Life Day 25087: Spring is Springing Early

March 19, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of changing seasons. Today is March 19th. The first holiday today is the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. The official time that the Vernal Equinox for 2016 occurs is March 20th at 04:30 UCT — Universal Coordinated Time (formerly known as GMT — Greenwich Mean Time)…which translates to March 19th at 21:30 PDT — Pacific Daylight Time — (or 9:30 pm if you are unfamiliar with military time) for those of us who reside in California. If you don’t live in either of these places, do the math yourself. (If you’re not good at arithmetic, you might have to take off your shoes to do the calculation).
This particular equinox has the distinction of being the earliest spring equinox since 1896. The vernal equinox signals the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. It marks the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. As the word equinox implies, today there will be equal amounts of daylight and darkness. Beginning tomorrow, the sun will start rising a little earlier each day, and setting a little later each day, until the summer solstice in June.
To celebrate this holiday, mix yourself an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea and half lemonade), put your shoes back on, go outside at 9:30 pm, and see if you notice any discernable change.

The second holiday is Saint Joseph’s Day. Since the 10th century, this date has been the principal feast day of Saint Joseph in Western Christianity and is celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, many Lutherans and other denominations, according to Catholic Online. Joseph was the husband of the Virgin Mary. He’s considered the patron of carpenters, fathers, and the Catholic Church.

The next holiday is Swallows Return To Capistrano Day. The return of the swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano every year on this date has been part of Old California lore since the late 1700’s. However,  in recent years, the number of swallows returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano has dwindled, and at least once, no swallows returned on this date. The swallows are not endangered, they have just chosen other nesting areas. This could be due to a recent reconstruction project on the Old Mission. Way to go mankind.

The fourth holiday today is Lets Laugh Day. Let’s Laugh Day encourages you to laugh as much as you can today. Whether it’s because of  the faltering economy, the divisive political climate, that never-ending to-do list, and/or the fact that everything – except for your paycheck – seems to be rising, Americans are stressed out these days. Let’s Laugh Day encourages you to let go of all that stress and have a good laugh or two today. And, while you’re at it, try to make everyone you encounter today laugh as well.
According to Web MD, laughter can help boost your immune system, relieve tension, make you feel relaxed, and increase endorphins released by your brain, and helps reduce your blood pressure and decreases pain. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases antibodies, boosting your immunity to all sorts of illness and diseases. Laughing also helps relax your muscles and helps you relax. Laughter also burns calories. As a bonus, laughter plays a significant role in the mating ritual. According to Psychology Today magazine, “the laughter of the female in a relationship is the critical index of whether or not that relationship is successful.”  So, you see, laughter is good for your mind, your body and your libido.
Apparently, Reader’s Digest has it right. “Laughter is the best medicine.” So go ahead, yuk it up today. It’s good for you.

The next holiday today is Iraqi Freedom Day. On March 19, 2003, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein elected not to step down from power, per a United Nation’s resolution. Two hours after the 9:30 p.m. EDT deadline, United States, British and Australian forces began air strikes. According to the Council on Foreign Relations: “Operation Iraqi Freedom began, with U.S. and coalition forces striking a target in Baghdad where, intelligence reports indicated, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his top deputies had gathered in underground bunkers.” President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation and said,”the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq have begun.” I was reluctant to even mention this “holiday” but it was listed in too many of my sources to ignore. I think we all know how well this worked out…and it is most certainly no cause for celebration.

Listed below are the remainder of today’s holidays. As usual, a link to each one is provided for you.

The first food-related holiday today is National Chocolate Caramel Day. The union of chocolate and caramel is arguably one of the greatest flavor combinations ever conceived by man. These two ingredients appear in countless candy bars, ice cream flavors, confections, and desserts. Did you know that Milton Hershey began his career at a caramel company? In the late 1800’s he began experimenting with ways to improve caramel candy and found some German-built machines for manufacturing chocolate. His attention would eventually shift completely to chocolate, but Hershey’s first product was a chocolate-covered caramel. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to celebrate this holiday.

The second food-related holiday today is Poultry Day. Poultry Day celebrates chicken, turkey and other birds we commonly consume. Chicken and turkey are lower in fats, and cholesterol than other meats, making them a healthier choice. Celebrate by eating some sort of poultry for each meal today. For millennia, man has debated; “Which came first, the chicken or the egg”. The answer to that, at least in my house today, is the egg (two actually, over medium, accompanied by crisp bacon, crisp hash browns, and biscuits).

The third food-related holiday today is National Corndog Day. National Corndog Day is a holiday that celebrates the corn dog, a hot dog coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter, that occurs in March of every year on the first Saturday of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. It was inaugurated in 1992 in Corvallis, Oregon by Brady Sahnow and Henry Otley. The first celebration was informal and involved only corndogs and basketball. It gradually spread to other cities. By 2007, parties celebrating National Corndog Day occurred at 113 locations in more than 30 states, the District of Columbia and Australia. In 2008, participation increased to nearly 5, 000 parties on five continents, including one at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Celebrations now also include tater tots and beer to accompany the corn dogs.
On March 16, 2012, Oregon Governor John A. Kitzhaber issued a Proclamation recognizing National Corndog Day.

The last (semi) foo0d-related holiday today is Maple Syrup Saturday. Maple Syrup Saturday is always celebrated on the third Saturday in March. Pure maple syrup is a “natural” food that contains nothing artificial, no additives, no colorings, or preservatives. The main sugar in pure maple syrup is sucrose, but small amounts of fructose and glucose can be found in the darker grades of syrup too.  It takes about 40 gallons of raw sap to create one gallon of syrup. “Sugaring season” lasts only a short six weeks in late winter…which is why, I guess, that those nasty “imitation” maple syrups are necessary. Jeez, now I have to have Chicken and Waffles for dinner.

On this date in 1988 – Two British soldiers were killed by mourners at a funeral in Belfast, North Ireland. The soldiers were shot to death after being dragged from a car and beaten.

Other significant events in history which occurred on this date are:

  • In 1628 – The Massachusetts colony was founded.
  • In 1687 – French explorer La Salle was murdered by his own men while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In 1822 – The city of Boston, MA, was incorporated.
  • In 1831 – The first bank robbery in America was reported. The City Bank of New York City lost $245,000 in the robbery.
  • In 1895 – The Los Angeles Railway was established to provide streetcar service.
  • In 1900 – President McKinley asserted that there was a need for free trade with Puerto Rico.
  • In 1903 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Cuban treaty, gaining naval bases in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda.
  • In 1908 – The state of Maryland barred Christian Scientists from practicing without medical diplomas.
  • In 1917 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Adamson Act that made the eight-hour workday for railroads constitutional.
  • In 1918 – The U.S. Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time.
  • In 1920 – The U.S. Senate rejected the Versailles Treaty for the second time maintaining an isolation policy.
  • In 1931 – The state of Nevada legalized gambling.
  • In 1945 – Adolf Hitler issued his “Nero Decree” which ordered the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands as German forces were retreating.
  • In 1953 – The Academy Awards aired on television for the first time.
  • In 1954 – The first rocket-driven sled that ran on rails was tested in Alamogordo, NM.
  • In 1963 – In Costa Rica, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and six Latin American presidents pledged to fight Communism.
  • In 1964 – Sean Connery began shooting his role in “Goldfinger.”
  • In 1976 – Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage.
  • In 1977 – The last episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” aired.
  • In 1979 – The U.S. House of Representatives began broadcasting its daily business on TV.
  • In 1987 – Televangelist Jim Bakker resigned from the PTL due to a scandal involving Jessica Hahn.
  • In 1998 – The World Health Organization warned of tuberculosis epidemic that could kill 70 million people in next two decades.
  • In 2001 – California officials declared a power alert and ordered the first of two days of rolling blackouts.
  • In 2002 – Actor Ben Kingsley was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

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

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