March 2nd – Same $h*t, Different Day

March 2, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my mundane minions. Today is Thursday, March 2, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Old Stuff Day  

Contrary to the opinions of some, Old Stuff Day does not reference yours truly.  It refers instead to breaking free from your humdrum existence and trying something new.
When you ask someone “How is it going?”, how often do they reply “Not much, same old stuff.” How sad. If you find that you’ve grown bored with your routine, Old Stuff Day is a time to shake things up a bit. I don’t mean having cereal instead of toast for breakfast this morning. I mean real change, doing something challenging: Learn how to set the clock on your car radio or DVD player; start growing a beard (not recommended for my female readers unless you plan to make the circus a career); learn to play the bongos or a kazoo; start a garden so that you can grow your own vegetables; climb Mt. Everest. Well, OK, that last one may seem a bit extreme, but you get the idea. Step out of “the box” and do something today that is out of your comfort zone or normal range of expertise.
Author’s Note: While the majority of my sources interpreted Old Stuff Day as I did above, one source interpreted this holiday to mean that you should go through your closets, garage, attic or basement and sort through your ‘old stuff’. They interpreted it as a time to reflect and reminisce. Just be careful if you agree with this interpretation of Old Stuff Day. Don’t get carried away and start throwing things away, you don’t want to turn this holiday into “spring cleaning” – there is another holiday for that later this year.

World Book Day

World Book Day was created on April 23rd, 1995, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The connection between that date and books, however, was made in Spain in 1923, as it is the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, a prominent Spanish Chronicler.
Books have educated and inspired us for thousands of years. However, books did not always look the way they do today. When writing systems were invented in ancient civilizations thousands of years ago, clay tablets were used. Later, the Egyptians started using papyrus to print their books, but they were still written by hand. In the 3rd century, the Chinese began making something that resembled today’s books in that they assembled their writings into numerous thick, bamboo pages sewn together. Then, in the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press brought books into the industrial age, making them readily available to anyone who wanted to read them, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Some people like to read biographies of famous people, some people like fiction with stories that transport them to another time, place, or even another dimension, and still others prefer to read the classics. But no matter your favorite genre, the indisputable truth is that the world would not be the same without books. World Book Day is the time to curl up on the couch with your favorite beverage and savor the contents of a treasured book.

Read Across America Day

And, while we are on the subject of books and reading, today is also Read Across America Day – which urges us to try to instill a love of reading in our children.
Read Across America Day is always celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss…unless it falls on a weekend, in which case it is celebrated on the closest school day. The birthday of Dr. Seuss was appropriately adopted as the annual date to celebrate Read Across America Day, because who better to spark an interest in reading among young people than Dr. Seuss?
Read Across America Day was the initiative of the NEA and was created in 1997 – with the intended purpose of encouraging an interest in reading among young people.

Dr. Seuss Day

Today we celebrate the birth, in 1904, of Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. He is best known for writing children’s books (he wrote 46 of them), but he also worked as an illustrator and a political cartoonist. He occasionally published under the pen-name Theo Le Seig as well, and in one instance, Rosetta Stone.
Author’s Note: In American English, Dr. Seuss is pronounced as Dr. Soose, and that is the way that he pronounced when referencing his books. However, his family, who were immigrants from Germany, pronounced ‘Seuss’ as ‘Zoice‘. So, to be correct, if you are referencing one of his books, you pronounce ‘Seuss’ as ‘Soose’, but if you are referencing the author by name, Theodore Seuss Geisel, you should pronounce ‘Seuss’ as ‘Zoice‘.

National Banana Cream Pie Day

Bananas arrived in the United States in the 1880’s and by the early 1900s, banana recipes appeared in every major cookbook across the country. Banana Cream pie is consistently on the list of America’s favorite desserts. The cream pie filling is traditionally made with milk, cream, flour and eggs to create a custard. You could also use a package of “pudding and pie filling” mix to make a pie quicker and easier, but to me, it never turns out quite right. There is no one “right way” to make a banana cream pie. Some people prefer a pastry crust while others prefer a graham cracker or Nilla Wafer™ crust. (My preferred crust is graham cracker). I’ve never tried it, but I think that an Oreo crust would be delicious as well. Banana Cream Pie is traditionally served with a dollop of whipped cream (hence the word ‘cream’ in the name) as a topping. I have heard of people using meringue instead of whipped cream as a topping, but then it is NOT “Banana Cream Pie”, is it? It is “Banana Meringue Pie”. The cream vs meringue debate reminds me of an anecdote:

Years ago when I was an over-the-road truck driver, I stopped at a “national chain” truck stop for dinner. After dinner, I ordered a slice of Banana Cream Pie for dessert. The waitress brought out a piece of Banana Pie with meringue on it. Naturally, I complained. I said, “I ordered Banana Cream Pie. This is Banana Meringue Pie.” To which she actually replied, “Meringue, cream, what’s the difference?” I looked at her totally dumbfounded and said, “I don’t know sweetheart, what’s the difference between a chicken and a cow?”  

Whichever way you like it, enjoy a slice of Banana Cream Pie for dessert tonight.

On this date

  • In 1807 – Congress passed an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”
  • In 1836 – Texas declared its independence from Mexico and an ad interim government was formed.
  • In 1861 – Congress created the Territory of Nevada.
  • In 1877 – Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election by Congress. Samuel J. Tilden, however, had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.
  • In 1897 – President Cleveland vetoed legislation that would have required a literacy test for immigrants entering the country.
  • In 1899 – Mount Rainier National Park in Washington was established by Congress.
  • In 1899 – President McKinley signed a measure that created the rank of Admiral for the U.S. Navy. The first Navy admiral was George Dewey.
  • In 1917 – The Russian Revolution began with Czar Nicholas II abdicating.
  • In 1917 – Citizens of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship with the enactment of the Jones Act.
  • In 1925 – State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker.
  • In 1933 – The motion picture “King Kong” had its world premiere in New York.
  • In 1939 – The Massachusetts legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. These first ten amendments had gone into effect 147 years before.
  • In 1946 – Ho Chi Minh was elected President of Vietnam.
  • In 1949 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II landed in Fort Worth, TX. The American plane had completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight.
  • In 1959 – Miles Davis recorded “Kind of Blue”. It is considered the best-selling jazz album in history and one of the most influential works of jazz music ever produced.
  • In 1969 – In Toulouse, France, the supersonic transport Concorde made its maiden flight. The supersonic airliner was retired in 2003, after Air France Flight 4590 crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000.
  • In 1970 – Rhodesia declared itself an independent republic by severing its ties with the United Kingdom. White Prime Minister Ian Smith attempted to prevent the institution of black majority rule.
  • In 1974 – Postage stamps jumped from 8 to 10 cents for first-class mail.
  • In 1987 – The United States government reported that the median price for a new home had gone over $100,000 for the first time.
  • In 1995 – Scientists discovered the “top quark”. The existence of this elementary particle, the bottom quark’s counterpart, had been presumed since the 1970’s.
  • In 1998 – The U.N. Security Council endorsed U.N. chief Kofi Annan’s deal to open Iraq’s presidential palaces to arms inspectors.
  • In 1998 – Images from the American spacecraft Galileo indicated that the Jupiter moon Europa has a liquid ocean and a source of interior heat.
  • In 2003 – Over the Sea of Japan, there was a confrontation between four armed North Korean fighter jets and a U.S. RC-135S Cobra Ball. No shots were fired in the encounter in international airspace about 150 miles off North Korea’s coast. The U.S. Air Force announced that it would resume reconnaissance flights on March 12.
  • In 2004 – NASA announced that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water had existed on Mars in the past.

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.

  • Sam Houston 1793 – First President of the Republic of Texas.
  • Kurt Weill 1900 – German/American composer.
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) 1904 – Writer, poet, and cartoonist
  • Desi Arnaz 1917 – Entertainer.
  • Jennifer Jones 1919 – Actress.
  • John Cullum 1930 – Actor.
  • Tom Wolfe 1931 – Author.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev 1931 – Former Soviet President.
  • Barbara Luna 1939 – Actress.
  • John Irving 1942 – Author.
  • Karen Carpenter 1950 – Singer (The Carpenters).
  • Cassie Yates 1951 – Actress.
  • John Cowsill 1956 – Musician (The Cowsills)
  • Jon Bon Jovi 1962 – Musician (Bon Jovi).
  • Daniel Craig 1968 – Actor.
  • Heather McComb 1977 – Actress.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard 1981 – Actress.
  • Ben Roethlisberger 1982 – Football player.
  • Robert Iler 1985 – Actor.
  • Reggie Bush 1985 – Football player.

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