April 25th – World Penguin Day

April 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning flightless waterfowl fans. Today is Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Penguin Day

Please don’t confuse this with Penguin Awareness Day, which I covered on January 20th.
World Penguin Day coincides with the annual northward migration of penguins. This happens each year on or around April 25th. Penguins do not fly. Rather, they walk, waddle, or swim their way to and from their destination. Penguins are not only found in Antarctica. They are also found in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and in zoos worldwide.
Since you should have already watched or re-watched both “Happy Feet” movies and caught up on Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons in your Penguin Awareness Day celebration in January, here are some other ways to celebrate World Penguin Day.

  • Dress in black and white.
  • Sit down with your children or grandchildren and learn about penguins.
  • Learn a few penguin jokes. Here are some of my favorites.
    1) Who is the penguins least favorite Pop Star?
    Answer: Seal.
    2) Why don’t you see penguins in Great Britain?
    Answer: They are afraid of Wales.
    3) Why don’t penguins like Rock & Roll?
    Answer: They only like Sole.

That’s the last one, I promise – unless there is another penguin related holiday this year.

National Telephone Day

When you are asked the question, “Who invented the telephone” your answer is probably Alexander Graham Bell, right? The correct answer is the name on the patent, which happens to be Alexander Graham Bell, but only because his representative was the first to make it to the patent office that day. Had his attorney been delayed by foul weather or poor planning, the answer may very well have been different.
On February 14, 1876, Marcellus Bailey, one of Bell’s attorneys rushed into the US Patent office in Boston to file the patent for what would be the telephone. Later the same day, Elisha Gray filed a patent caveat for a similar device. A caveat is an intent to file for a patent. Because Bell’s patent was submitted first, it was awarded to him on March 7, 1876. Gray contested this decision in court, but his appeal was rejected. There is also a third contender. Antonio Meucci filed a caveat in November of 1871 for a talking telegraph but failed to renew the caveat due to financial hardships. Three days after the patent was approved, Bell spoke the, now famous, first words by telephone to his assistant. “Mr.Watson, come here! I want to see you!”
By May, Bell and his team were ready for a public demonstration, and there would be no better place than the World’s Fair in Philadelphia. On May 10, 1876, in a crowded Machinery Hall a man’s voice was transmitted from a small horn and carried out through a speaker to the audience. One year later, the White House installed its first phone, the telephone revolution began.
Bell Telephone Company was founded on July 9, 1877, and the first public telephone lines were installed from Boston to Sommerville, Massachusetts the same year. By the end of the decade, there were nearly 50,000 phones in the United States. In May of 1967, the 1 millionth telephone was installed.
Author’s Note: Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He was an instructor at a boys’ boarding school, and the sounds of speech were an integral part of his life. His father developed a “Visible Speech” system for deaf students to communicate. Bell would later become friend and benefactor of Helen Keller.

School Bus Driver’s Day

School Bus Driver’s Day obviously celebrates school bus drivers and is celebrated on the fourth Tuesday in April annually. As a former school bus driver, School Bus Driver’s Day hearkens me back to my first real job (other than farm work and mowing lawns during the summer). I drove a school bus for two years while attending junior college.
The earliest school buses date back to the beginning of the 20th century when horse-drawn carriages were used to pick up children, especially from rural areas. In 1927, Ford dealership owner A.L. Luce produced a bus body for a 1927 Ford Model T, and today’s school buses, though admittedly more modern and much larger, still resemble that his original design.
The shade of yellow known today as “school bus yellow” was adopted as a standard color for North American school buses in 1939. Currently, school buses provide an estimated 10 billion student trips every year. About 500,000 school buses transport approximately 30-million children to and from school each school day. School buses have played an enormous role in the education of children from poorer families from rural areas all over the world.
School bus drivers not only have to be skilled, and safe drivers, they have to exhibit patience toward students, parents and school staff in the course of their everyday duties. In addition to changing traffic patterns, weather conditions, and unexpected road hazards, school bus drivers must also learn to deal with unruly students and try to guide them to appropriate behavior. It is no easy task.
So, when you send little Johnny or Suzie off to school today, celebrate School Bus Driver’s Day by walking them to their bus stop and thanking their school bus driver for all that he/she does.

East Meets West Day

East Meets West Day commemorates the date in 1945 when American troops in the east and Russian troops in the west met on the banks of the Elbe River near Torgau and Clanzschwitz in Germany during WWII. The two armies weren’t supposed to make contact with each other. Orders were given for them to remain on their respective eastern and western banks of the river while officers from each division formalized occupation of Berlin. However, when the two armies met on April 25th south of Berlin outside Torgau on the River Elbe, patrols were sent across the river in a small boat. The first to make contact were American First Lieutenant Albert Kotzebue and Soviet Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Gardiev along with their commands. Two days later, photographers commemorated the event of the Eastern front meeting the Western front.

DNA Day

DNA Day is a national holiday honoring the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953, as well as the accomplishment of the Human Genome Project in 2003. It is a celebration of our common identity in all its myriad, unique, and individual expressions. It is celebrated annually on April 25th after the 108th Congress passed concurrent resolutions designating that date as DNA Day. The goal of National DNA Day is to offer students, teachers, and the public an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives.
On April 2, 1953, James D Watson and Francis Crick discovered that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was a double helix, not a triple helix as was commonly believed. Then, sometime in April 2003 (no specific date was given), the Human Genome Project was completed after 50-years of research. Click here if you are interested in learning more about this holiday. The University of California, Santa Cruz celebrates this special day by offering many recreational opportunities to engage in the latest advancements in genomic research and explore how this research may impact our lives.

Zucchini Bread Day

Author’s Note: Because I use multiple sources in preparing these BLOG posts each day, sometimes conflicts arise regarding the dates for some holidays. Such is the case with Zucchini Bread Day. One, normally reliable, source listed this holiday for the 23rd of this month and I published this holiday 2 days ago. However, 4 of my, normally reliable, sources (including 2 sources devoted strictly to food holidays) list today as the date for Zucchini Bread Day. To rectify this situation, I am providing you with the original post from 2 days ago below and will correct it in the future.

National Zucchini Bread Day, oddly enough, celebrates Zucchini bread – that sweet, cake-like bread which is very popular here in America. Zucchini bread first became popular in the 1960’s. With the hippie movement was in full swing, people were seeking healthier food options. As an alternative to the sugary frosted layer cakes and sheet cakes of the time, sweet quick breads like zucchini bread and carrot cake became popular, modeled after banana bread. As with bananas, the high water content of the zucchini adds moisture to the cake. Although zucchini bread contains grated zucchini, it is not considered a “health food” by most nutrition experts, because it normally also contains chopped pecans or walnuts, and optional ingredients such as coconut, grated apple, raisins, and even chocolate chips. It is perfect as a tea bread, plain or with cream cheese frosting and is often eaten in place of a muffin at breakfast.
No one knows for sure who actually created National Zucchini Bread Day or when it was created, but I can certainly understand why it was created – desperation! Zucchini plants are notoriously one of the most prodigious producers in the garden. Usually, by mid-summer, most families are sick and tired of eating zucchini, even resorting to stealthily leaving zucchini on their neighbor’s porch while they are away just to get rid of it – yet the plant in their garden just keeps on producing. Having exhausted all of their other zucchini recipes, they created Zucchini Bread.
To celebrate National Zucchini Bread Day, eat some Zucchini Bread today.
Zucchini Trivia: Zucchini is not a vegetable but a fruit. It carries its seeds on the inside, like all other true fruits. Strawberries are an “accessory fruit” (previously known as a false fruit), a category where the fruit’s flesh is derived not from the ovary of the plant, but from some adjacent tissue. Other examples include figs, apples, and pears. The strawberry is the only “fruit” with seeds on the outside. The “seeds” are actually incorporations of the pistils of the flower of the plant.

More Holidays

On this date

  • In 1684 – A patent was granted for the thimble.
  • In 1792 – The guillotine was first used in France. It was used to execute highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier.
  • In 1831 – The New York and Harlem Railway was incorporated in New York City.
  • In 1846 – The Mexican-American War ignited as a result of disputes over claims to Texas boundaries. The outcome of the war fixed Texas’ southern boundary at the Rio Grande River.
  • In 1859 – Work began on the Suez Canal in Egypt. The waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea became the shortest sea link between Europe and Asia.
  • In 1860 – The first Japanese diplomats to visit a foreign power reached Washington, DC. They remained in the U.S. capital for several weeks while discussing an expansion of trade with the United States.
  • In 1901 – New York became the first state to require license plates for cars. The fee was $1.
  • In 1915 – During World War I, Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in hopes of attacking the Central Powers from below. The attack was unsuccessful.
  • In 1928 – A seeing eye dog was used for the first time.
  • In 1945 – Delegates from about 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
  • In 1953 – The double helix structure of DNA was described for the first time. Francis Crick and James D. Watson published their groundbreaking findings of the molecule containing genetic information was in Nature that day.
  • In 1953 – Senator Wayne Morse ended the longest speech in Senate history. The speech on the Offshore Oil Bill lasted 22 hours and 26 minutes.
  • In 1954 – The prototype manufacture of the first solar battery was announced by the Bell Laboratories in New York City.
  • In 1957 – Operations began at the first experimental sodium nuclear reactor.
  • In 1959 – The St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping. The waterway connects the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • In 1961 – Robert Noyce was granted a patent for the integrated circuit.
  • In 1967 – Colorado Governor John Love signed the first law legalizing abortion in the U.S. The law was limited to therapeutic abortions when agreed to, unanimously, by a panel of three physicians.
  • In 1971 – The country of Bangladesh was established.
  • In 1974 – In Portugal, the fascist Estado Novo was overthrown in a bloodless coup. The leftist Carnation Revolution was led by military officers and supported by widespread civil resistance.
  • In 1980 – In Iran, a commando mission to rescue hostages was aborted after mechanical problems disabled three of the eight helicopters involved. During the evacuation, a helicopter, and a transport plane collided and exploded. Eight U.S. servicemen were killed. The mission was aimed at freeing American hostages that had been taken at the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. [You might see news items that say this incident happened on the 24th, but it was the April 25th in Iran. At the time of the incident, it was still April 24th in Washington D.C. so either date is technically correct].
  • In 1983 – The German news magazine, Stern, announced the discovery of Hitler’s diaries. The documents were later exposed as forgeries, triggering one of the most spectacular media scandals in history. Experts believe that Hitler never kept a diary.
  • In 1983 – The Pioneer 10 spacecraft crossed Pluto’s orbit, speeding on its endless voyage through the Milky Way.
  • In 1984 – David Anthony Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy, was found dead of a drug overdose in a hotel room.
  • In 1988 – In Israel, John “Ivan the Terrible” Demjanjuk was sentenced to death as a Nazi war criminal.
  • In 1990 – Sandinista rule ended in Nicaragua.
  • In 1990 – The U.S. Hubble Space Telescope was placed into Earth’s orbit. It was released by the space shuttle Discovery.
  • In 1998 – U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on was questioned by Whitewater prosecutors on videotape about her work as a private lawyer for the failed savings and loan at the center of the investigation.
  • In 2003 – Winnie Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader, and ex-wife of former President Nelson Mandela was sentenced to four years in prison for her conviction on fraud and theft charges. She was convicted of 43 counts of fraud and 25 of theft of money from a women’s political league.
  • In 2007 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 13,000 for the first time.
  • In 2011 – The largest tornado outbreak ever recorded hit the United States. A total of 358 confirmed tornadoes in six states killed 348 people during the outbreak.

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.

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