June 6th – Yo, Yo! It’s Yo-Yo Day

June 6, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning yo-yos. Today is Tuesday, June 6th. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Yo-Yo Day  

Yo, yo! No, I’m not “goin’ all gangsta on ya”. Yo-yo day celebrates one of America’s favorite toys – the yo-yo. Yo-yos have been around for over 2,000 years and are considered by some historians to be the second-oldest toy in history. The Chinese are credited with inventing the yo-yo about 1000 BC, but some historians credit the Ancient Greeks even earlier than that. Yo-yos have had many different names throughout history, including names like quizzes or bandalores.
Yo-yos became extremely popular in the Philippines and the Philippine government even experimented with ways to weaponize them. In fact, the earliest use of the word yo-yo appears in a Filipino dictionary in the early 1860’s. In the 1920’s, Pedro Flores (a man with Filipino roots) began making yo-yos in America. He was amazed at how American youngsters and adolescents took to the toy and started mass producing the product.
Today marks the birth date of Donald F. Duncan Sr. and is the main reason for Yo-Yo Day being celebrated today. Although Mr. Duncan did not invent the yo-yo, he is chiefly responsible for popularizing the yo-yo in America in the early 1930′s. To capitalize on Mr. Flores’ burgeoning success, he started his own yo-yo business and through a massive advertising campaign, popularized the yo-yo to the extent that soon yo-yos became firmly embedded into the toy culture worldwide, and poor Mr. Flores became relegated to a mere footnote in yo-yo history.
Some pretty famous people have shown skill with a yo-yo. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all showed off their yo-yo skills during their Presidency. Tommy Smothers, half of the comedy-folk music duo The Smothers Brothers, is also quite proficient with a yo-yo, and in some of their later performances, he even incorporated a few yo-yo tricks into their act.
Today, yo-yos come in a variety of sizes and shapes – heck, some even have ball-bearings and light up when you throw them. If you are male, and a product of the 1950′s like yours truly, you probably carried one in your pocket throughout most of your Elementary School years.
You don’t have to be a MENSA member to figure out how to celebrate Yo-Yo Day. Find your old yo-yo – it’s probably still in that box in the basement, attic, garage or storage shed where your mother put your stuff when you went off to college or joined the military. Practice a few of your favorite yo-yo tricks – “Walk the Dog”, “Loop de loop”, “Shoot the Moon”, “Around the World”, “Rock the Cradle” – or any other tricks you had in your repertoire, then dazzle your family with your yo-yo prowess.

Drive-in Movie Day 

Originally known as “park-in theaters” – the term drive-in didn’t become popular until the late 1940’s.  The drive-in theater was the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, a movie fan and a sales manager at his father’s company, Whiz Auto Products, in Camden, NJ, who opened the first one in Camden, NJ on this date in 1933.
Reportedly inspired by his mother’s struggle to sit comfortably in traditional movie theater seats, Hollingshead came up with the idea of an open-air theater where patrons watched movies in the comfort of their own automobiles. He experimented in his driveway with different projection and sound techniques, mounting a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, pinning a screen to some trees, and placing a radio behind the screen for sound. He also tested ways to guard against rain and other inclement weather and devised the ideal spacing arrangement for a number of cars so that all would have a view of the screen.
Mr. Hollinghead received a patent for the concept in May of 1933 and opened Park-In Theaters, Inc. less than a month later, with an initial investment of $30,000. Advertising it as entertainment for the whole family, Hollingshead charged 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person, with no group paying more than one dollar. The idea caught on, and after Hollingshead’s patent was overturned in 1949, drive-in theaters began popping up all over the country. One of the largest was the All-Weather Drive-In of Copiague, New York, which featured parking space for 2,500 cars, a kid’s playground and a full-service restaurant, all on a 28-acre lot.
Drive-in theaters showed mostly B-movies–that is, not Hollywood’s finest fare–but some theaters featured the same movies that played in regular theaters. The initially poor sound quality–Hollingshead had mounted three speakers manufactured by RCA Victor near the screen–improved when speakers were mounted on poles for each parking space and could be placed inside the car via a hook-like attachment which hooked to the driver’s side window. Later technology made it possible for each car to play the movie’s audio through FM radio.
Drive-ins became an icon of American culture. Their popularity spiked after WWII, and they reached their heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Drive-in theaters became a typical weekend destination not just for parents and children but also for teenage couples seeking some privacy.
Alas, rising real estate prices, combined with an upsurge in the popularity of walk-in theaters and a burgeoning video rental industry in the 1970’s, all but doomed the drive-in theater industry. There are still a few drive-ins remaining today, but most have been leveled and turned into industrial parks, or turned into ‘swap meets”. I still have fond memories of misspending a good portion of my youthful weekends watching “B” movies at one of the 5 drive-in theaters in my town.

National Gardening Exercise Day 

Everyone knows that gardening is therapeutic. It is good for the body, mind, and soul. Experts say that the various activities and tasks related to gardening use all of the major muscle groups. Strenuous gardening, such as raking, digging, or hoeing, is both aerobic and muscle strengthening.
Go out into your garden today and exercise with, and among, your plants. Not only will your garden look better, but you’ll fell better. And, while you’re out in the garden, be sure to talk to your plants as well. They like that…really. They like it when you tell them how beautiful they are and how much you love them — But, I don’t think they’re interested in your opinions on politics, the faltering economy, or what those silly Kardashians are doing.

D-Day 

D-Day marks the anniversary of the date, June 6, 1944, when 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high, more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but more than 150,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler. It marked the “beginning of the end” of WWII in Europe.
But what does the “D” in D-Day stand for? Well, there are a few possible explanations. In Stephen Ambrose’s book “D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II”, he
writes,

Time magazine reported on June 12 [1944] that “as far as the U.S. Army can determine,
the first use of D for Day, H for Hour was in Field Order No. 8, of the First Army, A.E.F.,
issued on Sept. 20, 1918, which read, ‘The First Army will attack at H-Hour on D-Day
with the object of forcing…

In other words, the D in D-Day merely stands for Day. This coded designation was used for the day of any important invasion or military operation. For military planners (and later historians), the days before and after a D-Day were indicated using plus and minus signs: D-4 meant four days before a D-Day, while D+7 meant seven days after a D-Day.
However, In Paul Dickson’s book “War Slang”, he quotes Robert Hendrickson’s “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins”,

Many explanations have been given for the meaning of D-Day, June 6, 1944, the day the Allies invaded Normandy from England during World War II. The Army has said that it is “simply an alliteration, as in H-Hour.” Others say the first D in the word also stands for “day,” the term a code designation. The French maintain the D means “disembarkation,” still others say “debarkation,” and the more poetic insist D-Day is short for “day of decision.” When someone wrote to General Eisenhower in 1964 asking for an explanation, his executive assistant Brigadier General Robert Schultz answered: “General Eisenhower asked me to respond to your letter. Be advised that any amphibious operation has a ‘departed date’; therefore, the shortened term ‘D-Day’ is used.”

So, I guess it’s up to you to decide which explanation is correct. Perhaps you should refer to the portion of yesterday’s BLOG…”Festival of Popular Delusions Day” in making your decision.

National Applesauce Cake Day 

Applesauce cake is a simple loaf cake, similar to spice cake, which uses applesauce as a sweetener instead of sugar. The applesauce also makes a moister cake.
Applesauce cake gained popularity during WWII when sugar was a rationed item. It is delicious plain, but you can also add raisins and/or walnuts for more texture. It can be served plain, or with a penuche (brown sugar) frosting. Make one for dessert tonight. Here are my recipes for Applesauce Cake and the Penuche Frosting.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1833 – Andrew Jackson became the first President to ride in a train.
  • In 1844 – The Young Men’s Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) was founded in London.
  • In 1882 – The first electric iron was patented by H.W. Seely.
  • In 1925 – Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.
  • In 1930 – Frozen food was sold in retail stores for the first time.  In Springfield, Massachusetts, 18 stores took part in a trial to test consumer acceptance. Clarence Birdseye, the founder of the Birds Eye Frozen Food Company, is considered to be the father of the modern frozen food industry.
  • In 1932 – In the United States, the first federal tax on gasoline went into effect. It was a penny per gallon.
  • In 1936 – The first helicopter was tested in a building in Berlin, Germany.
  • In 1942 – The first nylon parachute jump was made by Adeline Gray in Hartford, CT.
  • In 1944 – On D-Day, 160,000 Allied soldiers landed in Normandy, France. The World War II invasion of Normandy established a new major front against the Germans in the west and helped Soviet forces facing the bulk of German troops in the east. Germany capitulated on May 7, 1945.
  • In 1946 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded. The NBA, which comprises teams in the United States and Canada, is considered the world’s premier men’s professional basketball league.
  • In 1968 – Senator Robert F. Kennedy died at 1:44 am in Los Angeles after being shot by Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy was shot the evening before while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • In 1971 – “The Ed Sullivan Show” aired for the last time. It was canceled after 23 years on the air. Gladys Knight and the Pips were the musical guests on the show.
  • In 1982 – Israeli forces invaded Lebanon. The 1982 Lebanon War was triggered by the attack on Israeli ambassador, Shlomo Argov, in London on June 3. Thousands of civilians died during the war, which lasted three years.
  • In 1984 – The video game Tetris made its debut. Russian computer engineer, Alexey Pajitnov, created the puzzle game. With over 100 million copies sold, it is one of the most successful video games in history.
  • In 1985 – The Senate authorized nonmilitary aid to the Contras. The vote authorized $38 million over two years.
  • In 2005 – The Supreme Court ruled that federal authorities could prosecute sick people who smoke marijuana on doctor’s orders. The ruling concluded that state medical marijuana laws did not protect users from the federal ban on the drug.

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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