August 19th –

August 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning Ansel Adams wannabes. Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

World Photography Day

With the huge advances in technology in the last two decades which have made photography virtually “idiot proof”, many people these days think they are professional photographers…just check out any social media website. World Photography Day does not honor these clowns, but instead, World Photography Day pays homage to the invention of the Daguerreotype process, a photographic process developed by Joseph Nicèphore Niepce and Louis Daguerre in France in 1837.
On this date in 1839, the French government purchased the rights to, and released free of charge to the rest of the world, the Daguerreotype process which is why World Photography Day is celebrated today. The Daguerreotype process is the first practical photographic process and is the forerunner to all the photographic processes since. The first permanent photographic image was taken in 1826, by Nicèphore Niepce. It is known as ‘View from the Window at Le Gras‘ and used a process called Heliography, but it wasn’t practical. Nièpce teamed up with Daguerre, and a little over a decade later, the Daguerreotype process was the result.
The World Photo Day project started in 2009 and it was celebrated for the first time on August 19th, 2010. Today, millions of people around the world celebrate this holiday with thousands of photographers getting involved through independent community events, competitions, and promotions.
To celebrate World Photography Day simply take a few pictures. Add a few more pictures of your pet to your Facebook page, update your family portrait, venture forth into the wilderness and take a few nature snapshots, or capture the essence of your city, town, village, or hamlet, etc with a few candid photographs.

National Aviation Day  

National Aviation Day celebrates the birthday of pioneer aviator Orville Wright on this date in 1871, and promote an interest in aviation in general. Orville was the first person to successfully fly an airplane. The holiday was established in 1939 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who issued a presidential proclamation which designated the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday to be National Aviation Day. The proclamation was codified and it allows the sitting President to proclaim August 19 as National Aviation Day each year if desired. [Their proclamation may direct all federal buildings and installations to fly the US flag on that day, and may encourage citizens to observe the day with activities that promote interest in aviation]. To a lesser degree, National Aviation Day sometimes honors other specific early aviation and space pioneers, or aviation and space pioneers in general. The first successful heavier than air flight occurred on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Note: Mr. Wright, who was born in 1871, was still alive when the proclamation was first issued and would live another nine years until his death in 1948.

International Homeless Animals’ Day

International Homeless Animals’ Day has been observed the third Saturday of August since 1992 and was created by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) to raise awareness about the pet overpopulation epidemic – and therefore one of the main focuses of this holiday is, obviously, the spraying and neutering of homeless pets.
If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a long-time advocate of spaying and neutering pets. International Homeless Animals’ Day highlights the fact that every year local pet shelters in America are overwhelmed because of the numbers of animals left homeless. When animals aren’t spayed or neutered it leads to overpopulation. When there are too many animals in shelters, their only recourse is to euthanize the ones that aren’t adopted.
International Homeless Animals’ Day was created to help find new ideas that will help solve the problem of pet overpopulation. Government and private institutions need to combine their efforts to find a solution. Check with your local animal shelter to see if they are having an event and attend if you can. Whether or not they are having an event, a small donation will always be appreciated.

National Honey Bee Day

National Honey Bee Day has been observed the third Saturday of August since 2009 and was created by a small group of beekeepers in the United States who petitioned for and obtained a formal proclamation by the USDA honoring honey bees and beekeeping. The purpose is to build community awareness of the bee industry, through education and promotion. In 2010, a nonprofit, Pennsylvania Apiculture Inc. was organized to better facilitate and promote the observance.
According to its organizers, the National Honey Bee Day program started with a simple concept:

Bring together beekeepers, bee associations, as well as other interested groups to connect with the communities to advance beekeeping. By working together and harnessing the efforts that so many already accomplish, and by using a united effort one day a year, the rewards and message is magnified many times over. We encourage bee associations, individuals, and other groups to get involved. The program is free and open to all.

Unlike other bee-related holidays this year, National Honey Bee Day seem geared more toward apiarists. No mention was made in any of my sources about the plight of honey bees worldwide and their rapidly diminishing numbers.

International Geocaching Day

International Geocaching Day is held annually on the third Saturday in August. Geocaching (pronounced geo-cash-ing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. Anyone can place a geocache and share it on any geocaching websites so that other intrepid adventurers can find it. A player places a geocache somewhere in the world, pinpoints its GPS location and then shares the existence and location of that geocache online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to find the geocache.
With the upsurge of people with GPS apps on their smartphones, geocaching is becoming more and more popular. There are a number of geocaching apps available for smartphones, so why not celebrate International Geocaching Day by joining the craze and begin geocaching today? I’ve found a number of geocaches in my area. Geocaching is a good way to get out of the house and have a little fun…and it can be good exercise as well if there are any near where you live.

International Bow Day

Bows have been a staple fashion accessory for centuries. Claire’s founded International Bow Day, which is new to the holiday calendar this year, to celebrate and share the bow in all its incarnations.
During the 18th century bows were primarily worn by men, but over the years, fashion trends changed and women became the gender that primarily wore bows. With this change, the various fabrics, sizes, and styles of bows changed as well. Bows have never really gone out of style, though the placement and designs have changed according to the whims of fashion.
Celebrate International Bow Day, by, what else, wearing a bow. enhance your style by adding a bow as a fashion accessory today. Now, where did I put that @#&% bow tie anyway?

World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is set aside to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. This holiday was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. That tragic event claimed 22 lives. World Humanitarian Day also recognizes the dozens of aid workers, who have died in the years since. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.

Potato Day

Potatoes have been popular parts of diets around the world for centuries.  More than 45 billion pounds of potatoes are harvested in the United States each year.  Americans love them baked, mashed, boiled, fried, scalloped, au gratin, in soups and stews, and of course, as potato chips – the list is endless. Potatoes are even used to make bread, rolls, and pancakes, and can be found in every meal of the day.
The Russians, on the other hand, discovered quite a unique use for potatoes – have you ever heard of vodka? Russian Vodka is actually a distillation of potato, and the name vodka in Russian means “Little Water” –a clear indicator of its importance to them.
For a time Ireland was so reliant on potatoes as a food crop that a potato plague managed to nearly wipe them out. Although there was plenty of food being grown in Ireland at the time (5 ships full of food a day were being sailed out of the country), their resources and other crops were being drained of by their British overlords so that all the Irish people had to live on was potatoes and cabbage. When the potato plague (famine) hit, many starved and many more left the country.
Potatoes are not only tasty, they’re good for you too. They contain high levels of important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, and iron.
Potatoes were first cultivated by man in Southern Peru and the Northwest regions of Bolivia sometime between 5000 and 8000 BC. From there they spread all over the globe to become one of the primary staple crops in many cultures.
To celebrate this holiday, enjoy some potatoes prepared in your favorite way.

“Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day

We have already celebrated a number of Root Beer Float-related holidays this year, including at least one other Black Cow Day. This particular “Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day celebrates the date that the Root Beer Float was ostensibly created.
As the story goes,  the first root beer float was served on August 19th, 1893, by Frank J. Wisner, owner of Cripple Creek Brewing, in Cripple Creek, Colorado. He called his creation the “Black Cow Mountain,” and it soon became a hit with the kiddos, who began referring to the tasty treat as simply, the “Black Cow.”
These days, root beer floats mean different things to different people, depending on the region you are from, or family tradition. For some, it’s not a root beer float unless you use plain vanilla ice cream dolloped into your root beer. Others put a little spin on things: plopping some chocolate ice cream into their root beer and calling it a “chocolate cow” or a “brown cow.” Still, others insist it’s only a “brown cow” or a “black cow” if you use regular cola and ice cream. Then there are folks in places such as northeastern Wisconsin, who only call it a “black cow” if the root beer and ice cream are all mixed together, instead of leaving the ice cream floating on top. In some parts of the country, there is even a treat known as a “purple cow” – a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a mug of purple grape soda.
So, I guess you are the arbiter of what comprises a Black Cow. Just be sure to treat yourself to a Black Cow today…no matter what ingredients and/or manner of preparation you deem appropriate.

National Hot and Spicy Food Day

National Hot and Spicy Food Day, oddly enough, celebrates hot and spicy foods. From Buffalo Wings to 3-Alarm Chili to General Tso’s Chicken, Americans love their hot and spicy foods.
Many restaurants find “cutesy” ways of labeling the spiciness of their menu items, like “suicide hot”, but there is actually a semi-scientific means of measuring the spiciness of food called the Scoville Scale which measures the amount of capsaicin, an ingredient in chili peppers, that creates that burning sensation on the tongue.
If you want to spice up your life, celebrate this holiday with you favorite spicy dish.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1812 – “Old Ironsides” (the USS Constitution) won a battle against the British frigate Guerriere east of Nova Scotia.
  • In 1848 – The discovery of gold in California was reported by the New York Herald.
  • In 1856 – The process of processing condensed milk was patented by Gail Borden.
  • In 1895 – American outlaw and gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin, died.
  • In 1909 – The famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. Construction costs totaled approximately $3 million for the racetrack, which still hosts the Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500 automotive races each year. It was the first race track to be made of brick…hence its nickname “The Brickyard”.
  • In 1917 – Team managers, John McGraw and Christy Mathewson were arrested for breaking New York City’s blue laws. Their crime — Their teams were playing baseball on Sunday.
  • In 1919 – Afghanistan gained its independence from the United Kingdom. The Central Asian country came under British control in 1859, The country was considered to be a buffer for the British trade in opium and as a frontier to protect their interests in India. Despite trying several times to consolidate their rule over Afghanistan, the Afghan people remained hostile to British control and in 1919, King Amanullah declared Afghanistan to be independent of Britain’s protection. The declaration launched a war called the Third Anglo-Afghan War, which ended with the signing of the Rawalpindi Treaty on this day. The treaty granted Afghanistan independence from the British.
  • In 1934 – Adolf Hitler was approved for sole executive power in Germany as Fuehrer.
  • In 1940 – The newly formed Civil Aeronautics Administration awarded honorary license #1 to Orville Wright.
  • In 1960 – Francis Gary Powers, an American U-2 pilot, was convicted of espionage in Moscow.
  • In 1960 – Sputnik 5 was launched by USSR. The Soviet spacecraft carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, who became the first living beings to survive in space.
  • In 1962 – Homero Blancas shot a 55 at the Premier Invitational Golf Tournament held in Longview, TX. It was the lowest score in United States competitive golf history.
  • In 1964 – The world’s first geostationary satellite was launched. Syncom 3, a communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. A geostationary satellite is a man-made object that follows the Earth’s rotation around its axis. Because of this, it looks like it is not moving in the sky for observers on Earth. Like all geostationary satellites, Syncom 3 was placed in orbit about 22,00 miles from Earth, above the Equator and near the International Date Line. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics were broadcast to the United States with the help of this satellite.
  • In 1971 – Mr. Aloysius Snuffleupagus, aka Snuffleupagus (or Snuffy), the furry friend of Big Bird, first appeared on Sesame Street
  • In 1974 – During an anti-American protest in Nicosia, Cyprus, United States Ambassador Roger P. Davies was fatally wounded by a bullet while in the American embassy.
  • In 1977 – Venerable sarcastic comedian, Groucho Marks, died.
  • In 1978 – A fire at the Rex Cinema in Abadan, Iran, killed over 400 people. The incident which is considered to be a run-up to the Iranian Revolution occurred during the screening of The Deers, a film by Iranian director Masoud Kimiai. It is thought that 4 extremists locked the gates of the theater and set it on fire. Many people at the time believed that the fire was started by SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence agency.
  • In 1991 – Race riots broke out in the Crown Heights area of New York City. The violent race riots broke out between African-American and Orthodox Jewish residents of Crown Heights after 2 children were accidentally run down by the motorcade of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a leader of the Orthodox Jews. This resulted in a 3-day long riot that ended in the death of 2 men and several injuries.
  • In 1991 – Soviet hard-liners announced that President Mikhail Gorbachev had been removed from power. Gorbachev returned to power two days later.
  • In 1999 – In Belgrade, thousands of Serbs attended a rally to demand the resignation of Yugoslavia’s President Slobodan Milosevic.

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.

August 18th – Mail-Order Catalog Day

August 18, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning fans of convenient shopping from home. Today is Friday, August 18, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Mail-Order Catalog Day 

There are only 128 more shopping days left until Christmas, so it is the perfect date for all of you early shoppers to celebrate Mail-Order Catalog Day. Mail-Order Catalog Day marks the date in 1872 when Montgomery Ward published the first mail-order catalog — It was printed on a single sheet of paper. By 1904, their catalog had grown to hundreds of pages, and weighed over 4 pounds.
Soon after Montgomery Ward published their first catalog, other retailers such as Sears Roebuck followed suit and the mail-order industry was firmly established. For much of the early and mid 20th century, mail-order was the only practical way for people in rural communities to make major purchases such as appliances and machinery. Often the nearest retail establishment was a hundred or more miles away, so mail-order provided a more convenient way to shop. In the late 1970’s, stores like K Mart, and Walmart had begun opening stores in these rural areas, and the demand for mail-order waned. In 1985, Montgomery Ward closed their catalog sales operation.
Since the popularity and accessibility of the internet has increased in the last decade, those bulky, bothersome, now seemingly outdated catalogs have been replaced by online shopping. Online shopping is easier, quicker, and more convenient. Now, he only question that remains is: “What are those people who live in rural communities going to use when they run out of toilet paper?”

Birth Control Pills Day

On May 9, 1960 the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first contraceptive pill of human use. Birth Control Pills Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1960 when the G.D. Searle Company began selling the first oral contraceptives – under the brand name Envoid.
Endocrinologist Gregory Pincus (1903-1967) researched female hormones and co-founded the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Worcester, Massachusetts. Although scientists in the 1920’s had already discovered progesterone’s ovulation-preventing properties, they did not have a way to make it available for use.  In the 1950’s Pincus and his colleagues focused their efforts on developing a hormone combination that would fool the woman’s body into thinking it was already pregnant, thus keeping any new ova (eggs) from being released. Because contraception was illegal in Massachusetts at the time, the pill was tested as an “infertility treatment”.

Men’s Grooming Day

American Crew celebrated the first Men’s Grooming Day in 2007 as an ad campaign for their male grooming products. American Crew currently manufactures over 35 different products specifically for use by men to meet all of their grooming needs.
These days, men are paying  more attention to – and spending more money on –  their grooming habits. The unkempt, scruffy look is a distant memory. Euromonitor International, a market researcher, found that men spend more than of $20-billion each year overall on men’s grooming products. Sales in the U.S. alone are well over $5-billion.

Pinot Noir Day

Pinot Noir Day celebrates Pinot Noir and the regions of the world in which it’s cultivated. While Pinot Noir is considered a fantastic wine, Pinot Noir grapes are difficult to cultivate and tricky to turn into wine. The tight clusters require careful management lest rot set in. The skin of these grapes is thin and doesn’t offer the protection of thicker skinned grape varieties. The aging process is frequently uneven and unpredictable so they are a bit finicky. However, its rich color and complex berry-like flavor make any extra effort worthwhile.
Pinot Noir is so named due to the dark color of the grapes. They pine-cone shaped clusters. Pinot Noir grapes thrive in cooler climates, and are primarily grown in Burgundy, France, although Willamette Valley, Oregon in the United States and the Walker Bay region of South Africa also produce notably large crops.
Celebrating Pinot Noir Day is not difficult – simply pick up a bottle (or two) of Pinot Noir and enjoy.

National Fajita Day

National Fajita Day is a new holiday celebrated for the first time last year. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina created National Fajita Day and submitted it for approval by the National Day Calendar, and it was approved for celebration on this date. No reason was given regarding why this date was chosen. [On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand with more than 150 restaurants in 34 states, Puerto Rico, Asia and the Middle East].
Fajitas were originally made from throwaway cuts of beef by Mexican vaqueros in Southwest Texas. They developed into a regional staple in the early 1930’s. Steak was cooked over an open fire or grill and served with flour or corn tortillas. Fresh Pico de Gallo, guacamole and southwestern spices elevated the fajita, introducing it to new audiences as it later became a destination food in the culinary world.
As their popularity grew, fajitas added colorful flair to Tex-Mex menus with sizzling platters full of bright peppers, onions, tender steak, shrimp, chicken or pork with freshly made tortillas. By the 1980’s, most Mexican restaurants in the United States served fajitas.
In the modern culinary kitchen, lime, cilantro and a plethora of vegetables find their way into a fajita along with the perfect seasonings. Grilling with mesquite adds a smoky flavor and bacon adds crunch. Of course, who could forget the cheese? With their festive presentations in fine Mexican restaurants today, the fajita has come a long way from its humble skirt steak trimmings origins.

National Soft Ice Cream Day 

Soft Ice cream, aka “soft serve” ice cream, is a form of frozen custard that has been around for about a century. Although its exact origins are unknown, we do know that the first references to soft ice cream appeared in the early 1900’s. At that time, only a few types existed. Now, most ice cream shops serve a variety of fun flavors.
Dairy Queen is credited with being the originators of the first commercially successful soft-serve ice cream franchise when they served a “soft frozen dairy product” in 1938.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1587 – Virginia Dare became the first child to be born on American soil of English parents. The colony that is now Roanoke Island, NC, mysteriously vanished.
  • IN 1612 – The Pendle witch trials began. Eleven people – nine women and two men – were tried for practicing witch craft in one of the United Kingdom’s most well documented and followed witch trials. The trial lasted for two days and 10 of the accused are found guilty and later executed.
  • In 1846 – Gen. Stephen W. Kearney and his troops captured Santa Fe, NM.
  • In 1877 – Mars’ moon Phobos was discovered. One of the two natural satellites of Mars, Phobos, was discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall. Hall also discovered Deimos, the other Martian Moon. Named after the Greek God of fear, Phobos orbits only 3700 miles from the surface of Mars, making it the Moon to orbit closest to its planet in the Solar System. Because of this, Phobos completes an orbit around Mars in 7 hours and 39 minutes.
  • In 1894 – The Bureau of Immigration was established by Congress.
  • In 1914 – The “Proclamation of Neutrality” was issued by President Woodrow Wilson. It was aimed at keeping the United States out of World War I.
  • In 1916 – Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace was made into a national shrine.
  • In 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It granted women the right to vote. The State of Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving the Amendment the ¾ majority required to become law nationwide.
  • In 1926 – A weather map was sent via television signal for the first time, transmitting from the NAA Arlington to the National Weather Bureau Office in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1938 – The Thousand Islands Bridge was dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The bridge connects the U.S. and Canada.
  • In 1940 – Canada and the United States established a joint defense plan against the possible enemy attacks during World War II.
  • In 1958 – Lolita was first published in the United States. The highly controversial novel written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov detailed an adult man’s obsession over 12-year-old Dolores Haze, who he secretly calls Lolita.
  • In 1962 – Peter, Paul and Mary released their hit single, “If I Had a Hammer”.
  • In 1963 – James Meredith became the first black man to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
  • In 1966 – The first pictures of earth taken from moon orbit were sent back to the U.S.
  • In 1982 – The longest baseball game was played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. It went 21 innings before the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cubs 2-1.
  • In 1991 – An unsuccessful coup was attempted in against President Mikhail S. Gorbachev. The Soviet hard-liners were responsible. Gorbachev and his family were effectively imprisoned for three days while vacationing in Crimea.
  • In 1997 – Beth Ann Hogan became the first coed in the Virginia Military Institute’s 158-year history.
  • In 1997 – Patrick Swayze received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 2005 – Indonesia suffered a massive power outage. Thought to be one of the biggest power outages in recent history, the Java-Bali outage affected about 100 million people. Electricity was restored to most areas within 6 hours.

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.

August 17th – The Meaning of “Is”, Is…

August 17, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning wordsmiths. Today is Thursday, August 17, 2107. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

The Meaning of “Is” Day

The Meaning of “Is” Day, of course, refers to the infamous words uttered by former President Bill Clinton as he dabbled in semantics during his testimony before the Grand Jury hearings to clarify his relationship with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky on this date in 1998. He said, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
The word ‘is’ is the seventh most commonly used word in the English language.
The word ‘is’ is hard to define. Most dictionaries agree that the word ‘is’ is the third person singular form of the word “be”; which is equally hard to define without going into a bunch of existential folderol. You could spend the rest of your day trying to decipher the definitive definition of the word ‘is’ and not be successful. Or you could simply accept the fact the definition of the word is,  just ‘is’, and move on with your life.

Black Cat Appreciation Day

In Japan, young women are encouraged to own a black cat to increase their chances of romance. In Great Britain, black cats are thought to bring good luck, and in Germany, if a black cat crosses your path (from the right), it is said to bring prosperity. Research shows that black cats may have developed dark hair to fight off disease, meaning their fur is more than beautiful, it’s useful too.
Due to a special pigment called melanin in their fur, when out in the sun, many black cats will temporarily turn a dark brown color, as if they have color-shifting powers. The melanin also causes their irises to be yellow. Because of these traits, superstitions abound that black cats are thought to be the harbingers of evil and/or bad luck. During the Middle Ages, black cats were believed to be connected to witchcraft, and the reputation stuck. Another superstition says that if a black cat crosses your path, and that the encounter portends bad things to come.
Sadly, because of this bad reputation, black cats are far more likely to be euthanized or wait a long time to be adopted from shelters. Black Cat Appreciation Day was launched to show people that a black cat could be the perfect choice for them, and help raise awareness about black cats in general.
If you’ve been looking for a rescue cat yourself, why not consider a black cat? Not only are the superstitions about them being evil and bringing bad luck completely unfounded, but you might find a black cat to be a fantastic feline companion for you.
If you own a black cat you can celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day by taking photos with your pet. If you don’t, you might want to consider adopting a black cat into your family. And, of course,  a small donation to an animal shelter is always a good way to celebrate any pet-related holiday.

Baby Boomers Recognition Day

Baby Boomers Recognition Day is dedicated to baby boomers, the generation that was born between 1946 and 1964. This holiday was created in 2011 and was celebrated on June 21st. However, due to frequent conflicts with Father’s Day weekend, it was moved to August 17th in 2015 to coincide with one of the iconic moments in Baby Boomer history – the Woodstock Music Festival.
There was an uptick in births after WWII, which was spurred by an economic boom and a longing for a return to normalcy after the Great Depression and the war. Early baby boomers came of age during the Summer of Love and Woodstock and grappled with issues such as the Vietnam War during a time of great social change. In general, early baby boomers tended to be more liberal than later baby boomers, although many early baby boomers’ politics shifted towards the right in the 1980’s. To date, four United States Presidents have been baby boomers: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama, and Donald Trump. Their varying ideologies demonstrate that the views of baby boomers are not monolithic. Rock & Roll and television were important parts of the lives of young baby boomers, and there was a belief while growing up that they were better off than those who came before them.
Baby boomers have witnessed a significant number of historical events. Baby boomers saw the transition from radio to television, and went from vinyl records to 8-track tapes, to cassettes, to CDs, to MP3’s and now “streaming” music. They were around for the dawn of the ‘computer age’. They saw the first man go into space, saw man’s first walk on the moon, and a permanent space station orbiting the Earth. They lived through the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights protests, student unrest, Woodstock, and the Watergate scandal — And I have just scratched the surface. They are now rapidly approaching retirement age or are already retired. Baby Boomer Recognition Day is a holiday to recognize the many accomplishments and contributions to society that “baby boomers” have made.

Archaeology Day

Can you dig it? It’s time to ‘bone up’ on the history of past civilizations. Today is Archaeology Day.
Archaeology is a branch of anthropology, focusing on ancient and prehistoric cultures and civilizations. Archaeologists search and attempt to uncover artifacts and other evidence of human life in the distant past. To celebrate Archaeology Day,  take a tour at a historical museum. Check out the mummies, and examine primitive tool displays. Consider what the science of the past may reveal about our society today.

National Massachusetts Day

National Massachusetts Day recognizes the first New England colony and the sixth state to join the Union. Named after the indigenous people who populated the area when explorers (and later the pilgrims) first arrived, Massachusetts became an incubator for independence, education, and industry.
It should come as no surprise that the colony credited with the founding of the Sons of Liberty, hosting the Boston Tea Party and “the shot heard round the world” would also be considered the Cradle of Liberty. The list of notable and recognizable names from history grows long from Massachusetts and their stories quite fascinating. Patriots are the first to come to mind, but don’t stop there!  Poets, inventors, authors, politicians, architects, activists, athletes and those who have managed the amazing. It’s much too long for these pages, so you are encouraged to explore them further.
With her numerous bays and abundant shorelines, Massachusetts offers many seaside escapes. Mountain exploration can be found inland, and for those who seek urban adventure, there is plenty to be found. Everywhere you go, there’s history, beauty and perhaps a bit of an adjustment to the New England language.  Either way, dive into the food, the past and the future of Massachusetts.

Foul Ball Day

On August 17, 1957, Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Richie (Whitey) Ashburn hit a foul ball into the stadium stands, hitting spectator Alice Roth in the nose. A couple of pitches later, hapless Whitey hit a second foul ball that poor Alice again as paramedics carried her away on a stretcher. Ironically, Alice Roth was the wife of Earl Roth, sports editor for the Philadelphia Bulletin. After the incident, she and Whitey Ashburn became friends, and Alice Roth’s son became a bat boy for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Have you ever caught a foul ball while watching a baseball game? Foul Ball Day celebrates all of the baseball fans who intercept those errant baseballs.
To celebrate Foul Ball Day, grab the gang and head for a Major League (or minor league) Baseball game. Be sure to take your baseball glove to the game to protect yourself…and maybe snag a souvenir in the process. Keep your eye on the ball – lest one find your nose.

National Thrift Shop Day

The term ‘thrift shop’ has a couple of meanings in today’s society. The first meaning refers to stores that sell merchandise which is deeply discounted. It’s not always the highest quality, but the price is right. You know these stores better today as discount department stores and dollar stores.
The other meaning refers to a resale shop that sells used goods, typically receiving its inventory from donations. Popular examples of thrift stores include those offered through non-profit organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Whichever definition you choose, go “thrifting” today and pick up some bargains.

National “I Love My Feet” Day

National “I Love My Feet” Day is observed annually on August 17 and urges people to appreciate how valuable our feet are, to practice good foot care and pamper our feet.
Most people don’t think much about their feet…that is until they stub their toe on the coffee table, step on a Lego that their kid left on the living room floor, or get a blister from ill-fitting shoes. Feet are our primary mode of transportation. They help us stand, run, walk, play sports, jog, skip, dance, etc. They take us to school or work and help us navigate through our homes. Our feet withstand all the things we do in our everyday lives and accomplish things our hands cannot.
Proper foot care is important for preventing long-term problems. Years of wear and tear can be hard on them, as can disease, bad circulation, improperly trimmed toenails and poorly fitting shoes. Practicing good foot care is easy. Elevating your feet when you sit is a relaxing way to help reduce swelling. Stretching, walking or having a gentle foot massage aids circulation. A warm foot bath is also helpful. Make sure your feet are dry before putting on shoes. Wearing shoes when outside provides your feet better protection.
About 75% of the adult population has a foot problem and improper shoe choices account for the majority of those problems. Wearing properly fitted shoes with good arch support, getting foot massages and regular pedicures can reduce foot problems. If you have persistent foot pain, consulting your physician or a podiatrist can help – but the best way to avoid foot problems is to take care of your feet.

National Vanilla Custard Day

Vanilla custard is a sweet pudding-like dish made with vanilla, eggs, sugar, and milk. It can be enjoyed on its own or as an ingredient in other desserts.
Vanilla custard has been around since the Middle Ages and was traditionally used as a pie filling. (A very simple custard tart was a popular dessert during that time period.) Today, custard is an important component in many dessert recipes including éclairs, trifle, and Boston cream pie.
The word custard is derived from “crustade,” a tart with a crust. After the 16th century, fruit creams became popular and it was about this time that custards began to be made in individual dishes or bowls rather than as fillings for a crust. Yet, as things move full circle, today custard is used to fill tarts, Danish pastry, flans, cream puffs and éclairs; it is mixed into trifles and otherwise part of other sweet and savory delights. Custards are prepared in two ways: stirred or cooked on top of the stove, or baked in the oven.
To celebrate this holiday, make a custard for dessert tonight.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1790 – The capital city of the U.S. moved to Philadelphia from New York City.
  • In 1807 – Robert Fulton’s “North River Steam Boat” (known as the “Clermont”) began heading up New York’s Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.
  • In 1835 – Solymon Merrick of Massachusetts patented the first wrench.
  • In 1858 – Baltimore mechanic Charles Moncky invented the “monkey wrench”. It derived its name from a misspelling of his last name.
  • In 1859 – A hot air balloon was used to carry mail for the first time. John Wise left Lafayette, IN, for New York City with 100 letters. With typical Post Office efficiency, he had to land after only 27 miles.
  • In 1894 – John Wadsworth of Louisville set a major league record when he gave up 28 base hits in a single game.
  • In 1896 – George Carmack discovered gold on Rabbit Creek in Alaska. This was the beginning of the Klondike gold rush.
  • In 1903 – Joseph Pulitzer donated a million dollars to Columbia University. This started the Pulitzer Prizes in his name.
  • In 1915 – Charles F. Kettering patented the electric, automobile self-starter.
  • In 1960 – Gabon gained independence from France. France had occupied Gabon since the latter part of the 1800’s. In 1910, the Equatorial country was added to French Equatorial Africa, a federation of France’s Central African colonies. From 1934 to 1958, French Equatorial Africa was considered by France as a unified colony.
  • In 1961 – The Communist East German government completed the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • In 1970 – The Venera 7 was launched by the Soviet Union. Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land on another planet, Venus, and send data back to Earth. It entered Venus’ atmosphere in December 1970.
  • In 1977 – Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland after Elvis Presley’s death had surpassed the number for any other event in the company’s history.
  • In 1978 – Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and Larry Newman became the first to complete a trans-Atlantic hot air balloon flight. The voyage began in Presque Isle, ME and ended in a barley field in Miserey, France (near Paris). The feat was accomplished in a balloon called the Double Eagle II.
  • In 1979 – Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” premiered in America.
  • In 1982 – The Senate approved an immigration bill that granted permanent resident status to illegal aliens who had arrived in the United States before 1977.
  • In 1992 – Woody Allen admitted to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn. The girl was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Allen’s longtime companion.
  • In 1996 – Ross Perot was announced to be the Reform Party’s presidential candidate. He was the party’s first-ever candidate.
  • In 1998 – President Clinton admitted to having an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern.
  • In 2002 – In Santa Rosa, CA, the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened to the public.
  • In 2008 – Michael Phelps earned his 8th Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympics. The American champion swimmer won the medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay race in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. With this medal, he broke the record for the most gold medals won by a person in a single Olympic games, a record previously held by American swimmer Mark Spitz.

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.

August 16th – Tell a Joke Day

August 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning humorists. Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Tell a Joke Day

So far this year, we have already had many humor related holidays including “Presidential Joke Day” last week, and “Tell an Old Joke Day” last month. Tell a Joke Day differs from these holidays in that the subject and age of the joke are irrelevant. This holiday encourages one to tell some jokes and listen to a few as well. After all, a joke isn’t a joke unless it makes someone laugh. I’ve previously recounted some of the health benefits of laughter so I won’t rehash that subject. If you’re not particularly adept at telling jokes, you can always just pass on a few humorous emails or internet memes to your friends.

An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.” “Pop, what are you talking about,” the son yells. The old man says.”We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer. We’re sick and tired of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.” And he hangs up.
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who was equally agitated on the phone. “Like heck they’re getting a divorce,” she shouts. “I’ll take care of this.” She calls Phoenix immediately and yells at her dad, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then don’t do a thing, do you hear me?” And she hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife with a sly smile and says; “Sweetie, the kids are coming home for Christmas and paying their own way.”

There, I’ve done my part. Feel free to send me your jokes to celebrate this holiday.

National Airborne Day 

National Airborne Day marks the anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon; the forerunner to the Airborne units of today. On this date in 1940, the 48 brave volunteer members of this Platoon pioneered a new method of warfare. Their successful jump led to the creation of a mighty force of more than 100,000 paratroopers. Members of this force were assigned to the legendary 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and many other units that fought in every theater during World War II.
The soldiers of the Parachute Test Platoon also forged a unique warrior spirit, a relentless passion for victory, and a reputation that still strikes fear in potential adversaries. Beginning with the first combat jump by the men of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, over North Africa in November 1942, airborne and special operations soldiers have made a total of 93 combat jumps. Since World War II, paratroopers have continually distinguished themselves in battle, earning 69 Congressional Medals of Honor and hundreds of other awards for valor.
On August 9th, 2001, President George W. Bush proclaimed August 16th as National Airborne Day.

National Roller Coaster Day

In case you are just emerging from a life-long coma, or have lived your entire life in a cave with no contact with the outside world, a roller coaster is one or multiple cars on a track, similar to a specialized railroad system that rises in designed patterns, sometimes with one or more vertical loops.
National Roller Coaster Day has been celebrated since a 1986 proclamation by a national newspaper according to the website However, the website did not identify the newspaper or the reason for celebrating this holiday on August 16. It could be that this date was chosen because a patent for the first Loop-the-Loop roller coaster was issued on this date. For whatever the reason, National Roller Coaster Day recognizes the amazing thrills the rides continue to provide as well as nostalgic feelings they stir up.
J.G. Taylor received one of the earliest patents for an inclined railway in 1872.  In 1878, Richard Knudsen received a patent for an inclined-plane railway.  For years, historians believed that the first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island on June 16, 1884. However, thanks to the digital age and many archived news papers being digitized, and article was discovered reporting the anticipated excitement of J.G. Taylor’s elevated railway in 1872 at Rocky Point, Rhode Island. According to the Providence Evening Press from June 18, 1872, the reporter describes a ride of 400 feet where nine passengers are given a shove and gravity does the rest.
The oldest roller coasters are believed to have originated from the so-called “Russian Mountains.”  Built in the 17th century, these were specially constructed hills of ice that were located near Saint Petersburg, Russia.  The slides were made to a height of 70 to 80 feet consisting of a 50-degree drop and were reinforced by wooden supports.
Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day by visiting an amusement park near you and enjoying a roller coaster ride.  If you cannot get to a roller coaster today, make plans for a future roller coaster adventure and/or learn more about roller coasters and their history.

Wave At The Surveillance Cameras Day

Who knew that George Orwell was a prophet? I wonder if he foresaw, in 1949, when he published his famous FICTIONAL novel 1984, that future world leaders would use it as a textbook on how to govern their citizens.
Today, surveillance cameras are used to monitor traffic, in transportation safety, in the surveillance of retail establishments, as well as in home and school security. More and more people who think that the whole surveillance issue has gone a bit too far. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, whether we’re outdoors or indoors there is a very high probability that we’re being recorded. Of course, surveillance cameras have helped to make countless cities safer by catching various crimes on video—from theft to vandalism to assault—thus allowing the police to apprehend the criminals committing them faster and easier. Still, many can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the fact that almost all of their actions are being monitored, especially those who would not think of committing crimes. Some have even gone as far as to call surveillance cameras an Orwellian invasion of the privacy everyone should be entitled to.
Some people criticize the use of surveillance cameras for depriving regular citizens of their privacy and allowing the authorities and governments too much control over citizens’ lives. However, the good they have the potential to do for society as a whole is a strong argument in their favor.
The first surveillance cameras were created by German engineer Walter Bruch and were installed by Siemens AG in Germany in 1942 to observe the launch of V-2 rockets. In the U.S. the first commercial closed-circuit television system, Vericon, became available in 1949. The earliest video surveillance systems required constant human monitoring because at the time there was no way to record and store information. But, when VCR technology became available in the early 1970’s, the ability to record and erase information caused the use of video surveillance to become much more practical and thus more common.
Olean, New York was the first city in the United States to install video cameras along its main business street in an effort to fight crime in 1968. A few years later, in 1973, cameras also appeared in Times Square in New York City. In the 1980’s video surveillance began to spread across the country, especially in public areas. Businesses that were especially prone to theft, such as banks and stores, also began to install surveillance cameras. In 1998, 3,000 CCTV systems were in use in New York City. The use of video surveillance in public places became more common after the September 11th Terrorist attacks so as to deter future terrorist attacks. In 2010, there were more than 10,000 CCTV systems and counting in Chicago. Greater London also has a large amount, with the number being estimated around 500,000, and the total number of cameras in the UK to be around 4,200,000.
Wave At The Surveillance Cameras Day was created several years ago to help us all take a step back and having a bit of fun with issues that are usually gravely serious. On this lighthearted holiday, take a moment to have a bit of fun with the cameras surrounding you and do what little kids do when they see a train – wave. With all of the problems in the world today, a little good-natured fun and levity might be just the thing to relieve some of the tension – just hope that the government operative or corporate security specialist monitoring you has a sense of humor.

Elvis Has Left the Building Day

Despite rumors to the contrary, Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. The popular performer, known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” passed away from complications of multiple health problems –including, but not limited to, heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver damage.
For decades after his death, Elvis Presley’s fans claimed to have spotted him in public, but none were ever verified or taken seriously. Rumors even circulated that perhaps “The King’s” ghost still lingered at his Memphis Graceland estate – yet, every year on this date, Elvis Presley’s fans mourn his death once again.
So “Don’t” let your “Suspicious Minds” stop you from celebrating Elvis Has Left the Building Day. “Don’t Be Cruel” or get “All Shook Up” or go “Cryin’ in the Chapel,” the old “Hound Dog” Elvis has been “Returned to Sender” – but his musical legacy lives on.

Bratwurst Day

Bratwurst is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork or beef. The name is derived from Old High German Brätwurst, from Brät; meaning finely chopped meat, and Wurst, or sausage. Though the brat in bratwurst described the way the sausages are made, nowadays Germans associate it with the German verb “braten”, which means to pan fry or roast. Bratwurst is usually grilled or pan-fried but sometimes cooked in broth.
The first documented evidence of the Bratwurst in Germany dates back to 1313 and can be found in the Franconian city of Nuremberg, which is still an internationally renowned center for the production of sausages.
Recipes for Bratwurst vary by region and even locality; some sources list over 40 different varieties of German bratwurst. In Germany, they are regarded as snack food and are generally served with or in a Brötchen (a white bread roll made from wheat flour) and eaten with hot German mustard. It is often accompanied by sauerkraut or potato salad.
In America, Bratwurst is a common type of sausage; especially in the state of Wisconsin, where the largest ethnic group is German. It is a common sight at summer cookouts, alongside the more famous hot dog. Wisconsin is also known as the originator of the “beer brat”, a regional favorite where the bratwurst are poached in beer (generally a mixture of a pilsner style beer with butter and onions) before grilling over charcoal. The bratwurst was popularized in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin in the 1920’s. In general, each local butcher shop would take orders and hand make bratwurst fresh to be picked up on a particular day. Sausages are high in fat content which made daily pick up necessary to avoid spoilage. Some of the fat is removed as a result of the cooking over charcoal.
The bratwurst (or “brat”) also became popular as a mainstay of sports stadiums after Bill Sperling introduced bratwurst to Major League Baseball in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953. The bratwurst was such a hit, Sperling said, that Duke Snider of the Brooklyn Dodgers took a case back to New York. Currently, Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the only baseball stadium that sells more bratwurst than hot dogs.

National Rum Day

Rum is an alcoholic beverage distilled from molasses (a by-product of the sugarcane refining process) or from the juice of the sugar cane itself. Most of the world’s rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America, but it is also made in other countries including the United States.
This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as Bumbo). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion).
The precursors to rum date back to antiquity. Development of fermented drinks produced from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred either in ancient India or China and spread from there. The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century. Plantation slaves first discovered molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. After rum’s development in the Caribbean, the drink’s popularity spread to Colonial North America. To support the demand for the drink, the first rum distillery in the British colonies of North America was set up in 1664 on present-day Staten Island, New York. The manufacture of rum became early Colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. New England became a distilling center due to the technical, metalworking and cooperage skills and abundant lumber; the rum produced there was lighter, more like whiskey. Rhode Island rum even joined gold as an accepted currency in Europe for a period of time.
Today, there are two common types of rum. Light rum is mild and sweet and is often filtered after distillation to remove any color. It is generally used in mixed drinks. Dark rum is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels, giving it a much stronger flavor. It is usually sipped straight or “neat” like a fine whiskey. Less common varieties of rum include Gold Rums, Spiced Rums, Flavored Rums, Over-proof Rums (such as Bacardi 151) and Premium Rums.

More Holidays

On this date

  • In 1777 – During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington took place. New England’s Minutemen routed the British regulars.
  • In 1812 – Detroit fell to Indian and British troops in the War of 1812.
  • In 1829 – The “Siamese twins,” Chang and Eng Bunker, arrived in Boston, MA. They had come to the Western world to be exhibited. They were 18 years old and joined at the waist.
  • In 1858 – A telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. The message read: “Europe and America are united by telegraphic communication. Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill to men.” The cable, which cut down the time of communication between the two continents was successful only for a few months. Technical difficulties led to the cable being closed in October of 1858.
  • In 1861 – President Lincoln prohibited the Union states from trading with the states of the Confederacy.
  • In 1898 – A patent for the first Loop-the-Loop roller coaster was awarded. The United States’ patent office awarded the patent for the loop-the-loop roller coaster to American inventor Edwin Prescott. First installed in Coney Island, New York, the roller coaster was able to carry only 4 people at a time.
  • In 1923 – Carnegie Steel Corporation put into place the eight-hour workday for its employees.
  • In 1937 – Harvard University became the first school to have graduate courses in traffic engineering and administration.
  • In 1954 – Time publisher Henry Luce published the first issue of his new magazine, Sports Illustrated. It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold before the first issue came off the presses. The full-color cover featured baseball batter Eddie Matthews (of the Milwaukee Braves) and pitcher Wes Westrum (of the New York Giants) in a game at Milwaukee County Stadium.
  • In 1960 – Cyprus gained its independence from Britain. The Mediterranean island nation first came under British control in the early 20th century as a strategic British outpost. In 1925, it was formally added to the British Empire. The London and Zurich Agreements signed in February 1959 gave independence to Cyprus and set up a system of governance based on ethnicity.
  • In 1960 – The free-fall world record was set by Joseph Kittinger. He fell more than 16 miles (about 84,000 feet) before opening his parachute over New Mexico.
  • In 1962 – Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) replaced Pete Best as the drummer for The Beatles.
  • In 1977 – Elvis Presley was found comatose in his bathroom at his Graceland home in Memphis, TN. He was later pronounced dead at the Memphis Baptist Hospital. He was 42 years old.
  • In 1984 – The Jaycees voted to admit women to full membership in the organization.
  • In 1987 – The first “Day of Harmonic Convergence” was held. The largest worldwide meditation event was organized by new-age author José Argüelles. The date for the event was chosen because of its astrological significance – the Sun, the Moon and 6 of the planets were aligned in a triangular position as seen from the Earth.
  • In 1995 – Voters in Bermuda rejected independence from Great Britain.

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.

August 15th – Chill Out

August 15, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning laid back dudes & dudettes. Today is Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Relaxation Day

Stress can be harmful to your health, both mentally and physically.  Most doctors agree that finding ways to relax and finding ways to reduce stress will improve overall health. One way to relax is to take a long walk. Studies have even shown that going on a walk a few times a week leads to improved well-being and lower stress levels.
More and more, the stresses and hustle-bustle of everyday life seem to consume every moment of our lives these days; not only at work but at home as well. Relaxation Day seeks to encourage us to take time out from the rat race and relax. If you have a stressful job, don’t do anything to jeopardize it, but as soon as you leave work try to relax – and don’t take any work home with you.
Read a book, get a massage, watch a movie, or simply take a nap. No matter what your preferred method of relaxation is, remember to take it easy – even if it’s only for a little while.
If you have to prepare dinner for your family, consider take-out or delivery food rather than stressing about cooking a meal at home. Spend a quiet evening at home with your family. Put everything that can cause you stress on hold. If you have a relaxing hobby such as gardening spend some time doing that (nothing too strenuous though). The point is to totally eliminate stress from your life today.
Authors Note:  Personal experience has taught me that one of the best forms of relaxation is a nice hot bath (with or without bubbles). Draw a bath as hot as you can tolerate without injury, pour a nice glass of wine, get an ice-cold beer from the refrigerator, or mix a generous “two fingers” of your favorite distilled adult beverage with your favorite mixer, light a few candles, turn off the lights, and soak until the water becomes room temperature. Allow nothing short of a life-threatening emergency to interrupt your bath. You will emerge a relaxed, “happy prune” with a whole new outlook on life.

Failures Day

Winston Churchill once said: “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Failures Day was created so we can acknowledge our failures and make efforts to learn from them and move ahead with a positive attitude.
Another wise person, Abraham Lincoln, once said: “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Life is all about choices and with some of those choices come consequences. Sometimes we make the wrong choices and we may not like the consequences. Sometimes we try our hardest but our best just isn’t good enough. We all make mistakes and if you try to be perfect all the time, you’re just going to fail at that as well.
Failures Day points out the fact that the key to life is not to avoid failure but to learn from it when it occurs and continue trying. Failures are often about perception as well. A failure to one person is another’s learning experience. If sometimes calls you a failure, it might be the motivation you need to work harder and prove them wrong.
To celebrate Failures Day, take the time to look at your life in retrospect and see where you could have made better decisions; then formulate a plan for the future using the lessons you’ve learned from your failures.
Author’s Note: Don’t be afraid to let your children fail occasionally. Failure is a good teacher, and as long as a failure won’t result in physical injury, there is no reason not to let them learn a lesson “the hard way” once in a while. It worked for my generation.

Chauvin Day 

Chauvin Day is named for Nicholas Chauvin, a French soldier from Rochefort, France, who idolized Napoleon and who eventually became a subject of ridicule because of his blind loyalty and dedication to France, and anything French. Originally referring to bellicose patriotism, chauvinism has come to mean blind or absurdly intense attachment to any cause.
The World English Dictionary defines chauvinism as follows:

1. aggressive or fanatical patriotism; jingoism.
2. enthusiastic devotion to a cause.
3. smug irrational belief in the superiority of one’s own race, party, gender, etc:

Since there are no written records of the birth, the military service, or the death of Nicholas Chauvin, some historians believe that Nicolas Chauvin is an apocryphal character. (Apocrypha are statements or claims that are of dubious authenticity). Robin Hood would be another example.
Nonetheless, Chauvin Day is observed on Napoleon’s birth anniversary because Chauvin’s birth date is unknown.

Lemon Meringue Pie Day 

Lemon Meringue Pie Day celebrates a top ten favorite American dessert. According to  Schwann Food Company, maker of Mrs. Smith’s Pies, Lemon Meringue Pie is ranked sixth on the list of America’s top 10 favorite pies.
Lemon Meringue Pie is a single-crust pie consisting of typically a pre-baked shortbread crust, a lemon curd filling, and a meringue topping. Meringue is made by beating egg whites and sugar until the egg whites become stiff.
Lemon Meringue Pie is said to have been created by Philadelphian Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef, businesswoman, and cooking school founder, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806. She expanded on lemon custard by putting it into a pie shell and topping it with meringue.

More Holidays

On this date

  • In 1848 – The dental chair was patented by M. Waldo Hanchett.
  • In 1911 – The product Crisco was introduced by Procter & Gamble Company.
  • In 1914 – The Panama Canal was officially opened to commercial traffic as an American ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
  • In 1915 – Proctor & Gamble introduced Crisco solid vegetable shortening.
  • In 1935 – Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed in an airplane crash in near Point Barrow, AK.
  • In 1939 – Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood hosted the cinematic premiere of The Wizard of Oz.
  • In 1947 – India gained its independence from the British. British control of the South Asian country began in the mid-1800’s with the East India Company. The company initially established itself in the subcontinent for trading purposes, and then slowly took control over the princely states that separately ruled the country. A violent rebellion in 1857 prompted the British Crown to take over direct rule of India. The time between then and independence in 1945 was marked by violent and nonviolent movements targeted towards gaining independent rule. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a key figure in the nonviolent civil disobedience movement against the British. Independence came with the country being partitioned into India and Pakistan. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India, while Liaquat Ali Khan became the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • In 1948 – CBS-TV inaugurated the first nightly news broadcast with Anchorman Douglas Edwards.
  • In 1949 – In San Francisco, a stunt leap off the Golden Gate Bridge was performed for the first time.
  • In 1960 – The Congo gained its independence from the French. The Central African country came under French control in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, the French consolidated their territories in Central Africa to create the French Equatorial Africa, with Brazzaville as its capital. During the Second World War, when the Nazis occupied France, Brazzaville acted as the temporary capital of Free France. After violent protests and riots, the country became independent with Fulbert Youlou as its first President.
  • In 1961 – East German workers began construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • In 1969 – The legendary Woodstock Music Festival opened on August 15, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York. The festival featured performances by such iconic artists as Arlo Guthrie,  Blood Sweat & Tears, Country Joe and the Fish, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, John Sebastian, Canned Heat, Melanie, Ravi Shankar, Santana, Sha-Na-Na, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who. Over 400,000 people attended the festival, which is often thought to be a key moment in the anti-establishment movement that was gaining popularity in the United States.
  • In 1973 – United States involvement in Vietnam ended. The Case–Church Amendment passed by Congress set August 15 as the deadline for the end of the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
  • In 1970 – Mrs. Pat Palinkas became the first woman to ‘play’ in a pro football game when she held the ball for the Orlando, FL, Panthers.
  • In 1983 – Six-month-old Lisa Harap of Queens Village, NY became the youngest identifiable living person to appear on a cover of “TIME” magazine. The article featuring her was titled: “Babies: What do they know? When do they know it?
  • In 1986 – The Senate approved a package of economic sanctions against South Africa. The ban included the importing of steel, uranium, textiles, coal, and produce from South Africa.
  • In 1992 – Vietnam blamed Hollywood for creating the “myth” concerning the issue of United States servicemen still being held as prisoners of war in Indochina.
  • In 1994 – The Social Security Administration became an independent government agency. It had been a part of the Department of Health and Human Services agency.
  • In 1997 – The Justice Department decided not to prosecute FBI officials in connection with the deadly 1992 Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho. The investigation dealt with an alleged cover-up.
  • In 2016 – North Korea introduced Pyongyang Time. The East Asian country introduced the time change to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea. Before the change, North Korea was UTC+09:00. Since this day, the time in the country is UTC+08:30.

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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