May 20th – Armed Forces Day

May 20, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning past, present, and/or future members of the Armed Forces. Today is Saturday, May 20, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It is simply a day to honor the selfless individuals serving in all branches of our Armed Forces. They train diligently both physically and mentally so they will be prepared for any mission they face. They can be called upon at a moment’s notice to put themselves in harm’s way to protect your freedom and way of life.
Prior to 1950, each branch of the military had their own different days of celebration. On August 31, 1949, then Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. President Harry Truman also announced the holiday in a presidential proclamation on February 20, 1950. All branches of the military were asked to celebrate on this day and they complied on the first Armed Forces Day which was held the following year on May 20, 1950.
Armed Forces Day is a holiday to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense, However, the separate days are still observed, especially within their respective services.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2017, Chattanooga will celebrate its 68th year of the Armed Forces Day Parades.
Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard, and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

Be a Millionaire Day

The term “millionaire” first appeared in the English language in a letter written by Lord Byron in 1816. At the time, the only millionaires were Royalty. However, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, more millionaires were created outside of the aristocracy. Today there are more than 12 million millionaires scattered around the globe.
Be a Millionaire Day encourages you to act like a millionaire today, even if you aren’t.  I’m sure that most of you would like to join the “Millionaire Club”, who wouldn’t? If, like me you are a long way from that goal, here are a few things you can do to feel like a millionaire.

1) Buy yourself an extravagant gift that you would not normally buy.
2) Go over your investment portfolio and track your progress.
3) Make a sizable donation to your favorite charity.
4) Go to a casino.
5) Buy a lottery ticket. What the heck, you have as good a chance of winning as anyone else.

Factoid: The first millionaire in the United States was John Jacob Astor (1763 – 1848). Astor made his fortune in trade and later established the first trust in American history. His great-grandson, John Jacob Astor IV, was the wealthiest person aboard the Titanic.

Eliza Doolittle Day

Eliza Doolittle Day is pretty much a meaningless holiday for anyone except fans of musical theater and Audrey Hepburn. Eliza Doolittle is a character in the Musical My Fair Lady. She is a flower girl who is trying to learn to speak like a proper English lady. The reason this holiday is celebrated today is because of a line from the show which reads as follows:
“One evening the king will say, ‘Oh, Liza, old thing — I want all of England your praises to sing. Next week on the twentieth of May, I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day’.”  
Celebrate this holiday by try speaking in ‘proper’ English today.

Weights and Measures Day

What is the difference between a dram, a gram, and a grain? Who decides what is the correct form of measurement? When were weights and measures standardized?
Weights and Measures Day is, quite simply, the anniversary of the signing of an international treaty establishing the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. The treaty was signed on this date in 1875, on international territory at Sèvres, France.
Before the International Bureau of Weights and Measures was formed, there was a hodgepodge of different weights and measures. It seems like every country, and sometimes even regions within a country had their own system of weights and measures. Some of the more unique of these are; the chalder or chaldron, the clove, the scruple, the Indian candy, the Chinese catty and tan, the Japanese chin, the Jupiter, the kip, and the slug. As funny as they sound to us, all were valid measurements which were made obsolete after the treaty was signed.
That pretty much covers this holiday. Oh yeah, except for answering the first question.

A dram is a U.S. customary system unit of mass. It is also used as a unit of volume, fluid drams. It equals to 1/16 ounces and 1/256 pounds. The abbreviation is “dr”.

A gram is a metric system unit of mass. It is one-thousandth (1/1000) of the metric system base unit, the kilogram. It is a very commonly used unit of mass in daily life. The abbreviation is “g”.

A grain is equal to 1/7000th of a pound or 64.799 milligrams.

To get the ‘full measure’ of this holiday, you could celebrate by weighing or measuring something…or not.

National Learn to Swim Day

National Learn to Swim Day was created in 2012 by Swimways Corp, a leader in the recreational water products marketplace, and is celebrated on the third Friday in May. Its purpose is, as the name implies, to urge those who don’t already know how to “take the plunge” and learn how to swim. Its secondary purpose is to promote water safety in general.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury and death for children ages one to 14. With Memorial Day and summer vacations fast approaching, many people and families take to the water to cool off from the summer heat – lakes, rivers, the beach, and backyard pools are popular destinations. National Learn to Swim Day is an opportunity for families to learn the importance and benefits of learning to swim. Swimming is enjoyed year-round, by people of all ages, and this holiday serves to remind us of the inherent the risks involved when one is in, or around, the water.  It is vital to learn about, and practice, water safety from an early age.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist for figure out how to celebrate National Learn to Swim Day. Learn to swim if you don’t already know how. If babies as young as 6-months-old and octogenarians can learn to swim…you can too.

Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel in the Triple Crown, horse racing’s equivalent of the Super Bowl or the World Series.  The Preakness is an American flat thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs (1 3⁄16 miles) on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds; fillies 121 pounds. It is always held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
First run in 1873, the Preakness Stakes was named by a former Maryland governor after a winning colt at Pimlico. The race has been termed “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because a blanket of yellow flowers altered to resemble Maryland’s state flower is placed around the winner’s neck. Attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America among equestrian events, only surpassed by the Kentucky Derby.

National Quiche Lorraine Day

Who is Lorraine, and why the heck does she have a Quiche named after her? The answer to that question is that Lorraine is not a “who” but rather, a “where”. Quiche Lorraine originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region in northeastern France (hence, Quiche Lorraine). The word Quiche evolved from the German word küchen, which means cake. Alsace-Lorraine, now a region of northeastern France, borders on Germany and over the centuries was variously under German control. According to food historians, when this quiche, now considered a quintessentially French dish, was developed, the region was a German province called Lothringen. Despite the many bastardizations of this recipe that you find in cookbooks (and online), Quiche Lorraine is a specific recipe which uses heavy cream and bacon and no cheese. You can blame Julia Child for adding cheese to this classic recipe. The recipe for Quiche Lorraine in her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen” pointed out that the original recipe did not include cheese, but said that you could include cheese if you were so inclined. This is her recipe. Try it today if you are in an adventurous mood.

Pick Strawberries Day

Pick Strawberries Day is a sweet, tasty way to enjoy a late spring day. If you don’t have strawberries in your garden, or if they aren’t quite ripe, do not despair. Sometimes local farmers allow people to go into their fields and pick their own strawberries. If all else fails, you can always visit your favorite grocery store or Farmer’s Market and “pick” up a basket or two.
HEADS UP: Don’t use all of the strawberries you “pick” today. You will need some for a different holiday tomorrow.

More Holidays 

On This Date 

  • In 1774 – Britain’s Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior.
  • In 1775 – North Carolina became the first colony to declare its independence (from England).
  • In 1830 – The fountain pen was patented by H.D. Hyde.
  • In 1861 – North Carolina became the eleventh state to secede from the Union.
  • In 1873 – Blue jeans were patented. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis invented the garment, which today represents one of the most popular types of trousers worldwide.
  • In 1874 – Levi Strauss began marketing his iconic blue jeans with copper rivets.
  • In 1899 – Jacob German of New York City became the first driver to be arrested for speeding. The posted speed limit was 12 miles per hour.
  • In 1916 – Norman Rockwell’s first cover on “The Saturday Evening Post” appeared.
  • In 1926 – Congress passed the Air Commerce Act. The act gave the Department of Commerce the right to license pilots and planes.
  • In 1927 – Charles Lindbergh took off from New York to cross the Atlantic for Paris aboard his airplane the “Spirit of St. Louis.” The trip took 33 1/2 hours.
  • In 1932 – Amelia Earhart took off to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She became the first woman to achieve the feat.
  • In 1939 – The first telecast over telephone wires was sent from Madison Square Garden to the NBC-TV studios at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. The event was a bicycle race.
  • In 1939 – The first regular air-passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean began with the take-off of the “Yankee Clipper” from Port Washington, New York.
  • In 1940 – The first prisoners arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz was the biggest extermination camp during World War II. From 1940 to 1945, the Nazi regime murdered at least 1.1 million people here.
  • In 1970 – An estimated 100,000 people marched in New York supporting United States policies in Vietnam.
  • In 1978 – Mavis Hutchinson, at age 53, became the first woman to run across America. It took Hutchinson 69 days to run the 3,000 miles.
  • In 1983 – In South Africa, a car bomb planted by anti-Apartheid activists killed 19 people. The Church Street Bombing was carried out by the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). It was one of the bloodiest chapters in the ANC’s long and difficult struggle against racial segregation and oppression in South Africa.
  • In 1985 – The FBI arrested U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer John Walker. Walker had begun spying for the Soviet Union in 1968.
  • In 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope sent back its first photographs.
  • In 1993 – The final episode of “Cheers” was aired on NBC-TV.
  • In 1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado measure banning laws that would protect homosexuals from discrimination.
  • In 1999 – At Heritage High School in Conyers, GA, a 15-year-old student shot and injured six students. He then surrendered to an assistant principal at the school.
  • In 2006 – The Three Gorges Dam officially opened. The hydroelectric dam is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity. Despite its benefits, the project remains controversial because it flooded archeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.3 million people.

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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