Life Day 24056: A Penny for Your Thoughts

May 23, 2013 at 9:29 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of charmed, copper-coated zinc coinage. Today is Thursday, May 23, 2013. The first holiday today is Lucky Penny Day. Lucky Penny Day is for superstitious people who believe that inanimate objects can influence ones life. I am not one of those, so all I will say about that is that you shouldn’t pick up a penny for luck unless the head is facing up.
The penny, or 1¢ coin, has existed since 1793 as a United States coin, as a result of the Coinage Act of 1792; signed into law by President George Washington. Before that, each colony issued their own coinage. The composition of the U.S. penny has varied throughout it’s history. From 1793 until 1837, it was 100% copper. From 1837 until 1857, it was made of bronze (95% copper and 5% tin and zinc). From 1857 until 1864, the penny was 88% copper and 12% nickel, which gave the coin a whitish patina. From 1864 until 1962, the penny was again made of bronze; with the exception of 1943, when the penny was comprised of zinc-coated steel to conserve copper for the war effort. (Note: a limited number of pennies in 1943 were made from copper; making them the rarest of pennies and highly valued by collectors). In 1962, the composition was changed again, removing the small amount of tin, and making the composition of the penny 95% copper and 5% zinc. In 1982, the penny’s composition changed one last time to its current composition of  97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.
Last year, over 6 billion pennies were minted. I am among the growing number of people who believe that the  we should stop minting pennies; and that the penny should be taken out of circulation, and used only for accounting purposes. Now you have my 2¢ worth about pennies.

The next holiday today is World Turtle Day. World Turtle Day was created in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue. It’s purpose is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive. Turtles and tortoises are among the world’s oldest creatures, and many species are now endangered due to loss of habitat and pollution. You can celebrate this holiday by learning more about turtles and tortoises today and/or donating to a local turtle rescue organization.

The final holiday today is World Crohn’s and Colitis Day. World Crohn’s and Colitis Day was created in 2007 by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative Colitis is not the same as Crohn’s Disease, but is also a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms of these two illnesses are quite similar, but the areas affected in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) are different. Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, also called the large intestine. This link will give you more information about these two diseases.

The food-related holiday today is National Taffy Day. Taffy is a sweet treat made from boiling together sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, with flavorings and colorings. The mixture is then pulled and stretched and folded back over itself, and then re-stretched again until it is fluffy. Salt water taffy is the most common taffy, which originated in Atlantic City. It is called such because it originally contained a small amount of salt water in the mixture. The flavors of taffy are endless. Most common are fruit flavors. My mother used to make taffy using vinegar. I know it sounds yukky, but it was delicious. I remember buttering my hands and “pulling the taffy” with my brothers after it was cool enough to handle.

On this date in 1934 – In Bienville Parish, LA, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers. The bank robbers were riding in a stolen Ford Deluxe.
Other historical events which happened on this date are:
1701 – In London, Captain William Kidd was hanged after being convicted of murder and piracy.
1788 – South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify U.S. Constitution.
1846 – Arabella Mansfield (Belle Aurelia Babb) was born. She was the first woman in the U.S. to pass the bar exam, though she never used her law degree.
1873 – Canada’s North West Mounted Police force was established. The organization’s name was changed to Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1920.
1876 – Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in the history of the National League.
1895 – The New York Public Library was created with an agreement that combined the city’s existing Astor and Lenox libraries.
1900 – Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney became the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, 37 years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.
1922 – “Daylight Saving Time” was debated in the first debate ever to be heard on radio in Washington, DC.
1937 – Industrialist John D. Rockefeller died.
1949 – The Republic of West Germany was established.
1960 – Israel announced the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
1962 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) agreed to transfer the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, CA. The team became the San Francisco Warriors (and later the Golden State Warriors).
1962 – Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a major league baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning.
1985 – Thomas Patrick Cavanagh was sentenced to life in prison for trying to sell Stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
1992 – In Lisbon, Portugal , the U.S. and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement to implement the START missile reduction treaty that had been agreed to by the Soviet Union before it was dissolved.
1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished.
And, in 1999 – Gerry Bloch, at age 81, became the oldest climber to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He broke his own record that he set in 1986 when he was 68 years old.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished individuals:
Douglas Fairbanks 1883 – Actor.
Artie Shaw 1910 – Band leader.
Scatman Crothers 1910 – Actor, musician, singer, dancer.
John Payne 1912 – Actor.
Betty Garrett 1919 – Actress.
Helen O’Connell 1920 – Singer, actress.
Rosemary Clooney 1928 – Singer.
Joan Collins 1933 – Actress.
Robert Moog 1934 – Musician.
Lauren Chapin 1945 – Actress.
Marvin Hagler 1952 – Boxer.
Drew Carey 1958 – Comedian, game show host.
Karen Duffy 1962 – Actress, model.
Laurel Holloman 1968 – Actress.
Jewel 1974 – Singer.
And finally, Adam Wylie 1984 – Actor.


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