April 3rd – Make Party, Not War

April 3, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning party animals. Today is Monday, April 3, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Party Day  

Before you start decorating, blowing up balloons, and making snack trays, I should inform you that World Party Day is based on the idea that peace is not the opposite of war, merely its absence. World Party Day is a grassroots effort started in 1996 to promote the premise that the opposite of war is not peace, but party. and aims to synchronize a massive, worldwide party to celebrate everything that’s good and optimistic.
The idea behind World Party Day is that we can only create a better reality by taking positive action and celebrating life (instead of just passively promoting peace). It’s a new-fangled spin on the old cliché; “make love, not war.”
A nice enough sentiment, I guess, but drat, I was really looking forward to some Chex Mix, cocktail wieners, and some punch. I’ll be waiting for my invitation to your World Party Day festivities.

Pony Express Day

Pony Express Day commemorates the beginning of the inaugural ride of the Pony Express. On this date in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound rider’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express highlighted the need for a more economical overland postal system.

Tweed Day  

Tweed is a thick woolen twill styled fabric that originated in Scotland. Seemingly always in fashion, tweed clothing provides both style and warmth. Not surprisingly, it is more in vogue in northern climates and is seldom seen in the south. If you have something made from tweed, wear it proudly today.
Note: Tweed Day could also refer to William Magear “Boss” Tweed, who was born on this day in 1823. He was a corrupt New York Politician (no surprise) who was convicted (big surprise) of graft and corruption for stealing millions of dollars from New York City. I think I’ll celebrate the fabric version today. I don’t want to encourage our current crop of corrupt politicians by validating “Boss” Tweed in any way.

American Circus Day

American Circus Day commemorates the date in 1793 when Englishman John Bill Ricketts opened a circus in the newly formed Unites States and produced the first circus performance in America in Philadelphia. Like the circuses in Europe, this early circus emphasized equestrian feats and was geared toward adults, unlike today’s family shows.
Although the beginnings of the circus date back to ancient Rome, the modern circus was first developed in 18th century Europe. They were relatively benign affairs, with clowns, jugglers, and a few tame animal acts. It wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that “freak shows” and exotic animals were introduced to the menagerie. Although the exploitation of conjoined twins, individuals with microcephaly, bearded women, and their sideshow brethren came under fire years ago, the treatment of animals in the circus continues to be a controversial topic. Still, in spite of the circus’s sometimes litigious background, clowns, cotton candy, and the three-ring show are still treasured by families, and particularly children, across these United States.

Armenian Appreciation Day

Armenian Appreciation Day honors the small country bordering the Black Sea, Armenia. Throughout its long history, Armenia has been conquered many times by many different countries. It most recently re-gained its independence from the U.S.S.R. in 1991 and remains an independent country today.
Armenia has a long history of being invaded, exploited, and having genocide perpetrated against its people. This led to a diaspora in which Armenians fled and settled elsewhere around the world.
To find out more about the history of Armenia, read this.

National Chocolate Mousse Day

In French, the word Mousse means ‘foam’, and this is an apt description of this dessert, being light and frothy, or creamy and thick, it all depends on how you prepare this scrumptious treat. Though the origins of this delicacy are largely unknown, it is known that it was a popular dish in the 18th century in France. However, the first written record of its appearance is actually from an exposition in New York City in 1892. The original printed recipe actually produced a dish with far more in common with chocolate pudding, instead of the more familiar foamy treat of this day. It wasn’t until beaten egg whites were introduced to the recipe, that chocolate mousse became the decadent dessert that it is today. At the turn of the century, it was an art form to create the mousse. It was necessary to hand whip it at a consistent pace for a long period of time, and, it wasn’t until the electric mixer was introduced that it became easier to produce the proper consistency.
A basic chocolate mousse has only five ingredients, but it is the process of making it that thwarts most cooks. Many chefs, in an effort to create the “perfect” chocolate mousse, experiment by adding different flavorings to the basic recipe, such as coffee, dark rum or other dark spirits, and vanilla extract.

National Sweet Potato Day

A few days ago, we celebrated Tater Day which celebrated all potatoes. National Sweet Potato Day celebrates only sweet potatoes and is always observed on the first Monday in April.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food crop in some tropical areas. Although the young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens, the starchy tuberous roots are by far the most widely consumed part of the plant. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potatoes we commonly eat here in America and is commonly called a yam in most areas of the country. Also, they are only very distantly related to the other plant widely known as yams, which is native to Africa and Asia.
Of the more than 1000 species in the sweet potato family, only one is cultivated as a crop plant. The sweet potatoes are closely related to morning glories, and in some places, sweet potato plants are grown as ornamental plants.
Sweet potatoes are most frequently boiled, fried, or baked, although these days, sweet potato fries are a trendy alternative to regular French Fries. Sweet potatoes can also be processed to make starch and a partial flour substitute. Industrial uses of the sweet potato include the production of starch and industrial alcohol.
To celebrate National Sweet Potato Day, replace your ‘normal’ potato tonight with a sweet potato.

More Holidays

The rest of today’s holidays are listed below, naturally with a link provided.

On This Date

  • In 1776 – George Washington received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard College.
  • In 1829 – James Carrington patented the coffee mill.
  • In 1865 – Union forces occupy Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
  • In 1882 – The American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back and killed by Robert Ford for a $5,000 reward. There was later controversy over whether it was actually Jesse James that
  • had been killed.
  • In 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patented his engine design. The German engineer’s so-called “grandfather clock engine” was lighter than previous four-stroke engines and is considered a milestone for the invention of the automobile.
  • In 1933 – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt informed newspaper reporters that beer would be served at the White House. This followed the March 22 legislation that legalized “3.2” beer.
  • In 1936 – Richard Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and death of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh.
  • In 1940 – Soviet troops massacred about 22,000 Polish nationals. The Katyn massacre is considered the worst massacre of prisoners of war in history. The order to execute all captive members of the Polish Officer Corps was signed by Joseph Stalin.
  • In 1948 – President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan to revive war-torn Europe. $12.4 billion were allocated to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II and prevent communists from seizing control.
  • In 1953 – “TV Guide” was published for the first time.
  • In 1972 – Charlie Chaplin returned to the U.S. after a twenty-year absence.
  • In 1973 – The first public mobile telephone call was placed on a Manhattan sidewalk. Motorola’s Martin Cooper called Joel Engel of Bell Labs. He later told the BBC that his first words were “Joel, I’m calling you from a ‘real’ cellular telephone. A portable handheld telephone.”
  • In 1985 – The United States charged that Israel violated the Geneva Convention by deporting Shiite prisoners.
  • In 1993 – The Norman Rockwell Museum opened in Stockbridge, MA.
  • In 1996 – Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski was arrested. He pled guilty in January 1998 to five Unabomber attacks in exchange for a life sentence without chance of parole. The mathematician who was driven by anarchist ideas sent out 16 letter bombs between 1978 and 1995, killing 3 people and injuring 23.
  • In 2000 – A U.S. federal judge ruled that Microsoft had violated United States antitrust laws by keeping “an oppressive thumb” on its competitors. Microsoft said that they would appeal the ruling.

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.

  • Washington Irving 1783 – Author.
  • John Burroughs 1837 – Author.
  • George Jessel 1898 – Comedian.
  • Sally Rand 1904 – Burlesque dancer.
  • Herb Caen 1916 – Columnist.
  • Jan Sterling 1923 – Actress.
  • Doris Day 1924 – Singer, actress.
  • Marlon Brando 1924 – Actor.
  • Miyoshi Umeki 1923 – Actress.
  • Jane Goodall 1934 – Anthropologist, author.
  • Jan Barry 1941 – Songwriter, singer.
  • Marsha Mason 1942 – Actress.
  • Wayne Newton 1942 – Singer.
  • Tony Orlando 1944 – Singer.
  • Alec Baldwin 1958 – Actor.
  • David Hyde Pierce 1959 – Actor.
  • Eddie Murphy 1961 – Comedian.
  • Jennie Garth 1972 – Actress.
  • Amanda Bynes 1986 – Actress.

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