Life Day 24051: O. Henry Pun-off Day

May 18, 2013 at 12:41 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning pundits. Today is Saturday, May 18, 2013. The first holiday today sounds like it would be a lot of pun. It is O. Henry Pun-off Day. Since 1977, O. Henry Pun-off Day has been held annually on the third Saturday of May in Austin, TX; the adopted home of author William Sydney Porter (aka O. Henry). A pun is the humorous use of a word or words in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications OR words that have the same or nearly the same sound but different meanings. If you can’t make it to the event this year, you can still celebrate. You can research O. Henry, read some of his works, or just opun a book of puns and read a few of your favorites.

The next holiday is International Museum Day. International Museum Day serves as a platform to raise public awareness on the role museums play in society today. It was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums. Museums serve as witnesses of the past and preservers of humanity’s treasures for future generations. Since it’s creation, this holiday has steadily grown. In 2012, about 32,000 museums in 129 countries on all continents participated in International Museum Day. Check for an event in your area and attend it if you can.  Museums are in constant need of funds for maintenance, upgrading displays, and sponsoring educational programs, so leave a donation in addition to any admittance fees you pay. You might also consider volunteering at your museum.

The third holiday today is Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day is simply a day to honor the selfless individuals currently serving in all branches of our Armed Forces. They train diligently both physically and mentally so they will be prepared for any mission they face. They can be called upon at a moment’s notice to put themselves in harms way to protect your freedom and way of life. Prior to 1950, each branch had their own different days of celebration. But, on August 31, 1949, then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. President Harry Truman also announced the holiday in a presidential proclamation on February 20, 1950. All branches of the military were asked to celebrate on this day and they complied on the first Armed Forces Day which was held the following year on May 20, 1950.

Today is also Visit Your Relatives Day. It’s easy to lose touch with your loved ones. We all lead busy lives so visits to relatives, even in the same town, are often relegated to Christmas and maybe a few other major holidays. Reach out to your relatives today. If you can’t stop by, call them on the phone. Even an email would be acceptable.

The fifth holiday today is No Dirty Dishes Day. No Dirty Dishes Day is meant to be a reprieve from the mundane daily task of doing dishes. This holiday does not mean that you just let them pile up in the sink or dishwasher. The objective is to not dirty any dishes today. One way to do this is to use disposable pans, plates, bowls, cups and silverware. Another way is to take your family out for all three meals. For a snack, take them out for ice cream.

The final holiday today is National Learn To Swim Day. National Learn To Swim Day is a new holiday (this is only the second annual observance), and is celebrated on Saturday of the week before Memorial Day Weekend. With summer nigh upon us, more and more people are planning activities centered in and around water. Swimming is fun, great exercise, and could possibly save your life. According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14. If you don’t know how to swim, I urge you to enroll in a class today.

The food-related holiday is National Cheese Soufflé Day. A soufflé is a baked egg dish made with egg yolks, beaten egg whites, and various other ingredients. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up”. That is an apt description of what happens when this dish is baked. The traditional way to make a soufflé is in individual ramekins. Soufflés are light and fluffy, and can be enjoyed as any meal, but more often than not, they are served as breakfast or brunch. Take the time to make one today.

On this date in 1998 – The U.S. federal government and 20 states filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., saying the computer software company had a “choke hold” on competitors which denied consumer choices by controlling 90% of the software market.
Other significant historical events which happened on this date are:
1652 – In Rhode Island, a law was passed that made slavery illegal in North America. It was the first law of its kind.
1896 – The U.S. Supreme court upheld the “separate but equal” policy in the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with Brown vs. Board of Education.
1917 – The U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service act, which called up soldiers to fight in World War I.
1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashed his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean non-stop. He was picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.
1933 – The Tennessee Valley Authority was created.
1934 – The U.S. Congress approved an act, known as the “Lindberg Act,” that called for the death penalty in interstate kidnapping cases.
1951 – The United Nations moved its headquarters to New York City.
1953 – The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.
1974 – India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.
1980 – Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. 57 people were killed and 3 billion in damage was done.
1983 – The U.S. Senate revised immigration laws and gave millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program.
And, in 1998 – U.S. federal officials arrested more than 130 people and seized $35 million. This was the end to an investigation of money laundering being done by a dozen Mexican banks and two drug-smuggling cartels.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished people:
Frank Capra 1897 – Film director.
Perry Como 1912 – Singer.
Bill Macy 1922 – Actor.
Kai Winding 1922 – Musician.
Marquita Rivera 1922 – Actress, singer, dancer.
Pernell Roberts 1930 – Actor.
Robert Morse 1931 – Actor.
Dwayne Hickman 1934 – Actor.
Brooks Robinson 1937 – Baseball player.
Reggie Jackson 1946 – Baseball player.
Candice Azzara 1949 – Actress.
James Stephens 1951 – Actor.
George Strait 1952 – Country musician.
Toyah Wilcox 1958 – Singer, actress.
And finally, Tina Fey 1970 – Actress, comedian.

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