May 29th – Happy Memorial Day

May 29, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning Patriots. Today is Monday, May 29, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

 Memorial Day 

Memorial Day is a holiday to honor those servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday dates back to the end of the Civil War in 1865 and was meant to honor the over 600,000 soldiers from both sides who were killed. It was traditionally observed on May 30th. In 1882, the name was officially changed to Memorial Day.
After WWI, this holiday was changed again to include all American soldiers who had lost their lives in all American wars. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. The law went into effect in 1971 and Memorial Day was included in this list of Monday holidays. At this time, it also was recognized as an official federal holiday for the first time.
Alas, as a result, Memorial Day has become bastardized to mean little more to some people than a reason to have a family barbecue. They know nothing of the significance or meaning of this holiday. What a shame. So, go ahead and have your barbecue, your picnic or your family outing…just please set aside a few moments to celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day.
For more information regarding Memorial Day, click this link.

Paper Clip Day

Paper Clip Day is a relatively new holiday, having been celebrated for the first time in 2015. But, you may be asking, why on Earth would there be a holiday to commemorate such an innocuous little object at all? Well, prepare to be enlightened.
The first patent for a bent wire paper clip was awarded in the Samuel B. Fay in 1867 in the United States. Originally, the paper clip was designed for attaching tickets to fabric, although the patent recognized that it could be used to attach papers together. However, that original model of the paper clip in no way resembled the design we know and love today.
The paper clip as we know it now was most likely designed by Norwegian inventor Johan Vaaler sometime in the early 20th century. Years later, during World War II, the paper clip, besides clipping papers together, was used as a symbol of the Norwegian resistance to Nazi German occupation. They were worn in coat lapels by many resistance sympathizers to show solidarity with other Norwegians during those difficult times. The Nazis saw this show of solidarity as a threat, and they soon prohibited paper clips altogether, threatening people who dared wear them with severe punishment. After the war ended, an enormous paper clip over a meter wide and five meters tall was erected in Sandvika, Norway, to remind people about the role this tiny object played in their nation’s history.
Ah, the lowly paper clip…now you know that it is much more than just a simple piece of bent wire. You probably never thought paper clips had such an interesting history. Everyone knows that the self-descriptive paper clip can be used to hold papers together. But paper clips have many other uses…limited only by your imagination. This Paper Clip Day, take a little time to ponder other things you can do with them. Below are a few examples that I came up with off the top of my head:

  • Paper clips can be used to hang Christmas tree ornaments whose little stringy thingies have torn (colored paper clips would be ideal for this).
  • Paper clips can be used as lottery ticket scratchers (if you are so broke that you have no coins).
  • Paper clips can be used to unclog narrow holes, like the nozzles on spray cans, salt and pepper shakers, glue bottle tips, etc.
  • Paper clips can be used as emergency key chains.
  • Paper clips can be used as emergency zipper tabs.
  • Paper clips can be used as DIY fish hooks (as long as a worm at the end, Freddy the Flounder could care less).
  • Paper clips can be used as emergency hair barrettes (for those of you still encumbered by hair).

Leave a comment if you think of any other uses for the (not so) humble paper clip.

Learn About Composting Day 

Learn About Composting Day encourages you to learn about the benefits of composting; not only to your own yard but to the environment in general. You might be surprised at the number of things that can be composted. Everyone knows about yard trimmings, and vegetable waste from your kitchen, but did you know that you can also compost paper, cardboard, and untreated wood? Composting is easy and it benefits the environment. Take the time to learn about composting today, then “Go Green” and start composting. Next Spring, you’ll reap the benefits of your endeavors and enjoy beautiful flowers and yummy fruits and vegetables from your garden with the satisfaction of knowing that you, in some small way, helped the environment.

End of the Middle Ages Day 

Many historians consider this date in 1453 to be the end of the Middle Ages, (and hence the Beginning of the Renaissance). On this date, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire after being under siege for two months. The reason this is significant is that Constantinople was the political center of the Byzantine (Greek) Empire. Because of this, the Greek scholars fled Constantinople and the result was the spread of enlightened Greek culture throughout the rest of the world. 

National Coq Au Vin Day 

Coq Au Vin literally translates to Rooster in Wine (sauce). It is a traditional French dish which is basically chicken (originally an older rooster) stewed in wine with salt pork, mushrooms, and garlic.
According to some legends, Coq Au Vin has ties to Julius Caesar or Napoleon, but most historians agree that the dish has more humble roots. Roosters were generally only butchered when they were quite old and inedible in traditional preparation methods like frying, baking or roasting. Peasant families most likely created the Coq Au Vin recipe out of necessity, to avoid wasting the meat.
Coq Au Vin became popular in the United States thanks to celebrity chef Julia Child, who featured the dish in her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also prepared the dish many times on her Television show “The French Chef.”
Today, it is a popular dish in many French restaurants, but it is also often cooked in home kitchens as a special dinner, If you want to have Coq Au Vin at home for dinner tonight, you should get started soon. It takes some time to prepare.

National Biscuit Day

Biscuit Day offers the perfect chance to go crackers about one of the world’s most popular snacks. The word biscuit has two meanings, depending upon where you are from. In the British Empire, biscuits are what we in America call cookies.  One of the most unusual traditional British biscuit varieties is the Garibaldi, also known as the “squashed fly biscuit”. It has currants squashed between two layers of dough. In America, biscuits are small crusty bread rolls, often served at breakfast (with or without gravy) or as a bread accompaniment to a meal, especially in southern cuisine.
There are few crumbs of information about how, when, where, or why National Biscuit Day was created…in fact, none of my sources gave any clue at all. But that is no reason not to celebrate this holiday. Bake a batch of biscuits today. Below are a few other interesting facts about biscuits:

  • White flour, commonly used to bake biscuits, is almost instantly metabolized into sugar.  Biscuits will quickly spike your blood-sugar level.
  • Most biscuit recipes call for a healthy dose of butter in the baking process.  Despite this, many people (including yours truly) still butter their biscuits after they are served as well.
  • The main difference between biscuits and rolls is the leavening agent.  Biscuits use baking soda.  Rolls use yeast.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1721 – South Carolina was formally incorporated as a royal colony.
  • In 1765 – Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.
  • In 1790 – Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • In 1848 – Wisconsin became the 30th state.
  • In 1910 – An airplane raced a train from Albany, NY, to New York City. The airplane pilot Glenn Curtiss won the $10,000 prize.
  • In 1911 – The first running of the Indianapolis 500 took place.
  • In 1913 – Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le Sacre du Printemps premiered. The performance sparked a riot in the audience as many felt its irregular beat and the percussive character was a sacrilege against music. Today, it is considered one of the key works of 20th-century art music.
  • In 1916 – The official flag of the President of the United States was adopted.
  • In 1922 – The Supreme Court ruled that organized baseball was a sport, not subject to antitrust laws.
  • In 1942 – Bing Crosby recorded White Christmas. Crosby’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s song became the most successful of his career and the best-selling Christmas single in history.
  • In 1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first men to reach the top of Mount Everest. The first successful ascent of the world’s highest mountain came after Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans had come within 100 meters of the summit just three days previously.
  • In 1973 – Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.
  • In 1974 – President Nixon agreed to turn over 1,200 pages of edited Watergate transcripts.
  • In 1985 – Thirty-nine people were killed and 400 were injured in a riot at a European Cup soccer match in Brussels, Belgium.
  • In 1986 – Colonel Oliver North told National Security Advisor William McFarlane that profits from weapons sold to Iran were being diverted to the Contras.
  • In 1996 – Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel’s prime minister. The conservative politician was criticized for hampering the peace process that former prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, had promoted.
  • In 1999 – Olusegun Obasanjo won Nigeria’s first free elections in 16 years. The former Nigerian Army general and military ruler oversaw a democratization process that defines the country’s political system to the present day.
  • In 1999 – Space shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.
  • In 2001 – In New York, four followers of Osama bin Laden were convicted of a global conspiracy to murder Americans. The crimes included the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people.
  • In 2001 – The Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in tournaments.

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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