May 5th – Feliz Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Buenos días, amigos. Hoy es Viernes, 5 de mayo. Las razones de hoy para celebrar son:

Cinco de Mayo

In case you haven’t guessed, today is Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on this date in 1862. (Mexico had declared its independence over 50 years earlier. The war was over unpaid debts owed to European governments.) I must point out that Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexican Independence Day. That holiday falls on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is actually a minor holiday in Mexico. Celebrations are usually limited to the Puebla region of Mexico and consist mostly of military parades. This single battle signifies the defeat of European Colonial expansion in Mexico and a victory for the Mexican people.
Cinco de Mayo is much more popular here in America. It is celebrated in cities with large Mexican-American enclaves. Unfortunately, much like when everyone becomes Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone becomes Mexican on Cinco de Mayo. Even nonMexican-Americans use it as an excuse to get drunk on too much tequila and make an A$$ out of themselves.  In my humble opinion, this dilutes the significance of the holiday for those who truly have reason to celebrate it. And Americans wonder why they are hated by most of the rest of the world.

Space Day/International Space Day

Space Day is always celebrated on the first Friday in May and seeks to promote math, science, technology and engineering education in young people, and to inspire them to pursue a career in science, especially a career in space-related sciences. Space Day was created by Lockheed-Martin Corporation in 1977. Originally scheduled as a one-time event, but it was so popular that it was made an into an annual celebration. Former astronaut and Senator John Glenn expanded Space Day to International Space Day in 2001.
Note: This year, International Space Day falls one day after America’s first manned space flight by astronaut Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961.

Military Spouse Day/Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Military Spouses Day is celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day. It was created by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger established the Friday before Mother’s Day as the day it was to be celebrated. It is a day set aside to recognize the real backbone of our military, the spouses. It represents the contributions they make to the morale, and well-being of our soldiers. If you are related to or know any spouses of soldiers, especially those currently serving overseas, take time out to let them know how much they are appreciated.

National No Homework Day

For all of you professional educators out there, National No Homework Day, always celebrated on May 6th, is an opportunity to give your students a brief reprieve from the normal drudgery of homework. Most of your students have been working and studying hard all year and Finals are just around the corner, so, I’m sure they will appreciate the gesture. Cut them some slack today and let them enjoy a relaxing evening at home for once. Besides, you can always double-down on them later if you feel you must.

National Cartoonists Day

On this date in 1895, the very first color comic strip was published. Over time, comic strips became a staple in almost every newspaper. For that reason, today is National Cartoonists Day. The burgeoning internet makes the future of comic strips uncertain. Even so, you can’t deny the impact they have had on society. Most of my favorites, such as Peanuts, have already disappeared. Luckily, cartooning isn’t limited to newspapers. There are many more sources for cartoons: animation, children’s books, and greeting cards to name a few. You can also find some of the classic cartoons online as well.

International Tuba Day.

International Tuba Day has nothing to do with how a Bostonian would pronounce the alternative word for a potato.
International Tuba Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday in May and pertains to that heavy, cumbersome musical instrument that is essential to any band or orchestra.  The tuba’s big, deep sounds provide lots of character and “Oomph” to concert music. And, I can’t even imagine a marching band without a tuba.
This holiday was created by Joel Day in 1979. At the time, Joel was a tuba player in a band at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pa. He started it as a result of a lack of respect for tuba and tuba players by his fellow musicians.
Below are a few little-known facts about tubas:

  1.  Tubas come in varying sizes, weighing from a dozen pounds to 50 pounds.
  2. The Tuba was patented in 1835 by Wiebrecht and Moritz in Germany.
  3.  The number of valves on a Tuba is not standardized. A Tuba can have 3, 4, 5, or even 6 valves.

Totally Chipotle Day

Totally Chipotle Day pays tribute to this flavorful chili and urges you to cook chipotle-inclusive meals in its honor. This holiday conveniently coincides with Cinco de Mayo to honor the uniquely Mexican heritage of the chipotle pepper. Chipotles are a very popular kind of smoke-dried jalapeno chili that are found quite often in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine. Don’t worry about reaching for that water bottle just yet (drinking water is actually the worst thing you can do if eating super-spicy food). The unique chipotle smoking process lessens the burn you might have experienced with other jalapeno peppers, but if you do want a little extra kick in your Cinco de Mayo dishes today, you can always add some anyway.

National Hoagie Day

Nothing screams Cinco de Mayo louder to me than a good old-fashioned Hoagie sandwich (now removing my tongue from my cheek). The popularity of the Hoagie sandwich is partly due to the diversity and variety of its contents. It can be hot or cold, luncheon meat or meatballs, and will contain a cheese, or any of a variety of cheeses. Then, the fun begins as you pile on any number and combination of extras…such as onions, lettuce, peppers, olives, tomatoes, ad infinitum.
Hoagies are also known as submarine sandwiches (or subs) and hero sandwiches. The difference in terminology is largely based on the region of the country in which you live. They are very popular throughout America. People eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and even as a late night snack. They are a quick meal or people on the go.

Oyster Day

Oysters are a shellfish, or “mollusks” found in both freshwater and saltwater, and Oyster Day celebrates them. Oysters derive their sustenance by sifting food from the water around them. In doing so, they sometimes pick up a piece of sand or grit. If that piece of sand or grit gets lodged in the oyster’s system, the oyster reacts to the irritant by slowly secreting a substance called “nacre” around the sand. Ultimately, it develops into a pearl. However, not all oysters develop pearls.
Factoid: Seattle, Washington is the world’s largest producers of cultivated pearls. They are known as the “Oyster Capital of the World”.

More Holidays

On This Date:

  • In 1798 – Secretary of War William McHenry ordered that the USS Constitution be made ready for sea. The frigate was launched on October 21, 1797, but had never been put to sea.
  • In 1809 – Mary Kies was awarded the first patent to go to a woman. It was for a technique for weaving straw with silk and thread.
  • In 1821 – Napoleon Bonaparte died on the island of St. Helena, where he had been in exile.
  • In 1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States.
  • In 1892 – Congress extended the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act for 10 more years. The act required Chinese in the United States to be registered or face deportation.
  • In 1904 – The third perfect game of the major leagues was thrown by Cy Young (Boston Red Sox) against the Philadelphia Athletics. It was the first perfect game under modern rules.
  • In 1912 – Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda began publishing.
  • In 1917 – Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earned his flying certificate with the French Air Service.
  • In 1925 – John T. Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, TN, was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.
  • In 1926 – Sinclair Lewis refused a 1925 Pulitzer for “Arrowsmith.”
  • In 1934 – The first Three Stooges film was released. The comedy trio soon became famous, especially in the United States, for their short films featuring slapstick humor.
  • In 1945 – The Netherlands and Denmark were liberated from Nazi control.
  • In 1945 – A Japanese balloon bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon. A pregnant woman and five children were killed.
  • In 1949 – The Council of Europe was founded. The organization was the first to work for European integration. It has 47 member countries and is a completely separate entity from the European Union (EU).
  • In 1955 – “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway.
  • In 1955 – West Germany regained full sovereignty after World War II. The Federal Republic of Germany had been established in 1949. Its provisional capital was Bonn. After the 1990 reunification of East and West Germany, Berlin was declared the country’s capital.
  • In 1961 – Alan Shepard became the first American in space when he made a 15-minute suborbital flight.
  • In 1966 – Willie Mays broke the National League record for home runs when he hit his 512th.
  • In 1978 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds registered his 3,000th major league hit.
  • In 1980 – The British Special Air Service (SAS) terminated the Iranian Embassy siege in London. Six gunmen had held 26 people hostage for six days, demanding the release of Iranian Arab prisoners. Two of the hostages were killed.
  • In 1981 – Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. It was his 66th day without food.
  • In 1987 – Congress opened the Iran-Contra hearings.
  • In 1994 – Michael Fay was caned in Singapore for vandalism. He received four lashes.
  • In 1997 – Dolores Hope, wife of beloved entertainer Bob Hope, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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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