Life Day 24247: Shop ’til You Drop

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

Today is Saturday, November 30, 2013. Good morning shoppers. The featured holiday today is:

Small Business Saturday:

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed in 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

The first Small Business Saturday was conceived of and promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year Amex bought advertising inventory on Facebook, which it in turn gave to its small merchant account holders, and also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event. They publicized the initiative using social media, advertising, and public relations. Over 40 local politicians and many small business groups in the United States issued proclamations concerning the campaign. It generated more than one million Facebook “like” registrations and nearly 30,000 tweets under the Twitter hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday. The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has existed since early 2010 and was used to promote small businesses on any Saturday (not solely that Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). The hashtag is used in a manner similar to #ThrowbackThursday or #FollowFriday to highlight favorite local businesses. Additionally, some small business owners have run marketing specials on the November Small Business Saturday to help capitalize on the boost in foot or online traffic, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.

Celebrating this holiday is easy. Simply avoid shopping in those corporate giant box stores and shop at stores owned and operated by local merchants.

The rest of the holidays today are:

Computer Security Day:

If you are a shopper who prefers to shop online for the holidays rather than face the hordes of shoppers pushing and shoving their way through stores and malls across the nation, then it behooves you to ensure the safety of your online shopping experience.

Computer Security Day was started in 1988 to help raise awareness of computer related security issues. The goal is to remind people to protect their computers and information. This annual event is held around the world on November 30th although some organizations choose to have functions on the next business day if it falls on a weekend.

If you haven’t already taken steps to insure your computer’s security, and plan to participate in “cyber Monday”, I urge you to do so today. Any good anti-virus program should already include the software needed to make your computer secure and safe for online shopping.

National Meth Awareness Day:

On this date in 2006, the Department of Justice sponsored the first National Meth Awareness Day to generate awareness about the damaging effects of meth abuse on individuals, families and American communities. Education and public outreach are at the heart of the national drug control strategy, and National Methamphetamine Awareness Day will play an important role in highlighting the nationwide efforts to increase awareness and decrease demand of this highly addictive and dangerous drug.

Each year since, the D.O.J. joins with state Attorneys General and state and local law enforcement to discuss the broader impact that meth production and use is having on our communities. Across the nation, U.S. Attorneys, along with state and local leaders, will coordinate a variety of educational events targeting their specific communities.  National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is a coordinated effort not only to reach potential meth users with a message of prevention, but also to educate current users about the programs available to them.

National Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day:

This is a frivolous holiday, and , if celebrated, can lead to a reprimand from your employer, or even termination. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience urge you to participate in this holiday.

With that said, this link will provide you with information should you be willing to take the risk.

National Mousse Day:

Mousse is a dessert made from eggs and cream. The word “mousse” is the French word for “foam”. It’s a fitting name for this light, fluffy, and decadent confection!

Chocolate mousse was a specialty in French restaurants during the 1800’s, but now it can be found in restaurants and households worldwide. Popular variations include different kinds of chocolate, nut, and fruit flavors.

Here in America, mousse is just a snootier word for pudding. No matter what you call it, have some for dessert today.

On this date in:

1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.

1803 – Spain completed the process of ceding Louisiana to France.

1804 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase went on trial accused of political bias. He was later acquitted by the U.S. Senate.

1838 – Three days after the French occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico declared war on France.

1853 – During the Crimean War, the Russian fleet attacked and destroyed the Turkish fleet at the battle of Sinope.

1875 – A.J. Ehrichson patented the oat-crushing machine.

1897 – Thomas Edison’s own motion picture projector had its first commercial exhibition.

1936 – London’s famed Crystal Palace was destroyed in a fire. The structure had been constructed for the International Exhibition of 1851.

1939 – The Russo-Finnish War began when 20 divisions of Soviet troops invaded Finland.

1940 – Lucille Ball and Cuban musician Desi Arnaz were married.

1949 – Chinese Communists captured Chungking.

1954 – In Sylacauga, AL, Elizabeth Hodges was injured when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house.

1956 – CBS replayed the program “Douglas Edward and the News” three hours after it was received on the West Coast. It was the world’s first broadcast via videotape.

1962 – U Thant of Burma was elected secretary-general of the United Nations, succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold.

1966 – The former British colony of Barbados became independent.

1967 – Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower announced their engagement.

1971 – ABC-TV aired “Brian’s Song.” The movie was about Chicago Bears’ Brian Picolo and his friendship with Gale Sayers.

1981 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva that were aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.

1986 – “Time” magazine published an interview with U.S. President Reagan. In the article, Reagan described fired national security staffer Oliver North as a “national hero.”

1989 – Alfred Herrhausen was killed in a bombing. The Red Army Faction claimed responsibility of killing Herrhausen the chairman of West Germany’s largest bank.

1989 – PLO leader Yasser Arafat was refused a visa to enter the United States in order to address the U.N. General Assebly in New York City.

1993 – U.S. President Clinton signed into law the Brady Bill. The bill required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers.

1993 – Richard Allen Davis was arrested by authorities in California. Davis confessed to abducting and slaying 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.

1995 – President Clinton became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.

2001 – In Seattle, WA, Gary Leon Ridgeway was arrested for four of the Green River serial killings. He was pled innocent on December 18, 2001.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Jonathan Swift 1667 – Essayist, poet.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens 1835 – Author Mark Twain.

Winston Churchill 1874 – British statesman.

Efren Zimbalist, Jr. 1918 – Actor.

Virginia Mayo 1920 – Actress.

Allan Sherman 1924 – Song parodist.

Richard Crenna 1926 – Actor.

Dick Clark 1929 – TV and radio personality.

G. Gordon Liddy 1930 – Disgraced FBI agent, actor, radio personality.

Bob Moore 1932 – Musician.

Abbie Hoffman 1936 – Political activist.

Jimmy Bowen 1937 – Record producer.

Robert Guillaume 1937 – Actor.

Frank Ifield 1937 – Singer. (“I Remember You”)

Luther Ingram 1944 – Singer songwriter.

Rob Grill 1944 – Musician. (The Grassroots)

Roger Glover 1945 – Musician. (Deep Purple)

David Mamet 1947 – Playwright, director.

Margaret Whitton 1950 – Actress.

Mandy Patinkin 1952 – Actor.

June Pointer 1954 – Singer. (The Pointer Sisters)

Jeannie Kendall 1954 – Singer. (The Kendalls)

Billy Idol 1955 – Musician.

Bo Jackson 1962 – Professional athlete. (football and baseball)

Ben Stiller 1965 – Actor.

Mindy McCready 1975 – Country singer.

Clay Aiken 1978 – Singer.

Life Day 24246: Retail Anarchy

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

Today id Friday, November 29, 2013. Good morning anarchists. The featured holiday today is:

Black Friday:

Black Friday is a retail event held on the day after Thanksgiving. It is the single best shopping day for retailers, and signifies the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It can best be described as “retail anarchy”. Stores offer selected merchandise at significantly reduced prices to entice shoppers into their stores in hopes that they will be induced to buy other things while they are there. People actually wait in long lines just to be one of the first people into the store. It doesn’t bode well for our society in my opinion. Use this link to read about the origins and history of this holiday.

The other holidays today are:

 Buy Nothing Day:

In stark contrast to Black Friday is the more sane Buy Nothing Day. Buy Nothing Day urges you to stay at home and refrain from doing any shopping of any kind. This is the holiday that I celebrate each year. Let the unwashed masses deal with the stress and aggravation of rude, obnoxious people, and frazzled, overworked employees. I’ll be at home relaxing without a care in the world. This link will give you the history of this holiday.

You’re Welcome Day:

Sometimes referred to as You’re Welcomegiving, You’re Welcome Day is celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving, which seems appropriate. It’s just good manners to say you’re welcome after someone says thank you.

My research showed this holiday being celebrated on different dates in different years, which were always the day after Thanksgiving. It is very likely that this holiday originated on a blog in 2002. The blog was posted on blogs.salon.com, declaring that day, the day after Thanksgiving, as You’re Welcome Day, however the author remains anonymous.

Flossing Day:

Flossing Day serves as a reminder to to remove from between your teeth the last vestiges of the green bean casserole that aunt Bessie brought to your Thanksgiving feast by flossing. It also encourages you to include daily flossing as a part of your  daily oral health regimen if you haven’t already.

National Day of Listening:

Sometime the best gift one can give to another is merely listening to what they have to say. One of the biggest problems in today’s society is that people are so polarized that they won’t even listen to another’s point of view. National Day of Listening recommends that you take the time to actually listen to what people are saying.

My parents are both long since deceased. I regret not listening to their stories when I was younger. A typical youth, I thought I had all the answers and my stodgy parents were akin to dinosaurs and had nothing relevant to impart. I wish now that I could turn back the clock. I would know much more about my family history, and about life in general. Somewhere along the line, I became my parents, so maybe, just maybe, I was listening after all.

Square Dance Day:

English, Irish, and Scottish settlers brought square dancing to the U.S. As it evolved in the U.S., a caller was added, to help dancers stay in step. It remains popular among southern and western rural areas, and with senior citizens. Square Dancing is both fun, and great exercise. Medical sites and journals speaks to its health benefits for people of all ages.

The origin of Square Dance Day is unknown. If you don’t already know how to Square Dance, perhaps Square Dance Day is the day to learn. “Dosey Do” everybody.

National Native American Heritage Day:

Native American Heritage Day is a civil holiday observed on the day after Thanksgiving. President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-California), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Bill was supported by 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates the Friday after Thanksgiving as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.

Sinkie Day:

Christmas shopping and Thanksgiving leftovers provide perfect reasons to enjoy a quick meal. Grab a quick snack of leftovers over the kitchen sink and hit the stores running.

To many people, this is more than a one-time event during the holidays. Many people do this as part of their daily routine. These “sinkies” are famous for grabbing a jelly doughnut while racing out the door in the morning late for work, dashboard dining in the car, and  having a desk lunch of M&Ms and Diet Pepsi from the vending machines in the break room. In today’s hustle bustle world, millions of people around the world eat on the run. Eating and snacking over the kitchen sink has become a way of life. I must confess that I am guilty of this all too often. It’s certainly not the healthiest way to eat, but if you’re pressed for time it’s a viable option.

National Lemon Creme Pie Day:

Creme pies in general are among America’s favorite desserts. Chocolate, banana, strawberry, and coconut are traditional favorites. Alas, Lemon Creme Pie is often overshadowed by its cousin Lemon Meringue Pie. Many people incorrectly use the terms ‘creme’ and ‘meringue’ interchangeably. In my travels as an over-the-road truck driver I encountered such an instance. I seldom ordered dessert, but on this occasion, I was craving a piece of chocolate creme pie, so I ordered a slice. The waitress brought me a piece chocolate pie topped with meringue. I said that I ordered chocolate creme pie, not chocolate meringue pie. The waitress then actually said to me: “Creme, meringue, what’s the difference?” I said: “I don’t know. What’s the difference between a cow and a chicken?” I told her take it back.

Anyway, I digress. Treat yourself to a slice of tasty and refreshing lemon creme pie today.

On this date in:

1864 – The Sand Creek Massacre occurred in Colorado when a militia led by Colonel John Chivington, killed at least 400 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who had surrendered and had been given permission to camp.

1890 – Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. The game was played at West Point, NY.

1929 – The first airplane flight over the South Pole was made by U.S. Navy Lt. Comdr. Richard E. Byrd.

1939 – The USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Finland prior to a Soviet attack.

1947 – The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution that called for the division of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.

1961 – The Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft was launched by the U.S. with Enos the chimp on board. The craft orbited the earth twice before landing off Puerto Rico.

1963 – A Trans-Canada Airlines DC-8F with 111 passengers and 7 crew members crashed in woods north of Montreal 4 minutes after takeoff from Dorval Airport. All aboard were killed. The crash was the worst in Canada’s history.

1963 – U.S. President Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.

1967 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara announced that he was leaving the Johnson administration to become president of the World Bank.

1971 – The Professional Golf Championship was held at Walt Disney World for the first time.

1974 – In Britain, a bill that outlawed the Irish Republican Army became effective.

1975 – Bill Gates adopted the name Microsoft for the company he and Paul Allen had formed to write the BASIC computer language for the Altair.

1981 – Actress Natalie Wood drowned in a boating accident off Santa Catalina Island, CA, at the age 43.

1982 – The U.N. General Assembly voted that the Soviet Union should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

1987 – A Korean jetliner disappeared off Burma, with 115 people aboard.

1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the rights of criminal defendants are not violated when police unintentionally fail to preserve potentially vital evidence.

1989 – In Czechoslovakia, the Communist-run parliament ended the party’s 40-year monopoly on power.

1990 – The U.N. Security Council voted to authorize military action if Iraq did not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991.

1991 – Seventeen people were killed in a 164-vehicle wreck during a dust storm near Coalinga, CA, on Interstate 5.

1994 – The U.S. House passed the revised General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

1996 – A U.N. court sentenced Bosnian Serb army soldier Drazen Erdemovic to 10 years in prison for his role in the massacre of 1,200 Muslims. The sentence was the first international war crimes sentence since World War II.

1998 – Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected legalizing heroin and other narcotics.

2004 – The French government announced plans to build the Louvre II in northern France. The 236,808 square foot museum was the planned home for 500-600 works from the Louvre’s reserves.

2004 – Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Louisa May Alcott 1832 – Author.

Busby Berkeley 1895 – Director.

C.S. Lewis 1898 – Author, poet.

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. 1908 – Politician.

Madeline L’Engle 1918 – Author.

Vin Scully 1927 – Sportscaster.

Diane Ladd 1932 – Actress.

John Mayall 1933 – Musician.

Peter Bergman 1939 – Actor.

Chuck Mangione 1940 – Musician.

Jody Miller 1941 – Country singer.

Dennis Doherty 1941 – Musician. (The Mamas & The Papas)

Felix Cavaliere 1944 – Musician. (The Rascals)

Suzy Chaffee 1946 – Olympic skier.

Garry Shandling 1949 – Comedian.

Barry Goudreau 1951 – Musician. (Boston)

Jeff Fahey 1952 – Actor

Joel Coen 1954 – Director.

Howie Mandel 1955 – Comedian.

Cathy Moriarty 1960 – Actress.

Andrew McCarthy 1962 – Actor.

Kim Delaney 1964 – Actress.

Don Cheadle 1964 – Actor.

Neill Barry 1965 – Actor.

Gena Lee Nolin 1971 – Actress, model.

Life Day 24245: Happy Thanksgiving

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

Today is Thursday, November 28, 2013. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Obviously, the featured holiday today is:

Thanksgiving Day:

Tucked snugly between the two mega-holidays of Halloween and Christmas, is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving gets less attention, but it is still an important holiday to many. It is a time to gather family and friends together and give thanks for the blessings you recieved during the year.

Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Other countries observe similar days of “thanksgiving” on different dates throughout the year; for instance, Canada celebrates their “Thanksgiving” on the second Monday in October. This article in Wikipedia will give you more information about Thanksgiving celebrations in other countries.

As mentioned above, since 1863, Thanksgiving here in America has been celebrated on the final Thursday in November. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt broke with tradition and declared that Thanksgiving be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. That year, November had five Thursdays (instead of the more-common four), and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish the holiday on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr., founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy’s), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving to a week earlier to expand the shopping season, and within two years the change passed through Congress into law.

Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to November 30 as the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 as the “Democratic Thanksgiving” or “Franksgiving”. Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt’s change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt’s recommendation, twenty-two did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays. In 1940 and 1941, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt declared the third one as Thanksgiving. As in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date. On October 6, 1941, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942. However, in December of that year the Senate passed an amendment to the resolution that split the difference by requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, which was sometimes the last Thursday and sometimes (less frequently) the next to last. The amendment also passed the House, and on December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law and fixing the day as the fourth Thursday of November. However, for several years some states continued to observe the last-Thursday date in years with five November Thursdays (the next such year being 1944), with Texas doing so as late as 1956.

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys, in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. President John F. Kennedy was the first president reported to spare the turkey given to him (he was dissatisfied with the turkey’s size and asked to “let this one grow”), and Ronald Reagan was the first to grant the turkey a presidential pardon, which he jokingly presented to his 1987 turkey (a turkey that would indeed be spared and sent to a petting zoo) in order to deflect questions regarding the Iran–Contra affair. George H. W. Bush, who served as vice president under Reagan, made the turkey pardon a permanent annual tradition upon assuming the presidency in 1989, a tradition that has been carried on by every president each year since. The pardoned turkeys are typically sent to a farm to be pampered for the remainder of their lives (a time scale typically on the order of months, since most domestic turkeys have been bred to grow so much that they die within two years of birth). There are legends that say that the “pardoning” tradition dates to the Harry Truman administration or even to an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son’s pet turkey; both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches, but neither has any evidence in the Presidential record. In more recent years, two turkeys have been pardoned, in case the original turkey becomes unavailable for presidential pardoning.

The other holidays today are:

Hanukkah (or Chanukkah):

Hanukkah,  also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra branch is called a shamash  and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah is forbidden.

In modern Western culture, Hanukkah is often mistakenly referred to as “Jewish Christmas” because the celebration traditionally falls in the same time frame as Christmas each year. In actuality, Hanukkah has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Thanksgivukkah:

This year, something very rare is occurring. Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkhah coincide. This has led to the creation of a pop-culture portmanteau neologism, Thanksgivukkah (combining the words Thanksgiving and Hanukkah). The last time this occurred was in 1888, and the next time it will occur won’t be until the year 79811. So, unless you are a vampire, this is truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. To find out why this is such a rare occurrence read this article in Wikipedia.

National Day of Mourning:

The National Day of Mourning is an annual protest organized since 1970 by Native Americans of New England on the fourth Thursday of November, the same day as Thanksgiving in the United States. It coincides with an unrelated but similar protest, Unthanksgiving Day, held on the West Coast. Since 1921, the 300th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has staged an annual reenactment of Thanksgiving. People gather at a church on the site of the Pilgrims’ original meeting house, in 17th century costume. After prayers and a sermon, they march to Plymouth Rock. This annual event had become a tourist attraction.

On the 350th anniversary, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts planned to celebrate friendly relations between English ancestors and the Wampanoag, the native tribe of the region. Wampanoag leader Frank James, also known as Wamsutta, was invited to make a speech at the celebration. But, when the anniversary planners reviewed his speech in advance, they decided it was not appropriate for the celebration. The reason given was, “…the theme of the anniversary celebration is brotherhood and anything inflammatory would have been out of place.”

Wamsutta based his speech upon a Pilgrim’s account of the first year on Indian land. The book recounted the opening of graves, taking the Indians’ corn and bean supplies, and selling Wampanoag as slaves for 220 shillings each. After receiving a revised speech, written by a public relations person, Wamsutta decided he would not attend the celebration. To protest the silencing of the American Indian people, he and his supporters went to neighboring Cole’s Hill, near the statue of Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag when the Pilgrims landed. Overlooking the Plymouth Harbour and the Mayflower replica, Wamsutta gave his speech. This was the first National Day of Mourning. Since then, it has become an annual tradition to protest the Thanksgiving event to bring light to the abysmal treatment of native Americans by the colonists.

Turkey-free Thanksgiving:

While the turkey sits center stage at the traditional Thanksgiving feast, vegetarians must decide whether to mimic the bird or replace it with a meatless main dish. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, search “Turkey-free Thanksgiving”. A variety of websites will appear offering alternatives to the traditional turkey main course.

Red Planet Day:

The planet Mars is referred to as the “Red Planet” because it appears red in color. Red Planet Day honors our celestial neighbor, the fourth planet in the solar system. But, is Mars truly red in color? Scientists debated this question, even after the Mars Rovers landed and began to explore the planet. Why? Because the lenses used to take photos are tinted. On Red Planet Day, take a few minutes to look upwards into the sky, and gaze at our neighbor. Hopefully, you will have a cloudless night sky for viewing. You can also recognize this holiday by reading up about Mars, and viewing pictures of it. There are plenty of pictures online.

Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28,1964. The 228 day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965.

Because of its proximity to Earth, there is much debate about whether or not life ever existed on mars. Marvin the Martian, Bugs Bunny’s nemesis in a number Warner Brother’s cartoons, weighs in on the ‘yes’ side of the argument, and will “scrooch” you if you disagree.

Mars facts and trivia:

*Mars is the fourth Planet from the Sun.
*Mars gets it’s name from the Greek word “Ares”, the God of War *Mars is often visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
* The distance of Mars from the Sun averages 136,764,000 miles.
*Mars’ rotation around the Sun takes 687 Earth days.
*Mars’ rotation period: 1.026 Earth days.
* Mars’ gravity is 1/3 that of Earth.
*Mars is the 7th largest planet, about 1/10th the mass of Earth.
*Mars has no Moons.
*Mars’  temperature range is -207 to +81 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make Your Own Head Day:

Well, this holiday makes no sense to me. I think whomever created this holiday was prematurely dipping into the holiday eggnog. From what I gather from my sources, you are supposed to make a piece of art in your own image.

Aside from the literal translation, this holiday could also mean that you should make up your own mind, take some time for self-reflection, or just be yourself. Stop trying to wear someone else’s hat if it doesn’t fit. Or, perhaps this holiday is about your perception of yourself; in other words, how you see yourself as compared to what others see. I just don’t know. There was an interesting video on YouTube a couple of months back where a forensic artist drew a picture of a group of women according to the way they described themselves, then drew another picture of that person according to the way another person described them. The artist was behind a curtain and couldn’t see the subject. The results were surprising.

If you decide to literally “make your own head”, you can use any medium you desire; pencil, ink, watercolor, paint, charcoal, crayon, clay, bronze or even aluminum foil. Just don’t use the leftover mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving feast. You don’t want to terrify the kids when they open the refrigerator in the morning to get milk for their cereal.

National French Toast Day:

French toast is the perfect way to start or end your day. Although it is typically made with bread, milk, and eggs, and then topped with delicious maple syrup, many variations of this classic breakfast can be found around the world.

The origin of French toast is unknown, but recipes date back to the sixteenth century in Europe. Prior to the Hundred Years War, French toast was known in England as “poor knight’s pudding” because it was a simple and inexpensive dish that a knight with no money could afford. In France, it was called “pan perdu” or lost bread, because it was a way of using lost or stale bread. Treat your family to some French toast this morning. Just don’t forget to save some room for the turkey later.

On this date in:

1520 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait. The strait was named after him. He was the first European to sail the Pacific from the east.

1919 – American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament.

1922 – Capt. Cyril Turner of the Royal Air Force gave the first public exhibition of skywriting. He spelled out, “Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200” over New York’s Times Square.

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut on station WSM. 1

934 – The U.S. bank robber George “Baby Face” Nelson was killed by FBI agents near Barrington, IL.

1942 – A fire destroyed the Coconut Grove in Boston. 491 people died in that fire.

1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin met in Tehran to map out strategy concerning World War II.

1953 – New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers.

1958 – The African nation of Chad became an autonomous republic within the French community.

1963 – U.S. President Johnson announced that Cape Canaveral would be renamed Cape Kennedy in honor of his assassinated predecessor. The name was changed back to Cape Canaveral in 1973 by a vote of residents.

1977 – Larry Bird was introduced as “College Basketball’s Secret Weapon” with a cover story in Sports Illustrated.

1978 – The Iranian government banned religious marches. 1979 – An Air New Zealand DC-10 flying to the South Pole crashed in Antarctica killing all 257 people aboard.

1983 – The space shuttle Columbia took off with the STS-9 Spacelab in its cargo bay.

1985 – The Irish Senate approved the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern Ireland.

1987 – A South African Airways Boeing 747 crashed into the Indian Ocean. All 159 people aboard were killed.

1989 – Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci arrived in New York after escaping her homeland through Hungary.

1990 – Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain.

1992 – In Bosnia-Herzegovina, 137 tons of food and supplies were to be delivered to the isolated town of Srebrenica.

1992 – In King William’s Town, South Africa, black militant gunmen attacked a country club killing four people and injuring 20.

1994 – Jeffrey Dahmer, a convicted serial killer, was clubbed to death in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate.

1994 – Norwegian voters rejected European Union membership.

1995 – U.S. President Clinton signed a $6 billion road bill that ended the federal 55 mph speed limit.

2010 – WikiLeaks released to the public more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. About 100,000 were marked “secret” or “confidential.”

Noteworthy Birthdays:

John Bunyan 1628 – Preacher, author.

Jean Baptiste Lully 1632 – Composer.

William Blake 1757 – Poet, painter.

William Stanley 1858 – Physicist.

Brooks Atkinson 1894 – Theatre critic.

José Iturbi 1895 – Conductor, pianist, harpsichordist.

Charles Alston 1907 – Artist.

Dick Vance 1915 – Trumpeter, arranger.

Wes Westrum 1922 – Baseball catcher, coach, manager.

Gloria Grahame 1923 – Actress.

Berry Gordy, Jr. 1929 – Motown mogul.

Hope Lange 1933 – Actress.

Ethel Ennis 1934 – Jazz pianist.

Gary Hart 1936 – Politician, lawyer.

Michael Ritchie 1938 – Director.

Gary Troxel (The Fleetwoods) 1939 – Musician. (The Fleetwoods)

Bruce Channel 1940 – Singer.

Paul Warfield 1942 – Football wide receiver.

Randy Newman 1943 – Singer, songwriter.

R.B. Greaves 1945 – Singer.

Joe Dante 1946 – Director.

Vern Den Herder 1948 – Football defensive end and nose tackle.

Beeb Birtles 1948 – Musician. (The Little River Band)

Paul Shaffer 1949 – Band leader.

Alexander Godunov 1949 – Dancer, actor.

Ed Harris 1950 – Actor.

Judd Nelson 1959 – Actor.

Jon Stewart 1965 – Political satirist.

Anna Nicole Smith 1967 – Stripper, gold digger.

Matt Cameron 1962 – Musician. (Soundgarden)

Roy Tarpley 1964 – Basketball power forward.

Dawn Robinson 1968 – Musician. (En Vogue)

Scarlett Pomers 1988 – Actress, singer.

Life Day 24244: Pins and Needles Day

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

Today is Wednesday, November 27, 2013. Good morning my anticipatory friends. The featured holiday today is:

Pins and Needles Day: The actual meaning of this holiday has been obscured by time. The real origin of Pins and Needles Day goes back to the labor movement in the 1930’s. The pro-labor Broadway musical Pins and Needles, opened on this date in 1937, at the Labor Stage Theater in New York City. This play was written by Harold Rome. It was produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Union members made up the cast. It ran for 1108 performances, once holding the record for longevity. As the popularity of the play waned, WWII broke out. The focus of of this holiday then shifted to mean that people were on “pin and needles” awaiting the return of their loved ones from the war. Today, the focus has shifted once again. These days it means something akin to children being on “pins and needles” anxiously awaiting the arrival of jolly ole’ St. Nick on Christmas Eve. So now you have options. No matter which version of this holiday you choose to celebrate, you will be correct. The rest of today’s holidays are listed below.

Turtle Adoption Day: Turtle Adoption Day does nor encourage you to dash out an purchase a turtle. In fact the exact opposite is true. This holiday serves to inform you that turtles are not the easiest pets to raise. They require a lot of care and have particular dietary needs according to their species. All turtles start out small. They are hatched from eggs. However, they grow rapidly and will soon outgrow that little terrarium you got from the pet store when you bought your cute little turtle. The turtles that you buy in pet stores are actually babies. This article explains the do’s and don’t’s of having turtles as pets better than can I. If you are contemplating buying a turtle for your children of grandchildren, I suggest that you read it first.

Tie One On Day: Tie One On Day does not encourage you to go out and get “stupid” drunk on Thanksgiving Eve (although if certain in-laws are visiting, you might just relish the prospect). This holiday encourages you to “tie one on” (meaning an apron) and volunteer at a local homeless shelter. It is about giving [of ones self] for the benefit of those less fortunate. To put it more succinctly, it means putting the “giving” back into Thanksgiving. If volunteering is not an option, you could also wrap a loaf of bread or other baked good in an apron and tuck an encouraging note or prayer into the pocket; then present your offering to a neighbor, friend or person in your community who could benefit from your gesture of kindness. This holiday is always celebrated on the day before Thanksgiving.

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day: Bavarian cream pie is a delicious, chilled dessert made with a cooked egg custard layered with whipped cream and toppings in a pie shell. Cream, custard, and pudding pies have been around since the Middle Ages. After the technological advances in cornstarch extraction in the 1900’s, instant pudding and custard mixes helped popularize these kinds of desserts even further. Enjoy some for dessert tonight.

On this date in:

1701 – Anders Celsius was born in Sweden. He was the inventor of the Celsius thermometer.

1779 – The College of Pennsylvania became the University of Pennsylvania. It was the first legally recognized university in America.

1889 – Curtis P. Brady was issued the first permit to drive an automobile through Central Park in New York City.

1901 – The Army War College was established in Washington, DC. 1910 – New York’s Pennsylvania Station opened.

1951 – Hosea Richardson became the first black horse racing jockey to be licensed in Florida.

1963 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress.

1970 – Pope Paul VI, visiting the Philippines, was attacked at the Manila airport by a Bolivian painter disguised as a priest.

1973 – The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president after the resignation of Spiro T. Agnew.

1978 – San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by Dan White, a former supervisor.

1980 – Dave Williams (Chicago Bears) became the first player in NFL history to return a kick for touchdown in overtime.

1985 – The British House of Commons approved the Anglo-Irish accord giving Dublin a consulting role in the governing of British-ruled Northern Ireland.

1987 – French hostages Jean-Louis Normandin and Roger Auque were set free by their pro-Iranian captors in West Beirut, Lebanon.

1989 – 107 people were killed when a bomb destroyed a Colombian jetliner minutes after the plane had taken off from Bogota’s international airport. Police blamed the incident on drug traffickers.

1991 – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that led the way for the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation in Yugoslavia.

1992 – In Venezuela, rebel forces tried but failed to overthrow President Carlos Andres Perez for the second time in ten months.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Mona Washbourne 1903 – Actress.

James Agee 1909 – Author, journalist.

“Buffalo” Bob Smith 1917 – Children’s show host. (Howdy Doody)

Bruce Lee 1940 – Martial artist, actor.

Eddie Rabbit 1941 – Country singer.

Jimi Hendrix 1942 – Musician.

Caroline Kennedy 1957 – Author, attorney, Ambassador to Japan.

Fisher Stevens 1963 – Actor, director, producer.

Robin Givens 1964 – Actress.

Jaleel White 1976 – Actor.

Life Day 24243: You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

November 26, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Good morning cake lovers. This rarely happens, but I could find only one holiday for today, and that holiday is:

National Cake Day:

Cake is one of the world’s favorite desserts. The cake we know and love today evolved from early leavened breads, which were sweetened with honey, fruit, and nuts. The word “cake” comes from the Old Norse word, “kaka,” meaning a baked flour confection.

The ancient Egyptians were the world’s first great bakers, with large-scale bakeries that produced unleavened breads and cakes, first baked on hot stones. They were the first to discover how to use wild (natural) yeast to make those flatbreads and cakes rise. Cakes are round because they descended from ancient breads—round loaves of dough placed on hearthstones to bake.

Fast-forward a few millennia to the 18th century. This was around the time when the technique of whipping eggs to make cakes rise was discovered. While it required many hours of beating, it heralded the dawn of modern baking. By the 1840’s, baking soda had been invented, followed by baking powder in the 1860’s. As ovens with regulated temperatures became available, and sugar became affordable to everyone, more people were able to bake, resulting in more creativity in recipe development; the modern cake as we know it began to take shape in the mid-19th century.

Even though sugar originated in Asia, cakes as we now know them—flour, eggs, butter and sugar baked to a sweet, fluffy deliciousness—are a Western evolution. There are thousands of different types of cakes in the world today; each culture has its own specialties, most of which we have never seen, or even heard about.

Whether you prefer vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, pineapple-upside-down, or one of the myriad other varieties, have a slice of your favorite cake today to celebrate this decadent holiday.

On this date in:

1716 – The first lion to be exhibited in America went on display in Boston, MA.

1789 – U.S. President Washington set aside this day to observe the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

1825 – The first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

1832 – Public streetcar service began in New York City.

1867 – J.B. Sutherland patented the refrigerated railroad car.

1917 – The National Hockey League (NHL) was officially formed in Montreal, Canada.

1922 – In Egypt, Howard Carter peered into the tomb of King Tutankhamen.

1940 – The Nazis forced 500,000 Jews of Warsaw, Poland to live within a walled ghetto.

1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. In 1939 Roosevelt had signed a bill that changed the celebration of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November.

1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing to begin December 1.

1942 – The motion picture “Casablanca” had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.

1943 – The HMS Rohna became the first ship to be sunk by a guided missile. The German missile attack led to the death of 1,015 U.S. troops.

1949 – India’s Constituent Assembly adopted the country’s constitution The country became republic within the British Commonwealth two months later.

1950 – China entered the Korean conflict forcing UN forces to retreat.

1965 – France became the third country to enter space when it launched its first satellite the Diamant-A.

1973 – Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she was responsible for the 18-1/2 minute gap in a key Watergate tape. Woods was U.S. President Nixon’s personal secretary.

1975 – Lynette”Squeaky” Fromme was found guilty by a federal jury in Sacramento, CA, for trying to assassinate U.S. President Ford on September 5.

1979 – The International Olympic Committee voted to re-admit China after a 21-year absence.

1983 – A Brinks Mat Ltd. vault at London’s Heathrow Airport was robbed by gunmen. The men made off with 6,800 gold bars worth nearly $40 million. Only a fraction of the gold has ever been recovered and only two men were convicted in the heist.

1985 – The rights to Richard Nixon’s autobiography were acquired by Random House for $3,000,000.

1986 – U.S. President Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Sen. John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff after the Iran-Contra affair.

1988 – The U.S. denied an entry visa to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, who was seeking permission to travel to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly.

1992 – The British government announced that Queen Elizabeth II had volunteered to start paying taxes on her personal income. She also took her children off the public payroll.

1995 – Two men set fire to a subway token booth in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The clerk inside was fatally burned.

1998 – British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a speech to the Irish Parliament. It was a first time event for a British Prime Minister.

1998 – Hulk Hogan announced that he was retiring from pro wrestling and would run for president in 2000.

2003 – The U.N. atomic agency adopted a resolution that censured Iran for past nuclear cover-ups and warning that it would be policed to put to rest suspicions that the country had a weapons agenda.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Eric Severeid 1912 – TV journalist.

Eugene Ionesco 1912 – Playwright.

Charles M. Schulz 1922 – Cartoonist. (Peanuts)

Robert Goulet 1933 – Singer.

Marian Mercer 1935 – Actress, singer.

Rich Little 1938 – Impressionist, comedian.

Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bullock) 1938 – Singer.

Jean Terrell 1944 – R&B singer.

John McVie 1945 – Musician. (Fleetwood Mac)

Art Shell 1946 – Football offensive tackle, head coach.

Scott Jacoby 1955 – Actor.

Jamie Rose 1959 – Actress.

Linda Davis 1962 – Country singer.

Garcelle Beauvais 1966 – Actress, model.

Maia Campbell 1976 – Actress.

Peter Facinelli 1973 – Actor.

 

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