February 10th – Plimsoll?

February 10, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning maritime law enthusiasts. Today is Friday, February 10, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Plimsoll Day

I’m sure that most of you are asking right about now, “What the heck is a Plimsoll?” I’ll answer that question shortly, but the real question you should be asking today is; “Who is Plimsoll?” The answer to that question is Samuel Plimsoll, born on this date in 1824. He was a member of the British Parliament, who in 1876, was instrumental in the passing of the Unseaworthy Ships Amendment to the British Merchant Shipping Act (or Plimsoll Amendment). It had to do with the overloading of Merchant Ships, thus putting sailors lives at risk. Basically, he is the one responsible for the cargo line, or Plimsoll line that you see on Cargo Ships today. The law merely required that the line had to be painted on the boat. It did not say the line had to be an accurate representation of the safe waterline position for the ship’s cargo load, so merchants just painted a line on their vessels, thus complying with the “letter of the law”, but still endangering the safety of sailors. Politicians being, well for lack of a better word, politicians, took 18 years, until 1894, to rectify the situation and change the law to stipulate that the line had to be an accurate depiction of the safe load capacity of the ship. Today, the Plimsoll Line is universally recognized and is actually several lines – each one indicating the safe waterline mark in relation to both cargo type and water type (salinity, temperature, ocean region, and season).
Now, as for the “What is a Plimsoll” question. The answer to that question is – a Plimsoll is a type of shoe. More specifically, a Plimsoll is a shoe with a canvas upper and a rubber sole. Known originally as “sand shoes”, today they are known as deck shoes or sneakers. But which came first: the sneaker or the man? The shoe in question was originally called a “sand shoe,” invented for beachwear by the Liverpool Rubber Company in the 1830’s. It wasn’t until sometime after the Plimsoll Line was created in 1876 that the distinctive footwear came to be known as a Plimsoll Shoe (since the rubber band between the upper part of the shoe and its sole resembled the Plimsoll Line on a ship’s hull). So you could logically conclude that the shoe came first. But, when you consider that Samuel Plimsoll was born in 1824, which predates both the shoe and the legislation, and you’re left with a chicken vs. egg conundrum. I’ll leave the solution to this mystery for you to decide.

Umbrella Day

Brolly, gamp, parasol, Bumbershoot, whatever you call it, umbrellas are made for one thing, protecting you from the elements. The umbrella is one of the world’s most invaluable inventions. On a rainy, day, they protect our hair and clothing.  They are also used on sunny days to shade us from harmful UV radiation, and the heat of the sun. Umbrellas come in all sorts of sizes, colors, shapes, and, designs. The smallest umbrellas fit inside a purse or glove compartment. Golf umbrellas are popular sizes. Then, there is lawn and beach umbrellas. To celebrate today, make sure your umbrella is handy, just in case you decide to go outside. If you don’t own an umbrella, today is a good day to buy one.

National Flannel Day

Flannel is a soft woven fabric that was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn. Today, flannel is made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. There is even a ‘vegetable flannel’ which is made from Scots pine fiber. Flannel is thought to have originated in Wales sometime in the 16th century.
But National Flannel Day isn’t about the origins of flannel as much as it is about the wearing of flannel. Today, you are urged to channel your “inner lumberjack” and wear your best flannel shirt. If you don’t already own at least one flannel shirt, you are in the minority and should rectify that fashion faux pas immediately. Flannel is prized because of its softness and its warmth and is a welcome addition to any wardrobe on those chilly winter days. And. not all flannel is plaid. You can find flannel in a variety of colors these days, so you really have no excuse not to celebrate National Flannel Day.

Teddy Day

Have I been in a coma? Exactly when did Valentine’s Day become a week-long celebration? Apparently, Teddy Day is the fourth holiday of Valentine’s Week. I didn’t make the connection until now, but previous holidays this week have also been a part of Valentine’s Week. Starting with Rose Day on February 7th, there is now a holiday for every day of the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. February 8th was Propose Day, Yesterday was Chocolate Day, and now today is Teddy Day.
Teddy Day ostensibly celebrates the love women have for adorable, stuffed toys. What better than a fluffy, soft teddy bear toy to hold on to, when you drift off to sleep?  See, I got that wrong too. I thought that Teddy Day would celebrate lingerie. Jeez, am I really that far out of touch with pop culture?

The Inbox Day

The Inbox Day is an internet-generated holiday that urges you to clean up your email inbox. Enough said.

Cream Cheese Brownie Day

Who can resist the heavenly taste of a rich fudge brownie marbled with cream cheese? Its combination of sweet and tangy flavors will please almost everyone. The brownie is America’s favorite bar cookie. Although desserts called “brownies” have been around since the 1800’s, the cake-like confection we know and love today can be traced back to 1906. Culinary historians credit “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” with the first published recipe for the modern brownie, but this early recipe was far less chocolaty than what we’re accustomed to today. It only called for two squares of baking chocolate. Sacrilege! Today there are hundreds of different brownie recipes. Many incorporate interesting add-ins like peanut butter, walnuts, caramel, peppermint, banana, or (of course) cream cheese.
So, enjoy some Cream Cheese Brownies today. If you don’t already have one, try this Cream Cheese Brownie recipe.

More Holidays

International Winter Bike to Work Day  

National Home Warranty Day

Tu B’Shevat

On This Date

  • In 1763 – The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. In the treaty, France ceded Canada to England.
  • In 1846 – Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their exodus to the west from Illinois.
  • In 1863  – In New York City, two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married.
  • In 1863 – The fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane.
  • In 1870 – The city of Anaheim was incorporated for the first time.
  • In 1870 – The YWCA was founded in New York City.
  • In 1879 – The electric arc light was used for the first time.
  • In 1897 – “The New York Times” began printing “All the news that’s fit to print” on their front page.
  • In 1920 – Major league baseball representatives outlawed pitches that involve tampering with the ball.
  • In 1923 – Ink paste was manufactured for the first time by the Standard Ink Company.
  • In 1933 – The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
  • In 1933 – Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie Schaaf in round 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Schaaf died as a result of the knockout punch.
  • In 1934 – The first perforated, ungummed sheets of postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City.
  • In 1935 – The Pennsylvania Railroad began passenger service with its electric locomotive. The engine was 79-1/2 feet long and weighed 230 tons.
  • In 1962 – The Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for the Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel being held by the United States.
  • In 1967 – The 25th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. The amendment required the appointment of a vice-president when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability.
  • In 1981 – The Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino caught fire. Eight people were killed and 198 were injured.
  • In 1989 –  Ron Brown became the first African-American to head a major United States political party when he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
  • In 1992 – Mike Tyson was convicted in Indianapolis of raping Desiree Washington, a Miss Black American contestant.
  • In 1998 – A man became the first to be convicted of committing a hate crime in cyberspace. The college dropout had e-mailed threats to Asian students.
  • In 1998 – Voters in Maine repealed a 1997 gay rights law. Maine was the first state to abandon such legislation.
  • In 2005 – North Korea publicly announced for the first time that it had nuclear arms. The country also rejected attempts to restart disarmament talks in the near future saying that it needed the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.

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 Allen White, 1868 – Newspaper editor.
  • Boris Pasternak, 1890 – Author (Dr. Zhivago).
  • Jimmy Durante, 1893 – Comedian.
  • Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1894 – British Prime Minister (1957 to 1963).
  • Dame Judith Anderson, 1898 – Actress.
  • Lon Chaney, Jr., 1905 – Actor.
  • Larry Adler 1914 — Musician, harmonica player.
  • Allie Reynolds 1919 — Baseball player (pitcher).
  • Leontyne Price 1927 — Opera soprano.
  • Neva Patterson, 1922 – Character actress.
  • Leontyne Price, 1927 – Opera soprano.
  • Robert Wagner, 1930 – Actor.
  • Roberta Flack, 1939 – Singer.
  • Ral Donner, 1943 – Singer.
  • Mark Spitz, 1950 – Olympic swimmer.
  • Greg Norman, 1955 – Professional golfer.
  • Kathleen Beller 1955 — Actress.
  • Lionel Cartwright 1960 — Country musician.
  • George Stephanopoulos, 1961 – TV Journalist.
  • Laura Dern, 1967 – Actress.
  • Elizabeth Banks, 1974 – Actress.
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