March 25th – National Medal of Honor Day

March 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning patriots. Today is Saturday, March 25, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Medal of Honor Day 

On March 25, 1863, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton presented the first Medals of Honor to six of the surviving members of Andrew’s Raiders. They were the first Medals of Honor ever presented. The Medal of Honor has been bestowed upon 3,468 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen to date.
National Medal of Honor Day is a holiday to commemorate all those servicemen and women who have received the nation’s highest military honor. Recipients must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is most commonly presented posthumously, however, currently, 75 Metal of Honor recipients are still living. Of the 75 living recipients, six earned their Medals of Honor in World War II, six in the Korean War, 52 in the Vietnam War, and eleven in the War in Afghanistan. Three earned their medal while serving in the U.S. Air Force, 50 in the U.S. Army, 14 in the U.S. Marine Corps, and eight in the U.S. Navy. The oldest recipient is Robert D. Maxwell, aged 96, whereas the youngest is Kyle Carpenter, aged 27. Two medal holders are still on active duty in the U.S. military, War in Afghanistan soldier William D. Swenson of the U.S. Army and Edward Byers of the U.S. Navy. Among the recipients are former Senator Bob Kerrey and three retired generals: Patrick Henry Brady and Robert F. Foley of the Army and James E. Livingston of the Marine Corps.
In 1990, the United States Congress designated March 25th of each year as National Medal of Honor Day to commemorate the awarding of the first Medals of Honor.

(Old) New Years Day  

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are all recovering nicely from your New Years Eve festivities last night. What? Wait? You didn’t celebrate New Year’s Eve last night? Oh, you must be using that new-fangled Gregorian Calendar then.
Although the Gregorian calendar was created in 1582, many countries chose to ignore it for several hundred years. Instead, they used “Annunciation Style dating,” which recognized the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) as New Year’s Day. England, and all of its dominions (including that upstart colony to the west,  America), didn’t adopt the modern-day Gregorian calendar until 1751. Russia held out even longer, until 1918. In fact, people in parts of Russia, Switzerland, Macedonia, Georgia ( the country, not the state), Belarus, and Serbia still celebrate the Old New Year.

Maryland Day

If you can trace your lineage back to Maryland, today is a legal holiday. Maryland Day commemorates the landing of Lord Baltimore and first colonists on St Clement’s Island (in Maryland) in 1634. The Maryland colonists held a special ceremony to give thanks for their safe arrival on March 25, 1634.
They came to America aboard two ships, the Ark and the Dove. Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, founded the colony under a charter that British King Charles I granted on June 20, 1632. They wanted to establish a colony where Roman Catholics, as well as everyone else, could practice their religion. The king gave the colony to the Calvert family as a gift, on the conditions that the king was paid an annual rent of two arrowheads and that the colony must be named after his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. It was called “Mary-Land” or Maryland, as it is known today.
The celebration to commemorate Maryland Day began in Maryland schools in 1903, and it was made an official state holiday in 1916, but it is not a day off for most workers or students.

Tolkien Reading Day

Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated worldwide on March 25th and is a favorite of among fans of the renowned author. J.R.R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892 – Sept. 2, 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist and university professor. He was best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion as well as Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham.
Tolkien Reading Day was created in 2003 by the Tolkien Society to encourage the readings of J.R.R. Tolkien. This date marks neither the anniversary of Mr. Tolkien’s birth nor the anniversary of his death. The society chose this date because of a date mentioned in a passage from Lord of the Rings; March 25th,  the Downfall of Sauron.

Pecan Day

Pecan Day celebrates the planting by George Washington of pecan trees (some of which still survive) at Mount Vernon, his family home, on this date in 1775. The trees were a gift to Washington from Thomas Jefferson, who had planted a few pecan trees from the southern United States at Monticello, VA.
The pecan, the only nut tree native to North America, is sometimes called “America’s own nut.” First cultivated by Native Americans, pecans have been transplanted to other continents but have failed to achieve the same wide use and popularity outside of the United States.
Author’s Note: I grew up at the dead-end of Fairhaven Drive in Bakersfield. We had 2 pecan trees on our property. One tree was a ‘soft shell’ pecan tree, the oblong ones most commonly sold commercially. The other tree was a ‘hard shell’ pecan tree, which bears smaller rounder pecans. Both still taste the same, though. We used to spend fall evenings sitting around the table shelling pecans drying over our gas heater since harvest, diligently trying to keep as many pecans halves as possible intact so we could give them as Christmas presents to family and a few friends. Mom would pack the pecans in 2-pound coffee cans wrapped in Christmas paper, then a few days before Christmas, we would deliver them. We were friends with the Bennetts, who owned the little green “honey house” that used to be on the corner of Henry Lane and Rosedale Highway, about 2 blocks west of Fruitvale Elementary — it is gone now, as is the house in which I grew up. They were beekeepers and showed their appreciation for the pecans by giving us a couple of quarts of honey…which we enjoyed immensely. Win! Win!
Another Note: There is another pecan-related holiday which I will cover next month – National Pecan Day, celebrated April 14 as part of National Pecan Month.

International Waffle Day (aka Vaffeldagen)

International Waffle Day began in Sweden as Våffeldagen – which also happens to coincide with the similar-sounding “vårfrudagen”…the Feast of the Annunciation, known in Sweden as “Our Lady’s Day”. This date historically marked the beginning of Spring in Sweden and Europe. It became a custom for Swedish families to celebrate the two events by making waffles on this day.
Waffles date back to the 1300’s in Greece. Greeks cooked flat cakes between two metal pans. At the time, they topped them with cheeses and herbs. Waffles are most commonly eaten as breakfast or as a snack but are also an occasional dinner meal for some people.
Waffles are delicious, so there is no reason to ‘waffle’ on your decision to celebrate International Waffle Day – but you can feel free to ‘waffle’ on any other decisions you might have to make today.
Author’s Note: There is another waffle-related holiday which I will cover later this year on August 24th – National Waffle Day, which celebrates the patenting of the waffle iron in 1869.

National Lobster Newburg Day

Lobster Newberg is an American seafood dish made from lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs, and Cayenne pepper. It was invented at New York culinary institution Delmonico’s during the height of its heyday in the late 1800’s.
Lobster Newburg was initially named Lobster a la Wenburg after Ben Wenburg, a wealthy sea captain who created the dish and frequented the restaurant quite often. However, when a dispute arose between Wenburg and the Management of Delmonico’s, the restaurant made the decision to rename the dish lobster Newburg (they anagrammed the first three letters of Weinburg’s name and made it “Newburg”).

More Holidays

Listed and linked below are two more holidays that are celebrated today as well. Click on their title if you desire more information about them.

On This Date

  • In 0421 – The city of Venice was founded.
  • In 1609 – Henry Hudson left on an exploration for Dutch East India Co.
  • In 1669 – Mount Etna in Sicily erupted destroying Nicolosi. 20,000 people were killed.
  • In 1774 – English Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill.
  • In 1807 – The first railway passenger service began in England.
  • In 1821 – Greece gained independence from Turkey.
  • In 1856 – A. E. Burnside patented Burnside carbine.
  • In 1857 – Frederick Laggenheim took the first photo of a solar eclipse.
  • In 1900 – The United States Socialist Party was formed in Indianapolis.
  • In 1901 – The Mercedes was introduced by Daimler.
  • In 1902 – Irving W. Colburn patented the sheet glass drawing machine.
  • In 1911 – In New York City, 146 women were killed in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The owners of the company were indicted on manslaughter charges because some of the employees had been behind locked doors in the factory. The owners were later acquitted of the manslaughter charges, but, in 1914, they were ordered to pay damages to the twenty-three families that had sued.
  • In 1913 – The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.
  • In 1918 – French composer Claude Debussy died. He is most famous for writing what some proclaim as “the World’s most beautiful melody” – Claire de Lune.
  • In 1919 – The Paris Peace Commission adopted a plan to protect nations from the influx of foreign labor.
  • In 1940 – The United States agreed to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.
  • In 1947 – A coal mine explosion in Centralia, IL, killed 111 people.
  • In 1949 – The Soviet Union began deporting some 90,000 Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians to some of Russia’s most inhospitable areas. Operation Priboi, also known as March deportation, was designed to weaken the Baltic nationalist movement. Most of the deportees, labeled “enemies of the people” by the Soviet authorities, were women and children.
  • In 1954 – RCA manufactured its first color TV set and began mass production.
  • In 1957 – Six countries founded the European Economic Community. The EEC’s establishment was an important step towards European integration and the creation of the European Union (EU).
  • In 1960 – A guided missile was launched from a nuclear-powered submarine for the first time.
  • In 1966 – The Supreme Court ruled that the “poll tax” was unconstitutional.
  • In 1970 – The Concorde made its first supersonic flight.
  • In 1975 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his nephew. Despite the king’s dying wish for the life of the assassin to be spared, Faisal bin Musaid was publicly executed on June 18, 1975.
  • In 1983 – Congress passed legislation to rescue the Social Security system from bankruptcy.
  • In 1985 – It was reported that an Army Major stationed in East Germany had been shot and killed by a Soviet Border Guard.
    In 1988 – Thousands of people joined the first peaceful demonstrations against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. The Candle Demonstration was brutally dispersed by the Police but was the first step towards the Velvet Revolution that established of democracy in the country.
  • In 1994 – United States troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia.
  • In 1995 – WikiWikiWeb, the world’s first wiki, was launched. Ward Cunningham introduced the “wiki”, or user-editable website. Today, Wikipedia is the world’s most well-known and widely used wiki.
  • In 1996 – An 81-day standoff by the antigovernment Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, MT.
  • In 1996 – The United States issued a newly redesigned $100 bill for circulation.
  • In 1998 – A cancer patient was the first known to die under Oregon’s doctor-assisted suicide law.
  • In 1998 – Quinn Pletcher was found guilty on charges of extortion. He had threatened to kill Bill Gates unless he was paid $5 million.
  • In 2004 – The Senate voted (61-38) on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (H.R. 1997) to make it a separate crime to harm a fetus during the commission of a violent federal crime.
  • In 2006 – Country Music legend Buck Owens died.

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.

  • Arturo Toscanini 1867 – Conductor.
  • Ed Begley, Sr. 1901 – Actor.
  • Jeanne Cagney 1919 – Actress.
  • Howard Cosell 1920 – Sports journalist.
  • Nancy Kelly 1921 – Actress.
  • Simone Signoret 1921 – Actress.
  • Jim Lovell 1928 – Astronaut.
  • Gene Shalit 1932 – Movie critic.
  • Gloria Steinem 1934 – Feminist author.
  • Hoyt Axton 1938 – Folk singer.
  • Anita Bryant 1940 – Singer.
  • Aretha Franklin 1942 – Singer.
  • Paul Michael Glaser 1943 – Actor.
  • Bonnie Bedelia 1948 – Actress.
  • Elton John 1947 – Singer.
  • Mary Gross 1953 – Actress.
  • James McDaniel 1958 – Actor.
  • Brenda Song 1960 – Actress.
  • John Stockwell 1961 – Actor.
  • Marcia Cross 1962 – Actress.
  • Lisa Gay Hamilton 1964 – Actress.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker 1965 – Actress.
  • Tom Glavine 1966 – Baseball player.
  • Lee Pace 1979 – Actor.
  • Danica Patrick 1982 – Auto racer.
  • Aly Michalka 1989 – Actress.
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