May 23rd – A Penny for Your Thoughts

May 23, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of charmed, copper-coated zinc coinage. Today is Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Lucky Penny Day 

Lucky Penny Day is for people who believe that inanimate objects can influence one’s life. Superstition says that unless the ‘heads’ side is facing up, picking up a penny isn’t ‘lucky’. Since I’m not superstitious, I pick up all pennies…strictly in an effort to combat litter of course. When exactly pennies came to be seen as harbingers of good luck is unknown; however, it this is thought to have been the case for hundreds of years.
The penny and all other coinage dates back to the Ancient Roman Empire. Today’s penny was modeled on the ancient Roman denarius. When the Ancient Romans invaded the part of Europe known today as England, they brought their monetary system with them. Even when the Romans departed the region several hundred years later, the idea remained, and later English coins were made to be similar to those used by the ancient Romans. The penny was officially introduced into England in 757 A.D., and they traveled to America with the first settlers.
The penny, or 1¢ coin, has existed since 1793 as a United States coin, as a result of the Coinage Act of 1792; signed into law by President George Washington. Before that, each colony issued their own coinage. The composition of the U.S. penny has varied throughout its history. From 1793 until 1837, it was 100% copper, as copper was plentiful at the time. From 1837 until 1857, it was made of bronze (95% copper and 5% tin and zinc). From 1857 until 1864, the penny was 88% copper and 12% nickel, which gave the coin a whitish patina. From 1864 until 1962, the penny was again made of bronze; with the exception of 1943, when the penny was composed of zinc-coated steel to conserve copper for the war effort. (Note: a limited number of pennies in 1943 were made from copper; making them the rarest of pennies and highly valued by collectors). In 1962, the composition was changed again, removing the small amount of tin, and making the composition of the penny 95% copper and 5% zinc. In 1982, the penny’s composition changed one last time to its current composition of  97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.
According to the latest figures, each penny costs 2.41¢ to make, making their manufacture unfeasible, and last year there were about 10 billion pennies were minted. I am among the growing number of people who believe that we should stop minting pennies and that the penny should be taken out of circulation, and used only for accounting purposes. There, now you have my 2¢ worth about pennies. Let’s petition our senseless government officials to pass laws that make America a ‘centsless’ society. A penny for your thoughts about discontinuing pennies.

World Turtle Day 

World Turtle Day was created in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue. Its purpose is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive. Turtles and tortoises are among the world’s oldest creatures and have been around for more than 200 million years. These ancient creatures evolved before mammals, birds, snakes, or even lizards. Biologists believe that turtles have managed to outlive many other species due to the unique protection provided by their shells.
Turtles come in all different shapes and sizes and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. The smallest is the Bog Turtle, which usually measures just four inches in length, and the largest is the Leathery Turtle, which can weigh up to 1500 pounds.
Many species are now endangered due to loss of habitat and pollution. You can celebrate this holiday by learning more about turtles and tortoises today and/or donating to a local turtle rescue organization.

World Crohn’s and Colitis Day 

World Crohn’s and Colitis Day was created in 2007 by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative Colitis is not the same as Crohn’s Disease but is also a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms of these two illnesses are quite similar, but the areas affected in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) are different. Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, also called the large intestine. This link will give you more information about these two diseases.

National Taffy Day 

Taffy is a sweet treat made from boiling together sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, with flavorings and colorings. The mixture is then pulled and stretched and folded back over itself, and then re-stretched again until it is fluffy. Salt water taffy, which originated in Atlantic City, is the most common taffy. It is called such because it originally contained a small amount of salt water in the mixture. The flavors of taffy are endless. Most common are fruit flavors. My mother used to make taffy using vinegar. I know it sounds yucky but it was delicious. I remember buttering my hands and “pulling the taffy” with my brothers after it was cool enough to handle.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1701 – In London, Captain William Kidd was hanged after being convicted of murder and piracy.
  • In 1788 – South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify U.S. Constitution.
  • In 1844 – Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází founded Bábism. The Báb, as he called himself, created the religion which was a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith. His teachings were seen as a threat by the Islamic clergy, and his followers were brutally persecuted by the Persian government.
  • In 1846 – Arabella Mansfield (Belle Aurelia Babb) was born. She was the first woman in the United States to pass the bar exam, though she never used her law degree.
  • In 1868 – Frontiersman and soldier Christopher “Kit” Carson died.
  • In 1873 – Canada’s North West Mounted Police force was established. The organization’s name was changed to Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1920.
  • In 1876 – Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in the history of the National League.
  • In 1895 – The New York Public Library was created with an agreement that combined the city’s existing Astor and Lenox libraries.
  • In 1900 – Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney became the first African-American to receive the Medal of Honor, 37 years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.
  • In 1922 – “Daylight Saving Time” was debated in the first debate ever to be heard on radio in Washington, DC.
  • In 1934 – In Bienville Parish, LA, Bonnie Parker, and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers. They were riding in a stolen Ford Deluxe.
  • In 1937 – Industrialist John D. Rockefeller died.
  • In 1949 – The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established. The proclamation of the Grundgesetz, Germany’s current constitution, marked the birth of the republic. The foundation of West Germany came four years after the demise of the Nazi regime and the end of World War II.
  • In 1951 – Delegates of the Dalai Lama signed the Seventeen Point Agreement. The contract affirmed Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. According to Tibetan officials, the document was signed under duress and is, therefore, invalid.
  • In 1960 – Israel announced the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
  • In 1962 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) agreed to transfer the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, CA. The team became the San Francisco Warriors (and later the Golden State Warriors).
  • In 1962 – Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a major league baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning.
  • In 1969 – The Who released the classic Rock Opera “Tommy”. The British rock band’s fourth album is considered the first musical work of the rock opera genre.
  • In 1985 – Thomas Patrick Cavanagh was sentenced to life in prison for trying to sell Stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • In 1992 – In Lisbon, Portugal, the United States and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement to implement the START missile reduction treaty that had been agreed to by the Soviet Union before it was dissolved.
  • In 1992 – The Italian mafia murdered Giovanni Falcone. Falcone, a judge, was the mafia’s most prominent adversary. After he, together with his wife and three bodyguards, fell victim to a car bomb, Falcone became a folk hero in Italy.
  • In 1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished.
  • In 1999 – Gerry Bloch, at age 81, became the oldest climber to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He broke his own record that he set in 1986 when he was 68 years old.

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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