Life Day 25110: On Track

April 11, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning nostalgia buffs. Today is April 11th. Today’s foray into holidays takes me back to the days of my misspent youth. The first holiday today is Eight Track Tape Day. In their heyday, eight track tapes ruled the music world. I didn’t own one of these devices myself, but some of my friends did. It brings back memories of ‘cruisin’ the strip’ with the eight track blaring, Andre’s Drive-in, and Stan’s. The 8-track tape, originally called the Stereo 8, was created in 1964. A boon to their sales came when Ford included 8-track players as an option in Ford automobiles beginning in the 1965 model year.
Although the popularity of 8-track tapes was short-lived (only a few years in the mid-1960’s and 1970’s, before they were replaced by the more versatile Cassette players for your car), eight tracks were the first devices to truly make music portable; taking music out of your den and into your automobile. They struggled on through the early 1980’s until the format was  finally phased out entirely.  Did any of you own one of these remarkable devices?
Factoid: The eight-track player was created by William Lear — the same William Lear responsible for the creation of the famous Lear Jet.

The next holiday also takes me back to my youth. It is Barbershop Quartet Day. On this day in 1938, a group of 26 people gathered in Tulsa, OK to form the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (known today as the Barbershop Harmony Society). The Barbershop Quartet genre dates back to the early 1900’s. The close harmonies, and the ‘toe-tapping’ beat of a good Barbershop Quartet style song can’t help but put a smile on your face. That, plus the fact that they often choose silly songs to perform. If there is a Barbershop Quartet performance in your area tonight, I urge you to attend.
Note: Click on the title of the holiday to hear an example of Barbershop Quartet music.

The third holiday today which takes me back to my youth is Louie, Louie Day. Louie, Louie is one of the classic rock and roll songs to come out of the 1960’s. On this date, in 1935, Richard Berry, the author of this timeless classic rock song was born. He wrote the song in 1955, in the style a Jamaican Ballad, about a sailor returning home. The best-known version of this song was released in 1963 by The Kingsmen, but artists of stature such as The Beach Boys, Paul Revere And the Raiders, Otis Redding, Bob Marley, and even Bruce Springsteen have all done cover versions. If you have any version of this song, in any format (ie: vinyl, tape, 8-track, CD, or MP3), play it today.
Note: Click on the title of the holiday to hear The Kingsmen’s rendition of the song.

The next holiday today that also has me reminiscing is National Pet Day. National Pet Day is the holiday to show gratitude to those lovable creatures who bring so much joy to our lives. National Pet Day was created in 2006 to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the world. The motto of National Pet Day is “Don’t shop! Adopt!.” The holiday is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Foundation, whose mission is to help animals in shelters find forever homes.
There are approximately 90 million pet cats and 80 million pet dogs living in the United States today. Gerbils, birds, turtles, and fish are also very common. If you consider your pet a member of the family, you are by no means alone. Six out of ten pet owners feel the same way.
I currently don’t own any pets, but this holiday has me reminiscing about all of the great pets that have been in my life. Gracie, our first house cat when I was a child; Stubbie, the orange and white striped tabby tomcat with only a stub of a tail that assumed Gracie’s throne as the exalted house cat upon her death; Freckles, our Cocker Spaniel that we received from our uncle Jiggs. Later in life, I had Murphy and Missie, two identically marked black and white tuxedo cats that I had in the 1980’s and 90’s; Casper, an American Eskimo dog that I rescued from a truck stop in California and had in my truck for a few months before I found him a “forever home”; and last, but certainly not least, Wolfie and Walter, my companions for over 12 years, who are both now frolicking in the fields of “doggie Heaven”. I have truly been blessed with so many wonderful pets. Spend a little extra ‘quality time’ with your pet(s) today. Some extra treats and some ‘tummy rubs’ would also be appreciated, I’m sure.

While the remaining holiday today, World Parkinson’s Disease Day, doesn’t necessarily put me in a nostalgic mood, it still deserves more than a casual mention. World Parkinson’s Disease Day is intended to boost awareness of the Parkinson’s Disease and to spur new research and treatment innovations. It is a day of advocacy for PD patients and their families.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait.  Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease.

The food-related holiday today is National Cheese Fondue Day. Since America is a ‘melting pot’, this holiday is doubly appropriate.  Fondue is ‘peasant food’  that originated in Switzerland. It is basically a variety of soft cheeses mixed with wine and melted in a pot. Originally, different left-over crusts of bread, vegetables, and scraps of meat were dipped into the melted cheese sauce. A cheese fondue usually includes a blend of different cheeses like Gruyere, Emmental, Raclette, and cheddar. You can also add ingredients such as milk, spices, cream, wine, or brandy for additional flavor and to thin the mixture a little. A traditional fondue pot is called a “caquelon.” The heavy earthenware vessel promotes even heat distribution and produces a delicious smooth fondue. The word fondue itself is the past participle of the French fondre, meaning; to melt down.
These days nothing much  has changed, except that it is no longer just ‘peasant food’. So, find that Fondue Set that aunt _________ gave your family for Christmas a couple of decades, or so, ago, clean out your refrigerator, and have some Cheese Fondue for dinner tonight.

On this date:

  • In 1783 – After receiving a copy of the provisional treaty on March 13, the U.S. Congress proclaimed a formal end to hostilities with Great Britain.
  • In 1803 – A twin-screw propeller steamboat was patented by John Stevens.
  • In 1876 – The stenotype was patented by John C. Zachos.
  • In 1876 – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized.
  • In 1895 – Anaheim, CA, completed its new electric light system.
  • In 1898 – U.S. President William McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war with Spain.
  • In 1899 – The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
  • In 1921 – Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax.
  • In 1921 – The first live sports event on radio took place this day on KDKA Radio. The event was a boxing match between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.
  • In 1940 – Andrew Ponzi set a world’s record in a New York pocket billiards tournament when he ran 127 balls straight.
  • In 1945 – During World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald in Germany.
  • In 1947 – Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major-league history. He played in an exhibition game for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • In 1951 – President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur as head of United Nations forces in Korea.
  • In 1961 – Israel began the trial of Adolf Eichman, accused of World War II war crimes.
  • In 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1968 Civil Rights Act.
  • In 1970 – Apollo 13 blasted off on a mission to the moon that was disrupted when an explosion crippled the spacecraft. The astronauts did return safely.
  • In 1974 – The Judiciary committee issued subpoenas to President Richard Nixon to produce tapes for impeachment inquiry.
  • In 1981 – President Ronald Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital after recovering from an assassination attempt on March 30.
  • In 1985 – Scientists in Hawaii measured the distance between the earth and moon within one inch.
  • In 1986 – Dodge Morgan sailed solo nonstop around the world in 150 days.
  • In 1986 – Kellogg’s stopped giving tours of its breakfast-food plant. The reason for the end of the 80-year tradition was said to be that company secrets were at risk due to spies from other cereal companies.
  • In 1991 – U.N. Security Council issued a formal cease-fire with Iraq.
  • In 1996 – Seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff was killed with her father and flight instructor when her plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Jessica had hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country.
  • In 2001 – China agreed to release 24 crew-members of a U.S. surveillance plane. The EP-3E Navy crew had been held since April 1 on Hainon, where the plane had made an emergency landing after an in-flight collision with a Chinese fighter jet. The Chinese pilot was missing and presumed dead.

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

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