April 15th – For the Record

April 15, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning audio vinyl buffs. Today is Saturday, April 15, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Record Store Day

Each year on the third Saturday of April, Record Store Day provides the opportunity for fans and artists all over the world come together to support independent record stores. Chris Brown, an employee at a local record store, came up with the idea in 2007. In April of 2008, Metallica kicked off the first Record Store Day with a performance at Rasputin Music in San Francisco, California. To support the cause, many artists release exclusive vinyl albums, CDs, and promotional materials. There are also a variety of special events, contests, and high-profile appearances that take place during the day.
With the increasing popularity of online record stores like Amazon and iTunes, brick and mortar record stores are slowly being phased out. Although there are still a few established record stores remaining, many local record shops have gone the way of the dinosaur and the Dodo bird.  Record stores allow us to take time out of our day and quietly enjoy who we are. Tastes and inspirations in music are specific to each of us, so on Record Store Day, celebrate your individuality in a place filled with music and album artwork, and where there is always a human being to ask for recommendations; not some impersonal computer algorithm that constantly reminds you of your purchase of “A Chipmunk Christmas” as a gag gift a decade ago.
I, for one, am sad to see them go. The aroma of the vinyl and plastic and the tactile sensations one experiences as you rummage through the aisles of a record store are irreplaceable. Most of my music collection came from record stores. I have found many a lost treasure there…stuff that still isn’t even available online. For reasons of scaling down my lifestyle when I was an over-the-road truck driver living out of my truck, I have sold most of my vinyl record albums. However, I still like to visit record stores. Maybe it time to start a new collection.

National Auctioneer’s Day

While the creator(s) of National Auctioneer Day is unknown, according to National Auctioneer’s Association, National Auctioneer’s Day has been celebrated for over 25 years. The same organization also points out that nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in goods and services are sold by professional auctioneer’s each year.
While auctioneering as a sales method has been around for over 2,000 years, the rhythmic cadence used by auctioneers today is uniquely American.  It is thought to have been developed during the Civil War, and the rapidly punctuated chatter of the auctioneers not only got the job done but make it entertaining as well. Auctioneers provide a service to both the buyer and the seller. They must maintain high standards to stay competitive. Across the country, there are a variety of auctions from livestock and art sales to automobile and surplus auctions. Left the imagination, just about anything can be put up for auction.
The last bastion of the competitive free enterprise system, auctions and the age-old profession of auctioneering continue to grow every year. Whether online or on the lawn, auctions continue to grow in popularity with consumers. Bidders enjoy the thrill of competition with an auction and the rush that comes with the chase for treasures. Auctions are still one of the most effective and efficient means of turning assets into cash quickly.
Below are some fun facts about auctions and auctioneers.

  •     “Auction” derives from the Latin word “Auctus” which means “increasing.”
  •     The first recorded auctions appeared in Babylon in 500 B.C.
  •     The Roman Empire was sold at auction in 193 A.D.
  •     Founded in 1674, Stockholm’s Auktionsverk is the oldest auction house still in business.
  •     Pilgrims used auctioneers to establish commerce and auctions were used to sell crops, livestock, furs, tobacco and other assets.
  •     America’s first president, George Washington, was an avid auction buyer.
  •     Auctioneers are commonly referred to as “Colonel”, the nickname given to auctioneers originated after the Civil War when only officers of the Colonel rank could conduct auctions of war plunder.
  •     The Jones’ National School of Auctioneering and Oratory was the first American auction school. The school open in Davenport, Iowa in 1905.
  •     During the Great Depression, auctioneers traveled the country liquidating the estates of farmers whose farms failed because of drought and bank foreclosures.
  •     In the 1950’s, auctions in the United States expanded to multiple marketplaces and banks, accountants, attorneys, and government agencies began using auctioneers to liquidate assets and surplus property.
  •     Not including the millions of transactions that occur through online auction websites like eBay, auctioneers sell approximately a quarter-trillion dollars in goods and assets annually in the United States.
  •     The largest sector of auctions is automobile auctions with approximately $80 billion in vehicles sold annually by auctioneers.
  •     The fastest growing sector of the auction industry is real estate auctions and benefit auctions.

The best way to celebrate National Auctioneers Day is to attend an auction. If there is not an auction in your area today, visit an online auction site. Who knows, you might finally be able to rid yourself of that regrettable “A Chipmunk Christmas” purchase.

Jackie Robinson Day  

Jackie Robinson Day commemorates the date in 1947 that Jackie Robinson became the first acknowledged African-American to play major league baseball.
Jackie Robinson ranks with Babe Ruth in terms of his impact on the national pastime. Ruth changed the way baseball was played; Jackie Robinson changed the way Americans thought. He was the first black man to win a batting title, the first to win the Most Valuable Player award and the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won major-league baseball’s first official Rookie of the Year award and was the first baseball player, black or white, to be featured on a United States postage stamp. He played his entire career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
During his 10-year career, his lifetime batting average was a solid .311, but because of the brevity of his career, his cumulative statistics are relatively unimpressive by Hall of Fame standards. Robinson hit a respectable .319 and averaged more than 110 runs scored per season. He drove in an average of eighty-five runs, and his average of nearly fifteen home runs per season was outstanding for a middle infielder of that era. And he averaged 24 stolen bases a season for a power-laden team that didn’t need him to run very often. He was an excellent bunter, good at the sacrifice and always a threat to lay one down for a hit. Not known as a home-run hitter, he displayed line-drive power to all fields, had a good eye for the strike zone, and rarely struck out. For his entire big-league career, he drew 740 walks and struck out only 291 times—an extremely impressive ratio. Robinson was an impressive base runner, and successfully “stole home” nineteen times in his career—tied with Frankie Frisch for the most home-base steals since World War I. At the age of thirty-five in 1954, he became the first National Leaguer to steal his way around the bases in twenty-six years, and a year later he became one of only twelve men to steal home in a World Series.

Husband Appreciation Day

Husband Appreciation Day is observed annually on the third Saturday of April. Husband Appreciation Day is a holiday to show the man in your life just how much he means to you and your family.
Many husbands are taken for granted and their contributions go unrecognized. This holiday provides the perfect opportunity to let him know how much you admire and appreciate him for all he does. You made the decision to marry him and share your life together, so take this day to let him know just how much you cherish him.

National Griper’s Day  

National Griper’s Day is not a holiday to get on your soap box and rage against “the man” or bemoan all of the inequities of society. National Griping Day relates to the petty, irritating, insignificant little things that are too small to take the time to change but, nonetheless, are still a nuisance. For example, leaving the cap off the toothpaste or squeezing it in the middle rather than from the end, leaving your dirty clothes strewn on the floor rather than putting them in the hamper, or leaving about a teaspoon of coffee in the pot rather than making a fresh pot for the next guy, along with myriad other petty things are all things that people gripe about.
National Griper’s Day serves to remind us that no matter how much we complain about our gripes, very little can be done to change the things that other people do to irritate us. — short of slow, excruciatingly painful torture, which is probably illegal. About the best we can hope for is that we don’t strangle them the next time we see them.

That Sucks Day

National That Sucks Day was created by Bruce Novotny, who noticed that April 15 has historically been a very unfortunate day. Usually, April 15th is Tax Day, which sucks. April 15th is also the day that Abraham Lincoln died and the date that the Titanic sank. Both of those events also sucked. Not a stellar record for a single day of the year, wouldn’t you say? What future events will occur on this date to further tarnish its reputation? Only time will tell. This is a link to Mr. Novatny’s website.
Author’s Note: William Shakespeare famously wrote in his play Julius Caesar: “Beware the Ides of March”. Well, with all of the ominous things which have occurred on this date, I would update that quote to include: “Beware the Ides of April”.

Titanic Remembrance Day

Titanic Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1912 when the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, killing 1517 people. THAT SUCKED! (On a more positive note, more than 700 people did actually survive the ordeal).

Take a Wild Guess Day

Take a Wild Guess Day is a day honoring guesses, hunches, inspirations, speculations, and other forms of “intuitive intelligence.” The military uses the acronym WAG which stands for Wild A$$ed Guess. It is used to convey to others that the information you are about to relate to them is not a certainty, but is nonetheless, the best estimate you can give with the information you currently have.

Rubber Eraser Day

Rubber Eraser Day commemorates the date in 1770 when Joseph Priestly created that a “new” product imported from Brazil, rubber, could be used to “rub out” print from paper. Then, in 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization (a method that would cure rubber and make it a durable material) and this process made rubber erasers standard throughout the world. Further cementing the place of rubber erasers in history, Hyman Lipman of Philadelphia, PA patented the pencil with an eraser at the end in 1858.
Prior to the invention of the rubber eraser, tablets of wax were used to erase lead or charcoal marks from a paper.  Another option for the eraser was crustless bread. Students preferred this method because teachers would give them as much bread as they needed, and since crustless bread was needed, they got to eat the crusts first.
But why Rubber Eraser Day and not just plain old Eraser Day? Well, the fact is that even today, a majority of erasers are still made from rubber. In fact, in England, erasers are still referred to as ‘rubbers’.
If like many Americans, you are just now sitting down to do your taxes at the last minute, you probably won’t have a problem celebrating Rubber Eraser Day. If your taxes are already done, celebrate this holiday by simply erasing something.

 McDonald’s Day

On this date in 1955, the first franchised McDonald’s™ restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois. I have never liked McDonald’s™, but I may be in the minority on this issue. I find most of their menu items unpalatable. I can, in desperation, digest their Filet O’ Fish sandwich, their fries, and some of their breakfast items. Walter and Wolfie, by beloved fur-babies, who traveled with me when I was an over-the-road truck driver, enjoyed the “Happy Meals” they got on their birthday, and the occasional pancake they got from there; but then again, they also enjoyed licking their own butts and genitalia, so draw your own conclusions.

National Glazed Spiral Ham Day

Glazed spiral ham is a hearty, savory dish that often makes an appearance at holiday feasts. A traditional ham glaze contains sugar, honey or orange juice, and flavorful ingredients like cloves, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Americans have been making glazed ham for many years. Recipes for the dish first appeared in local newspapers during the 1940s. Around the same time, a man named Harry Hoenselaar invented a piece of equipment that could efficiently cut glazed ham into uniform slices. His patented machine carved the ham into a single, continuous spiral. In 1957, Honeselaar opened the first Honey Baked Ham store. Today, the company has over 400 stores nationwide and sells millions of glazed spiral hams during the holiday season.
Ham is the upper haunch of the boar or pig. There are two basic types of ham. The first type is wet-cured ham. Wet-cured hams, while less expensive, are those briny, watery, tasteless hams that you find in cans at most supermarkets. Many include other “pig parts” that are pressed together, injected with salt water, then cured in, even more, salt water. The second type of ham is dry-cured (as in smoked, aged, or country ham). Dry-cured hams are far more flavorful, well-marbled, and juicy. You actually get to taste the meat rather than the brine.
Although considerably more expensive, I think the extra cost for a dry-cured ham is worthwhile. Enjoy some ham for dinner tonight. Whether it is glazed and/or spiral-cut is entirely up to you.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1784 – The first hot-air balloon was flown in Ireland.
  • In 1817 – The first American school for the deaf was opened in Hartford, CT.
  • In 1850 – The city of San Francisco was incorporated.
  • In 1861 – President Lincoln mobilized the Federal army in preparation for the Civil War.
    in 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln succumbed to the wounds suffered in an assassination attempt by John Wilkes Booth the previous evening at Ford’s Theater.
  • In 1871 – “Wild Bill” Hickok became the marshal of Abilene, Kansas.
  • In 1892 – The General Electric Company was organized.
  • In 1923 – Insulin became generally available for people suffering from diabetes.
  • In 1934 – In the comic strip “Blondie,” Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead welcomed a baby boy, Alexander. The child would be nicknamed, Baby Dumpling.
  • In 1935 – The Eastman Kodak Company launched Kodachrome. The photographic film was one of the most popular media used by professional and hobby photographers around the world. The product was discontinued in 2009 because of the advent of digital photography.
  • In 1945 – During World War II, the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen was liberated. British and Canadian troops found about 53,000 prisoners inside the camp. Tens of thousands died before and after the liberation.
  • In 1947 – Jackie Robinson played his regular season first major league baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Previously he had only appeared in exhibition games.
  • In 1952 – President Harry Truman signed the official Japanese peace treaty.
  • In 1952 – The first B-52 bomber prototype was tested in the air.
  • In 1953 – Pope Pius XII gave his approval of psychoanalysis but warned of possible abuses.
  • In 1953 – Charlie Chaplin surrendered his U.S. re-entry permit rather than face proceedings by the U.S. Justice Department. Chaplin was accused of sympathizing with Communist groups.
  • In 1956 – The worlds’ first, all-color TV station was dedicated. It was WNBQ-TV in Chicago and is now WMAQ-TV.
  • In 1959 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro began a U.S. goodwill tour.
  • In 1967 – Richard Speck was found guilty of murdering eight student nurses.
  • In 1986 – United States F-111 fighter-bombers attacked Libya. The attack was the United States’ response to the bombing of a Berlin discotheque earlier in the month on April 5, in which 3 people had died. Around 40 Libyans died in Operation El Dorado Canyon, including an infant girl.
  • In 1987 – In Northampton, MA, Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 others were acquitted on civil disobedience charges related with a CIA protest.
  • In 1989 – In Sheffield, England, 96 people were killed and hundreds were injured at a soccer game at Hillsborough Stadium when a crowd surged into an overcrowded standing area. Ninety-four died on the day of the incident and two later died from their injuries.
  • In 1989 – Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests upon the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang.  The small group of students initiated a pro-democracy protest on Tiananmen Square in Beijing which grew in size until they were brutally dispersed in the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4.
  • In 1990 – Greta Garbo, the actress with the “million dollar legs” died.
  • In 1994 – The World Trade Organization was established. The WTO coordinates and strives to liberalize international trade. It has been criticized for ignoring and escalating the negative social and environmental side-effects of globalization.
  • In 1997 – Christopher Reeve received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1998 – Pol Pot died at the age of 73. The leader of the Khmer Rouge regime thereby evaded prosecution as a war criminal for the deaths of 2 million of his Cambodian citizens.
  • In 2000 – Six hundred anti-IMF (International Monetary Fund) protesters were arrested in Washington, DC, for demonstrating without a permit.

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.

  • Leonardo da Vinci 1452 – Artist.
  • Charles Peale 1741 – Artist.
  • Henry James 1843 – Author.
  • Hans Conried 1917 – Actor.
  • Michael Ansara 1922 – Actor.
  • Roy Clark 1933 – Country musician, singer.
  • Claudia Cardinale 1938 – Actress.
  • Julie Sommars 1942 – Actress.
  • Amy Wright 1950 – Actress.
  • Michael Tucci 1950 – Actor.
  • Emma Thompson 1959 – Actress.
  • Samantha Fox 1966 – Singer.
  • Seth Rogan 1982 – Actor.
  • Emma Watson 1990 – Actress.
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