April 11th – Eight Track Tape Day

April 11, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning nostalgia buffs. Today is Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Eight Track Tape Day

Today’s foray into holidays takes me back to the days of my misspent youth. Today’s first holiday is Eight Track Tape Day.
The 8-track tape, originally called the Stereo 8, was created in 1964. A boon to their sales came when Ford included 8-track players as an option in Ford automobiles beginning in the 1965 model year. In their heyday, eight track tapes ruled the music world. Although the popularity of 8-track tapes was short-lived (only a few years in the late-1960’s and early-1970’s, before they were replaced by the more versatile Cassette players for your car), eight tracks were the first devices to truly make music portable; taking music out of your den and into your automobile. They struggled on through the early 1980’s until the format was finally phased out entirely.  Did any of you own one of these ground-breaking devices?
I didn’t own one myself, but some of my friends did. It brings back memories of ‘cruisin’ the strip’ with the eight track blaring…Andre’s Drive-in, and Stan’s.
Factoid: The eight-track player was created by William Lear — the same William Lear responsible for the creation of the famous Lear Jet.

Barbershop Quartet Day

This next holiday also takes me back to my youth. It is Barbershop Quartet Day.
On this day in 1938, a group of 26 people gathered in Tulsa, OK to form the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (known today as the Barbershop Harmony Society). The Barbershop Quartet genre dates back to the early 1900’s. The close harmonies and the ‘toe-tapping’ beat of a good Barbershop Quartet style song can’t help but put a smile on your face. That, plus the fact that they often choose silly songs to perform. If there is a Barbershop Quartet performance in your area tonight, I urge you to attend. If there isn’t an event in your area, you can find examples of Barbershop Quartet music on YouTube, or just do a Google search.

Louie, Louie Day

Another holiday today which takes me back to my youth is Louie, Louie Day.
Louie, Louie is one of the classic rock and roll songs to come out of the 1960’s. On this date, in 1935, Richard Berry, the author of this timeless classic rock song was born. He wrote the song in 1955, in the style a Jamaican Ballad, about a sailor returning home. The best-known version of this song was released in 1963 by The Kingsmen, but artists of stature such as The Beach Boys, Paul Revere And the Raiders, Otis Redding, Bob Marley, and even Bruce Springsteen have all done cover versions. If you have any version of this song, in any format (ie: vinyl, tape, 8-track, CD, or MP3), play it today.
Note: Click on the title of the holiday to hear The Kingsmen’s rendition of the song.

National Pet Day 

This holiday today also puts me in a nostalgic mood.
National Pet Day is the holiday to show gratitude to those lovable creatures who bring so much joy to our lives. National Pet Day was created in 2006 to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the world. The motto of National Pet Day is “Don’t shop! Adopt!.” The holiday is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Foundation, whose mission is to help animals in shelters find forever homes.
There are approximately 90 million pet cats and 80 million pet dogs living in the United States today. Gerbils, birds, turtles, and fish are also very common. If you consider your pet a member of the family, you are by no means alone. Six out of ten pet owners feel the same way.
I currently don’t own any pets, but this holiday has me reminiscing about all of the great pets that have been in my life. Gracie, our first house cat when I was a child; Stubbie, the orange and white striped tabby tomcat with only a stub of a tail that assumed Gracie’s throne as the exalted house cat upon her death; Freckles, our Cocker Spaniel that we received from our uncle Jiggs. Later in life, I had Murphy and Missie, two identically marked black and white tuxedo cats that I had in the 1980’s and 90’s; Casper, an American Eskimo dog that I rescued from a truck stop in California and had in my truck for a few months before I found him a “forever home”; and last, but certainly not least, Wolfie and Walter, my companions for over 12 years, who are both now frolicking in the fields of “doggie Heaven”. I have truly been blessed with so many wonderful pets. Spend a little extra ‘quality time’ with your pet(s) today. Some extra treats and some ‘tummy rubs’ would also be appreciated, I’m sure.

National Submarine Day

National Submarine Day also takes me back in time…but only a few weeks – we celebrated a different Submarine Day on March 17th.
This holiday, National Submarine Day, celebrates the date that the United States Navy acquired the Holland VI, the Navy’s first modern commissioned submarine, in 1900.
The first known U.S. Navy submarine was the USS Alligator, the fourth United States Navy ship of that name. The Alligator was active during the American Civil War. America’s very first submarine, the Turtle, was built in the Revolutionary War era. However, the United States Navy did not exist when the Turtle was operational.
Designed by Irish-American inventor John Phillip Holland in 1896, the Holland VI was launched on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1898, at Navy Lt. Lewis Nixon’s Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was later purchased by the United States Navy on April 11, 1900, becoming the United States Navy’s first commissioned submarine and renamed USS Holland (SS-1).

National Library Workers Day

This holiday too takes me back to the many hours I spent in the library growing up. From checking out a good book to read to researching a term paper for a class, the library holds many memories. National Library Workers Day is always celebrated on the Tuesday of Library Week; which is celebrated during the second full week in April.
Libraries play a vital role in keeping us informed and providing a quiet place to escape the frenzy of our daily lives. Modern libraries are more than just places to check out books; these days, you can also surf the web, rent a DVD, or even attend a class. And, the ones who make this all possible are library workers.
National Library Workers Day salutes all of the dedicated library staff who work to keep our libraries running efficiently. Administrators, librarians, aides and volunteers, and even the janitorial staff all contribute to making a visit to the library a pleasant experience.
Visit your local library to discover the wide array of services they provide…and don’t forget to say “thank you” to any library workers you encounter.

National Be Kind To Lawyers Day  

My experience with lawyers, thankfully, is quite limited so this is the first holiday today that doesn’t put me in a nostalgic mood. National Be Kind To Lawyers Day is the brainchild of a non-lawyer, Steve Hughes, a public speaking expert who counts lawyers among his clients. It is celebrated on the second Tuesday of April each year.
Most people today view lawyers as a necessary evil. They have the reputation, deserved or not, of being among the most despised, distrusted, unscrupulous people around. Yet, if you need a will, want to set up a trust, or need representation in a criminal or civil action, lawyers are where we turn for help.
Lawyers are the butt of countless jokes; I could list over 10 of them here off the top of my head without straining my little brain at all…but I won’t. Maybe, if we stopped making so many jokes about them, they might lower their fees and start trying to clean-up their reputation — Nah! Who am I kidding? Why would they? They have a monopoly after all.

World Parkinson’s Disease Day

While World Parkinson’s Disease Day, doesn’t necessarily put me in a nostalgic mood, it still deserves more than a casual mention. World Parkinson’s Disease Day is intended to boost awareness of the Parkinson’s Disease and to spur new research and treatment innovations. It is a day of advocacy for PD patients and their families.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait.  Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease.

National Cheese Fondue Day

Since America is a ‘melting pot’, this holiday seems doubly appropriate.  Fondue is ‘peasant food’  that originated in Switzerland. It is basically a variety of soft cheeses mixed with wine and melted in a pot. Originally, different left-over crusts of bread, vegetables, and scraps of meat were dipped into the melted cheese sauce.
A cheese fondue usually includes a blend of different cheeses like Gruyère, Emmental, Raclette, and cheddar. You can also add ingredients such as milk, spices, cream, wine, or brandy for additional flavor and to thin the mixture a little. A traditional fondue pot is called a “caquelon.” The heavy earthenware vessel promotes even heat distribution and produces a delicious smooth fondue.
The word fondue itself is the past participle of the French fondre, meaning; to melt down.
These days nothing much has changed, except that it is no longer just ‘peasant food’. So, find that fondue set that your Aunt _________ gave your family for Christmas a couple of decades ago, clean out your refrigerator, and have some Cheese Fondue for dinner tonight.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1783 – After receiving a copy of the provisional treaty on March 13, Congress proclaimed a formal end to hostilities with Great Britain.
  • In 1803 – A twin-screw propeller steamboat was patented by John Stevens.
  • In 1876 – The stenotype was patented by John C. Zachos.
  • In 1876 – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized.
  • In 1895 – Anaheim, CA, completed its new electric light system.
  • In 1898 – U.S. President William McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war with Spain.
  • In 1899 – The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
  • In 1921 – Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax.
  • In 1921 – The first live sports event on the radio took place this day on KDKA Radio. The event was a boxing match between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.
  • In 1940 – Andrew Ponzi set a world’s record in a New York pocket billiards tournament when he ran 127 balls straight.
  • In 1945 – During World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald in Germany.
  • In 1947 – Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major-league history. He played in an exhibition game for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • In 1951 – President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur as head of United Nations forces in Korea.
  • In 1961 – In Israel the trial of Adolf Eichmann, accused of World War II war crimes, began. The ex-Nazi was one of the main organizers of the Holocaust, in which millions of people were slaughtered. He was hanged for his war crimes in 1962.
  • In 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1968 Civil Rights Act.
  • In 1970 – Apollo 13 blasted off on a mission to the moon that was disrupted when an explosion crippled the spacecraft. The astronauts did return safely.
  • In 1972 – The first episode of “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” was aired. The BBC’s classic comedy show, which was chaired by Humphrey Lyttelton until his death in 2008, is one of the longest running British radio shows of all time.
  • In 1974 – The Judiciary committee issued subpoenas to President Richard Nixon to produce tapes for an impeachment inquiry.
  • In 1979 – Uganda’s dictator Idi Amin was overthrown. The despot’s 8-year rule was characterized by extensive human rights abuse and repression. According to estimates, hundreds of thousands were killed as a result of his actions.
  • In 1981 – President Ronald Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital after recovering from an assassination attempt on March 30.
  • In 1985 – Scientists in Hawaii measured the distance between the earth and moon within one inch.
  • In 1986 – Dodge Morgan sailed solo nonstop around the world in 150 days.
  • In 1986 – Kellogg’s stopped giving tours of its breakfast-food plant. The reason for the end of the 80-year tradition was said to be that company secrets were at risk due to spies from other cereal companies.
  • In 1991 – The U.N. Security Council issued a formal cease-fire with Iraq.
  • In 1996 – Seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff was killed with her father and flight instructor when her plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Jessica had hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country.
  • In 2001 – China agreed to release 24 crew members of a U.S. surveillance plane. The EP-3E Navy crew had been held since April 1 on Hainan, where the plane had made an emergency landing after an in-flight collision with a Chinese fighter jet. The Chinese pilot was missing and presumed dead.
  • In 2006 – Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano was arrested. Provenzano was one of the Cosa Nostra’s central figures. The mafioso was arrested near Corleone, Sicily after 40 years on the run.
  • In 2006 – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had enriched uranium. The Iranian nuclear program has become a source of great controversy. Several countries, some of them possessing nuclear weapons themselves, accuse Tehran of developing an Iranian atom bomb.

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.

  • Lou Holtz 1893 – Comedian, actor.
  • Percy Julian 1899 – Scientist.
  • Dalia Messick 1906 – Cartoonist.
  • Paul Douglas 1907 – Actor.
  • Jane Bolin 1908 – Attorney, Judge.
  • Oleg Cassini 1913 – Fashion designer.
  • Cameron Mitchell 1918 – Actor.
  • Dorothy Shay 1921 – Singer, actress.
  • Johnny Sheffield 1931 – Actor.
  • Joel Grey 1932 – Singer, dancer, actor.
  • Louise Lasser 1939 – Actress.
  • Meshach Taylor 1947 – Actor.
  • Peter Riegert 1947 – Actor.
  • Bill Irwin 1950 – Actor, clown.
  • Lucky Vanous 1961 – Actor.
  • Lisa Stansfield 1966 – Singer, songwriter.
  • Joss Stone 1987 – Singer.

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