March 31st – National Crayola Crayon Day

March 31, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning waxy chalk fans. Today is Friday, March 31, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Crayola Crayon Day

National Crayola Crayon Day celebrates the day Crayola Crayons were first released to the public, on this date, in 1903.
A crayon is a stick of colored wax, made mostly of paraffin wax. The wax is heated and cooled to achieve the correct temperature in which a usable wax substance can be dyed. The word Crayola was derived from the French word “craie”, meaning “chalk,” and “ola” meaning “oleaginous”, or “oily”, so in essence, Crayola means waxy chalk. Crayola claims 99% name recognition and crayons are sold in over 80 countries worldwide.
The idea to combine a form of wax with pigment actually dates back thousands of years; Egyptians, Romans, Greeks all had methods of using colored wax for creating art. Contemporary crayons originated in Europe where the first cylinder shaped crayons were made with charcoal and oil mixed with wax.
But I digress, Crayola Crayon Day refers to Crayola, a specific brand of crayon. Crayola is a brand of artists’ supplies manufactured by Crayola, LLC (formerly Binney & Smith Company) and best known for its crayons. The company is based in Forks Township Pennsylvania. Since 1984, Crayola has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Originally an industrial pigment supply company, Crayola soon shifted its focus to art products for home and school use, beginning with chalk, then crayons followed later by colored pencils, markers, paints, modeling clay, and other related goods including Silly Putty. All Crayola-branded products are non-toxic and safe for use by children, and most Crayola crayons are manufactured in the United States.
Since their introduction in 1903, Crayolas have been manufactured in over 400 different shades of colors, but as new colors were added, others were discontinued. There are currently 170 different colors being manufactured. According to a study conducted by Crayola Crayons in 2000, “blue” was the most popular color, followed, oddly enough,  by “Cerulean” second and “Purple Heart” third.
Crayons come in a wide variety of multi-packs; from the 4-crayon packs targeted at establishments such as hotels and restaurants, to hand out to their young guests, to the 832-crayon “Classpack” bulk boxes marketed to schools.
Author’s note: Remember how awesome it was to get a full box of 64 crayons…the one with the built-in sharpener? I was never artistic, by any sense of the imagination (It takes me three tries to draw a “happy face”). Nonetheless, I still enjoyed coloring in books…sometimes even in coloring books. Over the years, my skills have improved, somewhat. I hope soon to be able to stay within the lines of the picture and make appropriate color choices for what the picture in the coloring book depicts.

Bunsen Burner Day

German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen was born on this date 1811; and, you guessed it, von Bunsen invented the Bunsen Burner. For all of you non-chemists, a Bunsen Burner is a device used to create flame using gas and air used in Laboratories everywhere to conduct experiments requiring a controlled heat source. Bunsen burners (along with Teclu burners and Meker burners) produce a smokeless blue flame at very high temperatures. Scientists use these types of burners for heating, combustion, and sterilization.
In 1852, Robert Bunsen began working at the University of Heidelberg. He was trying to isolate chemical substances and soon became frustrated with the inefficient and smoky heat sources that were available in the laboratory. To solve the problem, he drew up plans for a burner that would mix gas and air prior to ignition. The result was the Bunsen burner, which is now used in laboratories all over the world.
If it has been a while since your high school chemistry class, spend a few minutes today to reflect on the value of this important scientific tool.

National “She’s Funny That Way” Day  

Some women, just like men, are born with an innate sense of humor. They are just naturally funny. Lucille Ball, Carol Burnette, and Betty White immediately come to mind. But not all funny women are famous. We all know a woman who makes us smile as soon as she enters the room…because we know that soon we’ll be laughing hysterically at something that she says and/or does.
National “She’s Funny That Way” Day pays tribute to all of the women we know that make us laugh, be it mother, sister, niece, cousin, wife, or friend. Show appreciation today for the humorous women in your life. What quirky, eccentric things do the women in your life do to make you laugh?

Eiffel Tower Day  

Eiffel Tower Day is a holiday that celebrates the spectacular monument that stands proudly in the city of Paris. Today marks the 128th anniversary of the date that the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.
The Eiffel Tower took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days in total to build. It was constructed for the International Exhibition of Paris, during the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and was named after the principal engineer, Gustave Eiffel.
Besides being a national landmark in France, today the Eiffel Tower is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and bars. The apartment that Gustave Eiffel kept near the top of the tower is now a museum of sorts. It is furnished with replicas of the furniture that Mr. Eiffel had in the apartment, and there is a wax figure of Gustave seated in one of the chairs. If you can’t jet off to Paris today, or if you can’t visit the scaled-down version of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, celebrate today by learning about the history of the Eiffel Tower.

World Backup Day

World Backup Day serves as a reminder to backup all of your important documents, pictures, and music files to a secondary hard-drive, and store it in a location other than your home. If you are like most computer users today, you pay little attention to backing up your files. A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents, and emails. But, why should you bother to backup your files? Losing your files is way more common than you’d think. Have you ever lost your phone, your camera,  your laptop, or your tablet? Your valuable data could have been saved if you had a backup. One small accident or failure could destroy all the important stuff you care about. Here are a few more reasons to back up your data:

  • 30% of people have never backed up their computers.
  • 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute.
  • 29% of data-related disasters are caused by accidents such as dropping or spilling something on your device.
  • 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus each month, and, without a backup, all of your precious data can be lost when the virus is removed.

I speak from personal experience when I recommend that you back up your data. I lost all of my pictures and music files about 10 years ago because of a hard-drive crash on my computer.

Tater Day

Man, I loves me some taters. Hash browns, fried, boiled, baked, french fries, potato salad, home-made potato chips (stop me anytime). Tater Day celebrates all varieties of potatoes, including sweet potatoes.
The lowly spud is an essential part of any diet providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Although they are relatively inexpensive, they are comforting, filling and tasty. Enjoy some taters yourself today. You choose how healthy, or unhealthy, to make them.
Factoid:  Idaho Potatoes aren’t from Idaho. They are, in fact, the Burbank Potato which was created in Sonoma County California by the renowned botanist Luther Burbank. Idaho just happens to have the climate in which they thrive.

More Holidays

César Chávez Day

National Clams on the Half Shell Day

National Prom Day

No Homework Day

On This Date

  • In 1492 – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued the Alhambra edict expelling Jews who were unwilling to convert to Christianity.
  • In 1776 – Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John that women were “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence failed to guarantee their rights.
  • In 1870 – In Perth Amboy, NJ, Thomas P. Munday became the first black to vote in the U.S.
  • In 1880 – Wabash, IN, became the first town to be completely illuminated with electric light.
  • In 1889 – In Paris, the Eiffel Tower officially opened.
  • In 1900 – The W.E. Roach Company was the first automobile company to put an advertisement in a national magazine. The magazine was the “Saturday Evening Post”.
  • In 1906 – The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was founded to set rules in amateur sports. The organization became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.
  • In 1917 – The United States purchased and took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
  • In 1918 – For the first time in the United States, Daylight Saving Time went into effect.
  • In 1923 – In New York City, the first U.S. dance marathon was held. Alma Cummings set a new world record of 27 hours.
  • In 1932 – The Ford Motor Co. debuted its V-8 engine.
  • In 1933 – The “Soperton News” in Georgia became the first newspaper to publish using a pine pulp paper.
  • In 1940 – La Guardia airport in New York officially opened to the public.
  • In 1949 – Newfoundland entered the Canadian confederation as its 10th province.
  • In 1958 – The U.S. Navy formed the atomic submarine division.
  • In 1966 – The Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which became the first spacecraft to enter a lunar orbit.
  • In 1976 – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from a respirator. Quinlan remained comatose until 1985 when she died.
  • In 1980 – U.S. President Carter deregulated the banking industry.
  • In 1993 – Brandon Lee was accidentally killed while filming a movie.
  • In 1998 – Buddy Hackett received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1999 – Fabio was hit in the face by a bird during a promotional ride of a new roller coaster at the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA. Fabio received a one-inch cut across his nose.
  • In 2004 – Air America Radio launched five stations around the U.S.
  • In 2004 – Google Inc. announced that it would be introducing a free e-mail service called Gmail.

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.

  • Rene Descartes 1596 – Philosopher.
  • John Harrison 1693 – Clock-maker.
  • Robert Wilhelm Bunsen 1811 – Chemist.
  • Jack Johnson 1878 – Boxer.
  • Henry Morgan 1915 – Comedian.
  • Richard Kiley 1922 – Actor.
  • Cesar Chavez 1927 – Labor leader.
  • William Daniels 1927 – Actor.
  • Gordie  Howe 1928 – Hockey player.
  • Lefty Frizzell 1928 – Country musician.
  • Liz Claiborne 1929 – Fashion designer.
  • Shirley Jones 1934 – Singer, actress.
  • Richard Chamberlain 1934 – Actor.
  • Herb Alpert 1935 – Musician.
  • Christopher Walken 1943 – Actor.
  • Gabe Kaplan 1945 – Actor, comedian.
  • Al Gore 1948 – Former Vice President.
  • Rhea Perlman 1948 – Actress, comedian.
  • Ed Marinaro 1950 – Football player.
  • Marc McClure 1957 – Actor.
  • William McNamara 1965 – Actor.
  • Ewen McGregor 1971 – Actor.

March 30th – “Let Me Pencil That In”

March 30, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of graphite-based writing implements. Today is Thursday, March 30, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Pencil Day

On this date in 1858, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the first-ever patent for a modern pencil with an eraser attached to it. Hymen Lipman created the wooden pencil and received high praise for how easy it was to use for writing and drawing.
Manufacturers painted the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. People quickly began assuming that yellow pencils were the best type, and a majority of pencils produced to this day are still yellow.
With all of the technological advances in ink, the ready availability of cheap ink pens, and the onset of the computer age, I am sad to report that I would be hard-pressed to find one of these remarkable devices in my humble abode. Perhaps I will rectify this oversight today, if only for the sake of nostalgia.
Factoid: A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line that is 35 miles long. Additionally, a pencil can also write upside down, or in zero gravity, making it the ideal writing implement for recording your thoughts and observations during your next trip to the International Space Station.
Addendum: I did manage to find a couple of pencils after all…relegated over time to the deepest, darkest nether regions of my desk drawer. Alas, they are green, and not the preferred yellow color…but they are unused with their erasers still intact. Now, where did I put that pencil sharpener? Oh Well!

National Doctor’s Day

National Doctor’s Day was created to show appreciation to doctors everywhere. Doctors’ Day observances date back to March 30, 1933. It was started by Eudora Brown Almond of Winder, Ga. This holiday marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia (ether) in surgery by Dr. Crawford W. Long on this date in 1842.
On March 30, 1958, the United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day. In 1990, the congress and the senate approved legislation establishing National Doctors Day. The resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors’ Day was signed by President George H. W. Bush.
Doctors perform a vital service to all of us, albeit with a notable lack of the altruism exhibited by the doctors of yore. Still, take time out today, or on your next scheduled appointment, to thank your physician for what he/she does for you and your family.

I am in Control Day

This holiday does not refer to some new-age mantra. Instead, it refers to the date, March 30, 1981, when President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. Quite naturally, lots of confusion prevailed. In the White House, then Secretary of State said, “I am in control here at the White House.” The events of that day are explained in great detail in this article.
Now, with the events of that day little more than a footnote in history, I am in Control Day has evolved into something more introspective. It urges us to take control of our lives.  Take a break for a minute and evaluate your situation. What can you do to get your life under control?
Below is a list of a few things that may help.

  • Start using a daily planner
  • De-clutter your environment
  • Make lists
  • Tackle one project at a time
  • Learn organizational skills
  • Ask for help
  • Talk with someone
  • Feel confident with your decisions

On I am in Control Day, begin to take the steps that you feel are needed to assume control of your life – at least those parts of your life that can be controlled.

The Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day

No, this holiday does not refer to the abundance of dog excrement in your neighbor’s backyard. The Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side of the Fence Day celebrates those of us who are satisfied with our lives, and not fooled by those, so-called, “greener pastures” that lie on the ‘other side of the fence’. It is a holiday to celebrate the fact that you are satisfied with what you have, and not to dwell on what you don’t have.

Take A Walk In the Park Day

Walking is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable forms of exercise. Take a Walk in the Park Day is an opportunity to get some low-impact exercise and relax for a little while.
Are you stressed out from work, school or things at home? A walk in the park might be just what the doctor ordered. Walking is calming and therapeutic. It helps clear your mind and re-energizes you at the same time. A walk in the park could very well be the most enjoyable part of your day.
Be sure to keep your eyes open and pay attention to your surroundings. In addition to preventing a fall, open eyes will allow you to take in the beauty of nature’s flora and fauna. Take time today to stroll through your favorite park and commune with nature, breathe in the fresh spring air, and clear your head. The exercise probably won’t kill you either.

Turkey Neck Soup Day 

The thought of Turkey Neck Soup might cause a few people to raise their eyebrows. Although the most flavorful part of a turkey, the neck is normally not regarded as palatable by most people. However, a stock made by slow simmering the tough, yet flavorful meat of actual turkey necks, once it is strained of bones and cooked with vegetables and rice or noodles, yields a hearty and flavorful soup that your family will enjoy.
If you still have a turkey neck in your refrigerator left over from your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you should discard it immediately, it’s probably long past rotten. After you have done that, proceed to your local butcher shop, purchase a ‘fresh’ turkey neck…then make some Turkey Neck Soup for dinner tonight. Enjoy.

More Holidays

World Bipolar Day

On This Date

  • In 1822 – Florida became a U.S. territory.
  • In 1842 – Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while his patient was anesthetized by ether.
  • In 1855 – About 5,000 “Border Ruffians” from western Missouri invaded the territory of Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. It was the first election in Kansas.
  • In 1867 – The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.
  • In 1870 – The 15th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by Congress.
  • In 1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union.
  • In 1909 – The Queensboro bridge in New York opened linking Manhattan and Queens. It was the first double-decker bridge.
  • In 1909 – In Oklahoma, Seminole Indians revolted against meager pay for government jobs.
  • In 1916 – Pancho Villa killed 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.
  • In 1941 – The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.
  • In 1946 – The Allies arrested 1,000 Nazis attempting to revive the Nazi party in Frankfurt.
  • In 1950 – The invention of the photo-transistor was announced.
  • In 1950 – President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.
  • In 1964 – John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.
  • In 1972 – The Eastertide Offensive began when North Vietnamese troops crossed into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the northern portion of South Vietnam.
  • In 1981 – President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded.
  • In 1982 – The space shuttle Columbia completed its third and its longest test flight after 8 days in space.
  • In 1993 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run.

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.

  • Anna Sewell 1820 – Author.
  • Vincent Van Gogh 1853 – Artist.
  • Ted Heath 1900 – Band leader.
  • Frankie Laine 1913 – Singer.
  • Peter Marshall 1926 – Game show host.
  • Richard Dysart 1929 – Actor.
  • John Astin 1930 – Actor.
  • Warren Beatty 1937 – Actor.
  • Astrud Gilberto 1940 – Singer.
  • Graeme Edge 1941 – Musician.
  • Eric Clapton 1945 – Musician.
  • Robbie Coltrane 1950 – Actor.
  • Dave Ball 1950 – Musician.
  • Randy VanWarmer 1955 – Singer, songwriter.
  • Paul Reiser 1957 – Actor.
  • M.C. Hammer 1962 – Rapper.
  • Tracy Chapman 1964 – Singer.
  • Celine Dion 1968 – Singer.
  • Norah Jones 1979 – Musician.

April 29th – Manatee Appreciation Day

March 29, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of gigantic, fresh-water, herbivorous mammals. Today is Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatee Appreciation Day is devoted to raising awareness about these quirky creatures. Manatees are calm herbivores that spend most of their time eating, sleeping, and traveling. Manatees are mostly herbivorous, however, small fish and invertebrates can sometimes be ingested along with a manatee’s normal diet of vegetation. They eat a large variety of submerged, emergent, and floating plants and can consume 10-15% of their body weight in vegetation daily. They are a migratory species, inhabiting the Florida waters during the winter and moving as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas in the warmer summer months. They are also found in parts of Mexico and the Caribbean.
These gentle giants have a lifespan of about 60 years, and the average adult manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds. Their closest zoological relatives are the elephant and the hyrax (a small, gopher-sized mammal). They have no known natural predators…except for humans.
Because they are mammals, manatees must surface to breathe air. They may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface of the water, coming up to breathe on an average of every three to five minutes. When manatees are using a great deal of energy, they may surface to breathe as often as every 30 seconds. When resting, manatees have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes. Manatees can swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts, but they usually cruise along at a more leisurely pace of about three to five miles per hour.
In the past, manatees were exploited for their meat, fat, and hides. Although some poaching of manatees still exists, they are most often fatally injured these days in collisions with boats and becoming entangled in commercial fishing nets. Add to the mix the fact that their habitat is constantly being encroached upon by development, especially in Florida, and you can see why they are on the Endangered Species list.
As far back as the early 18th century, when America was still part of the British Empire, the English declared Florida a manatee sanctuary and made manatee hunting illegal and in 1893, manatees first received protection under Florida law. In 1907, this law was revised to impose a fine of $500 and/or six months of jail time for molesting or killing a manatee. People have worked to protect this species ever since. And, their efforts have paid off. Through legislation, awareness programs, and other means, as of  January 7, 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the West Indian manatee is proposed to be down-listed from ‘endangered‘ to ‘threatened‘ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposal to downlist the manatee to threatened will not affect federal protections currently afforded by the ESA, and the Service remains committed to conservation actions to fully recover manatee populations.
Through conservation efforts, the minimum known population of manatees is estimated to be at least 13,000, with more than 6,300 in Florida. When aerial surveys began in 1991, there were only an estimated 1,267 manatees in Florida, meaning that over the last 25 years there’s been a significant increase in the species population in that state.
Authors Note: I have a soft spot in my heart for these lovable creatures. Manatees might not make the list of cutest or cuddliest of mammals, but their immense size, jowly appearance, and gentle nature make them endearing. I lived in Florida from 1976 to 1979 and had the pleasure of actually interacting with a manatee in a water park…I actually got to pet one. Bucket list item gleefully checked off.

Vietnam Veterans Day  

On this date 44 years ago, in 1973, the last 2,500 troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam, thus ending military involvement in Vietnam. At the time, it was the longest war in America’s history (since replaced by the second war in Iraq). Vietnam Veterans Day honors all of those who served in Vietnam and those who didn’t return.
Those of my generation remember how unpopular the Vietnam war was here at home and the despicable way that the returning Vietnam veterans were treated, but I won’t dwell any further on that subject. Most of us have family members who served during the Vietnam era…father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or cousin. Regardless of your feelings about the war, celebrate this holiday by giving thanks to anyone you encounter today who served in Vietnam and take a moment to honor those who didn’t return. This link offers statistics and clears up many of the misconceptions you might have, about the war.
Author’s Note: I have seen the word Vietnam also spelled as two words, Viet Nam. The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam prefers the two-word spelling and claims that the one-word “westernization” of the name of their country is insulting and incorrect. According to them, Viet and Nam are separate words, each with their own meaning, and all Vietnamese words are comprised of one syllable. I used the one-word spelling of the word because that is how it was presented in my sources.

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

“Mom and pop” businesses are the backbone of this country. However, these days, the deck seems to be stacked against them. The failure rate of a “mom and pop type of business is somewhere around 70% to 80%, yet still each day thousands of stalwart individuals take the plunge and start a new business. Today we celebrate that entrepreneurial spirit which made this great nation great. If you own a small business or have ever owned one, give yourself a pat on the back. If you have to shop for anything today, patronize the Mom & Pop store in your neighborhood rather than that National Chain or “Box Store”, even if you have to pay a little more.

Smoke and Mirrors Day  

Smoke and Mirrors Day is a day of illusions. The term “smoke and mirrors” is a euphemism used to describe the fact that things are not always as they seem. For example, magicians use smoke and mirrors to perform most of their “magic tricks”.
You see examples of smoke and mirrors every day in one form or another. The most obvious example of smoke and mirrors is ‘legalese’, that incredibly convoluted language that lawyers use in contracts and other legal documents. They are designed to make sure that no “average Joe” can understand them…therefore needing a lawyer to interpret them. Advertisers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to sell their products…and politicians are experts at smoke and mirrors. The media also use smoke and mirrors tactics in selecting which stories they cover, and/or to what extent they cover them.
To celebrate Smoke and Mirrors Day, just be aware the everything that you see and hear is first run through a “filter”. A person’s beliefs, upbringing, and environment determine how they interpret information, and you should always take that into consideration before you accept what they say as fact. One man’s Fascist is another man’s patriot.

National Little Red Wagon Day

National Little Red Wagon Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday in March and was founded by Radio Flyer in honor of their upcoming 100th anniversary. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Radio Flyer wanted to establish a holiday that not only celebrates kids’ imaginations but the vehicles that help them explore it – their wagons. The Registrar of National Day Calendar declared National Little Red Wagon Day in 2016.
For 100 years, Radio Flyer has brought smiles to kids of all ages and creating warm memories that last a lifetime. As a brand, Radio Flyer has always supported unstructured outdoor play and its positive impact on children. This iconic toy is one of the most enduring toys of all time. As the weather gets warmer and spring officially begins, National Little Red Wagon Day to encourages kids to get outside, get active and go wherever their imaginations take them. For generations, children have led little red wagons down Independence Day parade routes, carried out infinite imaginary missions and voyages of childhood fantasy. It is not unusual for a little red wagon to be handed down from one generation to the next, treasured like a family heirloom.

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day is celebrated by locals near Niagara Falls to commemorate the day, in 1848, that ice blockages caused rivers to run dry, and reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ 3,160 tons of water per second flow came to a halt (actually, the water was still flowing underneath the ice, but the surface of the ice was frozen solid). The flow over the falls was stopped for about 40 hours. It has never happened again, although it sometimes slows to a trickle during especially harsh winters.

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

An insurance salesman, aptly named Harry Baker, invented chiffon cake in the 1920’s. He sold his cakes to the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles and all of the Hollywood elites fell in love with the dessert’s lighter-than-air texture. Baker carefully guarded the recipe for over twenty years before selling it to General Mills (home of the Betty Crocker brand) for an undisclosed amount. The recipe for chiffon cake debuted in a 1948 edition of Better Homes and Gardens. General Mills marketed it as “the first new cake in 100 years” and it quickly became a nationwide sensation. The secret recipe called for vegetable oil instead of butter or shortening and instructed the baker to beat the egg whites and egg yolks separately. There are many flavors of chiffon cake, but today’s reason to celebrate is; lemon.  However, if you choose to celebrate one of the other flavors; including chocolate, orange, walnut, and/or maple, no one will be the wiser.

More Holidays

Knights of Columbus Founders Day

Texas Love the Children Day

On This Date

  • In 1638 – First permanent European settlement in Delaware was established.
  • In 1847 – U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott took possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.
  • In 1903 – A regular news service began between New York and London on Marconi’s wireless.
  • In 1906 – In the United States, 500,000 coal miners walked off the job seeking higher wages.
  • In 1912 – Explorer Robert Scott made his final diary entry. Scott wrote: “We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.” The British explorer and his companions died on an expedition to the South Pole.
  • In 1932 – Jack Benny made his radio debut.
  • In 1943 – America began rationing of meat, butter and cheese began during World War II.
  • In 1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed on June 19, 1953.
  • In 1961 – The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment allowed residents of Washington, DC, to vote for president.
  • In 1962 – Cuba opened the trial of the Bay of Pigs invaders.
  • In 1962 – Jack Paar made his final appearance on the “Tonight” show.
  • In 1971 – A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. The death sentences were commuted to life prison in 1972 when the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.
  • In 1971 – Lt. William Calley Jr., of the U.S. Army, was found guilty of the premeditated murder of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians. He was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. The trial was the result of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968.
  • In 1973 – The last United States troops left South Vietnam.
  • In 1974 – The Terracotta Army was discovered in Xi’an, China. The famous collection of some 8000 soldier sculptures, depicting Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s army, was located by local farmers when they were digging a water well.
  • In 1974 – The United States space probe Mariner 10 became the first spacecraft to reach the planet, Mercury. It had been launched on November 3, 1973.
  • In 1974 – Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. All the guardsmen were later acquitted.
  • In 1975 – Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declared that he would reopen the Suez Canal on June 5, 1975.
  • In 1979 – The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.
  • In 1992 – Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton said “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again” in reference to when he had experimented with marijuana.
  • In 1993 – Clint Eastwood won his first Oscars. He won them for best film and best director for the film “Unforgiven.”
  • In 1995 – The House of Representatives rejected a constitutional amendment that would have limited terms to 12 years in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • In 1999 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time.
  • In 2004 – Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in all workplaces. Contrary to initial concerns, the ban had no adverse economic effects, and soon several other countries passed similar legislation. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco smoke is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally.
  • In 2010 – Two Chechen suicide bombers detonated their devices in the Moscow underground. 40 people died in the attack allegedly carried out by so-called “black widows”, or Islamist Chechen female suicide bombers.

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.

  • John Tyler 1790 – 10th POTUS.
  • Cy Young 1867 – Early baseball pitcher.
  • Phillip Ahn 1905 – Actor.
  • Phil Foster 1914 – Actor.
  • Eugene McCarthy 1916 – Politician.
  • Sam Walton 1918 – Entrepreneur.
  • Pearl Bailey 1918 – Actress, singer.
  • John McLaughlin 1927 – TV host.
  • Judith Guest 1936 – Author.
  • Vangelis 1943 – Composer.
  • Eric Idle 1943 – Comedian.
  • Terry Jacks 1944 – Singer.
  • Bud Cort 1950 – Actor.
  • Chris Lawford 1955 – Actor.
  • Kurt Thomas 1956 – Olympic gymnast.
  • Christopher Lambert 1957 – Actor.
  • Amy Sedaris 1961 – Comedian, actress.
  • Elle MacPherson 1964 – Model.
  • Lucy Lawless 1968 – Actress.
  • Jennifer Capriati 1976 – Tennis player.

March 28th – Weed Appreciation Day

March 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my gardeners. Today is Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Weed Appreciation Day

Before you aging hippies start salivating in anticipation, I should warn you that this holiday does not refer to that kind of ‘weed’ (that holiday comes next month). Weed Appreciation Day refers to your common, run-of-the-mill, everyday garden variety of weed.
Weeds are and important part of the ecosystem. Many birds and insects rely on weeds as their primary source of food. Many varieties of weeds, such as Dandelion, are edible and rich in vitamins and minerals. I suggest, however, that before you run willy-nilly through your yard picking weeds for your dinner salad at random, you do extensive research first. Some weeds are poisonous. This link includes a list of edible weeds that may be growing in your yard.
Someone once told me that there are no such thing as weeds – merely plants which you deem unworthy of being in your yard. In the interest of inclusion, my entire lawn is composed mostly of weeds. After all, who am I to judge which plant is worthy of a place in my yard.

Respect Your Cat Day  

Anyone who is owned by a cat, or who has ever been owned by a cat, knows that every day is Respect Your Cat Day. Cats demand and expect respect at all times…regardless of the day, month or year.
This holiday is obviously an idea conceived by a cabal of felines who cast an evil spell on their owners and made them create Respect Your Cat Day to pay homage to them – and as just another step in their quest for world dominance.
To be safe, show your feline furbaby a little extra love, give them a few treats, and a little extra kibble today.

National Hot Tub Day

Spring has sprung, the weather is getting warmer, but it still may be a bit nippy in the evening. Winter is over, and everything is showing new signs of life and rejuvenation. Why should you be any different? What better time to enjoy a relaxing soak in your hot tub? Turn on some calming music and set the ambiance with some mood lighting, and you have the right ingredients to finally escape from the doldrums of winter. Sit back, chill and feel all the tensions of the world melt away in the warm embrace of the bubbles and steam. Sip one of your favorite beverages, adult or otherwise, and relax until you become a “happy prune”.

Eggsibit Day

With Easter fast approaching, it is time to think about festively decorated ovum once again and perhaps honing your ovum decorating skills with a practice session before the “big day”.
Eggsibit Day is an eggstraordinary holiday celebrated annually on March 28th. Eggsibits (art exhibits of beautifully decorated eggs) take place each spring worldwide. At these annual Eggsibit Day events, judges from the National Egg Art Guild award prizes for the most original, the most beautiful, and the most humorous egg designs.
People have been decorating eggs for centuries. One of the most traditional forms of this ancient art is the wax-resist method, which is popular in eastern Europe. Artists use a stylus to create a design on the egg with melted beeswax before dipping it in the dye. The wax seals that section of the design so it doesn’t absorb the color. They adjust the wax and repeat the process with different colored dyes to create an intricate pattern.
To celebrate Eggsibit Day, host your own eggsibit event. Invite some friends over for an eggciting evening of decorating and fun.

Barnum and Bailey Day  

On this date in 1881, P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey merged their circuses to form the “Greatest Show on Earth.” They parted ways in 1885, but again re-united in 1888. In 1907, the Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum and Bailey Circus, however, they ran them independently. When running them this way became too expensive, they decided to merge them again. So, in 1919, on the 38th anniversary of their original merger, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus that we all know and love today, was created; much to the delight of children of all ages.

Children’s Picture Book Day

Many of our fondest lie in images of our own favorite picture books or the picture books we read to our children. From Dr. Seuss and classic fairy tales to books about curious monkeys, engines that could, magic dragons and even a big red dog, picture books captured and catapulted our imaginations and those of our children to a world beyond. Picture books are usually the first books children “read”. Picture books show creativity and humor in pictures and often include a valuable life lesson for young readers. These beautifully illustrated books help children begin their life-long love of reading.
In honor of Children’s Picture Book Day, why not take revisit one or two of your favorite picture books for old-times’-sake? Picture books prove the old adage that, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.”

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

American Diabetes Association Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March. The American Diabetes Association created this holiday as part of its awareness programs in 1986.  It has been a part of their growing diabetes education and prevention efforts in the United States ever since. American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a one-day “wake-up call” to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes and encourages everyone to take the diabetes risk test and learn about your family’s history of diabetes.

Something On A Stick Day

Americans love food on a stick. From lollipops, popsicles, candy apples, and corn dogs, to gourmet shrimp skewers and Shish-Kabobs, almost any meat or vegetable can be eaten on a stick. You even eat those little cocktail wieners and cheese cubes from the appetizer tray with toothpicks…a form of a stick Heck, you can even eat cake on a stick. The “trendy” thing these days is cake-pops (crumbled cake mixed with frosting, formed into a ball and put on a stick). JEEZ.
To celebrate Something On A Stick Day, plan your own “food-on-a-stick” menu. From appetizers to main courses to desserts, everything you eat today should be served on a stick. Be creative, and enjoy.

Eat an Eskimo Pie Day

Eat an Eskimo Pie Day celebrates one of America’s favorite frozen treats – the Eskimo Pie. Eskimo Pie is an ice cream confection, the brand name for a chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar wrapped in foil.  The Eskimo Pie was invented by a high school teacher named Christian Kent Nelson. It is skewered onto a thin wooden stick, which is used as a handle to make it easier to eat. It was the first such dessert sold in the United States.
Although Eat an Eskimo Pie Day is not celebrated on the date that Mr. Nelson was granted his patent as one might logically infer, it is celebrated on the date that he was born (in 1893). According to legend, Mr. Nelson pursued the idea for a chocolate coated ice cream bar in Onawa, Iowa in 1920. After experimenting with different ways to adhere melted chocolate to blocks of ice cream, Nelson began selling his invention under the name “I-Scream Bars”. In 1921, he filed for a patent which was issued on January 24, 1922. The I-Scream-Bar was an immediate success. Somewhere along the way, Mr. Nelson partnered with chocolate manufacturer Russell Stover to mass-produce the “I-Scream-Bar” under the new trademarked name “Eskimo Pie” (suggested by Clara Stover, Russell Stover’s wife). No one knows the reason for the name change.
You don’t need to be a member of the “intellectual elite” to know how to celebrate Eat an Eskimo Pie Day. All you need to do is eat an Eskimo Pie.

National Black Forest Cake Day

Black Forest cake is the English name for the German dessert Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, meaning “Black Forest cherry torte.” The name is derived not from the ingredients of the cake, but rather, is named after the specialty liquor (Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser) of the region of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain range in southwestern Germany.
Black Forest cake is most commonly made of several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. The cake is then decorated with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some traditional recipes, sour cherries are used between the layers and a Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake. In the United States, alcohol is usually not used, but sometimes in America, it is made by substituting a fruit syrup for the spirits. In Germany, the liqueur is a mandatory ingredient. Otherwise, the cake can not legally be sold under the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte name.
To celebrate National Black Forest Cake Day, simply enjoy a slice of Black Forest Cake. If you don’t want to make one, you can usually find them sold in larger supermarkets.
Author’s note: I don’t think that Black Forest Cake will pair well with ‘Something-On-A-Stick’ Day, but feel free to try. Let me know how it works out.

On This Date

  • In 1797 – Nathaniel Briggs patented a washing machine.
  • In 1834 – The Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.
  • In 1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks, and trees.”
  • In 1885 – The Salvation Army was officially organized in the U.S.
  • In  1898 – The Supreme Court ruled that children born in the United States to Chinese immigrants were United States citizens. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  • In 1908 – Automobile owners lobbied the U.S. Congress, supporting a bill that called for vehicle licensing and federal registration.
  • In 1910 – The first seaplane took off from water at Martinques, France. French inventor Henri Fabre’s Canard (Fabre Hydravion) was the first floatplane to take off from water under its own power. The first flight measured 457 meters and was piloted by the inventor, Henri Fabre, himself.
  • In 1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.
  • In 1921 – U.S. President Warren Harding named William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.
  • In 1922 – Bradley A. Fiske patented a microfilm reading device.
  • In 1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions, and schools.
  • In 1938 – In Italy, psychiatrists demonstrated the use of electric-shock therapy for treatment of certain mental illnesses.
  • In 1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.
  • In 1947 – The American Helicopter Society revealed a flying device that could be strapped to a person’s body.
  • In 1962 – The U.S. Air Force announced research into the use of lasers to intercept missiles and satellites.
  • In 1963 – Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds was released. The film about a swarm of birds wreaking havoc in Bodega Bay, California has become a classic of the horror movie genre.
  • In 1968 – The United States lost its first F-111 aircraft in Vietnam when it vanished while on a combat mission. North Vietnam claimed that they had shot it down.
  • In 1969 – Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower died.
  • In 1969 – Greek poet Giorgos Seferis spoke out against the military junta. The Nobel Prize laureate issued his statement against Greece’s repressive right-wing Regime of the Colonels on the BBC World Service.
  • In 1974 – A streaker ran onto the set of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.”
  • In 1979 – A major accident occurred at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Three Mile Island nuclear power plant experienced a partial meltdown and radioactive leak. The coolant leak was the worst commercial nuclear accident in the United States. A continuous string of nuclear disasters, such as Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986), and Fukushima (2011) continue to raise doubts about the security and environmental benefit of nuclear power.
  • In 1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from President George H.W. Bush. The African-American athlete dominated the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, which were held during the height of the reign of Adolf Hitler’s racist nazi regime.

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.

  • Santi Raphael 1483 – Artist.
  • Paul Whiteman 1890 – Band leader.
  • August Busch 1899 – Brewer.
  • Frank Lovejoy 1912 – Actor.
  • Dirk Bogarde 1921 – Actor.
  • Conchata Ferrell 1943 – Actress.
  • Ken Howard 1944 – Actor.
  • Dianne Wiest 1948 – Actress.
  • Ronnie Ray Smith 1949 – Olympic athlete.
  • Reba McEntire 1955 – Singer.
  • Tracey Needham 1967 – Actress.
  • Max Perlich 1968 – Actor.
  • Vince Vaughn 1969 – Actor.
  • Brett Ratner 1969 – Actor.
  • Annie Wershing 1977 – Actress.
  • Julia Stiles 1981 – Actress.
  • Lady Gaga 1986 – Pop Star.

 

March 27th – Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

March 27, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning Country Music fans. Today is Monday, March 27, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day pays tribute to those unique country songs with titles that always put a smile on your face…no matter how much you are cringing on the inside.
Country music evolved from Appalachian folk music in the 1920’s and became a nationwide sensation in the 1940’s, when The Grand Ole Opry radio station in Nashville, Tennessee began broadcasting weekly concerts which showcased all the different genres of country music; hillbilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, western, rockabilly, and gospel.
If you’re from my generation, you probably remember the song, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” – by Little Jimmy Dickens…truly a timeless classic. But that song is by no means singular in the class of Country Music songs with “quirky” titles.
Below are a ‘baker’s dozen’ more quirky country music song titles that you may or may not, remember:

  1. “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly” – by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty.
  2. “Thank God And Greyhound You’re Gone” – by Roy Clark.
  3. “You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd” – by Roger Miller.
  4. “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim Is Gettin’ Better.” – by Billy Boil.
  5. “If I Had A Nose Full of Nickels, I’d Sneeze Them Atchoo” – by Lou Carter.
  6. “Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart” – by Johnny Cash.
  7. “How Come Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You” – by Glen Campbell.
  8. “Too Much Month Left (At the End of the Money)” – by Marty Stuart.
  9. “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed” – by Kinky Friedman.
  10. “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” – by Joe Nichols.
  11. “How Can I miss You If You Won’t Go Away” – by Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks.
  12. “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” – by Kenny Chesney.
  13. “She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart” – by Homer and Jethro.

I’m sure that many of you true Country Music fans can add even more ‘quirky country music song titles’ to this list.

Celebrate Exchange Day

Celebrate Exchange Day celebrates the National Exchange Club. The National Exchange Club is a service organization with 700 clubs and more than 20,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1911 in Detroit by business leaders who wanted to “exchange” ideas on making their community better, the Exchange Club moved its headquarters to Toledo in 1917. Its core values –  Family, Community, and Country are held by each Exchange member with pride and commitment. The members advised each other,  shared information, and arranged activities to benefit their communities such as supporting youth programs, preventing crime, helping senior citizens, members of the military, and more. For over a hundred years, Exchange Club’s volunteer efforts have supported the needs of the country and of local communities, making it America’s oldest service organization.

National Joe Day  

When I first read the title of this holiday, I thought that the term “Joe” referred to coffee, but that is not the case. It instead honors people named “Joe”. It also encourages everyone else to change their name to “Joe” today (Women can use Josie or Josephine). But, why Joe? Why not Bob, or Jim or Heathcliffe? Well, apparently, Joe seems to be a name that most everyone likes and trusts for some reason.
So, if you dislike your name, or if you simply want to amuse yourself, celebrate National Joe Day by insisting that everyone you encounter today call you Joe.

International Whisk(e)y Day

The first thing you probably noticed is the way the word whisk(e)y in International Whisk(e)y Day is spelled. Both variations of the spelling of the word are derived from the Classical Gaelic word uisce, meaning “water”. The difference in the spelling of the words comes from different translations of the word from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms. In Scotland and Canada, whisky is spelled without the “e”; whereas, in Ireland and America, whiskey is spelled with the “e”. For purposes of continuity, henceforth, I will use the Irish form, whiskey.
Whiskey is the result of a distillation process, a chemical/alchemical process dating back as far as Ancient Babylon. While the beverage they created was much cruder than modern-day whiskeys, it was known that the process was available to them.
All whiskey starts with a ‘mash’, a mixture of grain and water that is slowly heated to break down the starch in it into sugars. The result of this process is then known as a wort. The kind of grain you use determines what kind of whiskey you end up with. Bourbon starts from a mash that is 51% or more corn base, though it becomes a Corn Whiskey once it reaches 81%. Malt whiskey is made from 51% malted barley, while Rye is 51% plain Rye. Malted Rye is a specialized version made from a base of Malted Rye, and Wheat Whiskey, as you might suspect, is made from Wheat. No matter what grain is used, all of these are considered kinds of whiskey.
Celebrating International Whisk(e)y Day is simple. Simply enjoy an ounce (or two) of your favorite whiskey. Even better, invite a few (legal aged) friends to join you.
*Always drink responsibly!

National Spanish Paella Day  

Basically, paella is a meal that makes use of what is at hand; local, fresh, and available. Every cuisine has one – a one-pot meal, a peasant dish that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. Louisiana has jambalaya. Chile has the cazuela. There’s Irish Stew and Pad Thai. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella.
Paella, in its modern form, originated in the mid-19th century in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. The original Valencian dish was a mixture of meat, snails, beans and green vegetables. There two basic variations on the original recipe. Seafood paella, as the name suggests, eliminates the meat in favor of all seafood, a popular meal for Friday observances. Mixed paellas are more akin to the original but usually include chicken instead of the traditional rabbit, and shellfish instead of snails. Perhaps, the most distinctive characteristic of any paella is the bright yellow rice, all thanks to a generous dose of saffron.
The key to making a good paella is the layering flavors. You should be able to taste each individual ingredient…no one ingredient should be overpowering.
To celebrate National Spanish Paella Day, make your favorite version of paella for dinner tonight.

More Holidays

World Theater Day

On This Date

  • In 1794 – Congress and President Washington authorized the creation of the United States Navy.
  • In 1814 – United States troops under Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend in Northern Alabama.
  • In 1836 – In Goliad, TX, about 350 Texan prisoners, including their commander James Fannin, were executed under orders from Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna. An estimated 30 Texans escaped execution.
  • In 1836 – The first Mormon temple was dedicated in Kirtland, OH.
  • In 1841 – The first steam fire engine was tested in New York City.
  • In 1860 – The corkscrew was patented by M.L. Byrn.
  • In 1866 – President Andrew Johnson vetoed the civil rights bill, which later became the 14th amendment.
  • In 1871 – England and Scotland competed in the first international rugby match. Like association football (soccer), rugby is a British invention. Today, it is a popular sport mainly in large parts of the British Commonwealth.
  • In 1904 – Mary Jarris “Mother” Jones was ordered by Colorado state authorities to leave the state. She was accused of stirring up striking coal miners.
  • In 1912 – The first cherry blossom trees were planted in Washington, DC. The trees were a gift from Japan.
  • In 1931 – Actor Charlie Chaplin received France’s Legion of Honor decoration.
  • In 1933 – About 55,000 people staged a protest against Hitler in New York City.
  • In 1941 – Tokeo Yoshikawa arrived in Oahu, HI, and began spying for Japan on the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
  • In 1942 – The British raided the Nazi submarine base at St. Nazaire, France.
  • In 1952 – The U.S. Eighth Army reached the 38th parallel in Korea, the original dividing line between the two Koreas.
  • In 1955 – Steve McQueen made his network TV debut on “Goodyear Playhouse.”
  • In 1964 – An earthquake in Alaska killed 114 people and registered 8.4 on the Richter Scale.
  • In 1968 – Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the earth, died in a plane crash.
  • In 1976 – Washington, DC, opened its subway system.
  • In 1977 – The worst air crash in history occurred in Tenerife, Spain. 583 people died when 2 Boeing 747 aircraft collided on the runway.
  • In 1980 – The oil rig Alexander L. Kjelland collapsed in high winds in the North Sea. Only 89 of 212 crew survived the Norwegian platform’s capsizing, which was caused by a fatigue crack in one of the legs.
  • In 1988 – The Senate ratified the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
  • In 1992 – Police in Philadelphia, PA, arrested a man with AIDS on charges that he may have infected several hundred teenage boys with HIV through sexual relations.
  • In 1994 – Silvio Berlusconi rose to power in Italy. In his 20 years in Italian politics, Berlusconi arguably made more headlines for his numerous affairs and scandals than for his policies. In 2013, he was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for tax fraud.
  • In 1998 – Viagra was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer’s pill was the first drug for treating male impotence to be approved in the United States. In 2012, the company made 2 billion dollars in the United States from Viagra alone.
  • In 2002 – Rodney Dangerfield received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 2007 – NFL owners voted to make instant replay a permanent officiating tool.

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.

  • Louis XVII 1785 – King of France.
  • Nathaniel Currier 1813 –Lithographer.
  • William Conrad Rontgen 1845 – Physicist.
  • Sir Henry Royce 1863 – Car designer.
  • Gloria Swanson 1899 – Actress.
  • Richard Denning 1914 – Actor.
  • Sarah Vaughan 1924 – Jazz singer.
  • David Janssen 1931 – Actor.
  • Judy Carne 1939 – Actress.
  • Michael York 1942 – Actor.
  • Maria Schneider 1952 – Actress.
  • Xuxa 1963 – Singer, actress.
  • Quentin Tarantino 1963 – Movie director.
  • Talisa Soto 1967 – Actress.
  • Pauley Perrette 1969 – Actress.
  • Mariah Carey 1970 – Singer.
  • Elizabeth Mitchell 1970 – Actress.
  • Nathan Fillion 1971 – Actor.
  • Fergie 1975 – Singer.
  • Emily Ann Lloyd 1983 – Actress.
  • Brenda Song 1988 – Actress.
  • Taylor Atelian 1995 – Actress.
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