Life Day 24069: What a Bunch of Hot Air

June 5, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning lighter than air aviation enthusiasts. Today is Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The first holiday today is Hot Air Balloon Day. The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. On this date in 1783 Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier ascended to a height of 1500 feet (on a tether) in a hot air balloon. It was the first manned hot air balloon flight. The first untethered, manned, hot air balloon flight occurred later that year on November 21, 1783. It was piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in a hot air balloon created on December 14, 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers. A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and (usually) a source of heat, in most cases an open flame. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope.

The next holiday is National Running Day. National Running Day is celebrated every year on the first Wednesday of June. Runners everywhere celebrate their love for this age-old sport. Running was the most important athletic event during the first Olympic games in 776 BC? A cook named Koroibos won the 200-yard “stadium race.” He was crowned with an olive wreath. The official National Running Day website suggests ten different ways to celebrate the occasion. These include creative ideas like “change happy hour into running hour” and “choose a running resolution.” You can also find out about the local Running Day events going on in your community. To celebrate this holiday, go out for a run on your own or with a friend. Ready? Set? Who am I kidding, just thinking about running has exhausted me. It’s time for a glass of iced tea.

The third holiday today is National Tailors Day. National Tailors Day celebrates those individuals who keep us looking sharp. In today’s casual society, the real tailors of yesteryear are on the borderline of extinction. Even if you can find one, you probably can’t afford their services. People just don’t seem to care anymore about their appearance. A trip to any WalMart will confirm my hypotheses. Today’s tailors are usually middle aged oriental women who make alterations, mend holes, and sew patches on uniforms at a dry cleaning shop. There are still a few high-end professional tailors remaining in larger population centers, but as I mentioned before, they are becoming a dying breed. It’ s a shame. To me, nothing makes a better impression than someone in a well tailored suit, or casual clothes that have been tailored professionally. Someone who looks good in off-the-rack clothing is lucky indeed, but also quite rare. Celebrate this holiday by dressing in your best tailored clothes. If you have a tailor, or know one, take time today to let them know that they are appreciated.

Another holiday today is National Moonshine Day. Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, or Tennessee white whiskey is a high-proof distilled spirit, generally produced illicitly. The word is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey. The history and story of Moonshine is filled with characters and legends that have all helped shape this unique and colorful part of American history.

The final holiday today is World Environment Day. World Environment Day focuses attention on important environmental issues. According to the United Nations, “World Environment Day is commemorated each year on June 5th. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.” Each year, a theme is selected, and each year, a different city is selected to host World Environment Day celebrations. This year the theme is “Reduce Your Foodprint.” and the host city is Portland Oregon. Reduce your foodprint  is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. Do your part today (and everyday) to reduce the amount of food you waste. If there is an event in your area, try to attend.

And while I’m on the subject of food, today’s food-related holiday is National Gingerbread Day. National Gingerbread Day celebrated one of my favorite desserts; gingerbread. Gingerbread is a sweet food-product flavored with ginger and typically using honey or molasses rather than just sugar. Gingerbread is a moist loaf cake. Variations of this recipe are used to make the classic gingerbread men; and ‘ginger snaps’, one of my favorite cookies. To celebrate this holiday, have some gingerbread for dessert. You can use this recipe, your own recipe, or, like me, just buy a gingerbread box-mix. You can rest assured that not one crumb of gingerbread will be wasted in my house.

On this date in 1981 – In the U.S., the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five men in Los Angeles were suffering from a rare pneumonia found in patients with weakened immune systems. They were the first recognized cases of what came to be known as AIDS.
Also on this date in history:
1752 – Benjamin Franklin flew a kite to demonstrate that lightning was a form of electricity.
1794 – The U.S. Congress prohibited citizens from serving in any foreign armed forces.
1851 – Harriet Beecher Stow published the first installment of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
1865 – The first safe deposit vault was opened in New York. The charge was $1.50 a year for every $1,000 that was stored.
1884 – U.S. Civil War General William T. Sherman refused the Republican presidential nomination, saying, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
1917 – American men began registering for the World War I draft.
1933 – President Roosevelt signed the bill that took the U.S. off of the gold standard.
1944 – The first B-29 bombing raid hit the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
1947 – U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined the Marshall Plan.
1956 – Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounced Josef Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party Congress.
1967 – The Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan began.
1973 – The first hole-in-one in the British Amateur golf championship was made by Jim Crowford.
1975 – Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international shipping, eight years after it was closed because of the 1967 war with Israel.
1986 – A federal jury in Baltimore convicted Ronald W. Pelton of selling secrets to the Soviet Union. Pelton was sentenced to three life prison terms plus 10 years.
1998 – Volkswagen AG won approval to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for $700 million, outbidding BMW’s $554 million offer.
1998 – C-Span reported that Bob Hope had died. The report was false and had begun with an inaccurate obituary on the Associated Press website.
And, in 2004 – The U.S.S. Jimmy Carter was christened in the U.S. Navy in Groton, CT.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following celebrated individuals:
“Pancho” Villa 1878 – Mexican Revolutionary.
John Maynard Keynes 1883 – Economist.
William Boyd 1895 – Actor.
Bill Hayes 1925 – Actor.
Robert Lansing 1929 – Actor.
Bill Moyers 1934 – Broadcast journalist.
Spalding Gray 1941 – Actor.
Ken Follet 1949 – Author.
Kenny G. 1956 – Musician.
Karen Sillas 1965 – Actress.
Ron Livingston 1967 – Actor.
Brian McKnight 1969 – Singer.
Mark Wahlberg 1971 – Actor, singer.
Chad Allen 1974 – Actor.
And finally, Liza Weil 1977 – Actress.

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