June 21st – Lou Gehrig Retires

June 21, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning baseball fans.  Today is Tuesday, June 21st. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Lou Gehrig Retires

On this date in 1939, Lou Gehrig announced that he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and would retire from the New York Yankees effective immediately. Although he spent most of his illustrious career in the shadow of Babe Ruth, he managed to put together quite a number of records including playing in 2130 consecutive games (which was only curtailed by his retirement, and stood for over 56 years until Cal Ripkin Jr. broke it in September of 1995). He held the record for most career “grand slams” (23) for over 74 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez in September of 2013. He had a lifetime batting average of .340, a lifetime “on-base percentage” of .447, and a lifetime “slugging” percentage of .632. He was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” because of his stamina. He was truly one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
He succumbed to his illness on June 2, 1941.

Baby Boomers Recognition Day – Holiday was moved to August 17th in 2015.

Go Skateboarding Day 

Go Skateboarding Day encourages skateboarders around the globe celebrate the pure exhilaration and spirit of skateboarding, even if it means blowing off all other obligations. This holiday began June 21, 2003, as an excuse for skateboarders to make skateboarding their top priority. It began with a few simple skate sessions and barbecues held in skateboarding’s unofficial capital, southern California. Since that first celebration, this holiday has continued to grow, but the mission remains the same — Have fun.
Skateboarding originated in the 1940s. According to an urban legend, the idea came from surfers in California who wanted something to “surf” while the water was flat. Today, people all around the world enjoy this recreational action sport, but California remains the epicenter of the skateboard community.
Some of the most popular skateboarding tricks are aerials, ollies, grinds, kickflips, and spins. The annual X Games competition features some of the most accomplished skateboarders in the world. In 1999, Tony Hawk became the first skater to land a “900,” which requires two and a half revolutions with the skateboard.
I’m not a big fan of skateboarding, or skateboarders for that matter (at least those obnoxious little creeps that buzz around on city streets and other public places bumping into people). With that said, skateboard parks are thankfully becoming more popular and some of the tricks that skateboarders are doing there these days are amazing. I grew up before the era of skateboards. All I had were those heavy clamp-on steel skates that clamped to your shoes. They always seemed to come off at the most inopportune time – like when racing a friend at full speed, or upon impact during a jump. It’s a wonder that I survived.

Selfie Day

Selfies have probably existed since the invention of the hand-held camera. As cameras got smaller and smaller, and with the creation of digital cameras and smartphone cameras that don’t require any film, and the invention of the “selfie stick”, selfies are more prevalent in society today than ever before. Human vanity is so utterly profound that if we’re given the opportunity to do something self-aggrandizing, we do. It seems to be human nature.
In 2014, the BBC officially declared a Selfie Day, which amusingly heralded a sudden decline in selfies. Interestingly, there was a similar drop after the Oxford English Dictionary added ‘selfie’ to its pages. Apparently legitimizing something and making it an  “official” holiday is a good way to curtail its popularity with the youth of today.
I recently purchased a “selfie stick” and have been known to take a selfie or two…but some people carry it to the extreme. Too many people have injured themselves attempting to take a selfie, and some have even paid the ultimate price. This link lists some of the worst selfie-related injuries and deaths.

National Peaches and Cream Day 

Peaches and cream is a delicious summertime treat. And to make it even better, there is nothing in the rules of this holiday that I could find which precludes you from combining your peaches and cream with the other ingredients of your favorite ice cream recipe and putting them into your ice cream machine.
Alas, I’m trying to cut down on dairy, but, a couple of peaches, sans cream, for a snack this afternoon sounds just “peachy” on this hot summer day. 

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1788 – New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify the United States Constitution – thus making it the “law of the land”.
  • In 1834 – Cyrus McCormick patented the first practical mechanical reaper for farming. His invention allowed farmers to more than double their crop size.
  • In 1859 – Andrew Lanergan received the first rocket patent.
  • In 1895 – The Kiel Canal was opened by German Emperor Wilhelm II. The 61-mile-long canal in Northern Germany is one of the world’s busiest artificial waterways. It connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.
  • In 1913 – Georgia Broadwick became the first woman to jump from an airplane.
  • In 1940 – Richard M. Nixon and Thelma Catherine ‘Pat’ Ryan were married.
  • In 1945 – After a protracted battle of nearly three months, United States forces gained control of the Japanese island of Okinawa.
  • In 1945 – Pan Am announced an 88-hour round-the-world flight at a cost of $700.
  • In 1954 – The American Cancer Society reported significantly higher death rates among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers.
  • In 1958 – In Arkansas, a federal judge let Little Rock delay school integration.
    In 1963 – Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini became Pope Paul VI. The Italian pontiff completed the Second Vatican Council, addressing the Roman Catholic Church’s relationship with the modern world.
  • In 1963 – France announced that they were withdrawing from the North Atlantic NATO fleet.
  • In 1964 – Three Civil Rights workers went missing in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their bodies were found about 6 weeks later, and eight Ku Klux Klan members were convicted of their murder, although none served more than 6 years in prison. The movie “Mississippi Burning” is loosely based on these events.
  • In 1973 – The Supreme Court ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.
  • In 1974 – The Supreme Court decided that pregnant teachers could no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence.
  • In 1985 – Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele. An international team of scientists confirmed that the skeletal remains found in a cemetery in Embu, Brazil are those of the Nazi war criminal. Mengele was a physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp and conducted horrific experiments on some of the inmates.
  • In 1989 – The Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.
  • In 2001 – Former Haitian Army colonel Carl Dorelien was taken into custody in Port St. Lucie. Dorelien had been in exile since 1994 when he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a 1994 massacre.
  • In 2003 – The fifth Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” was published by J.K. Rowling. Amazon.com shipped out more than one million copies on this day making the day the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history. The book set sales records around the world with an estimated 5 million copies were sold on the first day.
  • In 2004 – SpaceShipOne completed the world’s first manned private spaceflight. The privately funded spaceplane reached an altitude of just over 62 miles. Mike Melvill was the pilot and only occupant.
  • In 2009 – Greenland assumed self-rule. The island had been administered by Denmark (earlier Denmark-Norway) for centuries. The Self-Government Act grants Greenland full responsibility for its inner affairs, while Denmark retains control of foreign policy.

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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