August 21st – Oh Pooh!

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

Good morning children’s literature lovers. Today is Monday, August 21, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Christopher Robin’s Birthday

The character of Christopher Robin is based upon author A. A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne; born on this date in 1920. On his first birthday, Christopher received a stuffed bear as a gift. That started a growing collection of other stuffed animals. Mr. Milne used this growing menagerie of stuffed animals as inspiration for the rest of the characters in his “Winnie the Pooh” stories.
I won’t delve into how being “The Christopher Robin” affected his life, except to say that he eventually came full circle. This link will explain that better than I ever could. He died on 20 April 1996, but thanks to his father, he is immortalized forever in the annals of children’s literature.
To celebrate this holiday, read some of the classic “Winnie the Pooh” stories, read one of the stories that Christopher Robin Milne wrote himself, or (if you can find a copy) watch Disney’s full-length animated movie “Winnie the Pooh”. Oh, also, eat lots of honey…Pooh’s favorite food.

National Senior Citizen’s Day

I know that National Senior Citizen’s Day doesn’t pertain to any of my readers, but it does honor that growing segment of our population; senior citizens. According to the traditional definition, a senior citizen is anyone older than 60 years of age, but this seems relatively young in today’s society. Senior citizens are also the most politically engaged segment of the population. Almost 80% of all senior citizens vote in a presidential election, while the overall voter turnout is usually around just 50% or less.
On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued the following proclamation:

“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason this year to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.
With improved healthcare and more years of productivity, older citizens are reinforcing their historical roles as leaders and as links with our patrimony and sense of purpose as individuals and as a Nation. Many older people are embarking on second careers, giving younger Americans a fine example of responsibility, resourcefulness, competence, and determination. And more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society. Wherever the need exists, older people are making their presence felt — for their own good and that of others.
For all, they have achieved throughout life and for all, they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 138, has designated August 21, 1988, as “National Senior Citizens Day” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 21, 1988, as National Senior Citizens Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

To celebrate this holiday, spend some time with, and show some appreciation for, senior citizens.  Do volunteer work in support of the elderly. Oh yeah, if you qualify, take advantage of your senior citizen discount…you’ve earned it.

Poet’s Day

Poetry is a form of writing that uses the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of a language, combined with simile and metaphor, to bring out meanings deeper than the mere definition of the words. The history of poetry is lengthy, traceable in written form as far back as the Sumerians, and was used as a  method of passing down stories and mythologies throughout cultures for countless ages before that.
The question, What is Poetry, has vexed philosophers for millennia, with Aristotle writing a book aptly named Poetics, trying to define it. However, he was only able to discuss a small portion of what poetry is, and how it is used in rhetoric, song, drama, and comedy.
Poet’s day is dedicated to the long history of poetry in the world, and most especially to those who compose it. Every poet has his or her own unique style, as poetry is inevitably born from their feelings and personal experiences. Whether for an English class, or to compose the lyrics for the next great Rock & Roll anthem, or to express feelings for that special someone, just about everyone has, at some point in their lives, attempted to write poetry. Most of us, thankfully, move on to other more important things. But a few never lose their love for, or their desire to write, poetry. It is for these people that Poet’s Day is intended. If you want to celebrate this holiday, read a few works from some of the great poets like Shakespeare, Tennyson, or Thomas — Or, find your old notebooks and revisit some of your own verse.

National Spumoni Day

Spumoni is a type of gelato (ice cream) that originated in Naples, Italy, and was introduced to America in the 1870’s by Italian immigrants. Traditionally, Spumoni would include chocolate, cherry and pistachio gelato with bits of cherries and pistachios mixed in, but it could also consist of multiple layers (usually three) of different flavors of gelato, with little bits of other fruits and nuts mixed in.
Once in America, Italian ice cream shop owners eliminated the fruit and nuts to keep costs down, and the flavors eventually became chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry; what most of us today call Neapolitan ice cream.
If you have never experienced true spumoni, I urge you to celebrate National Spumoni Day by doing so today if you can find it. You might have to shop around a bit to find true Spumoni, but the effort will be worth it. That bastardized American version pales in comparison.

Cupcake Day

If you follow this Blog regularly, you know that we celebrate a number of cupcake-related holidays throughout the year. This particular Cupcake Day is a holiday created and sponsored by the RSPCA (Australia’s version of the ASPCA) as a fund-raiser to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome the 135,000 animals that come through RSPCA shelters every year. It is observed annually the third Monday of August.
Even though you don’t live in Australia, you can still celebrate Cupcake Day by holding a bake sale and donating the funds raised to your local chapter of the ASPCA – or just eating a cupcake (or two, or three) and make a donation.

Another Holiday

On This Date 

  • In 1831 – Nat Turner, a former slave, led a violent insurrection in Virginia. He was later executed.
  • In 1841 – A patent for Venetian blinds was issued to John Hampton.
  • In 1879 – Olds Motor Works was founded by Ransom Eli Olds. It later became Oldsmobile. The popular brand of car was first manufactured in Lansing, Michigan. The company was purchased by GM in 1908 and closed its doors in 2004.
  • In 1888 – The adding machine was patented by William Burroughs.
  • In 1911 – The Mona Lisa was stolen. The famed Leonardo da Vinci painting was stolen by a Louvre employee. It was recovered 2 years later in Italy.
  • In 1912 – Arthur R. Eldred became the first American boy to become an Eagle Scout. It is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
  • In 1923 – In Kalamazoo, Michigan, an ordinance was passed forbidding dancers from gazing into the eyes of their partner.
  • In 1945 – President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped about $50 billion in aid to America’s Allies during World War II.
  • In 1959 – Hawaii became the 50th state. President Eisenhower also issued the order for the 50-star flag.
  • In 1971 – Laura Baugh, at the age of 16, won the United States Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament. She was the youngest winner in the history of the tournament.
  • In 1984 – Victoria Roche, a reserve outfielder, became the first girl to ever compete in a Little League World Series game.
  • In 1986 – The Limnic eruption in Lake Nyos in Cameroon killed about 1700 people. A high amount of carbon dioxide was released by the underwater volcanic eruption.
  • In 1991 – Latvia gained full independence from the Soviet Union. Founded in 1918, the Republic of Latvia was fully incorporated as a Soviet republic after the Second World War. Independence for the Baltic state was achieved after a peaceful revolution known as the Singing Revolution, which began in Estonia.
  • In 1993 – NASA lost communication with the Mars Observer almost a year after its launch. The robotic space probe was tasked with exploring and studying the Red Planet.
  • In 1996 – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was signed by President Clinton. The act made it easier to get and keep health insurance.
  • In 1997 – Hudson Foods Inc. closed a plant in Nebraska after it had recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef that were potentially contaminated with E. coli virus. It was the largest food recall in United States history.
  • In 1997 – Afghanistan suspended its embassy operations in the United States.
  • In 2002 – In Pakistan, President General Pervez Musharraf unilaterally amended the Pakistani constitution. He extended his term in office and granted himself powers that included the right to dissolve parliament.
  • In 2003 – In Ghana, businessman Gyude Bryant was selected to oversee the two-year power-sharing accord between Liberia’s rebels and the government. The accord was planned to guide the country out of 14 years of civil war.

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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