Life Day 24085: Lou Gehrig Retires

June 21, 2013 at 12:06 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Friday, June 21, 2013.
Good morning baseball fans. The first event that I am going to cover today is (for the third day in a row) not a holiday. On this date in 1939, Lou Gehrig announced that he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and would retire from the New York Yankees effective immediately. Although he spent most of his illustrious career in the shadow of Babe Ruth, he managed to put together quite a number of records including playing in 2130 consecutive games (which was only curtailed due to his retirement), and  most career “grand slams” (23). (His record for most consecutive games stood until broken by Cal Ripkin Jr in 1995).  He had a lifetime batting average of .340, a lifetime “on-base percentage” of .447, and a lifetime “slugging” percentage of .632. He was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” because of his stamina. He was truly one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He succumbed to his illness on June 2, 1941.

The first holiday today is Baby Boomers Recognition Day. We Baby Boomers have witnessed a significant number of historical events. We saw the transition from radio to television, and went from vinyl records to 8-track tapes, to cassette, to CD’s. We were around for the dawn of the ‘computer age’. We saw the first man go into space, and saw man’s first walk on the moon. We survived Viet Nam, the Civil Rights protests, student unrest, Watergate, and even the Carter Presidency. And I have just scratched the surface. We are now rapidly approaching retirement age, or are already retired. Today is the day to recognize our many accomplishments and contributions to society.

The second holiday is Go Skateboarding Day. Go Skateboarding Day encourages skateboarders around the globe celebrate the pure exhilaration and spirit of skateboarding, even if it means blowing off all other obligations. This holiday began June 21, 2003 as an excuse for skateboarders to make skateboarding their top priority. It began with a few simple skate sessions and barbecues held in skateboarding’s unofficial capital, southern California. Since that first celebration, this holiday has continued to grow, but the mission remains the same: Have fun. I’m not a big fan of skateboarding, or skateboarders for that matter (at least those obnoxious little creeps that buzz around on city streets and other public places bumping into people). With that said, skateboard parks are thankfully becoming more popular and some of the tricks that skateboarders are doing there these days are amazing. I grew up before the era of skateboards. All I had were those heavy clamp-on steel skates that clamped to your shoes. They always seemed to come off at the most inopportune time; like when racing a friend at full speed, or upon impact during a jump. It’s a wonder that I survived.

The third holiday today is Cuckoo Warning Day. According to folklore, if you hear a cuckoo chirping today, you’ll have a wet summer. Hence, Cuckoo Warning Day.
Here are a few more cuckoo facts about cuckoos:
1) Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, thus relinquishing their parental duties. The cuckoo chick is not a nice guest and unceremoniously kicks the other chicks out of the nest.
2) Most cuckoos eat insects, although some are large enough to eat lizards.
3) Roadrunners are part of the cuckoo family.
Just don’t drive yourself cuckoo listening for their distinctive call today.

Another holiday today is National Flip Flop Day™. Cynics might think that this holiday refers to the current crop of politicians, but that is not the case. It refers, instead, to the footwear that you wear to the beach, or in a public shower to prevent Athlete’s Foot. I personally never liked to wear flip flops, but I did, out of necessity, when I lived in a barracks environment in the military to prevent Athlete’s Foot. I found them to be unsightly and uncomfortable. However, if you don’t share my aversion to them, today is your day. Wear them with pride.
National Flip Flop Day™ is actually a holiday sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s as a fundraising effort for Camp Sunshine, a national charity. You can receive a free smoothie on June 21st, from 2pm – 7pm, by wearing your flip flops to one of their locations, so if there is a Tropical Smoothie location in your area, hit them up.

The fifth holiday today is Take Your Dog To Work Day™. Take Your Dog To Work Day was first celebrated in 1999. It is a holiday sponsored by Pet Sitters International. It was created to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. This annual event asks pet lovers to celebrate the human-canine bond and promote pet adoption by encouraging their employers to support Take Your Dog To Work Day™. Employers are encouraged to open their workplace to employees’ four-legged friends on this one special day.

The remainder of todays holidays are listed below, complete with links. Although meaningful to some, they just aren’t, in my humble opinion, blogworthy.
Ugliest Dog Day.
Atheists Solidarity Day.
World Handshake Day.
World Humanist Day.

The food-related holiday today is National Peaches and Cream Day. Peaches and cream is a delicious summertime treat. Unfortunately, I am trying to eliminate dairy from my diet, so I won’t be celebrating this holiday with you. However, a couple of peaches, sans cream, for a snack this afternoon sounds just “peachy”.

On this date in 1964, three Civil Rights workers went missing in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their bodies were found about 6 weeks later, and eight Ku Klux Klan members were convicted of their murder, although none served more than 6 years in prison. The movie Mississippi Burning is loosely based upon these events.
Also on this date in history:
1788, New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify the U.S. Constitution, thus making it the “law of the land”.
1834 – Cyrus McCormick patented the first practical mechanical reaper for farming. His invention allowed farmers to more than double their crop size.
1859 – Andrew Lanergan received the first rocket patent.
1913 – Georgia Broadwick became the first woman to jump from an airplane.
1940 – Richard M. Nixon and Thelma Catherine ‘Pat’ Ryan were married.
1945 – After a protracted battle of nearly three months, United States forces gained control of the Japanese island of Okinawa.
1945 – Pan Am announced an 88-hour round-the-world flight at a cost of $700.
1954 – The American Cancer Society reported significantly higher death rates among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers.
1958 – In Arkansas, a federal judge let Little Rock delay school integration.
1963 – France announced that they were withdrawing from the North Atlantic NATO fleet.
1973 – The Supreme Court ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.
1974 – The U.S. Supreme Court decided that pregnant teachers could no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence.
1985 – Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.
1989 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
2001 – Former Haitian Army colonel Carl Dorelien taken into custody in Port St. Lucie. Dorelien had been in exile since 1994 when he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a 1994 massacre.
And, in 2003 – The fifth Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” was published by J.K. Rowling. Amazon.com shipped out more than one million copies on this day making the day the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history. The book set sales records around the world with an estimated 5 million copies were sold on the first day.
If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of luminaries:
* Authors Note: I will no longer be providing links to each of the individuals that I list here. It is just too time consuming. If you want to find out more about one of these individuals, you’ll have to do your own research.
Martha Washington 1731 – First, First Lady.
Jane Russell 1921 – Actress.
Judy Holliday 1922 – Actress, singer.
Maureen Stapleton 1925 – Actress.
O.C. Smith 1932 – Singer.
Bernie Kopell 1933 – Character actor.
Ron Ely 1938 – Actor (Tarzan)
Monte Markham 1938 – Actor.
Mariette Hartley 1940 – Character Actress.
Ray Davies 1944 – Musician (The Kinks)
Brenda Holloway 1946 – Singer, songwriter.
Meredith Baxter Birney 1947  – Actress.
Robert Pastorelli 1954 – Actor. (Murphy Brown)
Kathy Mattea 1959 – Country singer.
Doug Savant 1964 – Actor (Melrose Place, Desparate Housewives)
Sammi Davis-Voss 1964 – Actress (Lost)
Allison Moorer 1972 – Alternative Country singer.
Juliette Lewis 1973 – Actress. (Cape Fear, Natural Born Killers)
And finally Prince William 1982- British Royal.

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