July 29th – Rain Day

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

Good morning precipitation prognostication lovers. Today is Saturday, July 29, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Rain Day

Since the dawn of mankind, people have celebrated rain and its life-giving properties. Rain helps grow our crops, it fills our reservoirs, oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams with water, and is essential for virtually every form of life on Earth. With that said, this holiday has nothing to do with any of that.
Rain Day is a local holiday in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania which has received much national attention over the years since it was first created.
It all started on July 28, 1874, at Daly and Spraggs drug store in Waynesburg. A local farmer was in the drugstore and during the conversation mentioned that it would rain the next day, the 29th. The owner of the drugstore, Byron Daly, asked the farmer how he knew it would rain and the farmer replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th.  Mr. Daly saw the opportunity for a little fun and began making bets with salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win. In 1939, after Byron Daly retired, his son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He kept the alive the tradition his father had started way back in 1874.
John Daly would bet local TV and sports personalities from the Pittsburgh Area. And, over the years, he won hats from some notable celebrities as well – Jack Dempsey, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Cassius Clay, The Three Stooges, Mike Love (the Beach Boys), Jay Leno, Donald Trump, and Arnold Palmer just to name a few. Harry Anderson, star of TV’s Night Court, made the bet in 1988. That year it didn’t rain, so the commission sent Harry a hat. That hat appeared on the set for several episodes of Night Court on the bookshelves behind his desk, next to his armadillo.
Young Mr. Daly amassed so many hats over the years that he was finally convinced to sell them at auction to raise money for charity.
In 1979, the Waynesburg Borough Special Events Commission was created to hold a special celebration on July 29th each year. That same year, the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce held the first annual Miss Rain Day Pageant. In 2003, the Chamber of Commerce created a new non-profit entity, Rain Day Scholarship, Inc. with the sole purpose to plan and execute the pageant. Each year, one talented local teenage girl wins the coveted crown, hundreds of dollars in scholarship savings bonds and the chance to ‘reign’ over the day’s festivities.
Among the activities sponsored by the Special Events Commission on July 29th are a street fair in the heart of town, live entertainment on the courthouse steps, arts and crafts booths, hometown food booths, children’s games and assorted other diversions – including an umbrella decorating contest. Best of all, the admission is free. The festivities are silenced each year to pay a moment’s tribute to the men of Company K, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry – a battalion from Waynesburg that lost men in France during World War I on Rain Day, 1918. Nearly half of the 250 Greene County men were either killed or wounded on that day. As John O’Hara once wrote, “On that Rain Day in 1918, it rained bullets on the men of Company K”.
Author’s Note: As of 2016, it has rained on July 29th in Waynesburg Pennsylvania 115 times out of the 142 years since the original bet was made in 1874. According to The Weather Channel forecast for Waynesburg, there is a 60% chance that it will be 116 out of 143.

International Tiger Day

International Tiger Day was created in 2010 by the World Wildlife Federation in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute and other local organizations. It seeks to raise awareness about the alarming rate at which the number of tigers is dwindling and to find ways to intervene on their behalf to prevent their extinction.
In the last hundred years, 97% of the world’s tiger population has vanished due to climate change, loss of habitat, hunting, and poaching – with only about 3,000 remaining in the wild. Some species of tigers have already disappeared.
Tigers are the largest species of big cats.

National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day

I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What the heck is National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day?
Back in days of yore, mice were a common problem in households across America. This holiday is based on an old saying:

If you want to catch some mice,
First some cheese you must sacrifice.
So, purchase the cheese upon this day,
And a mouse-free house is here to stay.

With the advances in mousetrap design and more effective pest control methods in general, this holiday has become obsolete. However, some people are creating new ways to celebrate National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day. Some “sacrifice” a bit of their food budget and purchase a more expensive and exotic type of cheese than they normally buy. Some people “sacrifice” their taste buds and try a new type of cheese they’ve never tried before. Try buying a ‘craft cheese’ from a local Farmer’s Market.

National Chicken Wing Day  

Chicken wings are a common menu item in many restaurants across America. They come in a variety of flavors including teriyaki, barbecue, lemon pepper, parmesan garlic, sweet and sour, and honey mustard, but in recent years, Buffalo style wings have become the most popular.
In 1964 Theresa Bellissimo, wife of Frank Bellissimo owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, created and served the first plate of Buffalo Chicken Wings. Since then, these tasty, spicy appetizers have become one of the America’s favorite finger foods. In fact, they are renown worldwide.
In 1977, the Mayor of Buffalo, NY proclaimed this date as Chicken Wing Day in honor of Mrs. Bellissimo’s creation.

National Lasagna Day

Lasagna originated in the Emilia-Romagna region of north-central Italy. These wide flat noodles originated during Roman times. The Romans called them lasanum, the latin word for pot; i.e., the vessel in which this dish was cooked. The tomato-based lasagna we are familiar with today is a relatively recent creation. The Romans didn’t have tomatoes so they included other types of vegetables along with the cheese and meat. Tomatoes originated in Peru and did not come to Italy until the Spanish Conquistadors brought them back from Mexico in the early 16th century. Even then, the cherry tomato, which was the “original” tomato, was considered houseplant and not eaten until the 18th century.
The modern lasagna noodle is two inches wide and sometimes has ruffled edges. The most popular cheeses in lasagna recipes are mozzarella and ricotta, and the sauce is often tomato sauce or béchamel. Modern recipes include vegetable lasagnas, “white” lasagnas and goat cheese lasagnas. If you regularly make lasagna with commercial sheet noodles, try making it with artisanal pasta: The rougher surface helps sauce and other ingredients cling better while constructing the layers.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1754 – The first international boxing match was held. The 25-minute match was won when Jack Slack of Britain knocked out Jean Petit from France.
  • In 1773 – The first schoolhouse to be located west of the Allegheny Mountains was built in Schoenbrunn Ohio.
  • In 1836 – The Arc de Triomphe was opened to the public in Paris. The famous monument honors those to dies while fighting for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It was designed by Jean Chalgrin.
  • In 1874 – Major Walter Copton Winfield of England received United States patent for the lawn-tennis court.
  • In 1914 – The first transcontinental telephone service was inaugurated when two people held a conversation between New York, NY and San Francisco, CA.
  • In 1940 – John Sigmund of St. Louis, MO, completed a 292-mile swim down the Mississippi River. The swim from St. Louis to Caruthersville, MO took him 89 hours and 48 minutes.
  • In 1948 – The XIV Olympics began in London after a 12-year hiatus due to the Second World War. The last Summer Olympics before this were held in Berlin in 1936.
  • In 1957 – Jack Paar began hosting the “Tonight” show on NBC-TV. The name of the show was changed to “The Jack Paar Show.” Paar was the host for five years.
  • In 1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency was established. The independent agency’s aim is to ban the use of nuclear energy for military purposes. American W. Sterling Cole served as the agency’s first director general.
  • In 1958 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was authorized by Congress.
  • In 1975 – OAS (Organization of American States) members voted to lift collective sanctions against Cuba. The United States government welcomed the action and announced its intention to open serious discussions with Cuba on normalization. [Pro or con, it didn’t happen until last year].
  • In 1981 – England’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married. The most talked about wedding of the year was watched on television by millions of people worldwide. The couple were married in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom, and divorced 15 years later in 1996.
  • In 1985 – General Motors announced that Spring Hill, TN, would be the home of the Saturn automobile assembly plant.
  • In 1993 – The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk of being Nazi death camp guard “Ivan the Terrible.” His death sentence was thrown out and he was set free.
  • In 2005 – Astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet (Xena) larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun.
  • In 2008 – Congress apologized for slavery. The House of Representatives publicly apologized for the institution of slavery and Jim Crow laws that discriminated against African-Americans.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

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