Life Day 25112: A cause for “Spellebration”

April 13, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning wordsmiths. Today is April 13th. The first holiday today is Scrabble™ Day.  But why you ask? Well, today is the birth date of Alfred Mosher Butts, the creator of the word game Scrabble™. In 1938, he created a game which he called Criss-Cross Words. Initially, it floundered and did not garner much support from the public. In 1952, Hasbro, one of America’s leading manufacturers of toys and games, purchased the rights from Mr. Butts, re-branded the game as Scrabble™, and began mass-producing it. And, as they say, the rest is history.
It became an instant success all over the world. Today, the game is sold in 121 countries and there are 29 different language versions. Approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide, and sets are found in roughly one-third of American homes. There are even official Scrabble™ dictionaries available in many languages. And, I’m sad to report, if you search online, you can even find a number of Scrabble™ “cheats”. Scrabble was inducted into the National Toy Hall of fame in 2004.
Find your Scrabble™ set and play a game with your family this evening.
Author’s Note: By the way, in case you were wondering which word in the English language will score you the most points in a Scrabble™ game, it’s Oxyphenbutazone — a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The chances of it ever coming up in a game however, are astronomical. You would need to join all seven of your tiles with eight already on the board across three triple word scores. But, if the stars were to align and you actually got to play the word, you would score 1,778 points.

The next holiday today is National Bookmobile Day. Another part of National Library Week, National Bookmobile Day celebrates bookmobiles and the dedicated library professionals who provide this valuable and essential service to their communities every day. National Bookmobile Day is coordinated by the American Library Association, the Association Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.
A bookmobile, quite simply is a truck, van, or trailer serving as a mobile library. To this day, some parts of America are so rural that making a casual trip to the library is impractical. Bookmobiles fill this gap in service, and provide access to books for virtually anyone who wants to read. As of 2011, there were 696 bookmoblies in service across America.
The first bookmobile started in 1905 by Mary Lemist Titcomb in Maryland. Titcomb saw a need to expand library services beyond the main library location and into homes across the rural area. She then created a “Library Wagon”; a horse-drawn wagon that visited farms and schools. In the 1920s, Sarah Byrd Askew, a New Jersey librarian, thought reading and literacy so important that she delivered books to rural readers in her own Ford Model T. And today, some third-world countries still use animal-drawn carts to deliver books in rural areas.

Today’s last holiday is Thomas Jefferson Day. Thomas Jefferson Day, quite naturally, celebrates the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
As a political philosopher, Jefferson knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the common man, distrusted cities and financiers, favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson also supported the separation of church and state.
Jefferson was a man of many talents aside from statesmanship. Among other things, he was a horticulturist, a lawyer, an architect, an archaeologist, an author, an inventor and founded of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

The food-related holiday today is National Peach Cobbler Day. YUM!!!! A cobbler is a deep-dish fruit pie covered with a thick crust made from biscuit dough. This delicious dessert originated in the American West during the 19th century. Although for many years people did not consider cobbler fashionable enough to serve to guests, it has now earned a permanent place among wholesome American desserts.
My mother used a thick layer of pie dough for the crust instead of biscuit dough, but hers were equally delicious. I have even seen cobblers made with cake batter as the crust as well. Whatever your personal crust preference, bake a delicious peach cobbler for your family tonight.
Factoid:  The world’s largest peach cobbler ever made was 11 feet long, 5 feet across, and 8 inches deep? It appeared at the Georgia Peach Festival in 2007 and contained 90 pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk, and 75 gallons of peaches.

On this date:

  • In 1775 – Lord North extended the New England Restraining Act to South, Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act prohibited trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.
  • In 1782 – Washington, NC, was incorporated as the first town to be named for George Washington.
  • In 1796 – The first known elephant to arrive in the United States arrived from Bengal, India.
  • In 1808 – William “Juda” Henry Lane perfected the tap dance.
  • In 1860 – The first mail was delivered via Pony Express when a westbound rider arrived in Sacremento, CA from St. Joseph, MO.
  • In 1870 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York City.
  • In 1933 – The first flight over Mount Everest was completed by Lord Clydesdale.
  • In 1943 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
  • In 1954 – Hank Aaron debuted with the Milwaukee Braves.
  • In 1960 – The first navigational satellite was launched into Earth’s orbit.
  • In 1963 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got his first hit in the major leagues.
  • In 1964 – Sidney Poitier became the first black to win an Oscar for best actor. It was for his role in the movie “Lilies of the Field.”
  • In 1972 – The first strike in the history of major league baseball ended. Players had walked off the field 13 days earlier.
  • In 1976 – The U.S. Federal Reserve introduced $2 bicentennial notes.
  • In 1979 – The world’s longest doubles ping-pong match ended after 101 hours.
  • In 1981 – Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named “Jimmy.” Cooke was forced to relinquish the prize two days later after it was discovered that she had fabricated the story.
  • In 1984 – Christopher Walker was killed in a fight with police in New Hampshire. Walker was wanted as a suspect in the kidnappings of 11 young women in several states.
  • In 1997 – Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament at the age of 21. He also set a record when he finished at 18 under par.
  • In 1998 – Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep, gave natural birth to a healthy baby lamb.
  • In 1999 – Jack Kervorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, MI, to 10 to 25 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Thomas Youk. Youk’s assisted suicide was videotaped and shown on “60 Minutes” in 1998.
  • In 2000 – Richard Gordon was charged with trying to extort $250,000 from Louie Anderson in exchange for not telling the tabloid media about Anderson once asking him for sex. Gordon was held without bail pending a court hearing.

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

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