June 5th – What a Bunch of Hot Air

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

Good morning lighter-than-air aviation enthusiasts. Today is Monday, June 5th. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Hot Air Balloon Day 

Hot Air Balloon Day is an annual celebration that marks the impact hot air balloons have had on travel and leisure.
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. On this date in 1783, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier ascended to a height of 1500 feet (on a tether) in a hot air balloon. It was the first manned hot air balloon flight. The first untethered, manned, hot air balloon flight occurred later that year on November 21, 1783. It was piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes in a hot air balloon created on December 14, 1782, by the Montgolfier brothers.
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and (usually) a source of heat, usually an open flame. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope.

Festival of Popular Delusions Day

While Festival of Popular Delusions Day is not a hugely celebrated or even well-known holiday, its point is well taken. The first celebration of this holiday occurred on June 5, 1945. in Germany. It was exactly one year after D-Day, the day Allied forces landed in Normandy. On the day before D-Day, the Germans wrongly believed no invasion would occur due to poor weather conditions.The first Festival of Popular Delusions Day marked the last day the Nazi’s were able to delude themselves that they would rule the Earth for a thousand years.
These days, Festival of Popular Delusions Day it is more about aligning our beliefs with facts and reality, and to perform a reality check on the popular ideas of the day. In other words, it is a day to work at making right what is wrong.
Author’s Note: In today’s adversarial political climate, Festival of Popular Delusions Day is more important than ever. The internet makes it easy to propagate fiction about any candidate, cause, or political issue. It is up to us as the end-users of all of this information to sort fact from fiction. If you use only sources which confirm your opinion, you’re not getting all of the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision, and informed, intelligent voters are what this country needs if it is to survive.

National Moonshine Day 

Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, Hooch, rotgut, or Tennessee white whiskey is a high-proof, illegally distilled spirit (without a permit), made from a corn mash. It has a notorious record of blurring the lines of history and the law, turning ordinary men (and women) into criminals and common criminals into legends.
The word moonshine is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey. Distilling skills first came to the United States during the 1830’s with the Scotch-Irish as they settled in Virginia.
Temperance laws and prohibition legislation were passed in several states before the Civil War, but it wasn’t until the turn of the century that the temperance movement picked up steam. By the time the 18th Amendment was ratified early in 1919, over half the country was dry. Prohibition lasted for 13 years and as a result, moonshine became a huge business overnight.
These days, moonshine has quite a following. Small-batch distilleries are producing legal moonshine giving moonshiners a new name. Bringing moonshine out of the woods and going up against other whiskeys for a place on the shelf. Many are packaging their home-brews in canning jars embracing their rich history while at the same time experimenting with flavor and branching out with food pairing similar to that of wine and beer.
The history of Moonshine is filled with characters and legends that have all helped shape this unique and colorful part of American history. One interesting bit of trivia about moonshine is that the symbol X’s on the moonshine jugs represents the number of times a batch was run through the still. If marked XXX, the moonshine is pure alcohol.

World Environment Day 

World Environment Day has focused attention on important environmental issues since 1972. According to the United Nations, “World Environment Day is commemorated each year on June 5th. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.”
Each year, a different city or country is selected to host World Environment Day celebrations and each year a different theme is selected by the host city/country. This year, the host country is Canada, and they chose the theme of “Connecting People to Nature”. The theme implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. It invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

Apple II Day

On this date in 1977, the Apple II was released. It joined the ranks of the TRS-80 and the Commodore PET in home computing power. Created by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the Apple II came in two forms: fully functional, with all the bells and whistles of a color monitor, power supply, keyboard, and case, or just the brain in circuit board form so you could have all the fun of building it yourself. The computer operated on BASIC programming, so you could go totally off the reservation and even build your own applications.
The Apple II became hugely popular because it had a spreadsheet program that was usable by even the non-geekiest of people. Because of some brilliant and crafty marketing, it soon evolved into the Apple IIe and ended up in schools across the country.

National Gingerbread Day 

National Gingerbread Day celebrates one of my favorite desserts – gingerbread. Gingerbread is a sweet food product flavored with ginger and typically using honey or molasses rather than just sugar. Gingerbread is a moist loaf cake. Variations of this recipe are used to make the classic gingerbread men; and ‘ginger snaps’, one of my favorite cookies.
To celebrate National Gingerbread Day, have some gingerbread for dessert. You can use this recipe, your own recipe, or, like me, just buy a gingerbread box-mix. You can rest assured that not one crumb of gingerbread will be wasted in my house.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1752 – Benjamin Franklin flew a kite to demonstrate that lightning was a form of electricity.
  • In 1794 – Congress prohibited citizens from serving in any foreign armed forces.
  • In 1851 – Harriet Beecher Stow published the first installment of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
  • In 1865 – The first safe deposit vault was opened in New York. The charge was $1.50 a year for every $1,000 that was stored.
  • In 1883 – The first Orient Express left Paris. The legendary train journey from Paris to Istanbul featured in many works of popular culture, including Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express“.
  • In 1884 – Civil War General William T. Sherman refused the Republican presidential nomination, saying, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
  • In 1917 – American men began registering for the World War I draft.
  • In 1933 – President Roosevelt signed the bill that took the United States off of the gold standard.
  • In 1944 – The first B-29 bombing raid hit the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • In 1947 – Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined the Marshall Plan.
  • In 1956 – Elvis Presley first performed “Hound Dog” live on TV. Presley’s suggestive hip movements during this performance earned him his nickname, “Elvis the Pelvis”. “Hound Dog” became his best-selling song with about 10 million sold copies.
  • In 1956 – Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounced Josef Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party Congress.
  • In 1967 – The Six Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan began. Israeli forces launched a surprise attack against Egypt, prompting other Arab allies to enter the conflict. Egypt had previously blocked the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic and amassed its troops at the border between the two countries.
  • In 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. The attacker, a 24-year old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, was disgruntled by Kennedy’s support for Israel. The brother of former President, John F. Kennedy, died on the following day.
  • In 1973 – The first hole-in-one in the British Amateur golf championship was made by Jim Crowford.
  • In 1975 – Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international shipping, eight years after it was closed because of the 1967 war with Israel.
  • In 1981 – In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five men in Los Angeles were suffering from a rare pneumonia found in patients with weakened immune systems. They were the first recognized cases of what came to be known as AIDS. By 2000, more than 40 million people worldwide were affected by the disease.
  • In 1986 – A federal jury in Baltimore convicted Ronald W. Pelton of selling secrets to the Soviet Union. Pelton was sentenced to three life prison terms plus 10 years.
  • In 1998 – Volkswagen AG won approval to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for $700 million, outbidding BMW’s $554 million offer.
  • In 1998 – C-Span reported that Bob Hope had died. The report was false and had begun with an inaccurate obituary on the Associated Press website.
  • In 2004 – Former President Ronald Reagan died. He was also a former actor and former Governor of California.
  • In 2004 – The U.S.S. Jimmy Carter was christened into the U.S. Navy in Groton, CT.

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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