February 24th – I’ll Have A Cuba Libre…Hold the Lime.

February 24, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning mixologists. Today is Friday, February 24, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Bartender Day  

Bartending is a difficult and often a thankless job. Not only does a good bartender have to know how to make myriad different drinks, they also have to put up with people in various stages of intoxication, and be willing to listen to people’s troubles…and since a large portion of their income is derived from tips, they have to do all of this while maintaining a positive attitude and keeping a smile on their faces.
World Bartender Day salutes these saintly souls who keep our glasses full and our spirits high.
In my younger days, I spent many an hour ensconced on a bar stool across from some really nice bartenders who were always willing to exchange a joke or two and generally brighten my day.

National Skip the Straw Day

National Skip the Straw Day is a new addition to the National Day Calendar being celebrated for the first time this year and to be observed annually on the fourth in February henceforth. It was created by students at Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI (who call themselves the Coral Keepers) and their advisor, Susan Tate.
For millennia, mankind ingested liquids either from their hands or from cup-shaped or cylindrical vessels. Then, in 1888, Marvin Stone invented the paper straw…and the world was changed forever.
In the 1960’s, plastic straws were introduced and because of their minimal cost, their durability, and their convenience, they eventually all but pushed paper straws out of the market. But like with most other products of convenience, once they are no longer usable, they become an environmental problem. Today, landfills, roadsides, and even the world’s waterways are being inundated with plastic refuse.
National Skip the Straw Day encourages Americans to give up plastic straws and help spread awareness about the damage caused by disposable plastics. According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million plastic drinking straws daily. That’s a lot of non-biodegradable waste that will eventually wind up in our environment.
The easiest way to celebrate National Skip the Straw Day is to pick up the glass and tip it back like your parents taught you to do when you were a toddler. It may take some practice and maybe both hands, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.  Here are some other eco-friendly options.

  • Bamboo straws are a renewable, reusable and biodegradable.
  • Paper straws, while still disposable, are biodegradable and from a renewable source.
  • Glass straws are coming in durable, colorful designs fit for a variety of beverages.
  • Stainless steel straws are an option for those of us who like our cold drinks really cold.

You can also volunteer to help clean up your local beaches, parks or neighborhoods. [Take note of how many plastic straws are included in all the litter]. If you frequent fast food restaurants or get beverages to go, you can request your beverage to be served sans straw. Do your part today to help the environment today by foregoing the straw in your beverage. Just think, if we were to celebrate National Skip the Straw Day every day, together, maybe we could bring down “Big Straw”.

Tortilla Chip Day

Tortilla chips are made from round corn or flour tortillas that are cut into wedges. The chips may be either fried or baked. Tortilla chips are considered a Mexican food, however, they originated in Los Angeles. During the late 1940’s the Carranza’s, a couple who ran a tortilla factory came up with the idea to cut ‘misshaped’ tortillas into triangles and fry them. They sold them by the bag for 10¢ each and the rest is history. Soon, the lowly tortilla chip began to compete with the major brands of corn chips (Fritos, et al). To celebrate, try making some fresh tortilla chips at home. Here is a simple recipe.
Factoid:  In 2003, the state of Texas made the tortilla chip their official state snack.

More Holidays

International STAND UP to Bullying Day – Last Friday in February and the third Friday in November.

National Trading Card Day

On This Date

  • In 1582 – Pope Gregory XIII orders the introduction of the Gregorian calendar. His reform of the Julian calendar was first introduced in some European countries and is now the world’s most widely used calendar.
  • In 1607 – The world’s first opera premiered. Claudio Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” is still performed regularly today.
  • In 1803 – The Supreme Court ruled itself to be the final interpreter of all constitutional issues.
  • In 1839 – William S. Otis received a patent for the steam shovel. His steam shovel revolutionized the construction and mining industries and was an integral part of the expansion of the railroad system in America. Alas, Mr. Otis never saw his invention reach its true potential. He died later that year of Typhoid Fever. He was just 26 years old.
  • In 1857 – The first shipment of perforated postage stamps was received by the United States Government.
  • In 1863 –  Arizona was organized as a territory.
  • In 1868 – The first parade to use floats occurred in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.
  • In 1868 – The House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson due to his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The Senate later acquitted Johnson.
  • In 1903 – In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an area was leased to the United States for a naval base.
  • In 1920 – The German nazi party was founded. Adolf Hitler became the party’s leader in 1921.
  • In 1938 – The first nylon bristle toothbrush was made. It was the first time that nylon yarn had been used commercially.
  • In 1942 – The United States Government stopped shipments of all 12-gauge shotguns for sporting use due to the need for gunpowder during WWII.
  • In 1942 – The Voice of America (VOA) aired for the first time.
  • In 1956 – The city of Cleveland invoked a 1931 law that barred people under the age of 18 from dancing in public without an adult guardian.
  • In 1981 – Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
  • In 1988 – The Supreme Court overturned a $200,000 award to Rev. Jerry Falwell that had been won against “Hustler” magazine. The ruling expanded legal protections for parody and satire.
  • In 1989 – Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for his novel “The Satanic Verses”. A bounty of one-million-dollars was also put on Rushdie’s head.
  • In 1989 – A Boeing 747 jumbo jet ripped open over the Pacific Ocean. United Airlines Flight 811 experienced an explosive decompression, resulting in the death of 9 passengers.
  • In 1992 – Tracy Gold began working on the set of “Growing Pains” again. She had left the show due to anorexia.
  • In 1994 – Garrett Morris was shot during a robbery attempt in Los Angeles, CA. He eventually recovered from his injury.
  • In 1997 – The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective “morning-after” pills for preventing pregnancy.
  • In 2008 – Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president. His brother Fidel had ruled for nearly 50 years.
  • In 2010 – Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricket player to score a double-century in the One Day International format. The Indian cricketer is widely recognized as one of the greatest batsmen in the game.

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.

  • Wilhelm Grimm 1786 – Author.
  • Honus Wagner 1874 – Baseball player.
  • Chester Nimitz 1885 – U.S. Navy Admiral.
  • Marjorie Main 1890 – Actress.
  • Zachary Scott 1914 – Actor.
  • Abe Vigoda 1921 – Actor.
  • Linda Cristal 1936 – Actress.
  • James Farentino 1938 – Actor.
  • George Harrison 1943 – Beatle.
  • Sheila Larkin 1944 – Actress.
  • Barry Bostwick 1945 – Actor.
  • Rupert Holmes 1947 – Musician.
  • Edward James Olmos 1947 – Actor.
  • George Thorogood 1950 – Musician.
  • Steven Jobs 1955 – Co-founder of Apple, Inc.
  • Paula Zahn 1956 – TV journalist.
  • Billy Zane 1966 – Actor.
  • Bonnie Somerville 1974 – Actress.
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