Life Day 24125: Mutt’s Day

July 31, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
Good morning dog lovers. The first holiday today is Mutt’s Day. Mutt’s Day celebrates those adorable canine companions whose lineage is questionable. Whether you refer to them as mutts, mongrels, or mixed breeds, these dogs often make the best family pets. Mutts are loyal, intelligent, and happy to have a “forever” home.
When you choose a mutt, you are getting the best traits from all of its ancestors. Mixed breed dogs are often healthier because they’re less likely to be impacted by genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. If you adopt from a shelter, you are probably saving a life, and dogs that are adopted from a shelter tend to be more street smart because they may have had to fend for themselves rather than being pampered by loving owners.
To celebrate this holiday, make a donation directly to your local S.P.C.A., Humane Society, or other “no kill” shelter that caters to “mutts”. Then, go home and watch the movie “Benji”.

The other holiday is Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day. Have you ever heard of a bubble organ, laser harp, clackamore, fluba, or a dulcimer. If not, don’t worry. Most people haven’t. Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day affords you the opportunity to learn about these and other musical instruments which are not commonly used. What about that timeless classic, the kazoo?
From seashells, to hollowed out logs, to animal skins stretched out over some kind of wooden form, Mankind has been making music with whatever objects were at hand since the dawn of time.  In Asuncion, Paraguay, a Paraguayan slum where people make a living out of picking through trash, there is a complete children’s orchestra that uses instruments made entirely from items found in the garbage. Their story of poverty and hope is being made into a documentary called “Landfill Harmonic.”
To celebrate this holiday, learn about as many obscure musical instruments as possible.

The first food-related holiday today is Jump for Jelly Beans Day. Jump for Jelly Beans Day is a day for candy lovers everywhere to celebrate that classic candy; jelly beans. Jelly beans evolved from an ancient confection called “Turkish delight,” which was one of the earliest forms of hard candy. Our modern-day jelly beans gained popularity during the American Civil War. A candy company in Boston began marketing jelly beans as the perfect treat to send to soldiers, and soon everyone was hooked. One of the most famous jelly bean fans was President Ronald Reagan. He served them at his inauguration.
Here are a few more interesting facts about President Reagan and his jelly beans.
1) Three-and-a-half tons of Jelly Bellies were served at the White House for the 1981 Inaugural festivities.
2) The Blueberry flavor was developed especially for his inauguration so that there would be red, white and blue jelly beans at the celebration.
3) His favorite jelly bean flavor was licorice.
Enjoy some as a treat today. There are a wide variety of flavors these days from which to choose.

The other food-related holiday is Cotton Candy Day. Cotton candy (aka: candy floss, or spun sugar) is air-spun evaporated cane juice and natural fruit and vegetable coloring. It is frequently cited that cotton candy first appeared at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, commonly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. However, at least 150 years earlier, in the mid-18th century, master confectioners in Europe and America handcrafted spun sugar nests into Easter decorations and made webs of silver and gold spun sugar for elaborate dessert presentations. According to The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, the debut of the product we know as cotton candy took place in 1897 in Nashville. Candymakers William Morrison and John C. Wharton invented an electric machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate, pushed by centrifugal force through a series of tiny holes. In 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Morrison and Wharton sold the product, then known as “fairy floss,” in cardboard boxes for 25 cents a serving. Though the price equaled half the admission to the fair itself, they sold 68,655 boxes.

On this date in 1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas.”
Also on this date in history:
1498 – Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.
1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.
1792 – The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.
1932 – Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.
1948 – President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.
1955 – Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.
1961 – The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston’s Fenway Park.
1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface.
1971 – Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).
1981 – The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.
And, in 991 – President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of luminaries.
George Liberace 1911 – Entertainer.
Milton Friedman 1912 – Economist.
William Todman 1913 – Producer.
Curt Gowdy 1919 – Sportscaster.
Hank Bauer 1922 – Baseball player.
Don Murray 1929 – Actor.
Geoffrey Lewis 1935 – Character actor.
France Nuyen 1939 – Actress.
Lobo 1943 – Singer, songwriter.
Susan Flannery 1943 – Actress.
Gary Lewis 1946 – Musician.
Barry Van Dyke 1951 – Actor.
Evonne Goolagong 1951 – Tennis player.
Alan Autry 1952 – Actor.
Wesley Snipes 1962 – Actor.
J.K. Rowling 1965 – Author.
And finally, Dean Cain 1966 – Actor.

Life Day 24124: “Paperback Writer”

July 30, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
Good morning readers. The first holiday today is Paperback Book Day. Paperback Book Day celebrates the date when Penguin Books published its first paperback books on July 30, 1935. There were other forms of paperback books published earlier (dime novels, penny dreadfuls, and pulp magazines for example), but none with any great success. Penguin’s cheap reprints of popular books quickly became immensely popular. This was at the height of “the depression” when money was scarce, and people needed a form of cheap entertainment. Radio was in it’s heyday, but not everyone could afford one, so they sought other ways to alleviate their boredom, and paperback books filled this niche nicely.
Even with audio books, electronic books, and e-book readers increasing in popularity, paperback books are still popular; as evidenced by E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” which sold over a million copies in just 11 weeks. To celebrate this holiday, visit your local library or bookstore and pick up a new paperback book, then find the time to read a few chapters.

The other holiday today is Father-in-Law Day. Father-in-Law Day is dedicated to your wife’s (or husband’s) father. Mothers-in-Law always get a bad rap, but you rarely hear anything, good or bad, about fathers-in-law. The reason is perhaps they’re content to stay on the sidelines and mind their own business, neither offering nor inviting criticism. Even if they are a bit curmudgeonly at times, fathers-in law deserve a little recognition. To celebrate this holiday, spend some time with your father-in-law today. Take him to lunch or dinner at his favorite restaurant, or invite him over and prepare his favorite meal for him.

The food-related holiday today is National Cheesecake Day. Some form of cheesecake has been around since the ancient Greeks first served it to the athletes in the Olympic games in 776 B.C. The early forms were probably just cake with cheese mixed in. Thankfully, over the centuries, it has evolved into the rich, sweet, calorie-laden, high cholesterol dessert we know and love today. There are dozens of versions and varieties of cheesecakes available these days; plain, or with toppings. So why not indulge yourself with a slice of your favorite kind  for dessert tonight to celebrate this holiday.

On this date in 1945 – The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship had just delivered key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian. Only 316 out of 1,196 men aboard survived the attack.
Also on this date in history:
1619 – The first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown, VA. It was called the House of Burgesses.
1729 – The city of Baltimore was founded in Maryland.
1898 – “Scientific America” carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH.
1932 – Walt Disney’s “Flowers and Trees” premiered. It was the first Academy Award winning cartoon and first cartoon short to use Technicolor.
1937 – The American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized as a part of the American Federation of Labor.
1942 – The WAVES were created by legislation signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The members of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service were a part of the U.S. Navy.
1956 – The phrase “In God We Trust” was adopted as the U.S. national motto.
1965 – U.S. President Johnson signed into law Social Security Act that established Medicare and Medicaid. It went into effect the following year.
1968 – Ron Hansen (Washington Senators) made the first unassisted triple play in the major leagues in 41 years.
1974 – The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Nixon for blocking the Watergate investigation and for abuse of power.
1990 – In Spring Hill, TN, the first Saturn automobile rolled off the assembly line.
And, in 2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off an assembly line.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of notables.
Emily Bronte 1818 – Author.
Henry Ford 1863 – Industrialist.
Casey Stengel 1890 – Baseball player, manager.
Dick Wilson 1916 – Character actor.
Christine McGuire 1929 – Singer.
Thomas Sowell 1930 – Economist, author.
Edd  Byrnes 1933 – Actor.
Eleanor Smeal 1939 – Feminist.
Peter Bogdanovich 1939 – Director.
Paul Anka 1941 – Singer.
William Atherton 1947 – Actor.
Arnold Schwarzenegger 1947 – Body builder, actor, politician.
Ken Olin 1954 – Actor.
Delta Burke 1956 – Actress.
Richard Burgi 1958 – Actor.
Laurence Fishburne 1961 – Actor.
Lisa Kudrow 1963 – Actress.
Vivica A. Fox 1964 – Actress.
Christine Taylor 1971 – Actress.
Hillary Swank 1974 – Actress.
Jaime Pressley 1977 – Actress.

 

Life Day 24123: Rain Day.

July 29, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Monday, July 29, 2013.
Good morning precipitation lovers. The only regular holiday I could find today is Rain Day. Rain Day is a local holiday in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania which has recieved much national attention over the years since it was first created.
It all started on July 28, 1939 at Daly and Spraggs drug store in Waynesburg. A local farmer was in the drugstore and during the conversation mentioned that it would rain the next day, the 29th. The owner of the drugstore, Byron Daly, asked the farmer how he knew it would rain and the farmer replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th.  Mr Daly saw the opportunity for a little fun and began making bets with salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win. In later years, Byron Daly’s son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He kept the alive the tradition his father had started.
Over the years, John Daly won hats from such notables as Jack Dempsey, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Cassius Clay, The Three Stooges, Mike Love (the Beach Boys), Jay Leno, Donald Trump, and Arnold Palmer just to name a few. He also would bet local TV and sports personalities from the Pittsburgh Area. Young Mr Daly amassed so many hats over the years that he was finally convinced to sell them at auction to raise money for charity.
In 1979, the Waynesburg Borough Special Events Commission was created to hold a special celebration on July 29th each year. That same year, the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held the first annual Miss Rain Day Pageant. In 2003, the Chamber of Commerce created a new non-profit entity, Rain Day Scholarship, Inc. with the sole purpose to plan and execute the pageant. Each year, one talented local teenage girl wins the coveted crown, hundreds of dollars in scholarship savings bonds and the chance to ‘reign’ over the day’s festivities.
Among the activities sponsored by the Special Events Commission on July 29th is a street fair in the heart of town, live entertainment on the courthouse steps, arts and crafts booths, hometown food booths, children’s games and assorted other diversions – including an umbrella decorating contest. Best of all, the admission is free. The festivities are silenced each year to pay a moment’s tribute to the men of Company K, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry – a battalion from Waynesburg that lost men in France during World War I on Rain Day, 1918. Nearly half of the 250 Greene County men were either killed or wounded on that day. As John O’Hara once wrote, “On that Rain Day in 1918, it rained bullets on the men of Company K”.
Note: In the 74 years since 1939, it had rained on 50 of the July 29th’s. This year, however, it hasn’t (at least so far). Damned Global Warming.

The first food-related holiday today is National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day. I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What the heck is National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day?
Back in days of yore, mice were a common problem in households across America. This holiday is based on an old saying:
If you want to catch some mice,
First some cheese you must sacrifice.
So, purchase the cheese upon this day,
And a mouse-free house is here to stay.
With the advances in mousetrap design and more effective pest control methods in general, this holiday has become obsolete. However, some people are creating new ways to celebrate this holiday. Some “sacrifice” a bit of their food budget and purchase a more expensive and exotic type of cheese than they normally buy. Some people “sacrifice” their taste buds and try a new type of cheese they’ve never tried before. Try buying a ‘craft cheese’ from a local Farmer’s Market.

The next food-related holiday is National Chicken Wing Day. In 1964 Theresa Bellissimo, wife of Frank Bellissimo owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, created and served the first plate of Buffalo Chicken Wings. Since then, these tasty, spicy appetizers have become one of the America’s favorite finger-foods. In fact, they are renown worldwide. In 1977, the city of Buffalo, NY proclaimed this date as Chicken Wing Day.

The final food-related holiday today is National Lasagna Day. Lasagna originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of north central Italy. These wide flat noodles originated during Roman times. The Romans called them lasanum, the latin word for pot; i.e., the vessel in which this dish was cooked. The tomato-based lasagne we are familiar with today are a relatively recent creation. The Romans didn’t have tomatoes so they included other types of vegetables along with the cheese and meat. Tomatoes originated in Peru and did not come to Italy until the Spanish Conquistadors brought them back from Mexico in the early 16th century. Even then, the cherry tomato, which was the “original” tomato, was considered houseplant and not eaten until the 18th century.
The modern lasagna noodle is two inches wide, and sometimes has ruffled edges. The most popular cheeses in lasagne recipes are mozzarella and ricotta, and the sauce is often tomato sauce or béchamel. Modern recipes include vegetable lasagnas, “white” lasagnas and goat cheese lasagnas. If you regularly make lasagne with commercial sheet noodles, try making it with artisanal pasta: The rougher surface helps sauce and other ingredients cling better while constructing the layers.

On this date in 1975 – OAS (Organization of American States) members voted to lift collective sanctions against Cuba. The U.S. government welcomed the action and announced its intention to open serious discussions with Cuba on normalization.
Also on this date in history:
1754 – The first international boxing match was held. The 25-minute match was won when Jack Slack of Britain knocked out Jean Petit from France.
1773 – The first schoolhouse to be located west of the Allegheny Mountains was built in Schoenbrunn, OH.
1874 – Major Walter Copton Winfield of England received U.S. patent for the lawn-tennis court.
1914 – The first transcontinental telephone service was inaugurated when two people held a conversation between New York, NY and San Francisco, CA.
1940 – John Sigmund of St. Louis, MO, completed a 292-mile swim down the Mississippi River. The swim from St. Louis to Caruthersville, MO took him 89 hours and 48 minutes.
1957 – Jack Paar began hosting the “Tonight” show on NBC-TV. The name of the show was changed to “The Jack Paar Show.” Paar was host for five years.
1958 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was authorized by Congress.
1981 – England’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married.
1985 – General Motors announced that Spring Hill, TN, would be the home of the Saturn automobile assembly plant.
1993 – The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk of being Nazi death camp guard “Ivan the Terrible.” His death sentence was thrown out and he was set free.
And, in 2005 – Astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet (Xena) larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of luminaries.
Booth Tarkington 1869 – Novelist.
Benito Mussolini 1883 – Fascist Scum.
Theda Bara 1890 – Actress.
Clara Bow 1894 – Actress.
Melvin Belli 1907 – Lawyer.
Stephen McNally 1913 – Actor.
Richard Egan 1923 – Actor.
Robert Horton 1924 – Actor.
Robert Fuller 1933 – Actor.
Peter Jennings 1938 – News anchor.
Ken Burns 1953 – Documentary producer.
Michael Biehn 1956 – Actor.
Alexandra Paul 1963 – Actress.
Martina McBride 1966 – Country singer.
And finally, Wil Wheaton 1972 – Actor.

Life day 24122: Buffalo Soldiers Day

July 28, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is sunday, July 28, 2013.
Good morning everyone. The first holiday today is Buffalo Soldiers Day. Buffalo Soldiers Day commemorates the formation on this date in 1866 of the first regular Army regiments comprising African-American soldiers. African-American soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. But it was not until after the war that permanent all-black regiments were established, maintaining the U.S. armed forces policy of segregation. The African-American regiments were deployed in the southwest and in the plains states to serve U.S. interests against Native American tribes, to protect important shipments, and to construct roads and trails.
A longstanding debate ranges around the origin of the term “Buffalo Soldier,” with some maintaining that the nickname reflected the toughness of the soldiers and others claiming that it was a disparaging racial term used by Native Americans to describe the dark-skinned soldiers they met in battle. The segregated regiments served in the Spanish-American War, World War II, and other conflicts, before being disbanded during the 1940s and 1950s as the U.S. armed forces embraced integration.
In 1992 the U.S. Congress passed a law designating July 28 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in the United States.

The next holiday is Aunties Day. Aunties Day is a day to celebrate all the cool aunts, great aunts, godmothers and women who love the kids in their lives who are not their own. Aunts by Relation, Aunts by Choice, and Godmothers are honored on this day for all they contribute and do to help raise and nurture children. Aunts often take on the role of surrogate parent when mom “needs a break” or is sick. At family gatherings, they are more like parental assistants; entertaining the children while mom and dad catch up on the latest familial gossip. They are a vital part of every family dynamic.

The third holiday today is National Parents Day. National Parents Day is a special day to honor your mother and father. Its a time to celebrate the family structure and family values (however you interpret them). The family unit is an important structure for the health and social development of children. That structure, and those values, are established and nurtured by parents. The best way to celebrate this holiday is by spending time with your parents doing something that they enjoy. Its also important that you let them how how much they are loved and appreciated.

The last holiday today is World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis Day is held on July 28th each year to provide international focus for patient groups and people living with viral hepatitis. This holiday was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In May 2010 the World Health Assembly passed a resolution which provides an official endorsement of World Hepatitis Day.

The food-related holiday today is National Milk Chocolate Day. Rejoice chocoholics, National Milk Chocolate Day legitimizes your addiction to chocolate. It affords you the opportunity to indulge your cravings without guilt or social stigma.
Milk chocolate differs from other chocolates because it is a mix of cocoa solid and either dry or condensed milk. While dark chocolate is traditionally used as a baking ingredient, this sweet treat is used to make chocolate candy bars, hot chocolate, and many delicious desserts.
Chocolate actually has mood-enhancing benefits. That’s right, chocolate can make you happy. This is due to the fact that it contains a stimulant called theobromine and a compound called anandamide.

On this date in 2006 – Researchers announced that two ancient reptiles had been found off Australia. The Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes were the first of their kind to be found in the period soon after the Jurassic era.
Also on this date in history:
1866 – The metric system was legalized by the U.S. Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States.
1868 – The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment guaranteed due process of law.
1896 – The city of Miami, FL, was incorporated.
1914 – World War I officially began when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
1932 – Federal troops forcibly dispersed the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington, DC. They were demanding money they were not scheduled to receive until 1945.
1941 – Plans for the Pentagon were approved by the House of Representatives.
1945 – A U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York City’s Empire State Building. 14 people were killed and 26 were injured.
1965 – President Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
1982 – San Francisco, CA, became the first city in the U.S. to ban handguns.
And, in 1998 – Monica Lewinsky received blanket immunity from prosecution to testify before a grand jury about her relationship with U.S. President Clinton.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following list of noteworthy individuals.
Beatrix Potter 1866 – Author.
Joe E. Brown 1891 – Actor, comedian.
Rudy Vallee 1901 – Singer, actor.
Richard Rodgers 1902 – Composer.
Carmen Dragon 1914 – Conductor.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 1929 – Wife of JFK.
Darryl Hickman 1931 – Actor.
Phil Proctor 1940 – Actor.
Jim Davis 1945 – Cartoonist.
Linda Kelsey 1946 – Actress.
Sally Struthers 1947 – Actress.
Georgia Engel 1948 – Actress.
Terry Fox 1958 – Athlete, activist.
And finally, Lori Loughlin 1964 – Actress.

 

Life Day 24121: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

July 27, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Saturday, July 27, 2013.
Good morning patriots. The first holiday today is National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1953 that the treaty was signed ending the Korean War. The original proclamation expired on the 50th anniversary in 2003, but it has been extended each year by the reigning President since then. This link will take you to this year’s proclamation.

The next holiday is Take Your Pants for a Walk Day. Take Your Pants for a Walk Day is just a cutesy way to remind everyone about the health benefits of walking. Walking is good for cardio, and helps with circulation. This form of exercise requires no special equipment (except pants). If you are currently vacationing at a clothing optional resort, fold your pants and carry them under your arm as you take your walk today.

The third holiday today is Bagpipe Appreciation Day. Bagpipe Appreciation Day celebrates the ancient (arguably) musical instrument; the Highlands Scottish Bagpipe. This instrument is a quintessential part of the Scottish tradition. This holiday celebrates the tunes of this traditional instrument that were used to herald battles, usher in auspicious events such as weddings and also to bid farewell at funerals.
The original bagpipes are said to have originated in the Middle East but became more popular in the Scottish Highlands and evolved there. This instrument is second only to percussion in the evolution of musical instruments. Today, the typical bagpipe consists of three pipes emerging from a sac-like bag. These bags are crafted from elk or sheep skin. These sacs fill with air that is released when the musician presses his arm to create the music. There is also a fourth pipe that holds nine holes to create changes in chord and pitch.
I can’t, in good conscience, urge you to listen to some bagpipe music to celebrate this holiday.

Another holiday today is National Day of the Cowboy. National Day of the Cowboy was started as a way to contribute to the preservation of America’s rich cowboy heritage. To celebrate you can put on your best western shirt and watch some of your favorite old Westerns.

The final holiday today is National Dance Day. National Dance Day was created in 2010 by  “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator  Nigel Lythgoe. It is an annual celebration that takes place on the last Saturday in July. This grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity.
This holiday achieved national recognition when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, announced at a press conference on July 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C., that she was introducing a congressional resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country’s official National Dance Day.

The first food-related holiday today is National Crème Brûlée Day. Crème Brûlée is a five-ingredient French delicacy; rich vanilla custard is topped with a hard “burnt sugar” top. The custard is cooked in individual ramekins, cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated. Just prior to serving, a teaspoon of sugar is sprinkled over each serving then put under a broiler for about two minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and turned golden brown.
The origins of this dish are a bit hazy, but the name first appeared in Francois Massialot’s cookbook in 1691. Crème Brûlée translates from French as ‘burnt cream’.

The other food-related holiday today is National Scotch Day.  The Scots have been making whiskies since at least the 15th century. Scotch whisky by law must be distilled and aged in Scotland from malted barley and, sometimes, other grains. If it’s made with just malted barley and water and bottled as whisky from one distillery, it’s one of the famous “single malt” Scotch whiskies. If a Scotch is made with other grain, it’s referred to as “single grain.” There are also blended Scotches – such as the top-selling Johnnie Walker – that use whiskies from multiple distillers. Scotch whiskies are aged in oak casks, but unlike American straight whiskeys, the casks don’t have to be new. Many American white oak casks that once held bourbon or other American whiskeys find a second life in Scotland to age Scotch whisky, and some distillers also use casks that formerly contained sherry or port to add different flavors. Though single malt Scotches are made only from barley and water, their flavors vary enormously depending on where the distillery is located, the kind of water used, the way the whisky is aged and other variables.
*NOTE: In Scotland and Canada, Whisky is spelled without the “e”; whereas in Ireland and America, whiskey is spelled with the “e”.

On this date in 2003 – It was reported by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) that there was no monster in Loch Ness. The investigation used 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to trawl the loch. Reports of sightings of the “Loch Ness Monster” began in the 6th century.
Also on this date in history:
1789 – The Department of Foreign Affairs was established by the U.S. Congress. The agency was later known as the Department of State.
1804 – The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. With the amendment Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.
1866 – Cyrus Field successfully completed the Atlantic Cable. It was an underwater telegraph from North America to Europe.
1909 – Orville Wright set a record for the longest airplane flight. He was testing the first Army airplane and kept it in the air for 1 hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
1921 – Canadian biochemist Frederick Banting and associates announced the discovery of the hormone insulin.
1964 – President Lyndon Johnson sent an additional 5,000 advisers to South Vietnam.
1965 – In the U.S., the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was signed into law. The law required health warnings on all cigarette packages.
1967 – President Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of the violence in the wake of urban rioting.
1984 – Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb’s record for most singles in a career when he got his 3,503rd base hit.
1992 – Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis died after collapsing on a Brandeis University basketball court during practice. He was 27 years old.
1995 – The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, by President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.
1999 – The U.S. space shuttle Discovery completed a five-day mission commanded by Air Force Col. Eileen Collins. It was the first shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman.
And, in 2001 – The ribbon cutting ceremony was held for American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The event set two new world records; one for the 3 mile long ribbon, and one for the 2,000 people that cut it.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following noteworthy people.
Keenan Wynn 1916 – Actor.
Homer 1918 – Country entertainer.
Norman Lear 1922 – Writer, producer.
Jerry Van Dyke 1931 – Actor.
Nick Reynolds 1933 – Musician.
Don Galloway 1937 – Actor.
Dennis Ralston 1942 – Tennis player.
Bobbie Gentry 1944 – Country singer.
Betty Thomas 1948 – Actress.
Peggy Fleming 1948 – Figure skater.
Maureen McGovern 1949 – Singer.
Roxanne Hart 1952 – Actress.
Carol Leifer 1956 – Comedienne.
Bill Engvall 1957 – Comedian.
Julian McMahon 1968 – Actor.
Maya Rudolph 1972 – Actress, comedienne.
Alex Rodriguez 1975 – Baseball player.
And finally, Cheyenne Kimball 1990 – Country singer.

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