April 18th – ♫Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On♫

April 18, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning movers and shakers. Today is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

San Francisco Earthquake

Although not a cause for celebration, this date does hold some significance. Today marks the 111th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake. At 5:12 AM, on this date in 1906, an earthquake devastated the city of San Francisco.
The resulting fires burned for days. The “official” death toll reported at the time was 375. However, Government officials (surprise, surprise) skewed the statistics to protect property values and to affect efforts to rebuild the city. Hundreds of deaths in Chinatown went unreported and ignored. No one knows for sure how many people died, but a more precise estimate is over 3,000. About 80% of the city was destroyed.
Neighboring cities like San Jose and Santa Rosa also suffered significant property damage and loss of life. In Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where before the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new outlet just north of Marina.
Out of a population of 410,000, over 225,00 people were left homeless. At the time of the disaster, San Francisco had been the ninth-largest city in the United States and the largest on the West Coast. San Francisco was a thriving metropolis and the financial, trade and cultural center of the west coast. It operated the busiest port on the West Coast, and was the “gateway to the Pacific”.
The most widely accepted estimate for the size of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other estimates have been proposed, ranging from 7.7 to as high as 8.25. The main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the city, near Mussel Rock. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada. It remains one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States; along with Hurricane Katrina and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Tax Day

Again, not a cause for celebration, Tax Day is the day when Income Taxes are due in America. Today is the deadline for Americans to file and pay their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service if they haven’t already done so. Every year since 1955, people have paid their taxes on April 15, except when this date falls on a weekend or holiday. (In that case, Tax Day is the following business day.) This year, because of Easter falling on the weekend of the 15th, we got three extra days to worry about the tax deadline.
The Federal income tax was first established by the Revenue Act of 1861. Its purpose was to fund the Civil War. Over the years there have been several Supreme Court cases that have challenged the constitutionality of income taxes, however, none were successful.
I don’t have a problem with paying taxes to provide basic services that benefit all. However, these days it seems that more and more of my tax dollars are being squandered by elected representatives who spend them on meaningless “pet projects”, or to pay back all of their “high-dollar” contributors who donated to their campaigns (through back-door legislation which benefits them), or to advance their own personal political agenda and increase their political power, or to benefit themselves financially, or to undermine the Constitution, or to strip away the rights and freedoms of those citizens who elected them, and/or to subvert the law so that it is easier for them to get their corrupt, self-serving, sorry a$$es reelected in the future. Any perceived benefit to the citizenry who elected them is purely coincidental.

 International Juggler’s Day

The earliest known record of juggling dates all the way back to 1994 BC by the ancient Egyptians. International Juggler’s Day celebrates the skill of juggling and talented jugglers. Juggling is a physical skill involving the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling.
I don’t know why this date was selected as International Juggler’s Day. This date holds no significance in the annals of juggling that I can find. Anyway, since the demise of variety shows on TV in the late 1960’s, about the only place you can find jugglers these days is at a circus or carnival side-show. That’s a shame because the hand/eye coordination and concentration of jugglers are truly amazing.  If there is a circus or carnival side-show near your town, make it a point to attend a performance. You could also celebrate this holiday by finding three (non-lethal) objects and trying to teach yourself how to juggle.
Author’s Note: This holiday could also be loosely interpreted to refer to a consummate multi-tasker, like someone at work who is constantly “juggling” multiple projects at once. Almost every workplace has someone like this. If there is no circus or carnival side-show in your area, kick back at work and watch this ‘clown’ work himself/herself into a tizzy trying to keep tabs on all their projects – It might be just as entertaining as the circus.

National Newspaper Columnists Day  

National Newspaper Columnists Day celebrates the life and career of famed journalist Ernie Pyle. Today marks the anniversary of the day, in 1945, that columnist Ernie Pyle was killed in action on Ie Shima Island while covering WW II.
National Newspaper Columnists Day was created by the The National Society of Newspaper Columnists (which was founded in 1977) to pay homage to Mr. Pyle, and so many other journalists who have lost or risked their lives pursuing their craft.The best way I know of for you to celebrate National Newspaper Columnists Day is to read the columnists in your local newspaper.

National Lineman Appreciation Day

National Lineman Appreciation Day was created to pay homage to the men and women who keep your lights on. If the power is on at your house, you have a lineman to thank for it. From the meters on your house to your local power plant, to the grid crisscrossing the country both above and underground, linemen build and maintain the system that keeps our nation running.
Regardless of the source, the electricity is transported by using transformers and other equipment. Due to the dangerous conditions electricity poses, safety is of utmost importance for both the lineman and the consumer.
When mother nature causes a power outage, linemen are called upon to get to work. They work tirelessly in all sorts of weather, under emergency conditions to get the power back on again as quickly as possible. Even when there is no crisis, they work in dangerous conditions, whether they are working in trenches, near water, or on high towers, the risks are extreme.

International Amateur Radio Day

This year marks the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). The IARU and its more than 160 Member-Societies created World Amateur Radio Day to celebrate its beginnings in Paris, France on this date in 1925.
Amateur radio operators are recognized for their invaluable contributions to disaster relief efforts and workers during natural disasters in areas where normal communications have been interrupted. They are often the only means of passing along vital information. Currently, there are more than 3-million licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.
Long before the Internet and smartphones, amateur radio operators talked and shared information for decades. Amateur Radio continues to attract people worldwide by providing international communications for free (once you have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on radio equipment, that is).

Piñata Day 

When most people see the word piñata. they think of Mexico, but the roots of the piñata go back to 14th-century Europe…before the discovery of the Americas, in case you failed World History in school.
The name piñata is actually a variation of the Italian pignatta and eventually made its way to Spain. When piñatas arrived in Mexico with the Spanish conquistadors, they actually underwent an interesting transformation, becoming deeply entrenched with religious significance. The traditional piñata is actually a sphere (rather than those animal characters used for parties and such) with seven points protruding from it…one for each of the seven deadly sins. The attack of the piñata is actually meant to demonstrate the battle of the soul against temptation and evil, with the contents being the rewards of the ever after. Wow! that’s surprisingly deep for a papier-mâché ball of treats and prizes, don’t you think?

National Animal Crackers Day

Animal-shaped crackers were first brought to the United States during the late 1800’s. The demand for these treats skyrocketed so bakers began to produce them domestically. Stauffer’s Biscuit Company was the first company to produce animal crackers in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or “Nabisco Brands.” It was not until 1902 though that the animal cracker’s box debuted its “Barnum’s Animals” circus theme. These fun little crackers are usually in the shape circus or zoo animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys, but since their start in 1902, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum’s Animal Crackers? Today more than 40 million packages of animal crackers are sold each year around the world. For reasons that completely baffle me, they are still popular today.  To celebrate, enjoy a box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers. They won’t kill you too much.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1506 – Construction on the current St. Peter’s Basilica began. St. Peter’s in Vatican City is one of the world’s most important Catholic sites.
  • In 1846 – The telegraph ticker was patented by R.E. House.
  • In 1847 – U.S. troops defeated almost 17,000 Mexican soldiers commanded by Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo during the Mexican-American War.
  • In 1861 – Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies during the U.S. Civil War.
  • In 1877 – Charles Cross wrote a paper that described the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Cross is regarded as the inventor of the phonograph. In the U.S., Thomas Edison gets the credit.
  • In 1895 – New York State passed an act that established free public baths.
  • In 1910 – Walter R. Brookins made the first airplane flight at night.
  • In 1923 – Yankee Stadium opened in the Bronx, NY. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1. John Phillip Sousa’s band played the National Anthem.
  • In 1924 – Simon and Schuster, Inc. published the first “Crossword Puzzle Book.”
  • In 1934 – The first Laundromat opened in Fort Worth, TX.
  • In 1938 – President Franklin Roosevelt threw out the first ball preceding the season opener between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • In 1942 – James H. Doolittle and his squadron, from the USS Hornet, raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
  • In 1949 – Ireland became an independent republic. Six counties in the northern part of the island remained in the Commonwealth, leading to a decades-long ethnic-nationalist conflict that culminated in The Troubles.
  • In 1950 – The first transatlantic jet passenger trip was completed.
  • In 1951 – The European Coal and Steel Community, a precursor to the European Union, Was established The Treaty of Paris was signed by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
  • In 1955 – Albert Einstein died.
  • In 1956 – Actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco were married. Prince Rainier III married Grace Kelly. The wedding celebrations for the Prince of Monaco and the glamorous United States actress were broadcast around the world and enthused the population of war-torn Europe. The religious ceremony took place the next day on April 19th.
  • In 1978 – The U.S. Senate approved the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama effective on December 31, 1999.
  • In 1983 – The U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up by a suicide car-bomber. 63 people were killed including 17 Americans.
  • In 1985 – Tulane University abolished its 72-year-old basketball program. The reason was charges of fixed games, drug abuse, and payments to players.
  • In 1989 – Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy tried to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
  • In 2002 – Actor Robert Blake and his bodyguard were arrested in connection with the shooting death of Blake’s wife about a year before.
  • In 2002 – The city legislature of Berlin decided to make Marlene Dietrich an honorary citizen. Dietrich had gone to the United States in 1930. She refused to return to Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power.

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.

  • Clarence Darrow 1857 – Attorney.
  • Tony Mottola 1918 – Guitarist.
  • Barbara Hale 1922 – Actress.
  • Clive Revill 1930 – Actor.
  • James Drury 1934 – Actor.
  • Robert Hooks 1937 – Actor.
  • Hayley Mills 1946 – Actress.
  • James Woods 1947 – Actor.
  • Dorothy Lyman 1947 – Actress.
  • Cindy Pickett 1947 – Actress.
  • Catherine Malfilano 1948 – Opera singer.
  • Rick Moranis 1954 – Actor.
  • Eric Roberts 1956 – Actor.
  • Melody Thomas Scott 1956 – Actress.
  • Jane Leeves 1961 – Actress.
  • Conan O’Brien 1963 – Television personality.
  • Eric McCormack 1963 – Actor.
  • Maria Bello 1967 – Actress.
  • Sean Maguire 1976 – Actor.
  • Melissa Joan Hart 1976 – Actress.
  • Alia Shawkat 1989 – Actress.
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