May 8th – Victory!

May 8, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning history buffs. Today is Monday, May 8, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day

V-E Day celebrates the official end of fighting in Europe during WWII. After years of war, The Third Reich of Nazi Germany was defeated,  and Nazi leader Adolph Hitler had committed suicide. Millions of people, soldiers and civilian alike, were dead.  On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. Germany’s surrender, therefore, was authorized by his successor, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg Government. The act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.
The German Army had ceased fighting on May 2nd and formally surrendered unconditionally on May 7th. The surrender of all German forces was arranged for May 8 at 11:01. The Allied countries originally planned to formally celebrate the victory and the cessation of hostilities on May 9th, 1945, but, journalists caught wind of the plans, so, the United States and Britain moved the date up by a day to May 8th. Russia kept to the original planned date for May 9th, and still celebrates V-E Day on that date.
According to Wikipedia, in the United States, the victory happened to coincide with President Harry Truman’s 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on the 12th of April. Flags remained at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt’s memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was “that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day.” Later that day, Truman said that the victory made it his most enjoyable birthday. Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and especially in New York’s Times Square.
“Hats off” to the few remaining valiant members of the ‘greatest generation” who served; and to all of those who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedom.

Iris Day

Iris Day pays tribute to that beautiful and attractive late spring bloomer, the Iris. With or without a beard, they are very popular among homeowners and gardeners. Iris plants are easy to grow, so if you don’t have any in your garden already, today is a good day to visit your local nursery, buy some, and plant them. Another way to celebrate this holiday is by going to a floral shop and buying some Iris to put into your favorite vase.
Factoid: In Japan, Iris plants have spiritual significance. They are thought to ward off evil spirits. On Iris Day in Japan, people put Iris leaves in their baths. It’s believed to prevent illness. They also drink juice from the plant in their Sake to ensure longevity.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

World Red Cross Day and Red Crescent Day remembers and recognizes the efforts of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide. According to the Red Cross website, they advocate for the relief of human suffering whether from disease, famine, disaster, or war.
Originally, each country celebrated their own form of Red Cross Day on different dates throughout the year. In 1948, the General Assembly of the International Federation of Red Cross Societies adopted an international Red Cross Day, to be celebrated on the same date by all National Societies on the same date each year, and International Red Cross Day was established. It was celebrated for the first time throughout the world on 8 May 1948, the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross. It later changed names several times and in 1984 became ” World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day ”.
You can celebrate today by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, making a generous monetary donation, and/or donating blood.

National Women’s Check-Up Day

National Women’s Check-Up Day is celebrated on the second Monday in May, which is always the day after Mother’s Day.
Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need health care.
Mother’s Day is over, and hopefully, you are rested, rejuvenated, and feeling loved. But, now it’s time to get back to the reality of everyday life and take charge of your health. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them. After all, you want to be around to be pampered again next Mother’s Day, don’t you?

Free Trade Day

Free trade is a term in economics and government that includes:

  1. The trade of goods without taxes (including tariffs) or other trade barriers (e.g., quotas on imports or subsidies for producers).
  2. Trade in services without taxes or other trade barriers.
  3. The absence of trade-distorting policies (such as taxes, subsidies, regulations or laws) that give some firms, households or factors of production an advantage over others.
  4. Free access to markets.
  5. Free access to market information.
  6. The inability of firms to distort markets through government-imposed monopoly or oligopoly power.
  7. The free movement of labor between and within countries.
  8. The free movement of capital between and within countries.

Free Trade Day was started by Dr. Tom Stevens, the founder of the Objectivist Party. It was created so people can be made more aware of the importance of free trade to an efficient economy, wealth creation and a better standard of living. It is celebrated on May 8th, the birth date of Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian economist who championed free trade.

National Coconut Cream Pie Day

A cream pie is a plain pastry or crumb pastry shell with a pudding filling. Butterscotch, chocolate, frangipani (macaroon crumbs and lemon zest) and vanilla are the most common fillings; and if you don’t want the crust, you can simply enjoy the puddings. So logically, a Coconut Cream Pie is a cream pie embellished with coconut. National Coconut Cream Pie Day is celebrated every year on this date in the United States. Today, lovers of this sweet, creamy dessert have an excuse to indulge in a slice or 2; and those who are handy in the kitchen have a reason to whip one up at home.
Factoid: Coconuts are fruits found on coconut palm trees. They grow naturally in southern Asia, Polynesia, and Malaysia, and are prevalent in South America, India, and other warm regions. In the U.S., they are grown in Florida and Hawaii. The name coconut comes from the Spanish word coco, which translates to “monkey face.” The fruit was dubbed this by Spanish and Portuguese explorers.

National Empanada Day

An empanada is a bread (pastry dough) stuffed with a filling, then fried or baked. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Spanish empanadas are usually pie-shaped, made with a broad variety of fillings (including pork, sausage, cod, and sardines) and served in wedges; Latin American empanadas are typically made in an individual, half-moon-shaped portion and filled with minced, seasoned meat. Some Mexican restaurants serve dessert empanadas as well, and “gourmet” empanadas are interpreted by fine chefs.

Have A Coke Day

Gee whiz, I wonder if this holiday is sponsored by a rich, greedy corporate giant? Coca-Cola is the largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the world, and the classic Coke beverage we all know and love is sold in more than 200 countries. In fact, more than 1.8 billion glasses of Coke are served every day.
Coca-Cola was named after the coca leaves that originally provided its flavor. The original Coca-Cola recipe contained 9 mg of cocaine per glass. In 1903, Coca-Cola began using a non-narcotic coca leaf extract to provide that distinctive flavor. John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in the late 1800′ and it was originally intended as a patent medicine. The beverage was still largely unknown when he died in 1888. After buying the secret recipe for $2,300, Asa Candler founded the Coca-Cola Company and turned it into a household name.
Have A Coke Day celebrates two significant events in the history of the premier beverage company’s history — The creation of the Coca-Cola company on this date in 1886, and the 1985 release of the short-lived “New Coke” on the 99th anniversary of the company’s founding.
My preference for cola has always been RC (Royal Crown) Cola, and I still ‘stock-up’ on RC whenever I can find it. Although one can still occasionally find RC in some small “mom and pop” stores, it is not readily available in most convenience stores, supermarkets, or “box” stores. As a result, I generally fall back to my second cola preference, Pepsi. In fact, those who know me well jokingly say that they will know when I die because PepsiCo stock will drop 3 points on the NYSE.

On this date:

  • In 1794 – Antoine Lavoisier was executed by guillotine. He was the French chemist that discovered oxygen.
  • In 1794 – The United States Post Office was established. (The next day, a disgruntled worker open-fire on his co-workers). JUST KIDDING!!
  • In 1846 – The first major battle of the Mexican War was fought. The battle occurred in Palo Alto, TX.
  • In 1879 – George Selden applied for the first automobile patent.
  • In 1886 – Coca-Cola was invented. According to legend, Dr. John Styth Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, produced the syrup in a brass pot in his backyard. It was first intended as a patent medicine. Today, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most popular soft drinks and one of the most recognized trademarks.
  • In 1914 – Congress passed a Joint Resolution that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
  • In 1921 – Sweden abolished capital punishment.
  • In 1927 – “The White Bird” and its crew mysteriously disappeared. French aviators, Charles Nungesser and François Coli, had taken off from Paris in their Levasseur PL.8 biplane in an attempt to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight. Their disappearance remains a mystery. Charles Lindbergh succeeded two weeks later.
  • In 1933 – Mahatma Gandhi began a hunger strike to protest British oppression in India.
  • In 1939 – Clay Puett’s electric starting gate for horse races was used for the first time.
  • In 1956 – Alfred E. Neuman appeared on the cover of “Mad Magazine” for the first time.
  • In 1958 – President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard out of Little Rock as Ernest Green became the first black to graduate from an Arkansas public school.
  • In 1961 – New Yorkers selected a new name for their new National League baseball franchise. They chose the Mets.
  • In 1967 – Muhammad Ali was indicted for refusing induction in U.S. Army.
  • In 1970 – The Beatles released the album “Let It Be”. The recording was the last studio album ever released by the legendary English rock band.
    In 1973 – Militant Native Americans, who had occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks in protest of the government’s treatment of “Indians”, surrendered.
  • In 1978 – David R. Berkowitz, known as the “Son of Sam,” pled guilty to six murder charges.
  • In 1978 – Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler climbed Mount Everest without an oxygen supply. Prior to the Italian and Austrian mountaineers’ ascent, it was thought to be impossible to conquer the world’s highest mountain without supplemental oxygen.
  • In 1984 – The Soviet Union announced that they would not participate in the 1984 Summer Olympics Games in Los Angeles. Several other countries, such as Cuba, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Vietnam joined the boycott. The boycott was retaliation for the United states boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow 4 years earlier because of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
  • In 1984 – Joanie (Erin Moran) and Chachi (Scott Baio) got married on ABC-TV’s “Happy Days.”
  • In 1985 – “New Coke” was released to the public on the 99th anniversary of Coca-Cola.
  • In 1997 – Larry King received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1999 – The first female cadet graduated from The Citadel military college.

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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