Happy Memorial Day

May 30, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning patriots. Today is Monday, May 30th. The holidays today are:

 Memorial Day 

Memorial Day is a holiday to honor those servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday dates back to the end of the Civil War in 1865 and was meant to honor the over 600,000 soldiers from both sides who were killed. It was traditionally observed on May 30th. In 1882, the name of this holiday was changed to Memorial Day.
After WWI, this holiday was changed again to include all American soldiers who had lost their lives in all American wars. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This law went into effect in 1971 and Memorial Day was included in this list of Monday holidays. At this time, it also was recognized as an official federal holiday for the first time.
Alas, as a result, Memorial Day has become bastardized to mean little more to some people than a reason to have a family barbecue. They know nothing of the significance or meaning of this holiday. What a shame. So, go ahead and have your barbecue, your picnic or your family outing…just please set aside a few moments to celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Water a Flower Day 

Why Water a Flower Day is named in the singular form is a mystery, as is its creator and when it was created. Nonetheless, it was listed in multiple sources so I decided to give it a mention anyway.
Water a Flower Day serves as a reminder to water our flowers  today…all of them. And while you’re at it, a good dose of plant food would probably be beneficial as well. A nourished flower is a happy flower.

Loomis Day 

Loomis Day commemorates Mahlon Loomis, who patented his wireless telegraphing inventions on this date 1872; while working as a dentist in Washington DC (before Marconi was born). Titled “An Improvement in Telegraphing,” the patent described how to telegraph without wires; this patent was backed up by experiment on the Massanutten Mountains of Virginia.  He had actually claimed to have succeeded in wireless telegraphy some 6 years earlier, though, with no witnesses present to see this, May 30th is the earliest official recognitions of his triumph. Like they say on the internet, “No picture, didn’t happen.”

My Bucket’s Got a Hole in it Day 

The origins, creator and history of this holiday are unknown. My Bucket’s Got a Hole in it Day commemorates those days when, no matter what you do, it seems that you are just treading water and can’t get anything accomplished. Everyone has heard the classic old German folk song “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” where you can’t fix the bucket because you need the bucket to carry water, etc, etc,  so you can fix the bucket. Well, this holiday celebrates those kinds of days. We all have them occasionally.

National Mint Julep Day 

Today, the mint julep is most commonly associated with the southern region of the United States, most notably as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby which occurs on the first weekend in May, so I have to wonder why Mint Julep Day is not celebrated until the end of May.
A mint julep is a delicious and refreshing summer cocktail made with bourbon whiskey, mint, water, and sugar. A secret trick that many bartenders use is to lightly “bruise” or muddle the mint before adding the other ingredients. This releases the herb’s distinctive aroma and flavor. A traditional mint julep is traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup filled with shaved ice, but premium versions of the drink can be found at the Derby which are served in gold-plated cups with silver straws at a cost of $1000. Over the course of the two-day event, bartenders at Churchill Downs serve almost 120,000 mint juleps, but a majority of them aren’t of the $1000 variety.
According to many sources, Kentucky Senator Henry Clay introduced the mint julep in the early 1800’s. As early as 1816, county fair champions in the South received silver julep cups as awards.
I can truthfully say that I have never had a Mint Julep and since I don’t particularly like bourbon, and in fact seldom imbibe in alcohol at all these days, I won’t be having one today either. However, if you do like bourbon and want to try one, click this link and through some sort of blogospheric Shamanism, a recipe will appear.

On this date:

  • In 1431 – Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, at the age of 19.
  • In 1539 – Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, landed in Florida with 600 soldiers to search for gold.
  • In 1783 – The first daily newspaper was published in the U.S. by Benjamin Towner called “The Pennsylvania Evening Post”.
  • In 1848 – W.G. Young patented the ice cream freezer.
  • In 1854 – The U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.
  • In 1889 – The brassiere was invented.
  • In 1896 – The first automobile accident occurred in New York City.
  • In 1922 – The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC.
  • In 1933 – Sally Rand introduced her exotic and erotic fan dance to audiences at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition.
  • In 1958 – Unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflicts were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • In 1982 – Spain became the 16th NATO member. Spain was the first country to enter the Western alliance since West Germany in 1955.
  • In 1989 – The “Goddess of Democracy” statue (33 feet height) was erected in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
  • In 1996 – Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested divorce decree ending their 10-year marriage.
  • In 1997 – Jesse K. Timmendequas was convicted in Trenton, NJ, of raping and strangling a 7-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka. The 1994 murder inspired “Megan’s Law,” requiring that communities be notified when sex offenders move in.

Celebrity Birthdays:

  • Cornelia Otis Skinner 1901 – Actress, author.
  • Stepin Fetchit 1902 – Comedian, actor.
  • Mel Blanc 1908  – Voice actor.
  • Benny Goodman 1909 – Band leader.
  • Johnny Gimble 1926 – Country musician.
  • Clint Walker 1927 – Actor.
  • Ruta Lee 1936 – Actress.
  • Michael J. Pollard 1939 – Actor.
  • Gale Sayers 1943 – Football player.
  • Meredith MacRae 1945 – Actress.
  • Stephen Tobolowsky 1951 – Actor.
  • Ted McGinley 1958 – Actor.
  • Ralph Carter 1961 – Actor.
  • Wynonna Judd 1964 – Country musician.
  • Blake Bashoff 1981 – Actor.
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