29, 2013 at 12:00 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning slide-fastener enthusiasts. Today is Monday, April 29, 2013. The first holiday today is Zipper Day. On this date in 1913, Gideon Sundbeck received a patent for what is now known as the zipper. However, this was not the first patent issued for an “automatic continuous clothing closure”. That distinction goes to Elias Howe who patented a cruder form of the device in 1851. Elias Howe also invented the sewing machine around the same time, so his “zipper” was left by the wayside so he could concentrate on that. In the 1920′s, the B.F. Goodrich company had a “new” product (rubber boots, or galoshes) that they wanted to bring to market that utilized Mr. Sundbeck’s invention. They coined the term “zipper”, and the rest is history.
Fun Fact: Did you ever notice the letters YKK on your zipper and wonder what it meant? Well, YKK stands for Yashida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha; a manufacturing company based in Tokyo, Japan. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of zippers.

The next holiday is “Peace” Rose Day. Judging from the name, you would think that “Peace” Rose Day is another one of those esoteric UN holidays that I despise so much. But thankfully, it is not.  “Peace” Rose Day is about celebrating a specific variety of rose. The official name of the Peace Rose is Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’.  Peace Rose had its start back in the 1930’s. ‘Peace’ was one of many roses pollinated in June of 1935 by the commercial rose growing Meilland family whose nursery was located near Lyon France. In the summer of 1936 eyes from new seedlings were grafted onto root-stock, and buds opened in October. The rose that was to become known as Peace was then one of many and was identified only by a number, 3-35-40. Over the next four years Francis Meilland, the third generation of the Meilland growers, together with his father Antoine ‘Papa’ Meilland, recognized the rose ‘3-35-40’ as the most promising of the new roses. In June 1939 there was an international conference of rose growers in Lyon France and 3-35-40 attracted widespread interest and praise by rose growers of many countries. Unfortunately, shortly after, WWII started and France  was taken over by the Germans. To make a long story short, a piece of bud-wood from the 3-35-40 made it to America. The rest of the story of how this variety of rose ended up with the name Peace Rose is too long for this BLOG. To read the entire saga, click here.

The third holiday today is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is  an international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography; held each year on the last Sunday in April. Pinhole photography allows you to make a photograph that requires only a light-tight container (box, can, etc) with a tiny hole in one side (as a camera) and any photo-sensitive surface in it. You can adapt an existing camera, or make the camera yourself. Pinhole photography dates back to the origins of photography. The first cameras were all basically pinhole cameras. You can try to play around with pinhole photography today if you want, but personally, I’ll stick with my digital cameras. The technology in modern cameras is amazing.  Film cameras will soon be a footnote in history; much like the horse and buggy.

The final holiday today is Greenery Day. Greenery Day Greenery was created in 1989. It celebrates the birthday of Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1901. In Japanese culture, Greenery day is a time to commune with nature and to be thankful and appreciative of it’s abundance. To celebrate Greenery Day, take a nature walk, or do a project to improve or preserve nature; whether in your own backyard or for your community.

The food-related holiday today is National Shrimp Scampi Day. Scampi is a culinary name for a kind of small lobster, also known as Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine or, to avoid ambiguity, “true scampi”. The name is often used loosely to describe a style of preparation typical for this lobster. In the USA, “scampi” is often the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine. The term “scampi”, by itself, is also the name of a dish of shrimp served in garlic butter and dry white wine, served either with bread, or over pasta or rice, although sometimes just the shrimp alone. Most variants of the “shrimp scampi” come on pasta. The word “scampi” is often construed as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient, with that preparation being called “shrimp scampi”. Since we are in the good ole USA, I have to assume that Shrimp Scampi Day refers to the American version of scampi. Anyway, Shrimp scampi is easy to make, so enjoy some for dinner tonight.
Confession: I couldn’t wait for today. Although, as many of you know, I dislike seafood as a general rule, I do enjoy the occasional crustacean. Shrimp Scampi is no exception to this rule. I had Shrimp Scampi Saturday night with my Prime Rib.

On this date in 1952 – IBM President Thomas J. Watson, Jr., informed his company’s stockholders that IBM was building “the most advanced, most flexible high-speed computer in the world.” The computer was unveiled April 7, 1953, as the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine. This monstrosity filled an entire room. These days, your smart phone has more computing power.
In 1813 – Rubber was patented by J.F. Hummel.
In  1852 – The first edition of Peter Roget’s Thesaurus was published.
In 1861 – The Maryland House of Delegates voted against seceding from Union.
In 1862 – New Orleans fell to Union forces during the Civil War.
In 1879 – In Cleveland, OH, electric arc lights were used for the first time.
In 1927 – Construction of the Spirit of St. Louis was completed for Lindbergh.
In 1941 – The Boston Bees agreed to change their name to the Braves.
In 1945 – In a bunker in Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were married. Hitler designated Admiral Karl Doenitz his successor.
In 1945 – The Nazi death camp, Dachau, was liberated.
In 1961 – ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” premiered.
1974 – U.S. President Nixon announced he was releasing edited transcripts of secretly made White House tape recordings related to the Watergate scandal.
In 1975 – The U.S. embassy in Vietnam was evacuated as North Vietnamese forces fought their way into Saigon.
In 1981 – Steve Carlton, of the Philadelphia Phillies, became the first left-handed pitcher in the major leagues to get 3,000 career strikeouts.
In 1984 – In California, the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor went online after a long delay due to protests.
In 1985 – Billy Martin was brought back, for the fourth time, to the position of manager for the New York Yankees.
In 1986 – Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox set a major-league baseball record by striking out 20 Seattle Mariner batters.
In 1988 – The Baltimore Orioles set a new major league baseball record by losing their first 21 games of the season.
In 1990 – The destruction of the Berlin Wall began.
In 1992 – Rioting began after a jury decision to acquit four Los Angeles policemen in the Rodney King beating trial. 54 people were killed in 3 days.
In 1997 – Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson, a drill instructor at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, was convicted of raping six female trainees. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and was dishonorably discharged.
In 1997 – Astronaut Jerry Linenger and cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev went on the first U.S.-Russian space walk.
And, in 2003 – Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud) filed a lawsuit against Best Buy Co. Inc., that claimed the store did not have permission to use his likeness in a print ad.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following people of note.
William Randolph Hearst 1863 – Newspaper magnate.
Duke Ellington 1899 – Big Band leader.
Tom Ewell 1909 – Actor.
Celeste Holm 1919 – Actress.
April Stevens 1929 – Singer.
Rod McKuen 1933 – Poet.
Lane Smith 1936 – Actor.
Zubin Mehta 1936 – Conductor.
Richard Kline 1944 – Actor.
Tammi Terrell 1945 – Singer.
Tommy James 1947 – Musician.
Kate Mulgrew 1955 – Actress.
Jerry Seinfeld 1955 – Comedian.
Daniel Day-Lewis 1957 – Actor.
Michelle Pfeiffer 1958 – Actress.
Eve Plumb 1958 – Actress.
Carnie Wilson 1968 – Singer.
Uma Thurman 1970 – Actress.
And finally, Andre Agassi 1970 – Tennis player.

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