Life Day 24074: Ballpoint Pen Day

June 10, 2013 at 12:02 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | 1 Comment

Today is Monday, June 10, 2013.
Good morning writing implement aficionados. The first holiday today is Ballpoint Pen Day. Ballpoint Pen Day celebrates the fact that on this date in 1943, a journalist, Laszlo Biro and his brother, a chemist, developed the ballpoint pen. They took out a patent with the European Patent Office and made the first commercial models of Biro pens. The British government bought the rights to the patented pen so the Royal Air Force could use them. The pens wrote without a problem at high altitudes with reduced pressure, while fountain pens flooded. The ball served two functions: it acted as a cap to keep the ink from drying and it let ink flow out of the pen at a controlled rate. To celebrate this holiday, give your keyboard a break and write notes to all of your friends and family with a ballpoint pen. You do still have one, don’t you?

The other holiday today is Alcoholics Anonymous Founders’ Day. Alcoholics Anonymous Founders’ Day celebrates the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous on this date in 1935. Bill Wilson, stockbroker from New York, and his friend Dr. Robert Smith, were looking to find the best way to reform alcoholics. Both had problems controlling their drinking. Wilson had some success with the Oxford Group, (a national organization founded by Lutheran minister Dr. Frank Buchman that promoted waiting for divine guidance in every aspect of life), while residing in New York. While on a trip to Akron, OH in 1935, he met Dr. Robert Smith. Dr. Smith posited that alcoholism was not a defect in character or morality, but rather a disease. It was from these humble beginnings that Alcoholics Anonymous blossomed. They developed the now famous 12-step program to sobriety, and the organization grew into the nationwide organization that it is today.

There are three food-related holidays today.
The first is Herbs and Spices Day. Fresh herbs and spices are now in season, and they are available in abundance at your local supermarket, farmers market, or or possibly even your own garden. But what do you do with all those fresh herbs that you buy, but can’t use immediately? If you try to keep them in your refrigerator, they will soon become an unidentifiable mass of shriveled, malodorous goo. The answer is dry them. The easiest method for preserving your herbs so they will cook up a tasty dish next time you need them is to tie the leftover sprigs with kitchen string and dry them by hanging them upside down from a rack or shelf in the kitchen (an open shelf, not one in a cupboard). As a bonus, while they’re suspended, your kitchen takes on the aroma of an exotic venue.

The second food-related holiday is National Black Cow Day. How many of you even know what a Black Cow is? For the unenlightened, a Black Cow is simply a root beer float made with chocolate ice cream, rather than vanilla. For all of my readers in Bakersfield, this holiday gives you a valid excuse to visit Dewar’s (as if you need an excuse). I don’t know it they have Black Cows on the menu, but if they don’t, they will probably make one for you anyway. Be sure to mention that it is National Black Cow Day and encourage them give Black Cows the recognition they deserve by adding them to their menu.

The final food-related holiday today is National Iced Tea Day. It is generally accepted that iced tea was created by Tea Plantation owner Richard Blechynden at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO. While he is largely responsible for popularizing the drink because of the large number of people attending the Fair and spreading the word about it, iced tea had been around at least for a few decades prior to that in the south. No matter who, where, when, why, or how it was created, it is delicious, refreshing, and healthy (if you don’t use too much sugar). I love iced tea, and live on it during the hot months of summer. I especially “sun tea”, which uses solar energy to brew the tea. You know me, I’m the consummate environmentalist. Enjoy a cool, refreshing glass this afternoon.

On this date in  1994 – President Clinton intensified sanctions against Haiti’s military leaders. U.S. commercial air travel was suspended along with most financial transactions between Haiti and the U.S.
Also on this date in history:
1776 – The Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1793 – The Jardin des Plantes zoo opened in Paris. It was the first public zoo.
1854 – The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, held its first graduation.
1902 – The “outlook” or “see-through” envelope was patented by Americus F. Callahan.
1909 – The SOS distress signal was used for the first time. The Cunard liner SS Slavonia used the signal when it wrecked off the Azores.
1920 – The Republican convention in Chicago endorsed woman suffrage.
1925 – The state of Tennessee adopted a new biology textbook that denied the theory of evolution.
1944 – The youngest pitcher in major league baseball pitched his first game. Joe Nuxhall was 15 years old (and 10 months and 11 days).
1948 – Chuck Yeager exceeded the speed of sound in the Bell XS-1.
1967 – Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire that ended the Six-Day War.
1970 – A fifteen-man group of special forces troops began training for Operation Kingpin. The operation was a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam.
1971 – The U.S. ended a 21-year trade embargo of China.
1984 – The U.S. Army successfully tested an anti ballistic missile.
1984 – The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in 117 years.
1993 – It was announced by scientists that genetic material was extracted from an insect that lived when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
1996 – Britain and Ireland opened Northern Ireland peace talks. The IRA’s political arm Sinn Fein was excluded.
And, in 1998 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that poor children in Milwaukee could attend religious schools at taxpayer expense.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following notables:
Hattie McDaniel 1895 – Actress.
Frederick Loewe 1901 – Composer.
Clyde Beatty 1903 – Animal trainer.
Howlin’ Wolf 1910 – Blues singer.
Barry Morse 1919 – Actor.
Judy Garland 1922 – Entertainer.
Lionel Jeffries 1926 – Actor.
F. Lee Bailey 1933 – Attorney.
Alexandra Stewart 1939 – Actress.
Kevin Corcoran 1945 – Director, former child actor.
Eliot Spitzer 1959 – Disgraced Governor of New York.
Gina Gershon 1962 – Actress, singer.
Jeanne Tripplehorn 1963 – Actress.
Kate Flannery 1964 – Actress.
Elizabeth Hurley 1965 – Model, actress.
Linda Evangelista 1965 – Model.
Hugh Dancy 1975 – Actor.
Shane West 1978 – Actor.
DJ Qualls 1978 – Actor.
Hoku 1981 – Singer.
Tara Lipinsky 1982 – Figure skater.
Madeleine Thérèse Amélie Joséphine 1982 – Princess.
And finally, Leelee Sobieski 1983 – Actress.


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  1. […] Root Beer Float Day. We have already celebrated a couple of root beer-related holidays this year; National Black Cow Day on June 10th, and Stewart’s Root Beer Day on June 17th, so National Root Beer Float Day may […]


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