Life Day 25067: May I Have the Envelope Please

February 28, 2016 at 12:00 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning “Oscar” hopefuls. Today is February 28th. The first “holiday” today is Academy Awards Night. Tonight is the biggest night of the year for the film industry—the Academy Awards. While I don’t consider the Academy Awards a holiday, some of you might, so I’ll cover it anyway.
The Academy Awards, as of February 20, 2013, officially re-branded as The Oscars, are a set of awards given annually for excellence of cinematic achievements. There is no fixed date for this awards show, but it usually happens in either February of March. The criteria for setting the actual date each year seem to be one of the world’s most closely guarded secrets.
The first Academy Awards took place on May 16, 1929,  at a ceremony at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood at a private dinner party with less than 250 guests in attendance. The ceremony only lasted fifteen minutes, and the tickets cost $5.00 each. Over the years, the categories presented have expanded. Currently, Oscars are given in more than a dozen categories and include films of various types. It is also the oldest award ceremony in the media.  As one of the most prominent award ceremonies in the world, the Academy Awards ceremony is televised live in more than 100 countries annually, with an average viewership of over 40 million people.
The trophy for the Academy Awards is a knight gripping a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film. The reel has five spokes representing the original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. The statuette is officially known as the Academy Award of Merit but was nicknamed “Oscar” in the 1930s. Each of the Oscars costs $500 to produce and weigh about 8.5 pounds.

The next holiday is Public Sleeping Day.  I recommend that you don’t celebrate Public Sleeping Day. If you are employed, your boss will likely look upon you with disfavor if he catches you sleeping at your desk. If you’re retired or unemployed, sleeping in a public place, such as a park bench, will likely result in your being robbed, or else arrested for vagrancy. If the weather permits, and you choose to sleep on the beach, you run the risk of heat stroke and/or severe sunburn. Good luck if you choose to celebrate this one.

The third holiday today is National Tooth Fairy Day. At one time or another, almost all of us have been visited by the tooth fairy. For hundreds of years, people have shared mystical legends, stories, and traditions about the loss of baby teeth. The early Europeans buried children’s teeth so witches and evil spirits couldn’t use them for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had magical powers that could help them fight in battle. They would pay their children for their lost baby teeth and string them onto necklaces and other jewelry. Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who scampers around town and steals children’s teeth in the middle of the night. The story of the mouse evolved into the story of the Tooth Fairy who leaves treasures under children’s pillows in exchange for their lost teeth. Tooth Fairy traditions are still popular today. Kids all over the world place their lost baby teeth under their pillows at night and look forward to a wonderful surprise in the morning.

The last holiday today is Floral Design Day.  Floral Design Day began as a way to celebrate the birthday of Carl Rittner, founder of the Rittner School of Floral Design in Boston; and to  appreciate floral design as a unique and creative art form. And yes, the holiday is official – the Governor of Massachusetts William F. Weld proclaimed it in 1995. History lesson aside, today is an excuse to go wild about flowers and let your inner creativity spark. Take a stroll past your local flower shop and admire the floral arrangements in their window. Or you can buy, or pick, some flowers and design your own floral arrangement at home. Either way, take some time out today to “stop and smell [and arrange] the flowers.”

The food-related holiday today is National Chocolate Soufflé Day. Though cheese soufflés and other savory soufflés may be better known, chocolate soufflé might be the perfect dessert after a rich meal. The first Chocolate Soufflé recipe can be traced to the 1742 French recipe book, “Le Cuisinier.” A chocolate soufflé can be tricky to make, but it is a sure way to impress your guests if… you can pull it off. They are well-known for collapsing 5-10 minutes after coming out of the oven, so be sure to serve them as soon as you remove them from the oven. Also, consider topping your soufflés with fruit or plenty of sauce to hide the inevitable.
The French word ‘soufflé’ comes from the verb ‘souffler‘, meaning to “to blow” or “puff up.” Two very simple ingredients make a soufflé: a cream/ puree base, and egg whites beaten to a soft peak meringue. The base gives the soufflé its flavor while the egg whites give the puffy treat its bloated appearance. It can then be flavored as desired. The best soufflés are cooked using a well-greased porcelain ramekins.

On this date in 1993 – Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed; and a 51-day standoff ensued.

Other historic events which happened on this date are:

  • In 1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.
  • In 1849 – Regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco for the first time. The SS California had left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.
  • In 1854 – The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.
  • In 1861 – The territory of Colorado was sanctioned.
  • In 1883 – The first vaudeville theater opened.
  • In 1885 – AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) was incorporated. The company was capitalized on only $100,000 and provided long distance service for American Bell.
  • In 1911 – Thomas A. Edison, Inc. was organized.
  • In 1940 – The first televised basketball game was shown from Madison Square Gardens in New York. The game featured Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh.
  • In 1951 – A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were, at least, two major crime syndicates in the United States. (What they didn’t mention in the report is that they were one of them…OK, maybe not true then, but certainly true today).
  • In 1979 – Mr. Ed, the talking horse from the TV show “Mr. Ed”, died.
  • In 1983 – “M*A*S*H” became the most-watched television program (at the time) in history when the last episode aired.
  • In 1994 – NATO made its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes, in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia.
  • In 1995 – The new Denver International Airport (replacing Stapleton) opened after a 16-month delay.
  • In 2001 – The Northwest region of the United States, including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following luminaries:Charles Blondin, 1824 –

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