Life Day 24095: Better Half

July 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Monday, July 1, 2013.
Good morning everyone. The first holiday today is Second Second Half of the Year Day. Second Second Half of the Year Day is your chance to step back, evaluate your year so far with your goals and objectives (never mind all of your new year’s resolutions, which likely didn’t last much past January 2nd) and to take action to get back on track if necessary. It’s a great opportunity to do some hard thinking over your finances, your diet, your career and other aspects of your life that you might want to improve. Then take action to begin those improvements. Make the second half of the year count.

The next holiday is International Joke Day. International Joke Day encourages you to lighten up today and not take life so seriously. Make a conscious effort to make people laugh today. The old adage from Readers Digest: “Laughter is the Best Medicine” is truer than one might think. This Study from the Mayo Clinic states that laughter can be good for you. Laughter increases your intake of oxygen, which is beneficial to your organs. It increases the release of neuropeptides which help fight stress and can improve your immune system. Laughter can also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders. So, if you are concerned about your health, stop being a grumpy old coot and yuk it up once in awhile. To celebrate this holiday, tell jokes. If you are the stoic, reserved type, at least pass on those jokes that you receive on the internet today, instead of just deleting them.

The third holiday today is Zip Code Day.  Zip Code Day celebrates the date that the Zip Code (Zoning Improvement Plan)  system went into effect at post offices across America. As this country transitioned from a largely agricultural society to an industrial society, the post office saw the need to make improvements to speed up the delivery of mail due to the increased volume of business mail it was encountering as a result of this transition. In June of 1962, President Kennedy appointed an Advisory Board to the Post Office to study the problem and make recommendations. The result was the Zip Code system. And, on April 30, 1963, the postmaster general announced that this new system would go into effect beginning July 1st.

Another post office related holiday today is U.S. Postage Stamp Day. U.S. Postage Stamp Day celebrates the postage stamp (duh). On this date in 1847, the Post Office issued its first adhesive stamps.
Before postage stamps, it was the receiver of the mail that paid the postage due. It was paid directly to the mailman at the time of delivery. This naturally, led to the problem of people refusing the letter, therefore requiring the post office to return the letter to the sender. Only occasionally, did people prepay for the postage on a letter, because it required a trip to the post office, which was often inconvenient for the sender in a rural area. Also, prepaying required the clerks to be bookkeepers, and additional inefficiency.
The creation of Postage stamps revolutionized the process, leading to universal prepayment. But a precondition for their issue was the establishment of standardized rates for delivery throughout the country. If postal fees were to remain a patchwork of many different jurisdictional rates, the use of stamps would produce only limited gains in efficiency. Over the centuries, the government and the post office obviously got all of the wrinkles in the system ironed out, because everyone knows how efficient and reliable the postal system is today. Right!!!

For my neighbors to the north, the final holiday today is Canada Day. Canada Day is a celebration of Canadian nationalism, heritage and pride. It is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally called Dominion Day, the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.

The first food-related holidays today is International Chicken Wing Day. Chicken wings are a favorite food not only in America, but worldwide. Their variations in flavor and recipe are limited only by the imagination. Chicken wings are available in numerous restaurant chains and make appearances at barbecues, buffets, and even competitive eating events. Here in America, Buffalo Wings (chicken wings drenched in hot sauce, then deep fried) seem to be a nationwide favorite.

The next food-related holiday is National Gingersnap Day. National Gingersnap Day celebrates those crisp, flavorful, and fragrant little cookies; gingersnaps.  I can’t find any information on the origins of this holiday, but the history of the gingersnap itself goes back for centuries. Cookies, breads and other baked goods were commonly flavored with spices such as ginger in the middle ages, and cookies similar to what Americans know as gingersnaps have long been produced in England and in Germany.
Many of us remember the gingersnaps of our youth as a tasty treat, but the cookies have many health benefits as well. As far as cookies go, these are relatively low in calories (with about 110 per serving). And the ginger provides several health benefits. It is often used to treat nausea and other digestive maladies, and has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease arthritis. It has even been used to fight heart diseases and other major illnesses. I’m not saying gingersnaps are health food, but there are certainly a myriad of less healthy snack alternatives from which to choose. So, have some gingersnaps as a snack today; either on their own, with a glass of milk, or with some pudding or ice cream.

The final food-related holiday today is National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day. The month of July was proclaimed National Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, so what better way to kick it off than with National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day. This holiday  encourages you to let your imagination go wild and add any ingredients to your ice cream, or sundaes that your heart desires. If you have ever thought of an ice cream flavor that you are curious to try, today is the day to test it out. The history of this holiday is vague, but it probably had something to do with the above mentioned proclamation by President Reagan.

On this date in 1905 – The USDA Forest Service was created within the Department of Agriculture. The agency was given the mission to sustain healthy, diverse, and productive forests and grasslands for present and future generations.
Also on this date in history:
1862 – Congress established the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
1874 – The Philadelphia Zoological Society zoo opened as the first zoo in the United States.
1898 – During the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” waged a victorious assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba.
1916 – The massive Allied offensive known as the Battle of the Somme began in France. The battle was the first to use tanks.
1940 – In Washington, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was opened to traffic. The bridge collapsed during a wind storm later that same year on November 7, 1940.
1941 – Bulova Watch Company sponsored the first TV commercial in New York City, NY.
1943 – The U.S. Government began automatically withholding federal income tax from paychecks.
1946 – The U.S. exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
1950 – American ground troops arrived in South Korea to stem the tide of the advancing North Korean army.
1951 – Bob Feller set a major league baseball record as he pitched his third no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians.
1961 – The first community air-raid shelter was built. The shelter in Boise, ID had a capacity of 1,000 people and family memberships sold for $100.
1966 – The Medicare federal insurance program went into effect.
1979 – Susan B. Anthony was commemorated on a U.S. coin, the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
1980 – President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that provided for 2 acres of land near the Lincoln Memorial for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
1981 – The Supreme Court ruled that candidates for federal office had an “affirmative right” to go on national television.
1987 – John Kevin Hill, at age 11, became the youngest to fly across the U.S. when he landed at National Airport in Washington, DC.
And, in 1999 – The Justice Department released new regulations that granted the attorney general sole power to appoint and oversee special counsels. The 1978 independent-counsel statute expired on June 30.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following noteworthy individuals:
Cecil Rhodes 1854 – Businessman, politician. (founder of De Beers Mining Company)
Louis Bleriot 1872 – Aviator. (first person to fly across the English Channel)
Susan Glapell 1882 – Actress, playwright, novelist.
James M. Cain 1892 – Author. (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity)
Charles Laughton 1899 – Actor.
Estee Lauder 1908 – Cosmetics company founder.
Olivia De Havilland 1916 – Actress. (Gone with the Wind)
Farley Granger 1925 – Actor.
Bobby Day 1930 – Singer. (“Rockin’ Robin’)
Leslie Caron 1931 – Actress. (An American in Paris)
Jamie Farr 1934 – Actor (“M.A.S.H.”)
Jean Marsh 1934 – Actress.
Sydney Pollack 1934 – Director.
David Prowse 1935 – Actor. (Darth Vader)
Wally Amos, Jr. 1936 – Entrepreneur. (“Famous Amos” cookies).
Delaney Bramlett 1939 – Musician (Delaney & Bonnie)
Twyla Tharp 1941 – Dancer, choreographer.
Karen Black 1942 – Actress. (The Great Gatsby)
Geneviève Bujold 1942 – Actress. (“Coma”)
Deborah Harry 1945 – Singer. (Blondie)
Dan Aykroyd 1952 – Comedian, actor.
Lorna Patterson 1956 – Actress. (“Airplane!”, “Private Benjamin”)
Lisa Blount 1957 – Actress.
Princess Diana (Spencer) 1961 – Princess of Wales.
Pamela Anderson 1967 – Actress. (“Baywatch”)
Henry Simmons 1970 – Actor. (“NYPD Blue”)
Claire Forlani 1972 – Actress. (“The Rock”)
And finally, Liv Tyler 1977 – Model , actress. (“Lord of the Rings”)

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