July 1st – “Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat, nor Gloom of Night…”

July 1, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

July is the seventh month of the Gregorian year is named in honor of Julius Caesar. In 63 B.C. Caesar had been elected Pontifex Maximus. The calendar was 355 days long and gradually through mishandling and corruption (pontiffs allowing the calendar to lengthen to please one priest, shortening it to anger another) January slipped into fall.
While Caesar didn’t place the month of Quintilis (meaning fifth) the strangely seventh place, he did decide to change from a lunisolar to a solar calendar. (Before the Roman calendar, there were only ten months, and Quintilis was the fifth month. When the Romans added new months, Quintilis and other months were adjusted.) The solar year would consist of 365 days, adding 10 to the total. The extra days were distributed among the months with 29 days.
A year after Caesar completed the calendar, he was assassinated on the Ides of March. In his honor, the Roman Senate named the seventh month July, the month of Caesar’s birth.
Thе new calendar went into effect on the first day оf January 709 A.U.C. (ab urbе condita—”from the founding оf thе сіtу [Rome]”) January 1, 45 B.C. and put an end to thе arbitrary and іnассurаtе nature оf thе early Roman ѕуѕtеm. Thе Julіаn саlеndаr bесаmе thе predominant саlеndаr throughout Europe for thе next 1600 уеаrѕ until Pope Gregory made further reforms іn 1582.
Certain соuntrіеѕ аnd institutions іn fact adhered to this ancient ѕуѕtеm until well into thе twentieth century: thе Julіаn саlеndаr wаѕ used іn Russia until 1917 and іn China until 1949, аnd to thіѕ day the Eastern Orthodox Church adheres to Cаеѕаr’ѕ саlеndаr.
The month of July holds many celebrations. From Canada Day and Parent Day to Chocolate Day and Moon Day, there are many ways to participate. In the United States, it is considered the month of one of its biggest celebrations, Independence Day. The fine weather makes for an excellent time for vacations, travel and going to the beach. Relaxing and enjoying National Hammock Day, fishing or attending reunions are just some of the summer diversions enjoyed during July.
July is known for firsts. Louis Pasteur would test the first rabies vaccine in 1885 during the month of July, and Bikini’s made their debut in 1948. In 1978, space travel took great strides, and Neil Armstrong put the first footprints on the moon. Delaware became the first state to declare its independence from Britain.

Good morning ‘snail mail’ enthusiasts. Today is Saturday, July 1st. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Postal Worker Day

The United States Postal Service is certainly well represented today, with three separate and distinct holidays – the first of which is National Postal Worker Day. National Postal Worker Day was created in 1997 by a Seattle-area carrier who wanted to honor fellow employees, National Postal Worker Day is always celebrated on July 1st.
Contrary to popular belief, the famous quote, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” IS NOT the motto of the United States Postal Service. Rather, it is merely a quote, adapted from Herodotus, inscribed on the Main Post Office building in New York City.
The United States Postal Service currently employs approximately 664,000 workers. The majority work as:

  • Service Clerks—Sell stamps and postage, help people retrieve packages and assist with other services such as passports.
  • Mail Sorters—Physically sort the mail to go to the correct place. As automation has become more prevalent, some of these workers now operate sorting machines.
  • Mail Carriers—Deliver the mail. In densely populated areas this is done on foot, in urban areas the carriers often use a mail truck, and in rural areas carriers drive their own vehicles.

National Postal Worker Day that dedicated group of individuals who deliver your mail and packages each day…6 days a week. Throughout history, many famous people worked as postal employees. Statesman Benjamin Franklin was America’s first Postmaster General. Other famous postal employees include Presidents Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Harry S. Truman. Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, and Rock Hudson also worked as postal clerks and letter carriers. Charles Lindbergh was an airmail pilot.
Postal workers walk an average of 4 to 8 miles every day carrying a full load of letters and packages and delivering them in a timely manner to our doorsteps. Postal workers have to work through rain or snow or sleet or hail or thunderstorms or blizzards or immense heat and/or any combination of the above.

Zip Code Day 

The second Postal Service-related holiday today is Zip Code Day. Zip Code Day celebrates the date that the Zip Code (Zoning Improvement Plan)  system went into effect at post offices across America on this date in 1963.
As this country transitioned from a largely agricultural society to an industrial society, the post office saw the need to make improvements to speed up the delivery of mail due to the increased volume of business mail it was encountering as a result of this transition. In June of 1962, President Kennedy appointed an Advisory Board to the Post Office to study the problem and make recommendations. The result was the Zip Code system. And, on April 30, 1963, the postmaster general announced that this new system would go into effect beginning July 1st.

U.S. Postage Stamp Day 

The last Postal Service-related holiday today is U.S. Postage Stamp Day. U.S. Postage Stamp Day celebrates the postage stamp (duh)…or more accurately, the date on which the first adhesive postage stamps were issued in 1847.
Before postage stamps, it was the receiver of the mail that paid the postage due. It was paid directly to the mailman at the time of delivery. This naturally, led to the problem of people refusing the letter, therefore requiring the post office to return the letter to the sender. Only occasionally, would people prepay for the postage on a letter. It required a trip to the post office, which was often inconvenient for the sender in a rural area. Also, prepaying required the clerks to be bookkeepers, an additional inefficiency.
The creation of Postage stamps revolutionized the process of mail delivery, leading to universal prepayment. But a precondition for their issue was the establishment of standardized rates for delivery throughout the country. If postal fees were to remain a patchwork of many different jurisdictional rates, the use of stamps would produce only limited gains in efficiency. Over the centuries, the government and the post office obviously got all of the wrinkles in the system ironed out because everyone knows how efficient and reliable the postal system is today. Right!!!

Second Half of the Year Day 

Second Half of the Year Day is your chance to step back, evaluate your year so far with your goals and objectives (never mind all of your new year’s resolutions, which likely didn’t last much past January 2nd) and to take action to get back on track if necessary. It’s a great opportunity to do some hard thinking over your finances, your diet, your career and other aspects of your life that you might want to improve. Then take action to begin those improvements. Make the second half of the year count.

American Zoo Day

American Zoo Day celebrates the date that the first American zoo opened in Philadelphia in 1874.
I know there are many people who don’t believe that animals should be caged, and I agree wholeheartedly… animals shouldn’t be caged just to be put on public display. However, most of the big zoos today try to provide an environment as close as possible to their animals’ natural habitat and are working hard to save endangered species by studying and breeding them. They play an important role in ensuring that many endangered species still exist today.

Hop-A-Park Day

Hop-A-Park Day is always celebrated on the first Saturday in July. It encourages people to leave their electronic devices behind and take advantage of as many of the parks, green spaces, and other outdoor venues provided by their community as possible today.
As I interpret it, Hop-A-Park Day means that you should “hop” from park to park enjoying as many as possible…but that doesn’t sound like much fun to me. I think a more practical, and relaxing way to celebrate this holiday is to visit your favorite park with your family today and enjoy some quality time among the flora and fauna. Whether you decide to relax in the shade with a good book or take a more active approach by tossing around a frisbee or football or playing on the playground, the point is to get out of your house and spend some time outside today.
The first public park in America was created by in 1686 when Governor Thomas Dongan of New York granted the Dongan Charter. A portion of that charter stated that “areas of vacant land should be set aside and maintained by the city for public use.”

International Joke Day 

International Joke Day encourages you to lighten up today and not take life so seriously. Make a conscious effort to make people laugh today.
The old adage from Readers Digest: “Laughter is the Best Medicine” is truer than one might think. A study from the Mayo Clinic states that laughter can be good for you. Laughter increases your intake of oxygen, which is beneficial to your organs. It increases the release of neuropeptides which help fight stress and can improve your immune system. Laughter can also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
So, if you are concerned about your health, stop being a grumpy old coot and yuk it up once in a while. To celebrate International Joke Day, tell a few jokes.

Canada Day 

For our neighbors to the north, Canada Day is a celebration of Canadian nationalism, heritage, and pride. It is a national holiday of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally called Dominion Day, the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.
Author’s Note: Some of the greatest inventions of our time have come from Canada. Canadians invented light bulbs, telephones, zippers, egg cartons, snowmobiles, instant mashed potatoes, peanut butter, walkie-talkies, IMAX, Trivial Pursuit, basketball, and ice hockey.

International Cherry Pit Spitting Day

International Cherry Pit Spitting Day (yes, you read that right) is an event held on the first Saturday in July each year in the town of Eau Claire, Michigan. The Cherry Pit Spit began in 1974, when Herb Teichman, a Michigan cherry farmer, was looking for “something to do” with cherry pits. Growing from a neighborhood get-together to an international competition, the Cherry Pit Spit is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as an official competition. Each July hundreds of people from across the country and around the world gather for the Championship. The contest marks the beginning of the harvest of tart cherries in southwest Michigan.
If you somehow missed the opportunity to view or participate in the competition this year, but you still want to celebrate this holiday, don’t despair. Book your reservations now for the event next year…then, go buy some cherries and hold your own “cherry pit spit” in your own backyard this year for practice.
There’s a world record for just about any contest you can think of these days…and cherry-pit spitting is no exception. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current record for this event is 100 feet 4 inches. Can you beat it?

International Chicken Wing Day 

Chicken wings are a favorite food not only in America but worldwide. Their variations in flavor and recipe are limited only by the imagination. Chicken wings are available in numerous restaurant chains and make appearances at barbecues, buffets, and even competitive eating events. Here in America, Buffalo Wings (chicken wings drenched in hot sauce, then deep-fried) seem to be a nationwide favorite.

National Gingersnap Day 

National Gingersnap Day celebrates those crisp, flavorful, and fragrant little cookies; gingersnaps.  I can’t find any information on the origins of this holiday, but the history of the gingersnap itself goes back for centuries. Cookies, bread, and other baked goods were commonly flavored with spices such as ginger in the middle ages, and cookies similar to what Americans know as gingersnaps have long been produced in England and in Germany.
Many of us remember the gingersnaps of our youth as a tasty treat, but the cookies have many health benefits as well. As far as cookies go, these are relatively low in calories (with about 110 per serving). And the ginger provides several health benefits. It is often used to treat nausea and other digestive maladies and has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease arthritis. It has even been used to fight heart diseases and other major illnesses. I’m not saying gingersnaps are health food, but there are certainly myriad of less healthy snack alternatives from which to choose. So, have some gingersnaps as a snack today; either on their own, with a glass of milk, or with some pudding or ice cream.

National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day 

The month of July was proclaimed National Ice Cream Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, so what better way to kick it off than with National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day. National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day encourages you to let your imagination go wild and add any ingredients to your ice cream, or sundaes that your heart desires. If you have ever thought of an ice cream flavor that you are curious to try, today is the day to test it out. The history of this holiday is vague, but it probably had something to do with the aforementioned proclamation by President Reagan.
My favorite ice cream flavor is Peppermint Stick (from Dewar’s naturally) and the grossest ice cream flavor combination I can think of on the spur of the moment is Anchovie Brussel’s Sprout. Just for fun, leave a comment with your favorite ice cream flavor and the yukkiest ice cream flavor you can imagine.

More Holidays on

On This Date

  • In 1862 – Congress established the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
  • In 1874 – The Philadelphia Zoological Society zoo opened as the first zoo in the United States.
  • In 1898 – During the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” waged a victorious assault on San Juan Hill in Cuba.
  • In 1903 – The Tour de France Bicycle Race was flagged off for the first time. The now annual multi-leg bike race lasted for 20 days with a course that stretched about 1,500 miles. The race was first created by the sports daily, L’Auto, as a way to boost its circulation. The first Tour de France was won by Italian-French racer, Maurice Garin.
  • In 1905 – The Forest Service was created within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency was given the mission to sustain healthy, diverse, and productive forests and grasslands for present and future generations.
  • In 1908 – SOS was adopted as the International Distress Signal. The 2nd International Radiotelegraphic Convention, which was signed in December 1906, made the Morse code distress signal (· · · – – – · · ·), the standard international maritime distress signal. Even though it was replaced by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System in 1999, SOS is universally seen as a distress call and is often mistakenly thought to be an abbreviation of Save Our Souls or Save Our Ship.
  • In 1916 – The massive Allied offensive known as the Battle of the Somme began in France. The battle was the first to use tanks.
  • In 1940 – In Washington, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was opened to traffic. The bridge collapsed during a wind storm later that same year on November 7, 1940.
  • In 1941 – Bulova Watch Company sponsored the first TV commercial in New York City, NY.
  • In 1943 – The federal government began automatically withholding federal income tax from paychecks.
  • In 1946 – The United States exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
  • In 1950 – American ground troops arrived in South Korea to stem the tide of the advancing North Korean army.
  • In 1951 – Bob Feller set a major league baseball record as he pitched his third no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians.
  • In 1961 – The first community air-raid shelter was built. The shelter in Boise, ID had a capacity of 1,000 people and family memberships sold for $100.
  • In 1966 – The Medicare federal insurance program went into effect.
  • In 1979 – Susan B. Anthony was commemorated on a U.S. coin, the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
  • In 1979 – The Walkman made its appearance in stores for the first time. The portable audio cassette player was made by Sony and went on sale in Japan.
  • In 1980 – President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that provided for 2 acres of land near the Lincoln Memorial for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • In 1981 – The Supreme Court ruled that candidates for federal office had an “affirmative right” to go on national television.
  • In 1987 – John Kevin Hill, at age 11, became the youngest to fly across the United States when he landed at National Airport in Washington, DC.
  • In 1991 – The Warsaw Pact, a defense treaty between 8 communist countries, was formally disbanded in Prague. The pact was founded in 1955, during the height of the Cold War, as a way to counterbalance the power of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Western Europe.
  • In 1999 – The Justice Department released new regulations that granted the attorney general sole power to appoint and oversee special counsels. The 1978 independent counsel statute expired on June 30.
  • In 2002 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established. It is the first international judicial body that has the power to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It was created by the Rome Statute, an international treaty that was signed in the Italian city of Rome in 1998.

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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