April 1st – Aliens Invade Earth! Take Over the United States Government

April 1, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

The origin of the word April for the fourth month in the Gregorian calendar is debated. The Romans named it Aprillis, which suggests its literal meaning “to open.” Another school of thought is that it was named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite. April was originally given 29 days, but later, when Julius Caesar created a calendar more in line with the lunar year, an extra day was added making it 30 days long.

Good morning pranksters. Today is Saturday, April 1, 2017. The first holiday today is:

April Fools Day (aka All Fools Day)

Although it’s been celebrated for hundreds of years, no one really knows how the tradition of April Fools’ Day began. According to one theory, when France officially switched from the Julian (Roman) calendar to the Gregorian calendar in the 1500’s many rural communities continued to use the Julian calendar and still celebrated New Year’s Day in April. The people in these small villages became known as the “April fools.”
April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, it is not a national holiday but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. It is important to note that these tricks should not be dangerous or mean-spirited. It is a day for harmless fun and frivolity, not a day to hurt others or their feelings. So, give your pranks some thought beforehand.
As you may have surmised, the title of this post was intended to be an April Fools Day prank. However, the current leaders of our government are so inept that they give credence to the veracity of the statement so I may have to find an alternative means of pranking you in the future.
With that said, rest assured that the following holidays are legitimate, despite the seemingly frivolous nature of some.

US Air Force Academy Day  

The United States Air Force Academy was established April 1, 1954, the culmination of an idea that had been years in the making. Airpower leaders, long before the Air Force was a separate service, had argued that they needed a school, dedicated to warfare in the air, at which to train the country’s future Airmen. After September 1947, when the Air Force was established as a separate service, this idea finally had the legitimacy of the new service behind it. Early in 1948, the Stearns-Eisenhower Board was established to study the existing military academies, and to study the options for an Air Force Academy. The board concluded that, in fact, there was a need for a separate academy. After that, another board was established to determine the location for the new academy. After touring hundreds of potential sites all over the country, the board recommended Colorado Springs, CO. In 1955, the same year as construction began on the academy in Colorado Springs, the first class of 306 men was sworn in at the temporary location of Lowry AFB, in Denver, CO. And so it began.

Boomer Bonus Day

Boomer Bonus Day is just another way of saying “senior citizen discount”. I looked forward with great relish to the day that I ‘came of age’ and could take advantage of senior discounts. However, some of my generation still stubbornly cling to their youth, even with the obvious signs of aging. Today is the day for all of you Baby Boomers to finally accept the fact that you qualify for the senior discount and begin taking advantage of it.

Every Day is Tag Day

Every Day is Tag Day (sometimes referred to as simply Tag Day) is celebrated on the first Saturday in April annually. Contrary to what you might think, it does not have anything to do with the popular, centuries-old children’s game. Instead, Every Day is Tag Day urges us to make sure that our pets are licensed and tagged – and I would also add microchipped. Microchipping your pet is relatively painless, about the same as getting a vaccination, but it greatly increases your chances of being reunited with your furry family member if they ever become lost. Collars and tags can come off, but a microchip is always with your pet.
Each year, about 9-million lost pets arrive at animal shelters across America. About 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats arrive without ID tags or microchips and most lost pets that arrive without identification are never reunited with their families. That is the primary reason for Every Day is Tag Day.
The Humane Society offers the following suggestions to give lost animals a better chance of returning home:

  • Indoor pets also need tags and microchips. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that got lost.
  • Make sure pets wear a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag, and city license. Include a contact name, address and day and evening phone numbers. Consider providing a phone number for an alternate contact, like a neighbor or family member.
  • Keep information on the pet’s license, tags and microchips updated.
  • When moving or traveling, place a temporary tag on pets, with the phone number of someone who knows how to reach you.

To celebrate Every Day is Tag Day, just be sure that your furbabies are licensed and tagged – and, as I alluded to above, microchipped.

Poetry & The Creative Mind Day

It takes a creative mind to write poetry, and this holiday celebrates poetry in all its forms. There are many forms of poetry. There is haiku, limerick, ode, tanka, epic, pastoral, couplet, narrative, quatrain, sonnet, ballad, elegy, iambic pentameter, lyric, free verse and more. Which is your favorite type of poetry?
I am partial to haiku.

Poetry is loved,
By many in the world today.
Do you love it too?

But, I also enjoy a good limerick.

There once was a lad named Ernie
Who left Bako to begin life’s journey
He never looked back
And for that he took flack
Yet he still eludes the ‘final gurney’. 

Author’s note: I said I liked haiku and limerick, not that I was good at writing them…especially on the spur of the moment.

International Tatting Day

National Tatting Day does not involve flesh nor ink as you might suspect but does involve needles of a sort. Tatting is similar to crochet but more intricate. It involves a needle and ‘shuttle’ to create lace. Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces.
National Tatting Day is a holiday for “tatting” hobbyists to show off their handiwork and give lessons. If you can find an event in your area, I urge you to attend — Or, you could host a “tasting” party in your home.

Atheist’s Day

One theory posited about the origins of Atheist’s Day is that was started by various fundamentalist Christian groups who labeled atheists as ‘fools’ and began celebrating April Fool’s Day as Atheists Day as a slam against non-believers, based on this passage from the Bible (Psalm 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”).
Another theory on the origins of Atheist’s Day is that it was started as an internet April Fool Day prank in 2003. The internet hoax concerning Atheist Day involved a fictional case of an Atheist who had decided to sue the government. The reason for the fictional lawsuit was simple —unlike all the major religions, there was no day for Atheists. The judge said that the petitioner was wrong, April 1st (i.e. April Fool’s Day) was the Atheist’s holiday. While this case was just a hoax, the story, like so many other hoaxes on the internet, quickly went ‘viral’ and was actually accepted as fact.
I doubt if either of the above scenarios is entirely true but in any case, atheists have embraced April 1st as Atheists Day and now use the occasion to raise awareness of atheism. A recent survey concluded that there are about 142 million people worldwide who identify as atheist.

National Sourdough Bread Day

Sourdough is an ancient bread made by a long fermentation of the dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli bacteria and wild yeasts. One of the oldest sourdough bread starters was found in a Swiss excavation; the site dates to 3700 B.C. However, the origin of sourdough fermentation is likely thousands of years older than that, originating in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia. Bread production has relied on the use of sourdough as a leavening agent for most of human history
Until science uncovered the leavening process using cultivated yeasts in the 19th century, all yeast-leavened loaves of bread were sourdough. In comparison with bread made with cultivated yeast, sourdough usually has a mildly sour taste and aroma, the result of the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.
Sourdough starters are different from other starters; regular starters can live for several years, whereas sourdough starters can live for generations. The preparation of sourdough begins with pre-fermenting, using a “starter” made from flour and water. It can be a fluid batter or a stiff dough as the ratio of water to flour varies by each baker’s preference. The colony of bacteria and yeast inside the dough is kept alive by the baker, who needs only a piece of it to bake a new batch of bread.
If you bake bread in a bread machine, note that the rise time of most sourdough starters is longer than that of bread made with baker’s yeasts. Thus, sourdough typically doesn’t work in a bread machine; you need to use conventional baking techniques.
On National Sourdough Bread Day, be sure to include some sourdough bread in at least one of your meals.

More Holidays

The remainder of today’s holidays bear little more than a mention in passing, but I am listing them below anyway, complete with a link to each one.

On This Date

  • In 1748 – The ruins of Pompeii were found.
  • In 1778 – Oliver Pollock, a New Orleans businessman, created the “$” symbol.
  • In 1789 – The House of Representatives held its first full meeting in New York City. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first House Speaker.
  • In 1826 – Samuel Mory patented the internal combustion engine.
  • In 1853 – Cincinnati became the first United States city to pay fire fighters a regular salary.
  • In 1863 – The first wartime conscription law goes into effect in the United States.
  • In 1864 – The first travel accident policy was issued to James Batterson by the Travelers Insurance Company.
  • In 1873 – The British White Star steamship Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia killing 547.
  • In 1889 – The first dish-washing machine was marketed (in Chicago).
  • In 1891 – The London-Paris telephone connection opened.
  • In 1905 – Paris and Berlin were linked by telephone.
  • In 1917 – Pianist/composer Scott Joplin died. His best-known and most popular work was Maple Leaf Rag.
  • In 1918 – England’s Royal Flying Corps was replaced by the Royal Air Force.
  • In 1924 – Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for high treason in relation to the “Beer Hall Putsch.”
  • In 1927 – The first automatic record changer was introduced by His Master’s Voice (RCA).
  • In 1929 – Louie Marx introduced the Yo-Yo.
  • In 1934 – Bonnie & Clyde killed 2 police officers.
  • In 1935 – The first radio tube to be made of metal was announced.
  • In 1938 – The first commercially successful fluorescent lamps were introduced.
  • In 1938 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, NY.
  • In 1939 – General Franco proclaimed victory in the Spanish civil war. The dictator ruled Spain until his death in 1975. His regime was responsible for gross human rights violations, including murdering numerous political opponents.
  • In 1941 – The first contract for advertising on a commercial FM radio station began on W71NY in New York City.
  • In 1945 – United States forces invaded Okinawa during World War II. It was the last campaign of World War II.
  • In 1946 – Weight Watchers was formed.
  • In 1948 – The Berlin Airlift began.
  • In 1952 – The Big Bang theory was proposed in “Physical Review” by Alpher, Bethe & Gamow.
  • In 1953 – Congress created the Department of Health Education and Welfare.
  • In 1957 – The BBC broadcasted the spaghetti tree hoax. The 3-minute film shown on the current affairs program, Panorama, portrayed a Swiss family apparently harvesting spaghetti from a tree. A number of viewers later contacted the BBC to inquire where to find and how to grow such a plant. The hoax is regarded as one of the best April Fools jokes ever pulled.
  • In 1960 – The United States launched TIROS-1. It was the first weather satellite.
  • In 1963 – Workers of the International Typographical Union ended their strike that had closed nine New York City newspapers. The strike ended 114 days after it began on December 8, 1962.
  • In 1970 – President Nixon signed the bill, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, that banned cigarette advertisements.
  • In 1976 – Apple Computer began operations. The computer company, which has evolved into a multinational corporation and whose best-known product is the iPhone, was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. In 2012, the company’s global revenue amounted to $156 billion.
  • In 1982 – The United States transferred the Canal Zone to Panama.
  • In 1984 – Motown singer Marvin Gaye was murdered by his father in a family dispute.
  • In 1985 – World oil prices dropped below $10 a barrel.
  • In 1987 – Steve Newman became the first man to walk around the world. The walk was 22,000 miles and took 4 years.
  • In 1987 – President Reagan told doctors in Philadelphia, “We’ve declared AIDS public health enemy No. 1.”
  • In 1991 – The Supreme Court ruled that jurors could not be barred from serving due to their race.
  • In 1991 – The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved.
  • In 1992 – Players began the first strike in the 75-year history of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  • In 1996 – President Bill Clinton threw out the first ball preceding a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.
  • In 1997 – David Carradine received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1998 – A federal judge dismissed the Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton saying that the claims fell “far short” of being worthy of a trial.
  • In 2001 – China began holding 24 crew members of a United States surveillance plane. The EP-3E U.S. Navy crew had made an emergency landing after an in-flight collision with a Chinese fighter jet. The Chinese pilot was missing and presumed dead. The U.S. crew was released on April 11, 2001.
  • In 2001 – Slobodan Milošević was arrested. The former President of Serbia was arrested on corruption charges. Later he was put on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague for war crimes during the Yugoslav wars.
  • In 2001 – The Netherlands became the first country to allow same-sex marriage. Despite opposition from conservative factions, gay and lesbian couples are today allowed to marry in many other countries.
  • In 2004 – President George W. Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The bill made it a crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman.
  • In 2010 – Congress cut Medicare reimbursements to physicians by 21%.
  • In 2010 – John Forsythe died. The actor was best known for his roles on television in Bachelor Father, The voice of “Charlie” in Charlie’s Angels, and for his role in Dynasty.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list od illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

  • William Harvey England 1578 – Physician.
  • Otto Von Bismarck 1815 – German statesman.
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff 1873 – Composer, musician.
  • Lon Chaney 1883 – Actor.
  • Wallace Beery 1885 – Actor.
  • Abraham Maslow 1908 – Psychologist.
  • Art Lund 1920 – Singer.
  • Toshiro Mifune 1920 – Actor.
  • William Manchester 1922 – Writer.
  • Anne McCaffrey 1926 – Author.
  • George Grizzard 1928 – Actor.
  • Jane Powell 1929 – Actress.
  • Grace Lee Whitney 1930 – Actress, singer.
  • Gordon Jump 1932 – Actor.
  • Debbie Reynolds 1932 – Singer, actress.
  • Jim Ed Brown 1934 – Singer.
  • Ali MacGraw 1939 – Actress.
  • Phil Niekro 1939 – Baseball pitcher.
  • Carol White 1944 – Actress.
  • Heather Young 1945 – Actress.
  • Samuel Alito 1950 – Supreme Court justice.
  • Annette O’Toole 1953 – Actress.
  • Libby Riddles 1956 – First woman to win the Iditarod.
  • Maradalena Maleeva 1975 – Tennis player.
  • Bijou Phillips 1980 – Singer.
  • Sam Huntington 1982 – Actor.
  • Hillary Scott 1984 – Lady Antebellum.
  • Josh Zuckerman 1985 – Actor.
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