March 4th – Are You a Grammar Nazi?

March 4, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning grammarians. Today is Saturday, March 4, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Grammar Day

If you grind your teeth every time you hear or read bad grammar, then you’ll be happy to know that today is National Grammar Day. Founded in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and author of the book “Things that makes us [sic]”, this holiday urges us to harken back to your grammar school days and practice good grammar in all of our correspondence and verbal communications today – which we should be doing every day anyway. There are over 1-million words (arguably more) in the English language and knowing how to use them effectively can be satisfying both on a personal and professional level.
According to Dictionary.com, grammar is the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; knowledge or usage of the preferred or prescribed forms in speaking or writing. In today’s society, communication is key. The ability to communicate is vital to success, and one of the most effective communication skills is the use of proper grammar.
Though it might be personally gratifying at times, being a Grammar Nazi is not the way to celebrate National Grammar Day. Instead, lead by example. Make sure you use proper grammar when speaking to people and in all of your written communications today. If you need are a little rusty, there are a number of places online, such as Grammarly and Grammar Check, that will help you become a better writer and speaker.
Author’s Note: I am not the best grammarian, but thanks to Grammarly, I at least know the basics. Since I am retired now, and spend way too much time on “social media” websites, I am saddened to see the amount of blatant grammatical errors used. There, their, and they’re; your and you’re; it’s and its; affect and effect; even accept and except, are but a few examples. The list is endless. I can only hope that a majority of these grammatical errors are just typos, or are done in the interest of humor or brevity (140 characters or less), but I’m not too sure about that. Even on so-called major news websites, you can find blatant grammatical mistakes that should have never made it past an editor. If this trend is any indication of the literacy of our country as a whole, we’re in a lot of trouble.

March Forth (Do Something) Day 

March Forth (Do Something) Day is a little known holiday that was created by Deborah Shouse, a famous writer, speaker, and creativity coach. It is, of course, a play on the words ‘forth’ and ‘fourth’ which is why it is celebrated on March 4th. It invites us to ‘march forth’ into our lives, take on new experiences, and celebrate our accomplishments. Here are a few things you can do to participate in this holiday:

  1.  Take some quiet time for yourself to reflect on your life and the year that just passed.
  2.  Write down a list of goals that you would like to achieve by March 4th of next year.
  3.  Try something new on March 4th. Explore a new hobby or tackle a fun project that you haven’t made time for.
  4. Spend some time during the day doing something just for yourself.

Celebrate March Forth by pampering yourself. Take a long hot bubble bath, crawl into bed with a good book, or go for a long walk.

Hug A GI Day

Today is a day that we all can embrace. Give a great big hug to any and all GIs you see today. The men and women in our armed forces deserve our thanks and appreciation. Our Soldiers, Sailors Airmen, and Marines perform an invaluable service to our country. They risk their lives for our freedom, and to keep us safe. A simple hug is small thanks for this vital service to our country. If you are uncomfortable with physical contact with a stranger, you can still participate. If you encounter a GI today walk up to him/her and say “Thank You”. If you encounter them in a restaurant, discretely pay for their meal. I’ve done that before. It’s a good feeling.

Iditarod

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race which begins on the first Saturday in March. The course runs from Anchorage Alaska to Nome Alaska. Mushers (the ones who handle the sled and the dogs) and teams of 16 dogs, at least 6 of which must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance which can take from 9–15 days, or more. The exact measured distance of the race varies from year to year but is officially set at 1,049 miles.
The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today’s highly competitive race. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2014 by Dallas Seavey with a time of 8 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes, and 19 seconds. As of 2012, Dallas Seavey was also the youngest musher to win the race at the age of 25, while as of 2013, at the age of 53, Dallas’ father Mitch Seavey was the oldest person to ever win the race.
This link will give you more specific details about the race and its history.

Old Inauguration Day

March 4 was the date set for beginning the US presidential term of office, 1789–1933. Although the Continental Congress had set the first Wednesday in March 1789 as the date for the new government to convene, a quorum was not present to count the electoral votes until Apr 6. Though George Washington’s term of office began on Mar 4, he did not take the oath of office until Apr 30, 1789. All subsequent presidential terms (except successions following the death of an incumbent), until Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term, began Mar 4. The 20th Amendment (ratified Jan 23, 1933) provided that “the terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”

National Pound Cake Day

The origins of pound cake can be traced back to at least the beginning of the 18th century  Pound Cake Day celebrates this simple, yet extravagant, dessert. While the pound cake is one of the better-known pastries in many different cultures, few are aware of how the name originated. The name pound cake is derived from the ingredients used to make it: one pound of butter, one pound of eggs, one pound of flour, and one pound of sugar. Some say that this was done so that those who were unable to read would be able to memorize the recipe. Although literacy rates have dramatically increased, our love of sweet cakes has remained constant. For this reason, pound cake is just as popular today as it was centuries ago.

More Holidays

The rest of the holidays on this holiday-laden day are listed below. As always, I linked each one to a website that will give you more information if one piques your interest.

On This Date

  • In 1681 – England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania.
  • In 1766 – The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies.
  • In 1789 – The U.S. Constitution went into effect. The law is one of the world’s oldest constitutions still in use. The oldest is the Constitution of San Marino, which was issued in 1600.
  • In 1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by Congress. The Amendment limited the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well.
  • In 1791 – Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state. It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies.
  • In 1826 – The first railroad in the U.S. was chartered. It was the Granite Railway in Quincy, MA.
  • In 1837 – The state of Illinois granted a city charter to Chicago.
  • In 1861 – The Confederate States of America adopted the “Stars and Bars” flag.
  • In 1902 – The American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago.
  • In 1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.
  • In 1918 – The first documented cases of the Spanish flu heralded a deadly worldwide pandemic. The disease quickly spread around the world, causing over 25 million deaths.
  • In 1925 – Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office in Washington, DC. The presidential inauguration was broadcast on radio for the first time.
  • In 1933 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gave his inauguration speech in which he said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
  • In 1952 – Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married.
  • In 1954 – In Boston, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital reported the first successful kidney transplant.
  • In 1974 – “People” magazine was sold for the first time.
  • In 1975 – Queen Elizabeth knighted Charlie Chaplin.
  • In 1977 – The Vrancea earthquake claimed over 1500 lives. Most of the victims were residents of Romania’s capital Bucharest.
  • In 1980 – Robert Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister. A hero of the black struggle against the white minority rule in his country, Mugabe won a landslide victory. More recently, his oppressive style of leadership has been condemned domestically and internationally.
  • In 1997 – President Clinton barred federal spending on human cloning.
  • In 1998 – The Supreme Court said that federal law banned on-the-job sexual harassment even when both parties are the same sex.
  • In 1999 – Monica Lewinsky’s book about her affair with U.S. President Clinton went on sale in the U.S.
  • In 2007 – The world’s first national internet election was held. Estonia was the first country to allow its citizens to vote in a parliamentary election through the world-wide-web.

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.

  • Antonio Vivaldi 1678 – Composer.
  • Sir Henry Raeburn 1756 – Artist.
  • Knute Rockne 1888 – Football player.
  • Charles Goren 1901 – Bridge player.
  • John Garfield 1913 – Actor.
  • Miriam Makeba 1932 – Singer.
  • Barbara McNair 1934 – Actress/singer.
  • Paula Prentiss 1939 – Actress.
  • Susan Clark 1944 – Actress.
  • Rick Perry 1950 – Politician (Governor of Texas).
  • Kay Lenz 1953 – Actress.
  • Emilio Estefan 1953 – Musician.
  • Patricia Heaton 1958 – Actress.
  • Ray Mancini 1961 – Boxer.
  • Stacy Edwards 1965 – Actress.
  • Patsy Kensit 1968 – Actress.
  • Chastity Bono 1969 – Daughter of Sonny and Cher.
  • Whitney Port 1985 – Actress.
  • Andrea Bowen 1990 – Actress.
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