Life Day 24037: “May the Fourth Be With You”

May 4, 2013 at 12:07 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning space cases. Today is Saturday, May 4, 2013. The first holiday today is Intergalactic Star Wars Day. Intergalactic Star Wars Day celebrates the entirety of all of the Star Wars movies to date. I can state with statistical certainty that everyone in America from my generation has seen at least one of the movies from the original Star Wars trilogy. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year intervals. Sixteen years after the release of the trilogy’s final film, the first in a new prequel trilogy of films was released. The three prequel films were also released at three-year intervals, with the final film of the trilogy released on May 19, 2005. In October 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and announced that it would produce three new films, with the first film, Star Wars Episode VII, planned for release in 2015. 20th Century Fox still retains the distribution rights to the first two Star Wars trilogies, owning permanent rights for the original film Episode IV: A New Hope, while holding the rights to Episodes I–III, V and VI until May 2020. But wait, if the first, Star Wars, was released on May 25, 1977, why then do we celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th? Unless you just awoke from a four decade coma, the answer is obvious. One of the most memorable lines from the original Star Wars movie was; “May the force be with you.” Punsters have twisted that line to be; “May the fourth be with you”, which is why Intergalactic Star Wars Day is celebrated today, May 4th.

The next holiday today is 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May; capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The Kentucky Derby is also the first race in horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown. It is touted by some as the “greatest two minutes in sports”. Even if you are not a fan of horse racing, I urge you to watch it today if you can; if only to scoff at the grotesque, often comical, hats worn by some of the “society women” who attend this race.

The third holiday today is Bird Day. Bird Day is always celebrated on May 4th. There are several other “bird holidays” observed every year, but this “Bird Day” is the oldest. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, the first Bird Day was celebrated on May 4, 1894. It was created by Charles Almanzo Babcock of  Oil City, PA. By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day. Bird Day and Arbor Day events are focused upon conservation training and awareness. However, it is also a good day for bird-watching, so get some bird seed, fill up your bird feeder, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon watching your fine feathered friends enjoy their new bounty.

The final holiday that I am going to expound upon today is International Firefighters Day. International Firefighters’ Day is observed annually on 4th May. Firefighters are selfless individuals who dedicate themselves to the protection of life and property, and the environment; often at the risk of their own lives. Firefighting requires extensive training, and as well, firefighters are required to keep abreast of new firefighting techniques and equipment throughout their career. Firefighters in many communities are volunteers; while others are paid by local or state governments.  If you know any firefighters, past or current, be sure to thank them today for what they do.

Below are links to the rest of today’s holidays, which warrant little more than a casual mention in my humble opinion.
Bladder Cancer Awareness Day.
Free Comic Book Day.
National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
International Respect for Chickens Day.
National Scrapbooking Day.
Renewal Day.

The first food-related holiday today is National Candied Orange Peel Day. Unless you are a professional in  the culinary arts, you may not even know that the heck candied orange peel is. They are a boiled, sliced, sugar added treat used mostly in holiday cakes and cookies. If you’ve ever actually eaten a slice of fruitcake, you have probably eaten candied orange peel. Since fruitcake has a half-life equivalent to that of Plutonium, and since you probably still have one leftover from last Christmas, find it in that dusty corner of your pantry and have a slice for a snack today. See if you can identify the candied orange peel (or any of the other ingredients for that matter).

The next food-related holiday is Orange Juice Day. Orange juice is one of the most popular juices in the United States. It is a great source of Vitamin C, Folic Acid and potassium. Orange juice refers to the juice of oranges. It is made by squeezing the fresh fruit, by drying and later rehydrating the juice, or by concentration of the juice and later adding water to the concentrate. Here in America, we commonly shorten the name of this beverage to just O.J. Because of the importance to it’s economy, orange juice was adopted as the official beverage of Florida in 1967. Orange Juice is good any time of the day. Have some with your slice of fruitcake today. You’ll probably need all the help you can get to choke that nasty cake-like substance down.

The final food-related holiday today is National Homebrew Day. National Homebrew Day is a day to celebrate those ‘rebels’ who like to brew their own beer. Each year homebrewers around the world invite family and friends to their brewing site on the first Saturday in May to celebrate the holiday. Everyone is encouraged to help out with the brew, enjoy the fun and join in on a worldwide toast at noon CDT. Many communities have brewing clubs who will be participating in this event. If you know someone who home-brews, try to finagle an invitation to sample their latest masterpiece. If not, use this website to help find an event near you.

On this date in 1989 – Oliver North, a former White House aide was convicted of shredding documents and two other crimes. He was acquitted of nine other charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair. The three convictions were later overturned on appeal.
In 1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on Manhattan Island. Native Americans later sold the island (20,000 acres) for $24 in cloth and buttons.
In 1715 – A French manufacturer debuted the first folding umbrella.
In 1776 – Rhode Island declared its freedom from England two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
In 1814 – Napoleon Bonaparte disembarked at Portoferraio on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean.
In 1886 – Chichester Bell and Charles S. Tainter patented the gramophone. It was the first practical phonograph.
In 1905 – Belmont Park opened in suburban Long Island. It opened as the largest race track in the world.
In 1916 – Germany agreed to limit its submarine warfare after a demand from U.S. President Wilson.
In 1930 – Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British.
In 1932 – Al Capone entered the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for income-tax evasion.
In 1942 – The United States began food rationing.
In 1946 – A two-day riot at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco Bay ended. Five people were killed.
In 1961 – Thirteen civil rights activists, dubbed “Freedom Riders,” began a bus trip through the South.
In 1970 – The Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on students during an anti-Vietnam war protest at Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine others were wounded.
In 1979 – Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister.
In 1987 – Live models were used for the first time in Playtex bra ads.
In 1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed a historic accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
In 1998 – Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, CA. The sentence was under a plea agreement that spared Kaczynski the death penalty.
In 1999 – Manuel Babbitt was executed for killing Leah Schendel in 1980. Babbitt had received a purple heart for his injuries in Vietnam while on death row.
In 2000 – Londoners elected their mayor for the first time.
And, in 2003 – Idaho Gem was born. He was the first member of the horse family to be cloned.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries.
Horace Mann 1796 – Educator.
Thomas Huxley 1825 – Biologist.
Howard DaSilva 1909 – Actor.
Hosni Mubarak 1928 – Egyptian president.
Audrey Hepburn 1929 – Actress.
Roberta Peters 1930 – Opera singer.
Dick Dale 1937 – Musician.
Tyrone Davis 1938 – Singer.
George F. Will 1941 – Columnist.
David LaFlamme 1941 – Musician.
Paul Gleason 1944 – Actor.
Peggy Santiglia 1944 – Singer.
Stella Parton 1949 – Country singer.
Pia Zadora 1954 – Actress.
Randy Travis 1959 – Country singer.
Mary McDonough 1961 – Actress.
Ana Gasteyer 1967 – Comedian.
Will Arnet 1970 – Actor.
Kimora Lee Simmons 1975 – Television personality.
Lance Bass 1979 – Singer.
And finally, Alexander Gould 1994 – Actor.


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