February 8th – Go Fly a KIte

February 8, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my flighty friends. Today is Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Today’s reasons for celebration are:

Fly a Kite Day

Have you ever wanted to tell someone to “go fly a kite”? If so, then Fly a Kite Day is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Kites date back to China in 470 B.C. China is full of lore and histories of the origins of the kite. Many are related to the way wind affects the leaves on the trees, the shelters they lived in, blowing away the sails on their ships and the hats they wore upon their heads. The stories also tell of kites being invented to spy on their enemies or to send messages. There is also evidence that the people of South Sea Islands were using kites for fishing around the same time as the people of China.
Early kites were constructed from bamboo or sturdy reeds for framing, leaves, silk or paper for the sail and vines or braided fibers for the line or tether. While they were initially used as tools, they were also ceremonial as well. Used to send messages into the heavens or to lift offerings up to the gods, kites had a symbolic place in the culture.
Today kites are popular both as hobbies and for outdoor fun. They range from a simple diamond kite to more complicated box kites and giant sled kites. Stunt kites, also known as sport kites, are designed so the operator can maneuver the kite into dips, twists, and dives with dramatic effect.
Ben Franklin was perhaps the most well-known kite flyer. In 1752, it is rumored that he flew a kite in a thunderstorm and discovered electricity.
Chances are that few people in the northern tier of the country will brave the snow and cold today to go outdoors and fly a kite, but if you live in a more hospitable climate, you can “go fly a kite” today.

Here are some tips for getting your kite up in the air and keeping it there.

  • Be sure the kite is assembled correctly.
  • Check the wind. Some kites require more wind and others less. Picking the right day for your kite is key. A light breeze (5-20 mph) is generally ideal.
  • Be safe. Don’t fly the kite near power lines, trees or other sky-high obstacles. Wide open spaces are best.
  • Be safer. Don’t fly in the rain.
  • When launching the kite, be sure to have your back to the wind. If the wind is light, have a friend hold the kite downwind and hold your line taught, reeling in slowly until the kite launches.
  • Don’t let the line out too quickly. Let the line out at the same pace the kite is gaining altitude.

Boy Scout Day

The Boy Scouts of America has roots in the British Boy Scouts organization which was created in 1908 after the success of the book Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell. As the story goes, W. D. Boyce, an American newspaper man visiting London, got lost one foggy night and a Boy Scout came to his rescue. The Boy Scout escorted him to his destination. When Boyce offered payment for the assistance, the Boy Scout refused explaining it was a good deed. This selfless act inspired Boyce to organize similar youth groups into one organization. On February 8, 1910, Boyce filed papers of incorporation, and the Boy Scouts of America was born.
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts offer a tremendously valuable program of life skills and values for millions of boys. The top award of Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that reaps recognition, rewards, and benefits for a young man throughout his life.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

Opera Day 

Opera Day is celebrated on this date annually. Although my research couldn’t find the creator of this holiday, it marks a significant date in American music history. It commemorates the date in 1735 when the first opera was performed in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina. The opera performed was “Flora”…a contemporary (at the time) piece. “Flora” was among the first operas to use contemporary music with a contemporary theme. It opened in a make-shift opera house, but because it was so popular, it led to the opening of the first opera house in America…also in Charleston.
Opera started in Italy in 1598 and quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe and beyond. Opera incorporates acting, singing, and sometimes dance with lavish costumes and sets. Traditionally, opera is performed in an opera house and is usually accompanied by an orchestra or a smaller musical ensemble.

Molasses Bar Day

Molasses is a thick, sticky syrup made from sugar cane. The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Since the 1500’s, people have used molasses to sweeten their food. Its distinctive taste is still called for in many recipes including gingerbread, sauces, cookies, toffee, baked beans, fruitcake, and molasses bars.
I’ll be honest, I have never heard of molasses bars. If you know what a ‘molasses bar’ is, enjoy one as a snack today. If you need a recipe, click here.

More Holidays

Laugh and Get Rich Day  – If only it were that simple.

Propose Day

On This Date

  • In 1693 – A charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
  • In 1802 – Simon Willard patented the banjo clock.
  • In 1861 – The Confederate States of America was formed.
  • In 1861 – A Cheyenne delegation and some Arapaho leaders accepted a new settlement (Treaty of Fort Wise) with the Federal government. The deal ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square mile reservation and annuity payments.
  • In 1896 – The Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. The group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.
  • In 1918 – “The Stars and Stripes” newspaper was published for the first time.
  • In 1922 – The White House began using radio after President Harding had it installed.
  • In 1936 – The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • In 1952 – Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne. Her father, George VI, had died on February 6.
  • In 1963 – The Kennedy administration prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens.
  • In 1969 – The last issue of the “Saturday Evening Post” was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and later as  a six times per year publication.
  • In 1971 – The NASDAQ stock market index debuted.
  • In 1973 – Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal.
  • In 1978 – Senate deliberations were broadcast on radio for the first time. The subject was the Panama Canal treaties.
  • In 1980 – President Jimmy Carter announced a plan to re-introduce draft registration.
  • In 1985 – “The Dukes of Hazzard” ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television.
  • In 1993 – General Motors sued NBC, alleging that “Dateline NBC” had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that some GM pickups were prone to fires after certain types of crashes. The suit was settled the following day by NBC.

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.

  • William Tecumseh Sherman, 1820 – Union Civil War General.
  • Jules Verne, 1828 – Author.
  • Lyle Talbot, 1902 – Actor.
  • Lana Turner, 1921 – Actress.
  • Audrey Meadows, 1924 – Actress.
  • Jack Lemmon, 1925 – Actor.
  • James Dean, 1931 – Actor.
  • John Williams, 1932 – Composer.
  • Larry Verne, 1936 – Singer (“Please Mr. Custer”).
  • Ted Koppel, 1940 – Newscaster.
  • Nick Nolte, 1941 – Actor.
  • Robert Klein, 1942 – Comedian.
  • Dan Seals, 1948 – Musician.
  • Brooke Adams, 1949 – Actress.
  • Mary Steenburgen, 1953 – Actress.
  • John Grisham, 1955 – Author.
  • Vince Neil, 1961 – Musician (“Motley Crue”).
  • Gary Coleman, 1968 – Actor.
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