February 4th – Thank a Mailman Day

February 4, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning addressers and addressees. Today is Saturday, February 4, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Thank a Mailman Day

The Second Continental Congress established the Constitutional Post—the first organized mail service in America, in 1775. Before this act, people relied on friends, merchants, or private messengers to carry their letters. It was an unreliable system, and colonial British postal inspectors often intercepted confidential messages.
As the nation’s first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin established many of the conventions we are accustomed to today, including a standardized rate chart based on weight and distance. Before the invention of the stamp in 1847, the writer could pay the postage in advance or leave it for the recipient to pay upon delivery. Over the past two centuries, the Postal Service has grown and changed dramatically, but its mission of promoting free and open communication has remained the same.
Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Postal Service has no “official motto.” The familiar sentence, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” is commonly misidentified as the creed of our mail carriers, but actually, it is just the inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street. According to historians, the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians, around 500 B.C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done.

USO (United Service Organizations) Day

The USO was created on this date in 1941 with the goal of supporting U.S. troops during WWII. The USO was actually deactivated, its facilities closed and was discharged honorably from service by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. However, when the Korean War began and it was reactivated in 1951.
The word “organizations” is plural and it is not a typo. The USO is actually comprised of six civilian organizations put under one umbrella.

  • Salvation Army
  • Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
  • Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
  • National Catholic Community Service
  • National Travelers Aid Association
  • National Jewish Welfare Board

Most people are familiar only with the entertainment that the USO provides to our service members overseas, however, the USO does much more than that. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare, and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. The intent of the USO is to show the world that the American people care about their servicemen and women by providing a touch of home to the military, no matter where they are stationed. The USO currently operates more than 140 centers worldwide and service members and their families visit these centers more than 6.9 million times each year. This link will lead you to more information about this worthwhile organization.
During my Military career, I was fortunate enough to attend two Bob Hope USO shows, one stateside at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, and the other in Korea. I still have fond memories of both of them.

Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day is an American holiday in honor of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks. In California and Missouri, it is celebrated on her birthday, February 4. In Ohio and Oregon, it is celebrated on the day she was arrested, December 1. Rosa Parks was a seamstress by profession; she was also the secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. Her arrest on December 1, 1955, spawned a boycott of the bus company which didn’t end until December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect and led to a Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional. The 381-day boycott almost bankrupted the bus company.

Liberace Day

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born on May 16, 1919. His family called him Walter and his friends called him Lee, but we all just called him Liberace. Liberace Day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death on February 4, 1987.  While he had a flamboyant lifestyle, both and off the stage, he had a career that spanned over four decades. Whether or not you liked his style of music, he was a tireless worker and a consummate performer. He did what he loved, and, what he loved was music…and it showed in every time he performed.

Homemade Soup Day 

What’s more comforting than a bowl of soup on a cold day? The word soup originates from “sop”, a dish originally consisting of a soup or thick stew which was soaked up with pieces of bread. According to Wikipedia, “One of the first types of soups can be dated to about 6000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers (which probably came in the form of pouches made of clay or animal skin) about 9,000 years ago.
Because soups evolved according to local ingredients available and individual tastes, there are thousands of soup recipes available today. Italian minestrone, French onion, New England chowder, and Russian borscht are but a few examples of soups that take advantage of local ingredients.
Many soups may also have medicinal purposes as well as nutritional value. What was once an old wives’ tale now has scientific backing. Chicken soup has been shown to actually help with relieving the symptoms of the common cold.  Studies show that a bowl of chicken soup actually reduces inflammation of the lungs. It is thought that chicken soup slows down the activity of white blood cells that can cause the inflammation.
This time of year, there is nothing like a hearty, delicious bowl of fresh homemade soup to warm your soul. Sorry folks, but today, that soggy, sodium laced crap in a can that claims to be “homemade” just won’t do. Celebrate Homemade Soup Day by making a batch of homemade soup from your favorite recipe.

National Stuffed Mushroom Day

The concept of eating fungi was first widely promoted in France in the 19th century when the French began to cultivate mushrooms for consumption, but credit for creating stuffed mushrooms goes to the Italians in the early 20th century.
There are all sorts of things with which you can stuff your mushrooms. A popular stuffing for mushrooms is breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, but the possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, restaurants began presenting stuffed mushrooms as a delicacy and used expensive ingredients such as hot crabmeat.
Make your favorite type of stuffed mushrooms today. The greatest thing about National Stuffed Mushroom Day is that when you are done creating your masterful stuffed mushroom dish, you get to stuff your face too.

More Holidays

The holidays listed below are also celebrated today. As usual, links are provided.

On This Date

  • In 1783 – Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colony, the United States.
  • In 1789 – Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.
  • In 1824 – J.W. Goodrich introduced rubber galoshes to the public.
  • In 1847 – In Maryland, the first U.S. Telegraph Company was established.
  • In 1861 – Delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, AL, to form the Confederate States of America.
  • In 1913 – Louis Perlman received a patent for his demountable tire-carrying rims.
  • In 1932 – The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.
  • In 1945 – During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a conference at Yalta to outline plans for Germany’s defeat.
  • In 1957 – Smith-Corona Manufacturing Inc., of New York, began selling ‘portable’ electric typewriters. The first machine weighed 19 pounds.
  • In 1964 – The Administrator of General Services announced that the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had been ratified. The amendment banned the poll tax.
  • In 1974 – Patricia (Patty) Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, CA, by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
  • In 1997 – A civil jury in California found O.J. Simpson liable in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Goldman’s parents were awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages.
  • In 1999 – Gary Coleman was sentenced to a suspended 90-day jail sentence, a $400 fine, and ordered to attend 52 anger-management classes. The sentence stemmed from Coleman assaulting an autograph seeker on July 30, 1998.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20 million other people.

  • Charles Lindbergh, 1902 – Aviator.
  • Eddie Foy Jr., 1905 – Entertainer.
  • Rosa Parks, 1913 – Civil Rights activist.
  • William Talman, 1915 – Actor (prosecuting attorney “Hamilton Burger” on the TV series Perry Mason).
  • Ida Lupino, 1918 – Actress.
  • Conrad Bain, 1923 – “Diff’rent Strokes”/”Maude”.
  • John Schuck, 1940 – Actor.
  • David Brenner, 1945 – Comedian.
  • Dan Quayle, 1947 – Politician.
  • Alice Cooper, 1948 – Musician.
  • Lisa Eichhorn, 1952 – Actress.
  • Clint Black, 1962 – Country singer.
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