Life Day 24264: Underdog Day

December 17, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Good morning underdogs. Today’s holidays are:

National Underdog Day:

This holiday does not specifically pertain to that esteemed crime-fighting canine, “Underdog”. Instead, National Underdog Day, created in 1976,  is a day to celebrate those unsung heroes and the “second bananas” of literature, movies, and more. Those people who complete some of our favorite ”top dogs”; such as Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes, Robin to Batman, Tonto to The Lone Ranger, etc, etc.

National Underdog Day is not solely for the famous “second bananas”. It pertains to everyone who, despite their best efforts, never seem to be able to rise to the top. The ordinary “every man” who works diligently to provide for his family and has no desire for the spotlight; yet in a time of crisis still manages to “be there” for his loved ones and provide what they need.

There are many examples of ‘underdogs’ achieving success.; Steve Jobs with Apple, Bill Gates with Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook, and yes, even Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent. All of these people achieved success despite the odds being stacked against them.

In sports, the term ‘underdog’ refers to the individual or team that statistically has the least chance of winning. Sometimes though, through dedication, perseverance, desire, and sheer determination, they win despite the odds.

The term ‘underdog’ actually originated in the shipbuilding industry. Planks of wood were referred to as “dogs.” As they were placed, one man would supervise from above while another, the underdog, would stand below, in the dark, cutting and fitting the boards. They would be covered in soot and sawdust, in horrible conditions, while the man above would get all the credit for the work. They were the “unsung” heroes of their industry; without them, ships would not have been made correctly or could have easily leaked.

To celebrate this holiday, reach out and say “Thank You” to all of the unsung heroes in your life.

Wright Brothers Day:

Wright Brothers Day commemorates the first successful flight in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane. It is not a national holiday, but rather a United States national observance. The first flight was made by Orville Wright on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He won the coin-toss with his brother Wilbur to be the first to fly their aircraft, the Wright Flyer I. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds, at a whopping 6.8 mph. This link will take you to the President’s official proclamation for this day.

On the 110th anniversary of this historic event, not surprisingly, there have been many advances in the aviation industry. These days we take flight for granted. We routinely board a jet-propelled passenger aircraft and fly to distant destinations worldwide; giving it little more thought than getting into our car and driving to the grocery store.

To celebrate this holiday, research the history of aviation.

Free Shipping Day:

Free Shipping Day is a one-day event held annually in mid-December. On the promotional holiday, consumers can shop from both large and small online merchants that offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

Free Shipping Day was started in 2008 by Luke and Maisie Knowles in an effort to extend the online shopping season. Statistics at the time showed online shopping peaked on Cyber Monday, generally held the week immediately following Black Friday. Consumers believed they would not receive their online orders in time for Christmas after that date. The first event was created in just two weeks by Knowles. Several hundred merchants participated and media attention was unusually high. Merchant participation has more than doubled each subsequent year.

If you are contemplating ordering something online for Christmas, I suggest you do it today. Be sure to check to make sure that the retailer you choose is participating in Free Shipping Day.

National Maple Syrup Day:

Maple syrup is a distinctly North American product. Canada, the largest supplier of maple syrup, produces over 5 million gallons of it each year!

Native Americans were the first to harvest and boil the sap of the maple tree into a thick syrup—a process that was documented and adopted by early settlers in the 1600’s. Tapping a maple tree does no permanent damage to the tree and only 10% of the sap that is produced in a year is actually collected. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 years or more! Did you know that it takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? Maple syrup can also be boiled down to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple sugar candy.

If you want to celebrate this holiday, be sure that the syrup you use is genuine maple syrup not pancake syrup. Pancake syrup, unless the ingredients state otherwise, no longer contains maple syrup, nor is it required to.

On this date in:

1777 – France recognized American independence.

1791 – A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go “One Way.”

1895 – George L. Brownell received a patent for his paper-twine machine.

1925 – Col. William “Billy” Mitchell was convicted of insubordination at his court-martial.

1944 – The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast which ensured that Japanese-Americans were released from detention camps.

1953 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to approve RCA’s color television specifications.

1957 – The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

1959 – The film “On the Beach” premiered in New York City and in 17 other cities. It was the first motion picture to debut simultaneously in major cities around the world.

1969 – The U.S. Air Force closed its Project “Blue Book” by concluding that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.

1969 – Television history was made when Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki Budinger were married on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

1973 – Thirty-one people were killed at Rome airport when Arab guerrillas hijacked a German airliner.

1975 – Lynette Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald Ford.

1976 – WTCG-TV, Atlanta, GA, changed its call letters to WTBS, and was uplinked via satellite. The station became the first commercial TV station to cover the entire U.S.

1979 – Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally beaten after a police chase in Miami, FL. Four white police officers were later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie’s death.

1986 – Wayne Newton won a $19.2 million suit against NBC News. NBC had aired reports claiming a link between Newton and mob figures. The reports were proven to be false.

1986 – Davina Thompson became the world’s first recipient of a heart, lungs, and liver transplant.

1986 – Eugene Hasefus was pardoned and then released by Nicaragua. He had been convicted of running guns to the Contras.

1992 – President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1992 – Israel deported over 400 Palestinians to Lebanese territory in an unprecedented mass expulsion of suspected militants.

1996 – The Red Cross pulled all but a few of its western staff out of Chechnya after six foreign aid workers were killed by masked gunmen.

1997 – President Clinton signed the No Electronic Theft Act. The act removed protection from individuals who claimed that they took no direct financial gains from stealing copyrighted works and downloading them from the Internet.

2000 – Terrell Owens (San Francisco 49ers) caught an NFL-record 20 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. The previous record was held by Tom Fears (Los Angeles Rams) with 18 catches on December 3, 1950, against the Green Bay Packers. Owens also broke Jerry Rice’s franchise record of 16 receptions set in 1994 against the Los Angeles Rams.

2002 – President George W. Bush ordered the Pentagon to have ready for use within two years a system for protecting American territory, troops and allies from ballistic missile attacks.

2004 – President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years. The bill aimed to tighten borders and aviation security. It also created a federal counter-terrorism center and a new intelligence director.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

John Greenleaf Whittier 1807  – Poet, abolitionist.

Erskine Caldwell 1903 – Author.

Sy Oliver 1910 – Jazz trumpeter.

Joan Woodbury 1915 – Actress.

Julia Meade 1928 – Actress.

William Safire 1929 – Columnist, author

Bob Guccione 1930 – Penthouse magazine publisher.

Armin Mueller-Stahl 1930 – Actor.

George Lindsey 1935 – Actor.

Tommy Steele 1936 – Singer.

Nat Stuckey 1937 – Country singer.

Art Neville 1937 – Musician. (The Neville Brothers)

Eddie Kendricks 1939 – Singer. (The Temptations)

Paul Butterfield  1942 – Musician. (Paul Butterfield Blues Band)

Dave Dee 1943 – Singer, songwriter.

Bernard Hill 1944 – Actor.

Ernie Hudson 1945 – Actor.

Christopher Cazenove 1945 – Actor.

Eugene Levy 1946 – Actor.

Wes Studi 1947 – Actor.

Paul Rodgers 1949 – Musician. (Bad Company)

Wanda Huntchinson 1951 – Musician. (The Emotions)

Bill Pullman 1953 – Actor.

Barry Livingston 1953 – Actor.

Mike Mills 1958 – Musician. (R.E.M.)

Sarah Dallin 1961 – Musician. (Bananarama)

Sean Patrick Thomas 1970 – Actor.

Sarah Paulson 1974 – Actress.

Marissa Ribisi 1974 – Actress.

Giovanni Ribisi 1974 – Actor.

Bree Sharp 1975 – Singer, songwriter.

Milla Jovovich 1975 – Model, actress.

Vanessa Zima 1986 – Actress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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