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.

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