February 19th – Iwo Jima Day

February 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning WWII history buffs. Today is Sunday, February 19, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Iwo Jima Day 

Iwo Jima Day marks the anniversary of the day that American Forces landed on Iwo Jima in 1945. This invasion was the first American attack on Japanese home territory.
The Americans wanted to capture Iwo Jima Island because of its strategic importance and proximity to the Japanese home islands. Although a small island, it had three airfields, and the Americans wanted to use those airfields to launch air-strikes and use the rest of the island to possibly stage an invasion force against Japan. The battle for Iwo Jima lasted for over a month and included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific. Although the Americans had naval and air superiority, most of the Japanese soldiers and Marines fought to the death. The battle ended on March 26, 1945.

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising

Joe Rosenthal’s historic photograph of five soldiers raising the American Flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima (shown above) became one of the most famous photographs of all time. For a more detailed account of this major battle, click this link.

Prevent Plagiarism Day  

The Internet is a valuable tool. It allows us to communicate with others across the globe, study and shop from the comfort of home and find information on just about any topic under the sun. But, the rapid advances in technology are not without risk. Besides cyberbullying, identity theft and malicious viruses, today’s technology also makes it quite easy to “steal” other people’s work.
Prevent Plagiarism Day is celebrated annually on this date to raise awareness about “high-tech cheating.” It was created by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, a freelance writer and newspaper columnist, after discovering repeated instances of “writers” publishing her work without permission or attribution. The Oxford Dictionary defines plagiarism as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”
As well as being just plain lazy and unethical, plagiarism can also have serious consequences. Students who are caught plagiarizing may fail the test,  the assignment, the entire course, and may even be suspended or expelled from school.

International Tug of War Day

I’m sure that most of us have engaged in a good old game of Tug of War at one time in our lives. But for that small percentage of people who have not: A Tug of War consists of two teams pitted against each other, each trying to pull the center line of the rope (usually marked with a brightly colored ribbon or piece of tape) to their side’s marker. These days. a pool of water or mud is often used as a divider for the two sides, in which case the object is to pull the other team into said pool of water or a pit of mud.
Tug of War is not simply a children’s game. There are 53 nations that have formal national organizations for playing Tug of War. There are many Tug of War clubs and both indoor and outdoor competitions. There are even World Championships—and from 1900 to 1920, tug-of-war was an Olympic Sport.
No one knows exactly when or where Tug of War actually began, but the game is ancient and widespread. It seems likely that it was invented several separate times throughout history. We know that the sport was played in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and China, in India at least as far back as the 1100’s, and by at least some Native American tribes. The sport was used to train warriors, to entertain kings, and even to settle disputes. According to ancient Chinese legend, the Sun and Moon played Tug of War over light and darkness. There is no limit on the number of participants on each side. Modern competitions have from 5 to 12 members on each team. But, in 1997, in Taiwan, there was a Tug or War with 1600 participants (800 on each team).
Safety is also a big issue in a Tug of War. For instance, don’t loop the rope around your hands or fingers. You might think it will give you a better grip, but you could literally lose a finger or two. Also, if the rope breaks, the broken ends can sever fingers, so make sure that it is a regulation tug of war rope. The ordinary nylon ropes sold in hardware stores are not safe to use. Sprained or broken wrists and ankles are quite common injuries incurred in a Tug of War contest.

Chocolate Mint Day

National Chocolate Mint Day is observed annually and is recognized by the U.S. National Confectioners Association. Combining chocolate and mint is probably one of the greatest culinary ideas…ever. I don’t know whose idea it was, but I am forever in their debt.
The Aztecs and Mayans are given much credit for their ways with chocolate. When chocolate was brought to Europe, they were not fond of the dark, bitter bean, and it was used more for medicinal purposes. Since it was mostly consumed as a hot beverage, Europeans mixed mint, cinnamon, and other spices to make it more palatable. Over time, sugar was added, and the combination of chocolate and mint became fashionable.
Fast forward to the mid-1800’s. Innovations and improvements in chocolate-making processes made it possible for confectioners to begin mass producing chocolates. Initially, small candy shops served a localized public, but soon, some of these small shops began selling their chocolates in an ever-expanding market, but advertisements for mint chocolates, or chocolate mints, did not start showing up in newspapers until the early 1900’s.
Personally, I plan on doubling up on my chocolate-mint consumption today – you know, to make up for those few freaks who don’t like chocolate, don’t like mint or God forbid, don’t like either. While on a shopping spree yesterday, I bought some mint chocolate chip ice cream and purchased a couple of boxes of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies from an endearing tween who had ensconced herself at the entrance of Walgreen’s. And, since I’m never too far away from a York Peppermint Patty, I’m fully prepared for Chocolate Mint Day, and can’t (and probably won’t) wait for dessert tonight to enjoy the combination of these two scrumptious flavors.
Factoids:

  • The International Dairy Foods Association states that mint chocolate chip is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream.
  • Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and are still their most popular cookie.
  • Mint chocolate can be found in many forms – ice cream, brownies, cookies, candies, liquors, and sauces. There is even a mint chocolate herb with leaves that taste like mint chocolate. We have some in our yard.

More Holidays

Lash Day

On This Date

  • In 1807 – Former Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was later tried and acquitted on charges of treason.
  • In 1846 – The formal transfer of government between Texas and the United States took place. Texas had officially become a state on December 29, 1845.
  • In 1856 – The tintype camera was patented by Professor Hamilton L. Smith.
  • In 1878 – Thomas Alva Edison patented a music player (the phonograph).
  • In 1881 – Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
  • In 1922 – Ed Wynn became the first big-name, vaudeville talent to sign on as a radio talent.
  • In 1942 – President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and inter Japanese-Americans.
  • In 1953 – The State of Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the America. Newspapers were excluded from the new legislation.
  • In 1959 – Cyprus was granted its independence with the signing of an agreement with Britain, Turkey, and Greece.
  • In 1963 – The Soviet Union informed President Kennedy it would withdraw “several thousand” of its troops in Cuba.
  • In 1985 – Mickey Mouse was welcomed to China as part of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland. The touring mouse played 30 cities in 30 days. [Some said that it was just some Mickey Mouse tour to promote the Disney franchise. Rumors abound that plans to build a “Disneyland type Amusement Park” in China were scrapped when Disney executives realized that 95% of the population wouldn’t be tall enough to ride the rides –  Just kidding…or not].
  • In 1985 – Cherry Coke was introduced by the Coca-Cola Company. Sacrilege!
  • In 1985 – Iberia Airlines Flight 610 crashed. All 148 people on board died in the accident that was blamed on pilot error.
  • In 1986 – The Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide. The pact had been submitted 37 years earlier for ratification. Nice to see the Senate acting in such a timely manner. If only they had shown the same sense of urgency before they passed Obamacare (without even reading it first).
  • In 1986 – The Soviet Union launched the Mir space station.
  • In 1987 – A controversial, anti-smoking public service announcement aired for the first time on television. Yul Brynner filmed the ad shortly before dying of lung cancer. Brynner made it clear in the ad that he would have died from cigarette smoking before the ad aired. [It makes me wonder if, in today’s drug culture, if some ‘celebrities’ who are known substance abusers, shouldn’t make similar public service announcements: And if they did, would the media air them]?
  • In 1999 – Dennis Franz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 2001 – The museum at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center was dedicated.
  • In 2008 – Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency due to an unspecified illness. His brother Raul was later named as his successor.

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.

  • Nicolas Copernicus 1473 – Astronomer.
  • Sir Cedrick Hardwicke 1893 – Actor.
  • John Bubbles 1902 – Actor.
  • Merle Oberon 1911 – Actress.
  • Stan Kenton 1912 – Composer.
  • Eddie Arcaro 1916 – Jockey.
  • Lee Marvin 1924 – Actor.
  • Smokey Robinson 1940 – Singer.
  • Lou Christie 1943 – Singer.
  • Amy Tan 1952 – Author.
  • Jeff Daniels 1955 – Actor.
  • Lorraine Crook 1957 – TV hostess.
  • Prince Andrew 1960 – Duke of York.
  • Seal (Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) 1963 – Singer.
  • Justine Bateman 1966 – Actress.
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