Life Day 25029: Food for Thought

January 21, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning chowder-heads. Today is January 21st. I am beginning this post with the food-related “holiday” today because otherwise the title and the opening sentence make no sense. Today is  New England Clam Chowder Day. Chowders originated in fishing villages on the coast of France in the 16th century. Back then any kind of fish chowder was considered a poor man’s dish. Most recipes called for salt pork and biscuits, which were both part of a standard sailor’s ration. The oldest-known printed chowder recipe is for fish chowder, printed in theBoston Evening Post on September 23, 1751. It calls for onions, pork, salt, pepper, parsley, sweet marjoram, savory, thyme and a biscuit (later replaced by oyster crackers or saltines served with the soup instead of cooked into it)—ingredients that are still used today.
There are many different varieties of clam chowder, but the two most popular are New England Clam Chowder and Manhattan Clam Chowder. New England clam chowder is made with milk or cream, whereas Manhattan Clam Chowder is tomato based. The rivalry is ongoing to this day as to which version is better…I guess it’s a matter of personal taste. However, in New England, the use of tomatoes is frowned upon. In fact, in 1939 the state of Maine made it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder. Although this holiday is New England Clam Chowder Day, I guess that you can celebrate with your favorite type of chowder…whatever that may be. Personally, I dislike seafood in general, and seafood based soups in particular, so if I decide to celebrate this holiday, it will be with a steamy hot bowl of Corn Chowder.

You may think that I’m nuts, or even a bit squirrely, but the first “holiday” is  Squirrel Appreciation Day. Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa. In general, ground-dwelling species are social animals, often living in well-developed colonies, but the tree-dwelling species are more solitary. Squirrels’ diets consist primarily of a wide variety of plants, including nuts, seeds, conifer cones, fruits, fungi, and green vegetation. However, some squirrels also consume meat, especially when faced with hunger. Squirrels have been known to eat insects, eggs, small birds, young snakes, and even smaller rodents.
Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering friends. It is celebrated in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife.  Squirrels spent all fall gathering and “squirreling ” away food. The problem is that they only recover about 20% of the food they have hidden. They either can’t remember where they stashed the rest, or other squirrels beat them to it. So, give your bushy-tailed friends an extra special treat today to supplement their winter diets. They are particularly fond of sunflower seeds and dried corn.

The next ‘”holiday” today is National Hugging Day. Kevin Zaborney and Adam Olis created the holiday in 1986. The date of January 21 was chosen because it marks a midpoint between Christmas and Valentines Day, where people are figured to be at their emotional low. The idea of National Hugging Day is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often. There’s nothing more reassuring than a comforting hug. Scientific studies have demonstrated that hugs are incredibly good for us. A hug can lower your blood pressure, trigger the release of healthy hormones (like oxytocin), and relieve stress. Doctors recommend a minimum of 4-6 hugs per day for our emotional and physiological well-being, but more is always better. The record for most hugs given in one hour by an individual is 1,749. Nick Vujicic achieved this feat at an expo center in Oregon in 2010.
*Author’s Note: Considering the litigious nature of society today, it is advisible to obtain permission before hugging someone if you are unsure of the response…especially a stranger.

The last “holiday” today is One-Liners Day. It’s awards season once again, when millions of people tune in to watch the Golden Globes, Emmys, Oscars, People’s Choice, SAG Awards, et al, to find out who takes home the coveted trophy for the best of the best in film and television. One-Liners Day is an annual “holiday” that shines the spotlight on some of the memorable one-liners from these films; those memorable lines that stick with you long after you leave the theater.

Here are some examples:

  • I’ll have what she’s having! ~ When Harry Met Sally
  • You’re gonna need a bigger boat! ~ Jaws
  • I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore! ~ Network
  • Show me the money! ~ Jerry Maguire
  • May the force be with you! ~ Star Wars
  • You cant handle the truth! ~ A Few Good Men
  • Shaken, not stirred. ~ Goldfinger
  • Play it again, Sam. ~ Casablanca
  • You’ll shoot your eye out! ~ A Christmas Story
  • E.T. phone home ~ E.T.
  • Beam me up Scotty ∼ Star Trek
  • Book ’em Danno ∼ (Original) Hawaii 5-0

There are so many memorable lines from film and television that it is impossible to list all of them here. Feel free to add some of your favorite movie and TV one-liners in the comments.


On this date in 1954 – The Nautilus was launched in Groton, CT. It was the first atomic-powered submarine. U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow.

Other significant events which happened on this date are:
In 1793 – During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine. He had been found guilty of treason two days earlier.
In 1846 – The first issue of the “Daily News,” edited by Charles Dickens, was published.
In 1853 – Dr. Russell L. Hawes patented the envelope folding machine.
In 1861 – The future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, resigned from the U.S. Senate. Four other Southerners also resigned.
In 1865 – An oil well was drilled by torpedoes for the first time.
In 1915 – The first Kiwanis club was formed in Detroit, MI.
In 1924 – Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died. Joseph Stalin began a purge of his rivals for the leadership of the Soviet Union.
In 1941 – The British communist newspaper, the “Daily Worker,” was banned due to wartime restrictions.
In 1954 – The gas turbine automobile was introduced in New York City.
In 1970 – The Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American.
In 1976 – The French Concorde SST aircraft began regular commercial service for Air France and British Airways.
In 1977 – President Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
In 1994 – A jury in Manassas, VA, acquitted Lorena Bobbitt by reason of temporary insanity of maliciously wounding (severing his penis) her husband John. She accused him of sexually assaulting her.
In 1997 – Newt Gingrich was fined as the House of Representatvies voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.
In 1998 – Former White House intern Monica Lewinski said on tape that she had an affair with President Clinton.
In 1999 – The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a ship headed for Houston, TX, that had over 9,500 pounds of cocaine aboard. It was one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.
And finally, in 2002 – In London, a 17th century book by Capt. John Smith, founder of the English settlement at Jamestown, was sold at auction for $48,800. “The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” was published in 1632.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following celebrities:
Thomas Nathan (Stonewall Jackson) 1824 (Confederate General)
J. Carrol Naish 1897 (actor)
Christian Dior 1905 (fashion designer)
Telly Savalas 1924 (actor – Kojak)
Benny Hill 1925 (British comedian)
Steve Reeves 1926 (body builder, actor)
Robert Weston (Wolfman Jack) Smith 1939 (renown Disc Jockey)
Jack Nicklaus 1940 (pro golfer)
Richie Havens 1941 (Jazz guitarist)
Placido Domingo 1941 (opera singer)
Mac Davis 1942 siunger, songwriter, musician)
Edwin Starr 1942 (soul singer)
Jill Eikenberry 1947  (actress – L.A. Law)
Billy Ocean 1950 (vocalist)
Robby Benson 1956 (actor, director)
Geena Davis 1957 (actress)
Hakeem Olajuwon 1963 (professional basketball player)
Charlotte Ross 1968 (actress – Days of Our Lives)
Karina Lombard 1969 (actress)
And finally, Emma Lee Bunton 1976 (musician – The Spice Girls – “Baby Spice”)


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