Life Day 24254: Day of Infamy

December 7, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Saturday, December 7, 2013. Good morning everyone. The featured holiday today is:

 Pearl Harbor Day:

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on the American military base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack began at dawn, without warning. When it was over, more than 2,400 American soldiers and 68 civilians were dead, and another 1,100 were wounded. The attack sank five of the eight U.S. Navy battleships in the harbor, and damaged the other three. It also damaged or sank three cruisers, three destroyers, and 188 aircraft.

This attack caused President Franklin Roosevelt to declare war on Japan the next day, bringing us into WWII. His now famous speech before Congress, stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is “a date which will live in infamy.”

Pearl Harbor Day, also known as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or just Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, is observed annually on December 7. On August 23, 1994, Congress, by Public Law 103–308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset in honor of dead patriots. It is not a federal holiday. Government offices, schools, and businesses do not close. Some organizations may hold special events in memory of those killed or injured at Pearl Harbor.

As tragic as this event was, it should never be forgotten. Two memorials have been built to remember that day and its events. The USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. Another memorial is that of the USS Utah, a battleship that was attacked and sunk in the attack. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship’s wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989. Additionally, in 1990, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s medal and was awarded to anyone who was in the U.S. Armed Forces and who was present in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and participated in combat operations that day against the attack.

The rest of today’s holidays are listed below.

SKYWARN™ Recognition Day

Just what the heck is SKYWARN™ anyway? Well, it is a program developed by National Weather Service to augment their weather forecasting capabilities. It turns out that all of their fancy-schmancy Doppler radar, weather satellites,  lightning detection networks, and surface observations can’t replace good ole “boots on the ground” reports form individuals during a weather event. They enlisted help from  “ham” radio operators through the National Association for Amateur Radio. They trained these people to act as their eyes and ears in emergency situations and to report actual conditions in a given area.

SKYWARN™  Recognition Day was created in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN™  radio operators make to the National Weather Service.  During the day SKYWARN™ operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world.

Chester Greenwood Day (Earmuff Day):

Chester Greenwood (1858-1937) made his first pair of “ear protectors” when he was 15 years old. He was granted a patent in 1877 and established an entirely new industry in his hometown of Farmington, Maine, where he continued to refine the design and manufacture of what we now know as earmuffs. By 1918 he was making 216,000 pairs a year, and by 1932 checks and plaids were added to the standard black velvet covering.

Although Greenwood was involved in a number of other business ventures in Farmington and was granted his last patent—for a tempered steel lawn rake—only a few months before he died, it is for his ear protectors that he is primarily remembered.
Farmington residents celebrate Chester Greenwood Day on the first Saturday in December (Greenwood was born on December 4) with a parade, flag-raising ceremony, and a foot race. Everyone is encouraged to wear earmuffs for the festivities, including pets.

If you live live in the norther tier of this country, or if it is nippy where you live, you should be celebrating this holiday right along with the residents of Farmington Maine.

Letter Writing Day:

In today’s “plugged in” society, the ability to effectively communicate through the written language is rapidly becoming a lost art. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, tense, and basic sentence structure are ignored by people in their electronic communications.

I would like to blame laziness, or the need for brevity that some social media sites require by limiting the number of characters people can use to convey their message. But alas, the problem seems to go much deeper than that. The entire education system needs to be revamped. Schools are passing students that a few decades ago would have been held back; just to make their statistics look good. The climate of preserving a student’s self-esteem over teaching them is wreaking havoc upon society. When these students eventually go into the work force, they are ill-prepared to deal with the harsh realities of life.

To celebrate this holiday, sit down with pen and paper, and write letters to a few people. If you then put them in an envelope, place a stamp on that envelope, and put in in the post you get bonus points.

 

National Cotton Candy Day:

Aside from being Diabetes on  a stick, what’s not to love about cotton candy?  The sweet, sugary taste and the soft, fluffy texture that melts in your mouth have brought joy to millions of people, young and old, for generations.

William Morrison and John C. Warton invented cotton candy in 1897, but didn’t introduce it to the public until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was an instant success and sold for 25 cents, half the cost of the admission to the event. Cotton candy was originally called “fairy floss”. It was renamed in 1920. Today in Greece, Israel, and India, it is often referred to as “old woman’s hair!”

Although cotton candy is most commonly found at outdoor fairs and festivals, if you want to celebrate this holiday, many grocery stores throughout America now sell cotton candy, so you may be able to pick up some there.

On this date in:

1732 – In London, the original Convent Garden Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House) was opened.

1787 – Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution becoming the first of the United States.

1796 – John Adams was elected to be the second president of the United States.

1836 – Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.

1907 – At London’s National Sporting Club, Eugene Corri became the first referee to officiate from inside a boxing ring.

1925 – Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 150-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 25 and 2/5 seconds. He went on to play “Tarzan” in several movies.

1926 – The gas operated refrigerator was patented by The Electrolux Servel Corporation.

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta killed 119 people. It was America’s worst hotel fire disaster. The hotel founder, W. Frank Winecoff, was also killed in the fire.

1972 – Apollo 17 was launched at Cape Canaveral. It was the last U.S. moon mission.

1972 – Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant. The man was then shot and killed by her bodyguards.

1982 – Charlie Brooks Jr., a convicted murderer, became the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, TX.

1983 – Madrid, Spain, an Aviaco DC-9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air Lines Boeing 727 that was accelerating for takeoff. The collision resulted in the death of all 42 people aboard the DC-9 and 51 on the Iberia jet.

1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time. He had come to the U.S. for a Washington summit with U.S. President Reagan.

1987 – 43 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a fellow passenger and the two pilots aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner.

1988 – An estimated 25,000 people were killed when a major earthquake hit northern Armenia in the Soviet Union. The quake measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale.

1988 – Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced the reduction of the number of Soviet military troops by half a million.

1989 – East Germany’s Communist Party agreed to cooperate with the plan for free elections and a revised constitution.

1992 – The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Mississippi abortion law which, required women to get counseling and then wait 24 hours before terminating their pregnancies.

1993 – Six people were killed and 17 were injured when a gunman opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train.

1993 – Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary revealed that the U.S. government had conducted more than 200 nuclear weapons tests in secret at its Nevada test site.

1993 – Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggested that the U.S. government study the impact of drug legalization.

1995 – A probe sent from the Galileo spacecraft entered into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The probe sent back data to the mothership before it was presumably destroyed.

1996 – The space shuttle Columbia returned from the longest-ever shuttle flight of 17 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes.

1998 – The U.N. evacuated 14 peacekeepers that were trapped by fighting between army and rebel forces in central Angola.

1998 – U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton over 1996 campaign financing.

1999 – A U.S. federal grand jury indicted a former convict in the 1995 disappearance of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

2002 – In Mymensingh, Bangladesh, four movies theaters were bombed within 30 minutes of each other. At least 15 people were killed and over 200 were injured.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini 1598 – Artist.

Willa Cather 1873 – Author.

Eli Wallach 1915 – Actor.

Ted Knight 1923 – Actor.

Bobby Osborne 1931 – Bluegrass musician.

Ellen Burstyn 1932 – Actress.

Carole Simpson 1940 – Broadcast journalist.

Harry Chapin 1942 – Singer, songwriter.

Johnny Bench 1947 – Baseball catcher.

Gary Morris 1948 – Country singer.

Tom Waits 1949 – Singer, songwriter.

Larry Bird 1956 – Basketball player, coach.

Priscilla Barnes 1956 – Actress.

Edd Hall 1958 – Announcer, TV personality.

Tim Butler 1958 – Musician. (Psychedelic Furs)

C. Thomas Howell 1966 – Actor.

Sara Beth Bareilles 1979 – Singer.

 

 

 

 

 

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