April 5th – Do I Need To Draw You A Map?

April 5, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning map lovers. Today is Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Read A Road Map Day

Author’s Note: Please note that Read A Road Map Day IS NOT “download a map day” or “input addresses into a GPS day”.
Read A Road Map Day means exactly that. Find one of those archaic “foldy-out” road maps and read it. Perhaps you could plan a spontaneous ‘road trip’ via a circuitous route, to someplace you have never been or haven’t been to in quite some time. Sit down with your children or grandchildren and teach them the proper way to read and use a map. If your map reading skills are deficient, take time today to learn how to read one.
There is a plethora of information on a map besides towns and the different colored lines between them, and what do those different colored lines mean anyway? The legend on the map will tell you, along with so much more.
Having spent 20+ years as an over-the-road truck driver, I am fairly proficient at reading a map. The first purchase I made when beginning my driving career was the latest edition of the Rand-McNally Road Atlas: Motor Carriers edition. Before every trip, I would plan my route using this invaluable “tool”. It gave me information such as any restricted routes I might encounter, the location of any low clearance structures, any weight-restricted roads, and most important, the location of all State Ports of Entry and scale houses and their hours of operation. It also let me know what special permits, if any, that I would need to complete my trip. I updated it every year, without fail, as soon as the new edition was released, so that I would always have the most current information. Yes, there is a lot more to maps than people think, so refresh your memory or learn to read a road map today.
Factoid: The “Turin Papyrus” is thought to be the oldest recorded road map in the world. Historians believe that it was created around 1160 BC and the earliest road map in book form was the Britannia Atlas, which was drawn by cartographer John Ogilby in 1675.

Go For Broke Day

The phrase “Go for broke” comes from Hawaiian Pidgin English meaning “wager everything”. Go For Broke Day has its roots in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a fighting unit composed mainly of Japanese-American descent who volunteered to fight in World War II. The 442nd RCT is considered to be the most decorated infantry regiment in the history of the United States Army. “Go for Broke” was the 442nd Regimental Combat Team motto. But, the story doesn’t end there. The date of April 5 is also significant. On that day, the first Medal of Honor recipient from this regiment was killed in action near Seravezza, Italy in 1945. Private First Class Sadao Munemori sacrificed his life for the men in his unit when they were pinned down by enemy fire near Seravezza, Italy. The unit continued in battle near Serravezza, Carrara and Fosdinovo, Italy until April 14, 1945, and received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding accomplishments in combat. This was just one of eight Presidential Unit Citations the unit would be awarded during their service. Not only was the 442nd RCT the most decorated unit for its size and length of service, 21 of its members were awarded the Medal of Honor. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team also earned 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, 560 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 9, 486 Purple Hearts.
The adage, “It is better to regret the things that you have done than to regret the things that you haven’t done” is certainly applicable today. Go For Broke Day means exactly what it implies. Whether it involves money, a relationship, or even a new job or promotion at work, go for it. Don’t just sit idly by and let your opportunity slip away. If you are one who likes to play it safe and never takes risks, today is a day to break the pattern and just ‘go for broke’. Be daring and assertive. What’s the worse thing that could happen?

Bell Bottoms Day

Bell Bottoms Day celebrates bell-bottom jeans. Bell bottoms are a style of trousers that become wider from the knees downward, forming a bell-like shape of the trouser leg. Today, a version of bell bottoms exists, but they are now known as “boot cut” or “boot fit” jeans.
American sailors invented bell-bottom pants in the late 1700’s when there was not a specific uniform for sailors — because they were practical. Bell-bottom pants were easy to roll up and keep dry when working the deck of a ship. They were also fast and easy to pull off if you fell overboard and needed to swim.
Who would have guessed these practical, utilitarian work pants would become such a fashion craze in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
To celebrate Bell Bottoms Day, channel your “inner hippie” and find your old bell bottoms and reminisce about happier times. Extra points if they still fit and you can wear them proudly today.

National Deep Dish Pizza Day  

Deep dish pizza originated in Chicago, IL in 1943. Ike Sewell, owner of the Uno Chicago Grill wanted to ensure that hungry families could get a “real meal” when it came to pizza. Prior to that, pizza was hardly more than a snack. After more than three decades of being a favorite of Chicagoans, they decided to expand their business outside of Chicago. On this date in 1979, they opened their first non-Chicago restaurant in Boston, MA.
Also known as Chicago-Style Pizza, Deep Dish Pizza is characterized by a superb buttery crust that can be as high as 3 inches tall, creating a sort of ‘bowl’ to hold the generous amounts of flavorful sauce, toppings, and cheese.
Below are some interesting pizza facts:

  • In ancient Greece, the Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese which some people believe is the beginning of the pizza.
  • In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled “πίτα”, pita, meaning pie. 
  • A sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves was developed by the Romans.
  • The modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as Neapolitan flatbread.
  • The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant which was produced in the area surrounding Naples.
  • It was estimated that the annual production of pizza cheese in the United States in 1997 was 2 billion pounds.
  • The first United States pizza establishment opened in 1905 in New York’s Little Italy.
  • Pizza has become one of America’s favorite meals.

National Caramel Day

As early as the seventeenth century, Americans were using caramelized sugar and water to make candies because it was relatively economical candy to produce. But, the delicious, chewy caramel we know and love today is a more recent innovation and emerged during the 18th century. It quickly became one of the most popular sweets on the market. Around the year 1850, someone discovered that by adding milk and a fat product to the cooked sugar mixture would produce a soft, chewy candy. In fact, chocolate magnate Milton Hershey’s first business was the Lancaster Caramel Company.
Caramel is made with butter, brown and white sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla, heated and continuously stirred until it reaches a light brown color. Caramel is used to make a variety of desserts either as a featured ingredient, a flavoring, or a topping. Depending on the consistency it can be used as a syrup or as the glue holding together nuts and popcorn. In a more pliant form, it makes great caramel apples. Cooked to a higher temperature the caramel can become brittle and is perfect for making nut brittles. Just be careful when making caramel at home, because the longer caramel cooks, the deeper in color and darker in flavor it becomes until it reaches the point where the sugar becomes bitter and is no longer palatable.
To celebrate National Caramel Day, have some caramel on a sundae for dessert, or have a caramel apple, or have a candy bar which contains caramel for a snack, or just eat a few caramels right out of the bag. Whether you pronounce the word as “car-mel” or “car -a-mel”, I think we can all agree that, in any/all of its forms, caramel is a delicious treat.

National Raisin and Spice Bar Day

Harken back to the aromas that used to emanate from your grandmother’s kitchen, and the delectable treats that would emerge from the oven. National Raisin and Spice Bar Day celebrates one of these flavorful, aromatic treats…Raisin and Spice Bars.
Raisin and Spice Bars, in one form or another, have existed for centuries, and there are probably as many different recipes for them as there are grandmothers. Raisin spice bar recipes are very adaptable and can include different dried fruits, not just raisins, and can also include almost any type of chopped nuts that you enjoy as well. Once you have the basic recipe mastered, you are only limited by your imagination. Make them as healthy as you like.
Take a moment today, and dig through those old family recipes. When you find the one for Raisin and Spice Bars, make a batch and keep the tradition alive. If your grandmother wasn’t the “Suzie Homemaker” type, here is a recipe. Perhaps you can start a new family tradition.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1614 – American Indian Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.
  • In 1621 – The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, MA, on a return trip to England.
  • In 1792 – President George Washington cast the first presidential veto. The measure was for apportioning representatives among the states.
  • In 1806 – Isaac Quintard patented the cider mill.
  • In 1869 – Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the U.S. Revolutionary War, died at the age of 109.
  • In 1892 – Walter H. Coe patented gold leaf in rolls.
  • In 1895 – Playwright Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry. Wilde had been accused of homosexual practices. The Marquess of Queensberry had left his calling card in the Albemarle club with the added inscription, “For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite” (sic).
  • In 1923 – Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began the first regular production of balloon tires.
  • In 1933 – The first operation to remove a lung was performed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
  • In 1951 – Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for committing espionage for the Soviet Union. The couple was accused of passing information about nuclear weapons on to the Soviet Union. It later emerged that Ethel was not involved in her husband’s activities. Both were executed in 1953.
  • In 1955 – Winston Churchill resigned as British prime minister. Churchill was instrumental in initiating the alliance between the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. His political career spanned half a century.
  • In 1975 – Chinese military leader, politician, President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek, died.
  • In 1976 – Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes dies.
  • In 1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) became the all-time NBA regular season scoring leader when he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 31,419 career points.
  • In 1986 – A bomb killed 3 people at the La Belle nightclub in West Berlin. The attack on the nightclub, which was frequented by U.S. soldiers, was later blamed on the Libyan secret service. In retaliatory strikes, at least 15 people were killed in Libya.
  • In 1987 – FOX Broadcasting Company launched “Married….With Children” and “The Tracey Ullman Show”. The two shows were the beginning of the FOX lineup.
  • In 1994 – American songwriter, guitarist, and lead singer for grunge rock group Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide.
  • In 1998 – The world’s largest suspension bridge opened to traffic. The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan features the world’s longest central span, measuring 1991 meters (6532 feet).
  • In 1999 – In Laramie, WY, Russell Henderson pled guilty to kidnapping and felony murder in the death of Matthew Shepard.

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.

  • Joseph Lister 1827 – British surgeon, inventor.
  • Booker T. Washington 1856 – Educator, author.
  • Spencer Tracy 1900 – Actor.
  • Melvyn Douglas 1901 – Actor.
  • Bette Davis 1908 – Actress.
  • Gregory Peck 1916 – Actor.
  • Arthur Hailey 1920 – Author.
  • Robert Q. Lewis 1921 – Comedian, TV quiz show panelist.
  • Gale Storm 1922 – Singer, actress.
  • Nigel Hawthorne 1929 – Actor.
  • Frank Gorshin 1934 – Impressionist, actor.
  • Colin Powell 1937 – Secretary of State, four-star general, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • David LaFlamme 1941 – Musician (“It’s A Beautiful Day”).
  • Michael Moriarty 1941 – Actor.
  • Maxwell Gail 1943 – Actor.
  • Crispian St. Peters 1944 – Musician.
  • Jane Asher 1946 – Actress.
  • Dr. Judith A. Resnik 1949 – Electric engineer, astronaut.
  • Agnatha Faltskog 1950 – Singer, (ABBA).
  • Paula Cole 1968 – Singer.
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