Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) Day

June 7, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of video images recorded on magnetic tape. Today is Tuesday, June 7th. The holidays today are:

VCR Day 

VCR Day celebrates the date in 1975 when Sony made the Betamax VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) available for purchase and revolutionized home entertainment. The technology for Video Cassette Recorders and video cassettes had been around since the 1950’s, but it wasn’t affordable for the average consumer until the release of the Betamax. For you young ones out there, a VCR (Video Cassette Recorder), is a device which allows one to record audio and video from a source to a video cassette which contains magnetic tape. The video cassette can then be played in the VCR, allowing the viewer to watch the recorded TV program or movie at any time.
During next few years, several different formats of VCR’s emerged, including the Betamax and the VHS cassette, each with their own platforms which were not interchangeable. For example, you couldn’t play a VHS in a Betamax player, and vice-versa. VHS and Betamax quickly emerged as the front runners. Typically, the American public preferred the longer recording times available in the VHS format over the higher quality of the Betamax format (quantity over quality), because the VHS format eventually became the standard.
This “new” technology freed the American consumer from the shackles of their sofas and allowed them to go out and do other things and watch their favorite television programming at their leisure. The ability to record entertainment from commercial sources, without paying for it, quite naturally, brought to light the issue of copyright infringement which still rages on today.
Video Cassette Recorders reigned supreme for about 15 years, but alas, technology once again reared its ugly head and gave consumers something else on which to spend their money. In the early-1990’s, a new technology emerged, the DVD (Digital Video Device). Half or less the size of the low quality, bulky and cumbersome magnetic cassettes and their players, DVD’s and DVD players soon became the rage. However, time (and technology) marches on, and now even DVD’s are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur with even newer and better technology.
Do you still have that box full of VHS tapes with all of those movies that you pirated from HBO and/or Showtime?  If so, celebrate this holiday by retrieving them from the back of the closet and play some them today; that is, presuming that you still have a VCR player upon which to play them.

Daniel Boone Day 

Daniel Boone Day does not, as you might think, celebrate the birth date or date of death of Daniel Boone. Rather, it celebrates the date in 1769, when, according to his journals, he first saw the wilderness area now known as Kentucky.
Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania on November 2, 1734. His family moved to North Carolina shortly thereafter, and he spent most of his youth hunting and trapping in the North Carolina frontier. Unless you were asleep for most of your Elementary School years, you know that Daniel Boone was a legendary frontiersman, explorer, and trailblazer. It was through his efforts that the Cumberland Gap, the primary route to the west, was opened in 1775. He later established the settlement of Boonesborough along this route.
The consummate explorer, in his 70’s, he pulled up stakes and moved westward once more into what is now Missouri. When asked why he had made the move, he is said to have replied that Kentucky was: “Too crowded, too crowded. I want elbow-room.” He died in St. Charles County, Missouri, in 1820, with his place in history secured forever.

June Bug Day

If you like destructive, annoying insects, then June Bug Day is the holiday for you. The arrival of these pests in early June is certainly no cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned, yet this holiday is listed in more than one of my sources.
June bugs are a common name given to a type of beetle found throughout North America. They spend their days hiding in trees and become active at night. They are strongly attracted to lights and swarm in great numbers in early summer. As larvae, they live underground and eat the roots of grasses and other plants which can damage your lawn and flower beds. As adults, they feed at night and eat vegetation, usually the leaves from trees and bushes. They are usually less than an inch in length, are dark brown to blackish in color, have a hard casing and have wings. They go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They lay their eggs underground, and I can live for two to three years in the ground as a larva before surfacing to become adults. Their total life span is up to four years.
June Bugs get their name because they emerge in great quantities in early June.Their only redeeming quality as far as I can determine is that make a tasty snack for your pet snakes, toads, and lizards.
Author’s Note: Growing up as I did in the “sticks”, June Bugs were an annual annoyance. It got to the point that we couldn’t even turn on our porch light in early summer without being swarmed. They did, however, provide our cats with entertainment and allowed them to hone their predatory skills.

National Chocolate Ice Cream Day  

One of many ice cream related holidays throughout the year, National Chocolate Ice Cream Day celebrates chocolate ice cream, America’s second favorite frozen treat…behind vanilla ice cream. Frozen treats have been around since the Roman Empire. Nero enjoyed ice treats flavored with fruits and honey. Ice cream as we know it today is a much more recent creation.
The first recorded ice cream recipe is from the book “Mrs. Mary Eales’s Receipts, Confectioner to her Late Majesty Queen Anne” (published in 1733). Ice Cream was introduced to America by Quakers who immigrated from England. Americans Nancy Johnson and William Young  invented the hand-cranked ice cream machine in 1848. The first person to produce ice cream commercially was Jacob Fussel (also an American) in 1897. And, Clarence Vogt (yet another American) invented the continuous ice cream freezer in 1926. I think I’ll have my chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and walnuts. OOPS! What? Wait. I think that’s called Rocky Road, which we celebrated a few days ago. Oh well, I still have some left so I’ll have some anyway. It’s mostly chocolate. Right?

On this date:

  • In 1712 – The Pennsylvania Assembly banned the importation of slaves.
  • In 1775 – The United Colonies changed their name to the United States.
  • In 1776 – Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution calling for a Declaration of Independence.
  • In 1892 – John Joseph Doyle became the first pinch-hitter in baseball when he was used in a game.
  • In 1903 – Professor Pierre Curie revealed the discovery of Polonium.
  • In 1909 – Mary Pickford made her motion picture debut in “The Violin Maker of Cremona.”
  • In 1929 – The sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.
  • In 1939 – King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived in the U.S. It was the first visit to the U.S. by a reigning British monarch.
  • In 1942 – The Battle of Midway ended. The sea and air battle lasted 4 days. Japan lost four carriers, a cruiser, and 292 aircraft, and suffered 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft, and suffered 307 casualties.
  • In 1944 – Off of the coast of Normandy, France, the Susan B. Anthony sank. All 2,689 people aboard survived.
  • In 1955 – “The $64,000 Question” premiered.
  • In 1965 – In the U.S., the Gemini 4 mission was completed. The mission featured the first spacewalk by an American.
  • In 1983 – The U.S. ordered Nicaragua to close all six of its consulates and informed 21 Nicaraguan consular officials that they could not longer remain in the United States.
  • In 2000 – United States Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered the breakup of Microsoft Corporation.

Celebrity Birthdays:


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