April 19th – How’s It Hangin’?

April 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning hangers-on. Today is Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Hanging Out Day

If you guessed that National Hanging Out Day is a day congregate with your friends and just lounge around ‘shootin’ the breeze’ – you would be…WRONG!
National Hanging Out Day celebrates the hippest, most energy-efficient innovation in solar and wind energy technology – the clothesline. For you millennials, a clothesline is/was a length of rope strung between two poles on which you attached your wet laundry, usually with specially designed ‘pins’, so it could dry naturally, using only the sun and the wind. If people used this natural clothes drying method today instead of that energy-inefficient clothes dryer, they could save hundreds of dollars each year.
I don’t know about you, but I miss the smell of clothes dried on a clothesline. If you don’t have a clothesline in your backyard, today would be a good day to visit your favorite home center and purchase all the materials necessary to install one. Even if you don’t use it all the time, you’ll still be saving money when you do.

Bicycle Day

One might reasonably expect that Bicycle Day would have something to do with the date the bicycle was invented, the birthdate of the inventor, or perhaps the date that the first patent was issued for a bicycle, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Bicycle Day concerns a trip on a bicycle…more precisely, an LSD trip on a bicycle. According to Wikipedia, this Bicycle Day pertains to the date in 1943 when Albert Hoffman, the creator of LSD, performed a self-experiment to find the effects of LSD. He ingested 250 micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide, what he thought should be a threshold dose (it was later determined that less than 10% of that dose, 20 micrograms, was a more realistic threshold dose). In less than an hour, Hoffman began experiencing the ill effects and asked his lab assistant to take him home. Since it was during WWII, the only means of transportation available was a bicycle. Bicycle Days refers to the psychedelic experiences he had on his “trip” home. [Click on the word  Wikipedia above to read the full story].

John Parker Day

You are probably wondering, “Who the heck is John Parker, and why does the deserve a holiday dedicated to him?” Well, Captain John Parker, was a member of the Massachusetts Militia. He and his troops encountered a group of British soldiers on a routine mission to search for stores of weapons and ammunition in Lexington, MA on this date in 1775. A stand-off ensued. It is believed that the orders he gave his men were: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Shortly afterward, a scrimmage began. No one knows who fired the first shot, but the scrimmage ended with eight militia killed and ten wounded; with only one British soldier wounded. Later that day, Captain Parker rallied his men and attacked the regulars returning to Boston in an ambush known as “Parker’s Revenge”. And, thus began the Revolutionary War.

Humorous Day

Humorous Day is a holiday that reminds you to find the humor in any situation which happens to be thrown your way. It reminds you to see the bright side and to realize that most things aren’t really as important as they initially may seem. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but instead, try to find the humor in it.
As is the case with many such ‘holidays’, the origins, history, and the creator of this holiday are not documented.

Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

I shouldn’t need to remind you what an act of cowardice and senseless tragedy this event was. I am not going to re-hash the events of that horrific day here. Click this link if you need a “refresher course” on the timeline of this pock-mark on American history.

National Garlic Day

National Garlic Day promotes the many uses of Garlic. Garlic is a relative of onions and chives. Garlic is usually used in cooking as a vegetable, or herb to add flavor and can be found in cultural dishes all over the world. Garlic sprouts can also be used to season your dishes as well.
Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It aids in treating the common cold, strep throat, lung infections and fungal infections. It lowers blood cholesterol levels and reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries.
Garlic originated in China. Today China is still the largest producer of garlic, followed by India, South Korea, Russia and the United States. Most of the garlic in the US is grown in Gilroy, California…which wrongly calls itself the ‘Garlic capital of the world”. Garlic is considered to be easy to grow and can grow year round in mild climates. One advantage to growing garlic is that they will not be attacked by pests.
Author’s Note: Oops, I almost forgot to mention the most beneficial quality of garlic – it wards off vampires and evil spirits.

National Amaretto Day

Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored, Italian liqueur. It is made from a base of apricot pits or almonds, sometimes both. The name is a diminutive of the Italian amaro, meaning “bitter,” indicating the distinctive flavor lent by the mandorla amara–the bitter almond or the apricot kernel. However, the bitterness is not unpalatable, and the flavor is enhanced by sweeteners, and sometimes sweet almonds, in the final products. Therefore, the liqueur’s name can be said to describe the taste as “a little bitter”. I am not a big fan of alcohol in general and liqueurs in particular, and Amaretto is no exception.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1587 – English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet.
  • In 1689 – Residents of Boston ousted their governor, Edmond Andros.
  • In 1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.
  • In 1775 – The American Revolutionary War began. The Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and 13 colonies of British North America. The war resulted in U.S. independence.
  • In 1782 – The Netherlands recognized the new United States.
  • In 1802 – The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.
  • In 1861 – Thaddeus S. C. Lowe sailed 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC.
  • In 1861 – President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.
  • In 1897 – The first annual Boston Marathon was held. It was the first race of its type in the United States.
  • In 1919 – Leslie Irvin made the world’s first free-fall parachute jump. The jump was executed to test a new kind of parachute, which was also the first featuring a ripcord. The Hollywood stuntman broke a leg on landing.
  • In 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.
  • In 1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
  • In 1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his “Old Soldiers” speech before the U.S. Congress. In the address, General MacArthur said that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
  • In 1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
  • In 1956 – Actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The civil ceremony took place on April 18.
  • In 1958 – The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first major league baseball game on the West Coast.
  • In 1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.
  • In 1971 – The Soviet Union launched the world’s first manned space station. Salyut 1 was 23 meters long and offered 100 cubic meters of pressurized space.
  • In 1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots.”
  • In 1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
  • In 1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.
  • In 1987 – The first installment of The Simpsons aired  The hugely popular animated sitcom debuted on the Tracey Ullman Show in the form of one-minute shorts.
  • In 1987 – The last California condor known to be in the wild was captured and placed in a breeding program at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
  • In 1993 – The Branch-Davidian compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.
  • In 1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
  • In 1995 – 168 people died in the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh, the mastermind behind the attack, was executed on June 11, 2001. The motives for the bombing, which also killed 19 babies and children, remain somewhat unclear.
  • In 1998 – Wang Dan, a leader of 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, was freed by the Chinese government.
  • In 2000 – Letters written by Greta Garbo were put on exhibit. The letters were made public ten years after Garbo’s death.
  • In 2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

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.

  • David Ricardo 1772 – Economist.
  • Ole Evinrude 1877 – Inventor.
  • Eliot Ness 1903 – G-Man.
  • Frank Fontaine 1920 – “Crazy Guggenheim”.
  • Hugh O’Brian 1925 – Actor.
  • Jayne Mansfield 1932 – Actress.
  • Dick Sargent 1933 – Actor.
  • Dudley Moore 1935 – Actor.
  • Elinor Donahue 1937 – Actress.
  • Bobby Russell 1941 – Singer, songwriter.
  • Tim Curry 1946 – Actor.
  • Tony Plana 1952 – Actor.
  • Ashley Judd 1968 – Actress.
  • Bekka Bramlett 1968 – Singer.
  • James Franco 1978 – Actor.
  • Kate Hudson 1979 – Actress.
  • Hayden Christensen 1981 – Actor.
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno 1981 – Actress.
  • Maria Sharapova 1987 – Tennis player.

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