April 13th – A cause for “Spellebration”

April 13, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment


Good morning wordsmiths. Today is Thursday, April 13, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Scrabble Day

National Scrabble Day is celebrated annually on April 13th. But why you ask? Well, today is the birth date of Alfred Mosher Butts, the creator of the word game Scrabble. In 1938, he created a game which he called Criss-Cross Words. Initially, it floundered and did not garner much support from the public. In 1952, Hasbro, one of America’s leading manufacturers of toys and games, purchased the rights from Mr. Butts, re-branded the game as Scrabble, and began mass-producing it. And, in case you were wondering, the word “scrabble” means to “grope frantically” – and, as they say, the rest is history.
Scrabble became an instant success all over the world. In fact, Scrabble became so popular that in 1984, it became a daytime game show on the NBC television network. Scrabble was inducted into the National Toy Hall of fame in 2004.
Today, Scrabble is sold in 121 countries and there are 29 different language versions. Approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide, and sets are found in roughly one-third of American homes. There are even official Scrabble dictionaries available in many languages. And, I’m sad to report, if you search online, you can even find a number of Scrabble “cheats”.
To celebrate National Scrabble Day, find your Scrabble set and play a game with your family this evening.
Author’s Note: By the way, the word in the English language that will score you the most points in a Scrabble game, it’s Oxyphenbutazone — a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The chances of it ever coming up in a game, however, are astronomical. You would need to join all seven of your tiles with eight already on the board across three triple word scores. But, if the stars were to align and you actually got to play the word as described in the previous sentence, you would score 1,778 points – and no one would ever play Scrabble with you again.

Thomas Jefferson Day   

Thomas Jefferson Day, quite naturally, celebrates Thomas Jefferson (or more accurately, the date of his birth in 1743), a Founding Father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
As a political philosopher, Jefferson knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the common man, distrusted cities and financiers, favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson also supported the separation of church and state.
Jefferson was a man of many talents aside from statesmanship. Among other things, he was a horticulturist, a lawyer, an architect, an archaeologist, an author, an inventor and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Celebrate Teen Literature Day

Celebrate Teen Literature Day is celebrated each year on Thursday of National Library Week. This holiday was first celebrated in 2007 by the Young Adult Library Services Association under its original name, Support Teen Literature Day. The holiday was renamed Celebrate Teen Literature Day in 2013.
The purpose of the of Celebrate Teen Literature Day is to remind the public that young adult literature is a growing genre of literature with much to offer today’s teens as well as showcase some award-winning authors and books in the genre. It also serves to highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials from this genre that will be of interest to them.

Maundy Thursday  

Maundy Thursday (aka Holy Thursday or Covenant Thursday) is a Christian holiday celebrated on the Thursday before Easter. The word ‘maundy’ means the ceremonial washing of feet, usually the rich washing the feet of the poor. Maundy in this context it refers to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper. I’m not conversant enough in the traditions of the church to expound on this subject in any great detail, but this link will give you more detailed information about Maundy Thursday.

National Peach Cobbler Day

National Peach Cobbler Day recognizes a delicious dessert that originated during the 19th century. A cobbler is basically a thick crusted, deep-dish pie without a bottom crust.
Cobblers originated in the American West during the 19th century. Unable to make traditional puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, the settlers instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together.
One theory regarding how “cobbler” got its name is that, when fully cooked, the surface resembles a cobbled street.  Another theory is that the name may derive from the fact that the ingredients are “cobbled” together. Although for many years people did not consider cobbler fashionable enough to serve to guests, it has now earned a permanent place among wholesome American desserts.
My mother used a thick layer of flaky pie dough for the crust instead of biscuit dough, and hers were equally delicious. I have also seen cobblers made with cake batter as the crust as well. Whatever your personal crust preference, bake a delicious peach cobbler for your family tonight. YUM!!!!
Factoid:  The world’s largest peach cobbler ever made was 11 feet long, 5 feet across, and 8 inches deep? It appeared at the Georgia Peach Festival in 2007 and contained 90 pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk, and 75 gallons of peaches.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1775 – Lord North extended the New England Restraining Act to South, Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act prohibited trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.
  • In 1782 – Washington, NC, was incorporated as the first town to be named for George Washington.
  • In 1796 – The first known elephant to arrive in the United States arrived from Bengal, India.
  • In 1808 – William “Juda” Henry Lane perfected the tap dance.
  • In 1860 – The first mail was delivered via Pony Express when a westbound rider arrived in Sacramento, CA from St. Joseph, MO.
  • In 1870 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York City.
  • In 1919 – British troops massacred around 400 unarmed civilians in India. Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered his men to shoot into the crowd, in his own words “to punish the Indians for disobedience.” The Indian independence movement grew considerably after the Amritsar massacre.
  • In 1933 – The first flight over Mount Everest was completed by Lord Clydesdale.
  • In 1943 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
  • In 1954 – Hank Aaron debuted with the Milwaukee Braves.
  • In 1960 – The first navigational satellite was launched into Earth’s orbit. Transit 1B was primarily used by the United States Navy to update the navigation systems aboard their Polaris submarines.
  • In 1963 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got his first hit in the major leagues.
  • In 1964 – Sidney Poitier became the first black to win an Oscar for best actor. It was for his role in the movie “Lilies of the Field.”
  • In 1970 – An oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13, leaving the spacecraft crippled. The emergency prompted Jack Swigert’s famous quote “Houston, we’ve had a problem”. The crew managed to return to Earth safely.
  • In 1970 – Mikis Theodorakis was freed.The Greek composer and politician was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos by the right-wing military junta. The solidarity movement demanding his release included Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, and Harry Belafonte.
  • In 1972 – The first strike in the history of major league baseball ended. Players had walked off the field 13 days earlier.
  • In 1976 – The U.S. Federal Reserve introduced $2 bicentennial notes.
  • In 1979 – The world’s longest doubles ping-pong match ended after 101 hours.
  • In 1981 – Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named “Jimmy.” Cooke was forced to relinquish the prize two days later after it was discovered that she had fabricated the story.
  • In 1984 – Christopher Walker was killed in a fight with police in New Hampshire. Walker was wanted as a suspect in the kidnappings of 11 young women in several states.
  • In 1997 – Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament at the age of 21. He also set a record when he finished at 18 under par. He was also the first African-American to win a major golf title. He is among the most successful golfers of all time.
  • In 1998 – Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep, gave natural birth to a healthy baby lamb.
  • In 1999 – Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, MI, to 10 to 25 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Thomas Youk. Youk’s assisted suicide was videotaped and shown on “60 Minutes” in 1998.
  • In 2000 – Richard Gordon was charged with trying to extort $250,000 from Louie Anderson in exchange for not telling the tabloid media about Anderson once asking him for sex. Gordon was held without bail pending a court hearing.

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.

  • Thomas Jefferson 1743 – Founding Father.
  • Frank W. Woolworth 1852 – Merchant.
  • Butch Cassidy 1866 – Outlaw.
  • Samuel Beckett 1906 – Author.
  • Howard Keel 1919 – Actor.
  • Don Adams 1926 – Actor.
  • Dan Gurney 1931 – Auto racer.
  • Lyle Waggoner 1935 – Actor.
  • Paul Sorvino 1939 – Actor.
  • Tony Dow 1945 – Actor.
  • Al Green 1946 – Singer.
  • Ron Perlman 1950 – Actor.
  • Peabo Bryson 1951 – Singer.
  • Saundra Santiago 1957 – Actress.
  • Garry Kasparov 1963 – Chess champion.
  • Rick Schroder 1970 – Actor.
  • Jonathan Brandis 1976 – Actor.
  • Courtney Peldon 1981 – Actress.

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