April 27th – Tapir Off

April 27, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning herbivore fans. Today is Thursday, April 27, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Tapir Day

World Tapir Day was created to raise awareness about the little-known herbivore, the Tapir. My sources gave no indication of the origins of this holiday, but in my research, I came upon this little tidbit of information. On this date in 1983, the Belize Zoo acquired April, a female Tapir. As the Tapir is the National Animal of Belize, April was the “star attraction” at the zoo for 30-years until her death in 2013. The zoo celebrated her birthday annually on April 27th, so in all probability, that was the genesis of this holiday.
Although it similar in size and structure to a pig (with a short prehensile snout like a pachyderm thrown in), the tapir’s closest genetic relatives are horses, donkeys, zebras, and rhinoceroses. Tapirs vary in size according to species, but most tapirs are about 6 feet long, stand about 3 feet high at the shoulder, and weigh between 330 and 700 pounds. Because of their size, they have few natural predators. Tapirs are not aggressive, and their first inclination is to flee from danger (they can move remarkably fast considering their size and cumbersome appearance) and they find shelter in the thick undergrowth of the forest or in water. However, if cornered, or to protect their young, they will attack and can do considerable damage.
All four of the surviving species of Tapir are classified as either endangered or vulnerable. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia. As large herbivores, their habitat makes them especially vulnerable to deforestation. They have also been over-hunted for their meat and hides. However, their extinction could have a far more devastating effect on the environment. The loss of the Tapir could, in fact, endanger the entire remaining forests. As part of their natural habits, they also serve to disperse seeds throughout the jungle and are one of the oldest species found in these areas.
Celebrate World Tapir Day by learning more about these unique animals.

Pay it Forward Day

Pay it Forward Day is celebrated on the last Thursday in April and was established in 2007 to encourage ‘random act of kindness’ among total strangers. The idea came from the 1999 novel “Pay it Forward” by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The concept is simple: By performing random acts of kindness, you will create a ripple effect encouraging others to perform random acts of kindness in return.
Pay it Forward can mean anything from paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line to a sizable donation to a church or worthwhile charity. It depends on what you can afford.
Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

Morse Code Day 

Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and creator of Morse Code, was born on this date in 1791. Although there was much controversy at the time over who actually invented the telegraph, it is generally accepted as fact today the Morse had created the most practical and cost-effective system. He also had a lot of “help” in creating the Morse Code.

Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day

Oh look, ‘Take Your Daughters To Work Day’ is all grown up. Take Your Daughter To Work Day was created in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation and its founder Gloria Steinem. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday in April, this holiday was created to address the stereotypical gender roles of young girls and expose them to new career avenues they might not ordinarily consider.
In 2003, the program was ‘officially’ expanded to include boys, but most of the companies who participated in the program had allowed boys to take part from the outset, usually renaming it “Take Our Children to Work Day” or an equivalent. Prior to the inclusion of boys, pressure came from educators who did not wish to include the event in their curriculum given that their male students were not encouraged to participate. The Ms. Foundation contended that the program was designed to specifically address self-esteem issues unique to girls and initially resisted pressure to include boys, but the holiday evolved into Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day anyway. The program’s official website states that the program was changed to give both boys and girls the opportunities to explore careers at an age when they are more flexible in terms of gender roles.
So basically, what was created as a sexist, feminist holiday has evolved into something worthwhile that will benefit all children who participate…regardless of gender.

Babe Ruth Day

On this date in 1947, the legendary George Herman (Babe) Ruth was honored in Yankee Stadium, aka “the house that Ruth built”. Despite suffering from throat cancer, the “Sultan of Swat” gave an emotional speech before a capacity crowd of 58,339 where he expressed his gratitude to his fans. “The Bambino” succumbed to his illness on August 16, 1948.

Tell a Story Day

Tell a Story Day is pretty much self-explanatory; tell a story today. (Duh). It doesn’t matter whether it is fiction or non-fiction, a tall tale, or folklore. Your stories can be from a book or other written material, from memory, or just create a story of your own. To make your story more enjoyable, try setting the atmosphere. If it’s an eerie or spooky story, turn down the lights. Bring decorations and memorabilia that speak to the theme of your story. If your story is about a person, display a picture of that individual.

Matanzas Mule Day

On this date in 1898, in one of the first naval actions of the Spanish-American War, United States naval forces bombarded the Cuban village of Matanzas. After hours of bombardment, it was discovered that the only casualty was one mule. A formal funeral with full military honors was held for the mule, which was attended by more than 200 people. The “Matanzas Mule” became instantly famous and remains a footnote in the history of the Spanish-American War.

National Prime Rib Day

Prime rib is a delicious cut of beef that is usually roasted and served as the main course of a meal. A genuine prime rib is graded USDA Prime and can be quite difficult to obtain. It is considered one of the most elegant cuts of beef.  Prime rib must be USDA Prime, not USDA Choice or any of the lower grades of beef. Only about 3% of the beef in America is graded USDA prime. Because of the scarcity, it is generally carried only by the finest butchers and restaurants. Often, rib roasts masquerade as a prime rib in supermarkets, which typically carry USDA Choice (and lower grades of beef).
There’s only one way to celebrate Prime Rib Day folks; with a big, thick, juicy cut of prime rib, cooked perfectly to your liking. Don’t forget the au jus and/or horseradish. I’ll have mine medium-well, with a huge, fully loaded baked potato, please.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1521 – Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
  • In 1565 – The first Spanish settlement in the Philippines was established in Cebu City.
  • In 1810 – Ludwig van Beethoven composed “Für Elise”. “Bagatelle No. 25” for solo piano is one of the German composer’s most popular works and one of the most recognized melodies in the history of music.
  • In 1861 – President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.
  • In 1861 – West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union during the American Civil War.
  • In 1880 – Francis Clarke and M.G. Foster patented the electrical hearing aid.
  • In 1897 – Grant’s Tomb was dedicated.
  • In 1938 – Geraldine Apponyi married King Zog of Albania. She was the first American woman to become a queen.
  • In 1938 – A colored baseball was used for the first time in any baseball game. The ball was yellow and was used between Columbia and Fordham Universities in New York City.
  • In 1946 – The SS African Star was placed in service. It was the first commercial ship to be equipped with radar.
  • In 1953 – The United States offered $50,000 and political asylum to any Communist pilot that delivered an MIG jet to the United States.
    In 1961 – Sierra Leone became an independent republic. The West African country’s first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai, ended over 150 years of British colonial rule.
  • In 1965 – “Pampers” were patented by R.C. Duncan.
  • In 1982 – The trial of John W. Hinckley Jr. began in Washington. Hinckley was later acquitted by reason of insanity for the shooting of President Reagan and three others.
  • In 1983 – Nolan Ryan (Houston Astros) broke a 55-year-old major league baseball record when he struck out the 3,509th batter of his career.
  • In 1987 – The Justice Department barred Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States. He claimed that he had aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.
  • In 1989 – Student protesters took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
  • In 1992 – For the first time in its 700-year history, the British House of Commons was presided over by a female Speaker. Betty Boothroyd served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 2000.
  • In 1994 – South African citizens of all races were allowed to vote in a general election for the first time. The 1994 general election was held precisely 44 years after Apartheid was formalized by the government with the passing of the Group Areas Act.
  • In 2005 – The Airbus A-380 completed its maiden flight. With a passenger capacity of 840, the double-deck airliner is the world’s largest commercial jet.
  • In 2006 – In New York City, construction began on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower on the site of former World Trade Center.

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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