Life Day 25108: Out With the Old

April 9, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my antique amigos. Today is April 9th. The first holiday today is National Cherish an Antique Day.
Let me preface this portion of this post with a cautionary statement to all of my male readers. Do not, under any circumstances, mention Cherish an Antique Day and your wife in the same sentence. No good can come from this.
In today’s disposable world, finding something hand-crafted with care and attention to detail by skilled craftsmen is rare. National Cherish an Antique Day is the day to find any of those family keepsakes, handed down from generation to generation, that are hidden away in your closets. Polish them up and proudly put them on display. Gather your family together and tell them the history behind each one and why you cherish them so much. That way, they will know the story behind them when they sell them on E-bay or the Antiques Road Show after you’re gone.

The next holiday is Winston Churchill Day. Winston Churchill Day honors one of the greatest statesmen in history. It does not celebrate his birth or death, but rather the date in 1963 when he became an honorary American citizen; only the second person to receive this honor, although this was the first time Congress had resolved that it was to be bestowed by the President of the United States, on a foreign national.
Because of his deteriorating health, he was unable to attend the ceremony chaired by President John F. Kennedy at the White House, so his son and grandson accepted the award on his behalf. It was hoped that he could participate in the ceremony live from his home, but the television connection failed. He did, however, get to see the recorded version of it later.
To become an honorary American citizen, Congress must first pass, then the President must sign, a proposal stating the reasons for the award; just like a law.

The third holiday today is Appomattox Day. On this date in 1865, in Appomattox Court House, VA, at the home of Wilmer McClean, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union army accepted the surrender of General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy. This ended the Civil War, which had cost more than half a million lives. The Confederate soldiers were forced to turn in their weapons, but were allowed to keep their horses and return to their homes; the officers were allowed to retain their side arms and swords as well.

Another holiday today is Baby Massage Day. Baby Massage Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in April each year to highlight the growing trend of infant massage and educate parents (and parents-to-be) about the many benefits it offers. The stimulation offered through massage can aid a baby’s physical and cognitive development, as well as improve sleep patterns, regulate stress hormones, and increase body weight and length.
Some studies have even proven that mothers who participate in regimens of infant massage may reduce their own postnatal depression. The practice of infant massage is both old and natural — it was taught in some ancient Chinese and Indian traditions and can also be witnessed in the animal kingdom through licking and grooming.

The fifth holiday today is Jenkins Ear Day. Jenkins Ear Day commemorates the date in 1731 on which the Spanish guardacosta (Coast Guard) boarded and plundered the British ship Rebecca off Jamaica and, among other outrages, cut off the ear of English master mariner Robert Jenkins. Little notice was taken until seven years later, when Jenkins exhibited the detached ear and described the atrocity to a committee of the House of Commons.
The incident provided the impetus to declare war against the Spanish Empire, ostensibly to encourage the Spanish not to renege on the lucrative Asiento contract (permission to sell slaves in Spanish America). Britain declared war on Spain in October 1739, a war that lasted until 1748 and is still known as the “War of Jenkins’s Ear.”
After 1742, the war was subsumed by the wider War of the Austrian Succession involving most of the powers of Europe. Peace arrived with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. From the English perspective, the war was notable because it was the first time a regiment of colonial American troops were raised and placed “on the Establishment” – made a part of the Regular British Army – and sent to fight outside of North America.

The rest of today’s holidays are listed below.  As usual, I will provide a link so that you can get further information about one of them if you desire.

The food-related holiday today is Chinese Almond Cookie Day. The history of the Chinese almond cookie is unclear. Like chop suey and fortune cookies, it appears to have originated after the first wave of Chinese immigration to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s.  There is no record of almond cookies prior to the early 1900’s. Some say the Chinese almond cookie is adapted from the Chinese walnut cookie, a plain cookie with a walnut in the center, which was thought to bring good luck. Today, they are found worldwide in Chinese restaurants and bakeries. Enjoy a night out at a Chinese restaurant, and don’t forget to get some extra Chinese Almond Cookies to go.

On this date:

  • In 1682 – Robert La Salle claimed the lower Mississippi River and all lands that touch it for France.
  • In 1770 – Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
  • In 1833 – Peterborough, NH, opened the first municipally supported public library in the United States.
  • In 1866 – The Civil Rights Bill passed over President Andrew Johnson’s veto.
  • In 1867 – The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty with Russia that purchased the territory of Alaska by one vote.
  • In 1869 – The Hudson Bay Company ceded its territory to Canada.
  • In 1912 – The first exhibition baseball game was held at Fenway Park in Boston. The game was between Red Sox and Harvard.
  • In 1928 – Mae West made her debut on Broadway in the production of “Diamond Lil.”
  • In 1945 – National Football League officials decreed that it was mandatory for football players to wear socks in all league games.
  • In 1947 – 169 people were killed and 1,300 were injured by a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
  • In 1950 – Bob Hope made his first television appearance on “Star-Spangled Review” on NBC-TV.
  • In 1957 – The Suez Canal was cleared for all shipping.
  • In 1959 – NASA announced the selection of America’s first seven astronauts.
  • In 1965 – “TIME” magazine featured a cover with the entire “Peanuts” comic gang.
  • In 1965 – The Houston Astrodome held its first baseball game.
  • In  1981 – The U.S. Navy Submarine George Washington struck and sunk a small Japanese freighter in the East China Sea. The Nissho Maru’s captain and first mate died.
  • In 1986 – It was announced that Patrick Duffy’s character on the TV show Dallas would be returning after being killed off.
  • In 1992 – Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami, FL, of eight drug and racketeering charges.
  • In 1998 – The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in Andersonville, GA, at the site of an infamous Civil War camp.
  • In 1998 – More than 150 Muslims died in stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on last day of the haj pilgrimage.

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

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