Life Day 25047: Go Fly a Kite

February 8, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my flighty friends. Today is February 8th. Today’s first “holiday” today is Fly a Kite Day. Have you ever wanted to tell someone to “go fly a kite”? If so, then today is the day to do so. People have enjoyed flying kites for thousands of years. Its an ever popular activity for children, and enjoyed by many adults. Ben Franklin was perhaps the most well known kite flyer. In 1752, it is rumored that he flew a kite in a thunderstorm and discovered electricity. Chances are few people in the northern areas of the country will brave the snow and cold today to go outdoors and fly a kite, but if you live in a more hospitable climate, “go fly a kite” Interesting fact: Kites were first used by the military in ancient China over 3,000 years ago.

The second “holiday” today is Laugh and Get Rich Day. If it were only that simple. Today celebrates the power of laughter. Happy people are more productive and tend to remain at a job longer, and therefore seem to advance more rapidly in their chosen profession.  So yuck it up today, and better your chances for promotion.

Another “holiday” today is Boy Scout Day. Boy Scout Day celebrates the birthday of Scouting in America. On February 8, 1910, Chicago publisher William Dickson Boyce filed incorporation papers in the District of Columbia to create the Boy Scouts of America. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts offer a tremendously valuable program of life skills and values for millions of boys. It has been popular ever since Lord Baden-Powell founded Boy Scouts in the early 1900’s in Great Britain. The top award of Eagle Scout, is an accomplishment that reaps recognition, rewards, and benefits for a young man throughout his life.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

The fourth “holiday” today is Clean Out Your Computer Day. Originally sponsored by Institute for Business Technology and in existence since at least 2000, Clean Out Your Computer Day is celebrated on the second Monday in February. As increasing amounts of time are wasted in work places and at home because of slow computers and psychological research shows the negative impact of clutter – digital or otherwise – on our lives, this day was created as an opportunity for us to remember to clean up and delete old and unused files.  So, get into the spirit of the day, and clean out your computer.

The next “holiday” today is Opera Day. Opera Day is celebrated on this date annually. Although my research couldn’t find the creator of this holiday, it marks a significant date in American music history. It commemorates the date in 1735 when the first opera was performed in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina. The opera performed was “Flora”…a contemporary (at the time) piece.
Opera incorporates acting, singing, and sometimes dance with lavish costumes and sets. Opera started in Italy in 1598, and quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe and beyond.

The sixth “holiday” today is Shrove Monday. Shrove Monday is the Monday before Ash Wednesday every year. A part of the English traditional Shrovetide celebrations of the week before Lent. It is part of diverse Carnival celebrations which take place in many parts of the Christian world, from Greece, to Germany, to the Mardi Gras and Carnival of the Americas.

The next “holiday” today (Oatmeal Monday) is on the cusp between being a ‘regular’ holiday and a food-related holiday, so I’ll let you decide. Oatmeal Monday was a traditional holiday observed by the ancient universities of Scotland on the second Monday of February. During the 17th century, Scottish university students lived in very basic accommodation and were required to bring their own fuel, firewood or peat, to maintain a fire. Their diet was meager too, largely consisting of oatmeal, which they would make into porridge. This lifestyle would remain typical until the late 19th century. Rev. James Sharp noted that as a student at the University of Edinburgh, “the liberal arts, sciences and theology were cultivated on oatmeal, with an occasional glass of beer on a Saturday night.” As the students’ country homes or farms were some distance from the city universities, an occasional long weekend was scheduled to permit them to replenish their supplies. Originally, and until as recently as 1885, these Oatmeal Mondays would occur regularly; the University of Edinburgh had one on the first Monday of every month. However, by 1896 Edinburgh established just one official holiday, on the second Monday in February.

The food-related “holiday” today is Molasses Bar Day. Molasses is a thick, sticky syrup made from sugarcane. The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugarcane, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Since the 1500,s, people have used molasses to sweeten their food. Its distinctive taste is still called for in many recipes including gingerbread, sauces, cookies, toffee, baked beans, fruitcake, and molasses bars. If you know what a ‘molasses bar’ is, enjoy one as a snack today.

On this date – In 1861, a Cheyenne delegation and some Arapaho leaders accepted a new settlement (Treaty of Fort Wise) with the U.S. Federal government. The deal ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square mile reservation and annuity payments.

Other significant events which happened on this date are:

  • In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
  • In 1802, Simon Willard patented the banjo clock.
  • In 1861, the Confederate States of America was formed.
  • In 1896, the Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. The group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.
  • In 1918, “The Stars and Stripes” newspaper was published for the first time.
  • In 1922, the White House began using radio after President Harding had it installed.
  • In 1936, the first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne. Her father, George VI, had died on February 6.
  • In 1963, the Kennedy administration prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens.
  • In 1969, the last issue of the “Saturday Evening Post” was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and later a 6 times a year.
  • In 1971, the Nasdaq stock-market index debuted.
  • In 1973, U.S. Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal.
  • In 1978, U.S. Senate deliberations were broadcast on radio for the first time. The subject was the Panama Canal treaties.
  • In 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced a plan to re-introduce draft registration.
  • In 1985, “The Dukes of Hazzard” ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television.
  • And, in 1993, General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that some GM pickups were prone to fires after certain types of crashes. The suit was settled the following day by NBC.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:

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