Mutt’s Day

July 31, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning dog lovers. Today is Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The holidays today are:

Mutt’s Day

Mutt’s Day celebrates those adorable canine companions with questionable lineage. Whether you refer to them as mutts, mongrels, or mixed breeds, these dogs often make the best family pets. Mutts are loyal, intelligent, and happy to have a “forever” home.
When you choose a mutt, you are getting the best traits from all of its ancestors. Mixed breed dogs are often healthier because they’re less likely to be impacted by genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. If you adopt from a shelter, you are probably saving a life, and dogs that are adopted from a shelter tend to be more street smart because they may have had to fend for themselves rather than being pampered by loving owners.
To celebrate this holiday, make a donation directly to your local S.P.C.A., Humane Society, or other “no kill” shelter that caters to “mutts”. Then, go home and watch the movie “Benji”.

Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day

Have you ever heard of a bubble organ, laser harp, clackamore, fluba, or a dulcimer? If not, don’t worry. Most people haven’t. Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day affords you the opportunity to learn about these and other musical instruments which are not commonly used. What about that timeless classic, the kazoo?
From seashells, to hollowed out logs, to animal skins stretched out over some kind of wooden form, mankind has been making music with whatever objects were at hand since the dawn of time.
In Asuncion, Paraguay, a Paraguayan slum where people make a living out of picking through trash, there is a complete children’s orchestra that uses instruments made entirely from items found in the garbage. Their story of poverty and hope is being made into a documentary called “Landfill Harmonic.”
To celebrate this holiday, learn about as many obscure musical instruments as possible.

World Ranger Day

World Ranger Day is organized by the International Ranger Federation and was first held in 2007 and commemorates park rangers are on the front line in the fight to protect our natural heritage and help to raise awareness of the vital role performed by custodians of the world’s parks.
Around the globe, this offers a chance to support their vital work, which ranges from environmental campaigning to education . It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It’s estimated there are more than 100,000 reserves, parks and protected areas around the world, with the oldest national park being Yellowstone in the United States.

Jump for Jelly Beans Day

Jump for Jelly Beans Day is a day for candy lovers everywhere to celebrate that classic candy; jelly beans. Jelly beans evolved from an ancient confection called “Turkish delight,” which was one of the earliest forms of hard candy. Our modern-day jelly beans gained popularity during the American Civil War. A candy company in Boston began marketing jelly beans as the perfect treat to send to soldiers, and soon everyone was hooked.
One of the most famous jelly bean fans was President Ronald Reagan. He served them at his inauguration.
Here are a few more interesting facts about President Reagan and his jelly beans.
1) Three-and-a-half tons of Jelly Bellies were served at the White House for the 1981 Inaugural festivities.
2) The Blueberry flavor was developed especially for his inauguration so that there would be red, white and blue jelly beans at the celebration.
3) His favorite jelly bean flavor was licorice.
Enjoy some as a treat today. There are a wide variety of flavors these days from which to choose.

Cotton Candy Day

Cotton candy (aka candy floss, or spun sugar) is air-spun evaporated cane juice and natural fruit and vegetable coloring. It is frequently cited that cotton candy first appeared at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, commonly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. However, at least 150 years earlier, in the mid-18th century, master confectioners in Europe and America handcrafted spun sugar nests into Easter decorations and made webs of silver and gold spun sugar for elaborate dessert presentations. According to The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, the debut of the product we know as cotton candy took place in 1897 in Nashville. Candymakers William Morrison and John C. Wharton invented an electric machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate, pushed by centrifugal force through a series of tiny holes. In 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Morrison and Wharton sold the product, then known as “fairy floss,” in cardboard boxes for 25 cents a serving. Though the price equaled half the admission to the fair itself, they sold 68,655 boxes.

National Raspberry Day

National Raspberry Cake Day is celebrated each year on July 31. Raspberries are the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose family. The name also applies to the plants themselves. Raspberry cake is a cool and refreshing dessert that is a summertime favorite around the United States.
Here are a few factoids about strawberries.

  1. Raspberries are woody stemmed perennials.
  2. Raspberries are widely grown in all temperate regions of the World.
  3. Raspberries are a very important commercial fruit crop.
  4. At one time, raspberries were a midsummer crop. However, with new technology, cultivars, and transportation, they can now be obtained year-round.
  5. An individual raspberry weighs 0.11 – 0.18 oz.
  6. An individual raspberry is made up of about 100 drupelets.
  7. One raspberry bush can yield several hundred berries a year.
  8. A raspberry has a hollow core once it is removed from the receptacle.
  9. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber.
  10. Raspberries contain vitamin B1, vitamin B3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron.

On this date in:

  • 1498 – Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.
  • 1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.
  • 1792 – The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a United States government building.
  • 1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas.”
  • 1932 – Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.
  • 1948 – President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.
  • 1955 – Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.
  • 1961 – The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston’s Fenway Park.
  • 1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface.
  • 1971 – Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).
  • 1981 – The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.
  • 1991 – President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Celebrity Birthdays:

♪♪Paperback Writer♪♪

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

Good morning readers.  Today is Saturday, July 30th. Today’s holidays are:

Paperback Book Day

Paperback Book Day celebrates the date when Penguin Books published its first paperback books on July 30, 1935. There were other forms of paperback books published earlier (dime novels, penny dreadfuls, and pulp magazines for example), but none with any great success. Penguin’s cheap reprints of popular books quickly became immensely popular. This was at the height of “the depression” when money was scarce, and people needed a form of cheap entertainment. Radio was in its heyday, but not everyone could afford one, so they sought other ways to alleviate their boredom, and paperback books filled this niche nicely.
Even with audio books, electronic books, and e-book readers increasing in popularity, paperback books are still popular; as evidenced by E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” which sold over a million copies in just 11 weeks. To celebrate this holiday, visit your local library or bookstore and pick up a new paperback book, then find the time to read a few chapters.

International Day of Friendship

International Day of Friendship was created by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2011 to foster  the idea that friendships can inspire peace efforts and bring communities together. These friendships can be between individuals, countries, or cultures. This holiday encourages community groups and government organizations to hold public events and activities that promote this sense of friendship and understanding.
The friendships you have made throughout your life have had a great impact on who you are as a person today. Take time today to truly appreciate the friends in your life and spend time with  them — or, better yet, try to make some new friends.

Father-in-Law Day

Father-in-Law Day is dedicated to your wife’s (or husband’s) father. Mothers-in-Law always get a bad rap, but you rarely hear anything, good or bad, about fathers-in-law. The reason is perhaps they’re content to stay on the sidelines and mind their own business, neither offering nor inviting criticism. Even if they are a bit curmudgeonly at times, fathers-in-law deserve a little recognition. To celebrate this holiday, spend some time with your father-in-law today. Take him to lunch or dinner at his favorite restaurant, or invite him over and prepare his favorite meal for him.

National Cheesecake Day

Some form of cheesecake has been around since the ancient Greeks first served it to the athletes in the Olympic games in 776 B.C. The early versions were probably just a form of cake with cheese mixed in. Thankfully, over the centuries, it has evolved into the rich, sweet, calorie-laden, high cholesterol dessert we know and love today. There are dozens of versions and varieties of cheesecakes available these days; plain, or with toppings. So why not indulge yourself with a slice of your favorite kind  for dessert tonight to celebrate this holiday.

National Dance Day

National Support Public Education Day

On this date in:

  • 1619 – The first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown, VA. It was called the House of Burgesses.
  • 1729 – The city of Baltimore was founded in Maryland
  • 1898 – “Scientific America” carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH.
  • 1932 – Walt Disney’s “Flowers and Trees” premiered. It was the first Academy Award winning cartoon and first cartoon short to use Technicolor.
  • 1937 – The American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized as a part of the American Federation of Labor.
  • 1942 – The WAVES were created by legislation signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The members of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service were a part of the U.S. Navy.
  • 1945 – The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship had just delivered key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian. Only 316 out of 1,196 men aboard survived the attack.
  • 1956 – The phrase “In God We Trust” was adopted as the national motto of the United States.
  • 1965 – President Johnson signed into law Social Security Act that established Medicare and Medicaid. It went into effect the following year.
  • 1968 – Ron Hansen (Washington Senators) made the first unassisted triple play in the major leagues in 41 years.
  • 1974 – The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Nixon for blocking the Watergate investigation and for abuse of power.
  • 1990 – In Spring Hill, TN, the first Saturn automobile rolled off the assembly line.
  • 2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off an assembly line.

Celebrity Birthdays:

Rain Day

July 29, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning precipitation prognostication lovers. Today is Monday, July 29, 2013. Today’s holidays are:

Rain Day

Since the dawn of mankind, people have celebrated rain and its life-giving properties. Rain helps grow our crops, it fills our reservoirs, oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams with water, and is essential for virtually every form of life on Earth. With that said, this holiday has nothing to do with any of that.
Rain Day is a local holiday in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania which has received much national attention over the years since it was first created.
It all started on July 28, 1939, at Daly and Spraggs drug store in Waynesburg. A local farmer was in the drugstore and during the conversation mentioned that it would rain the next day, the 29th. The owner of the drugstore, Byron Daly, asked the farmer how he knew it would rain and the farmer replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th.  Mr. Daly saw the opportunity for a little fun and began making bets with salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win. In later years, Byron Daly’s son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He kept the alive the tradition his father had started.
Over the years, John Daly won hats from such notables as Jack Dempsey, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Cassius Clay, The Three Stooges, Mike Love (the Beach Boys), Jay Leno, Donald Trump, and Arnold Palmer just to name a few. He also would bet local TV and sports personalities from the Pittsburgh Area. Young Mr. Daly amassed so many hats over the years that he was finally convinced to sell them at auction to raise money for charity.
In 1979, the Waynesburg Borough Special Events Commission was created to hold a special celebration on July 29th each year. That same year, the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held the first annual Miss Rain Day Pageant. In 2003, the Chamber of Commerce created a new non-profit entity, Rain Day Scholarship, Inc. with the sole purpose to plan and execute the pageant. Each year, one talented local teenage girl wins the coveted crown, hundreds of dollars in scholarship savings bonds and the chance to ‘reign’ over the day’s festivities.
Among the activities sponsored by the Special Events Commission on July 29th is a street fair in the heart of town, live entertainment on the courthouse steps, arts and crafts booths, hometown food booths, children’s games and assorted other diversions – including an umbrella decorating contest. Best of all, the admission is free. The festivities are silenced each year to pay a moment’s tribute to the men of Company K, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry – a battalion from Waynesburg that lost men in France during World War I on Rain Day, 1918. Nearly half of the 250 Greene County men were either killed or wounded on that day. As John O’Hara once wrote, “On that Rain Day in 1918, it rained bullets on the men of Company K”.
Note: As of 2015, it has rained on July 29th in Waynesburg Pennsylvania 114 times out of the 142 years since recordkeeping began in this tiny hamlet, and out of the 77 years 1939, it has rained 52 times. According to The Weather Channel forecast for tomorrow, Waynesburg is scheduled to make it 115 out of 143 and 53 out of 78 respectively.

International Tiger Day

International Tiger Day was created in 2010 by the World Wildlife Federation in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute and other local organizations. This holiday seeks to raise awareness about the plight of tigers and find ways to intervene on their behalf to prevent their extinction. In the last hundred years, climate change, loss of habitat, hunting, and poaching have reduced the numbers of tiger left on Earth by 97%…with only about 3,000 remaining in the wild. Some species of tigers have already disappeared.
Tigers are the largest species of big cats.

National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day

I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What the heck is National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day?
Back in days of yore, mice were a common problem in households across America. This holiday is based on an old saying:

If you want to catch some mice,
First some cheese you must sacrifice.
So, purchase the cheese upon this day,
And a mouse-free house is here to stay.

With the advances in mousetrap design and more effective pest control methods in general, this holiday has become obsolete. However, some people are creating new ways to celebrate this holiday. Some “sacrifice” a bit of their food budget and purchase a more expensive and exotic type of cheese than they normally buy. Some people “sacrifice” their taste buds and try a new type of cheese they’ve never tried before. Try buying a ‘craft cheese’ from a local Farmer’s Market.

National Chicken Wing Day  

Chicken wings are a common menu item in many restaurants across America. They come in a variety of flavors including teriyaki, barbecue, lemon pepper, parmesan garlic, sweet and sour, and honey mustard, but in recent years, Buffalo style wings have become the most popular. In 1964 Theresa Bellissimo, wife of Frank Bellissimo owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, created and served the first plate of Buffalo Chicken Wings. Since then, these tasty, spicy appetizers have become one of the America’s favorite finger foods. In fact, they are renown worldwide. In 1977, the Mayor of Buffalo, NY proclaimed this date as Chicken Wing Day in honor of Mrs. Bellissimo’s creation.

National Lasagna Day

Lasagna originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of north-central Italy. These wide flat noodles originated during Roman times. The Romans called them lasanum, the latin word for pot; i.e., the vessel in which this dish was cooked. The tomato-based lasagne we are familiar with today are a relatively recent creation. The Romans didn’t have tomatoes so they included other types of vegetables along with the cheese and meat. Tomatoes originated in Peru and did not come to Italy until the Spanish Conquistadors brought them back from Mexico in the early 16th century. Even then, the cherry tomato, which was the “original” tomato, was considered houseplant and not eaten until the 18th century.
The modern lasagna noodle is two inches wide and sometimes has ruffled edges. The most popular cheeses in lasagne recipes are mozzarella and ricotta, and the sauce is often tomato sauce or béchamel. Modern recipes include vegetable lasagnas, “white” lasagnas and goat cheese lasagnas. If you regularly make lasagne with commercial sheet noodles, try making it with artisanal pasta: The rougher surface helps sauce and other ingredients cling better while constructing the layers.

National Get Gnarly Day

National Lipstick Day

National Talk in an Elevator Day

On this date in:

  • 1754 – The first international boxing match was held. The 25-minute match was won when Jack Slack of Britain knocked out Jean Petit from France.
  • 1773 – The first schoolhouse to be located west of the Allegheny Mountains was built in Schoenbrunn Ohio.
  • 1874 – Major Walter Copton Winfield of England received United States patent for the lawn-tennis court.
  • 1914 – The first transcontinental telephone service was inaugurated when two people held a conversation between New York, NY and San Francisco, CA.
  • 1940 – John Sigmund of St. Louis, MO, completed a 292-mile swim down the Mississippi River. The swim from St. Louis to Caruthersville, MO took him 89 hours and 48 minutes.
  • 1957 – Jack Paar began hosting the “Tonight” show on NBC-TV. The name of the show was changed to “The Jack Paar Show.” Paar was the host for five years.
  • 1958 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was authorized by Congress.
  • 1975 – OAS (Organization of American States) members voted to lift collective sanctions against Cuba. The United States government welcomed the action and announced its intention to open serious discussions with Cuba on normalization. [Pro or con, it didn’t happen until last year].
  • 1981 – England’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married.
  • 1985 – General Motors announced that Spring Hill, TN, would be the home of the Saturn automobile assembly plant.
  • 1993 – The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk of being Nazi death camp guard “Ivan the Terrible.” His death sentence was thrown out and he was set free.
  • 2005 – Astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet (Xena) larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun.

Celebrity Birthdays:

Buffalo Soldiers Day

July 28, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning everyone. Today is Thursday, July 28th. The holidays today are:

Buffalo Soldiers Day

Buffalo Soldiers Day commemorates the formation on this date in 1866 of the first regular Army regiments comprising African-American soldiers. African-American soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. But it was not until after the war that permanent all-black regiments were established, maintaining the United States armed forces policy of segregation. The African-American regiments were deployed in the southwest and in the plains states to serve U.S. interests against Native American tribes, to protect important shipments, and to construct roads and trails.
A longstanding debate ranges around the origin of the term “Buffalo Soldier,” with some maintaining that the nickname reflected the toughness of the soldiers and others claiming that it was a disparaging racial term used by Native Americans to describe the dark-skinned soldiers they met in battle. The segregated regiments served in the Spanish-American War, World War II, and other conflicts, before being disbanded during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s as the armed forces embraced integration.
In 1992 Congress passed a law designating July 28 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in the United States.

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is held on July 28th each year to provide an international focus for patient groups and people living with viral hepatitis. This holiday was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. In May 2010 the World Health Assembly passed a resolution which provides an official endorsement of World Hepatitis Day.

National Milk Chocolate Day

Rejoice chocoholics, National Milk Chocolate Day legitimizes your addiction to chocolate. It affords you the opportunity to indulge your cravings without guilt or social stigma.
Milk chocolate differs from other chocolates because it is a mix of cocoa solid and either dry or condensed milk. While dark chocolate is traditionally used as a baking ingredient, this sweet treat is used to make chocolate candy bars, hot chocolate, and many delicious desserts.
Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine and a compound called anandamide, both of which actually have mood-enhancing benefits. That’s right, chocolate can make you happy, so have some milk chocolate today – it’ll put a smile on your face.

National Hamburger Day

It should surprise no one that hamburger is made from ground beef and not ham. People worldwide have been eating minced or ground meat for millennia, but although it is still being debated, hamburger is thought by many food historians to have originated in Hamburg, Germany a couple of centuries ago.
The hamburger we know and love today, the beef patty and the bun, is a wholly American creation. It is believed to have first been served on this date in 1900 at Louis’ Lunch diner in New Haven, Connecticut, which is the reason National Hamburger Day is celebrated today.
Americans love their hamburgers, and they are a summertime staple at cookouts and barbecues across the fruited plain. Despite that fact, we still eat more burgers in restaurants – either fast-food or sit-down restaurants – than we do at home.
The oldest fast food restaurant in the world is the White Castle franchise, which opened in 1921. And, the largest hamburger ever created weighed over 8,000 pounds and was cooked for a burger festival in Wisconsin.

National Chili Dog Day

As a part of National Hot Dog Month, National Chili Dog Day is always celebrated on the last Thursday in July. Chili dogs are a basically a hot dog topped with chili (duh!) They are a popular summertime treat and are traditionally topped with cheese, onions, and occasionally with hot sauce. But don’t let tradition restrict your imagination — You’re the supervisor of your spiced up sausage.
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans are expected to eat 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. And during the month of July, 10% of the annual retail hot dogs sales occur.
So, enjoy a chili dog (or two) today.

National Refreshment Day – Fourth Thursday in July

World Nature Conservation Day

On this date in:

  • 1866 – The metric system was legalized by Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States. [Authorized…but obviously not adopted].
  • 1868 – The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment guaranteed due process of law.
  • 1896 – The city of Miami, FL, was incorporated.
  • 1914 – World War I officially began when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
  • 1932 – Federal troops forcibly dispersed the “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington, DC. They were demanding money they were not scheduled to receive until 1945.
  • 1941 – Plans for the Pentagon were approved by the House of Representatives.
  • 1945 – A U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York City’s Empire State Building. 14 people were killed and 26 were injured.
  • 1965 – President Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
  • 1982 – San Francisco, CA, became the first city in the United States to ban handguns.
  • 1998 – Monica Lewinsky received blanket immunity from prosecution to testify before a grand jury about her relationship with President Clinton.
  • 2006 – Researchers announced that two ancient reptiles had been found off Australia. The Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes were the first of their kind to be found in the period soon after the Jurassic era.

Celebrity Birthdays:

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

July 27, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning patriots. Today is Wednesday, July 27th. Today’s holidays are:

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1953 that the treaty was signed ending the Korean War. The original proclamation expired on the 50th anniversary in 2003, but it has been extended each year by the reigning President since then. This link will take you to this year’s proclamation.

Take Your Pants for a Walk Day 

Take Your Pants for a Walk Day is just a cutesy way to remind everyone about the health benefits of walking. Walking is good for cardio and helps with circulation. This form of exercise requires no special equipment (except pants). If you are currently vacationing at a clothing optional resort, fold your pants and carry them under your arm as you take your walk today.

Walk on Stilts Day

Most people have only seen stilts used by circus performers…clown, jugglers, etc. But, stilts have a long history of more practical uses.
A Stilt is described as a ‘pillar, post, or pole employed to assist a person or structure in standing above the ground’. While most of us, as mentioned previously, have only seen them employed for the purposes of entertainment, they have also been used in many industries, from shepherding to construction. The process of employing stilts for mobility, however, has been around since as far back as the 6th Century BC. In the Landes region of France, shepherds would use them to watch their flocks from an elevated position. In the construction industry, they are most commonly used by drywall contractors, where constantly moving their ladders is too time-consuming.
Walk on Stilts Day affords you the opportunity to get a new perspective on life…if you’re the adventurous type.

Bagpipe Appreciation Day

Bagpipe Appreciation Day celebrates the ancient (arguably) musical instrument; the Highlands Scottish Bagpipe. This instrument is a quintessential part of the Scottish tradition. This holiday celebrates the tunes of this traditional instrument that were used to herald battles, to begin auspicious events such as weddings and also to bid farewell at funerals.
The original bagpipes are said to have originated in the Middle East but became more popular in the Scottish Highlands and evolved there. This instrument is second only to percussion in the evolution of musical instruments. Today, the typical bagpipe consists of three pipes emerging from a sac-like bag. These bags are crafted from elk or sheep skin. These sacs fill with air that is released when the musician presses his arm to create the music. There is also a fourth pipe that holds nine holes to create changes in chord and pitch.
I can’t, in good conscience, urge you to listen to some bagpipe music to celebrate this holiday.

National Crème Brûlée Day

Crème Brûlée is a five-ingredient French delicacy; rich vanilla custard is topped with a hard “burnt sugar” top. The custard is cooked in individual ramekins, cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated. Just prior to serving, a teaspoon of sugar is sprinkled over each serving then put under a broiler for about two minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and turned golden brown.
The origins of this dish are a bit hazy, but the name first appeared in Francois Massialot’s cookbook in 1691. Crème Brûlée translates from French as ‘burnt cream’.

National Scotch Whisky Day

The Babylonians of Mesopotamia were likely the first people to distil alcohol sometime in the 2nd millennium BC. At the time distillation was only used to make various perfumes and aromatics. The earliest records of the distillation of alcohol for the purpose of drinking date back to 13th century Italy, where harder alcohols were distilled from wine. Soon, the practice of distillation spread through medieval monasteries and was used largely for medicinal purposes, such as the treatment of smallpox and other illnesses. Distillation spread to today’s Great Britain in the 15th century, and the Scots have been making whisky shortly thereafter. Scotch whisky first and foremost must be made in Scotland. It must be fermented from malted barley, aged in oak barrels for at least three years and have an ABV of less than 94.8%. While most Scotch is made with barley, water, and yeast, other grains can be included, but, by law, no fermentation additives can be used. There are five distinct categories of Scotch whisky including single malt Scotch, single grain Scotch, blended malt Scotch, blended grain Scotch and blended Scotch. If it’s made with just malted barley and water and bottled as whisky from one distillery, it is referred to as one of the famous “single malt” Scotch whiskeys. If a Scotch is made with other grains, it’s referred to as “single grain.” There are also blended Scotches – such as the top-selling Johnnie Walker – that use whiskeys from multiple distillers. Scotch whiskeys are aged in oak casks, but unlike American straight whiskeys, the casks don’t have to be new. Many American white oak casks that once held bourbon or other American whiskeys find a second life in Scotland to age Scotch whisky, and some distillers also use casks that formerly contained sherry or port to add different flavors. Though single malt Scotches are made only from barley and water, their flavors vary enormously depending on where the distillery is located, the kind of water used, the way the whisky is aged and other variables.
*NOTE: In Scotland and Canada, whisky is spelled without the “e”; whereas in Ireland and America, whiskey is spelled with the “e”.

On this date in:

  • 1789 – The Department of Foreign Affairs was established by the U.S. Congress. The agency was later known as the Department of State.
  • 1804 – The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. With the amendment, Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.
  • 1866 – Cyrus Field successfully completed the Atlantic Cable. It was an underwater telegraph from North America to Europe.
  • 1909 – Orville Wright set a record for the longest airplane flight. He was testing the first Army airplane and kept it in the air for 1 hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • 1921 – Canadian biochemist Frederick Banting and associates announced the discovery of the hormone insulin.
  • 1964 – President Lyndon Johnson sent an additional 5,000 advisers to South Vietnam.
  • 1965 – In the United States, the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was signed into law. The law required health warnings on all cigarette packages.
  • 1967 – President Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of the violence in the wake of urban rioting.
  • 1984 – Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb’s record for most singles in a career when he got his 3,503rd base hit.
  • 1992 – Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis died after collapsing on a Brandeis University basketball court during practice. He was 27 years old.
  • 1995 – The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, by President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.
  • 1999 – The U.S. space shuttle Discovery completed a five-day mission commanded by Air Force Col. Eileen Collins. It was the first shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman.
  • 2001 – The ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The event set two new world records; one for the 3-mile long ribbon, and one for the 2,000 people that cut it.
  • 2003 – It was reported by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) that there was no monster in Loch Ness. The investigation used 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to trawl the loch. Reports of sightings of the “Loch Ness Monster” began in the 6th century.

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