November 16th – National Button Day

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

Good morning button lovers. Today is Thursday, November 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Button Day

Just last month we celebrated Count Your Buttons Day. I guess that holiday was just a precursor to National Button Day. It’s easier to celebrate your buttons on a national scale if you have already organized and counted them.
The National Button Society, founded in 1938, established Button Day as a celebration for all who enjoyed collecting and crafting with buttons. Ever since then, Button Day has been celebrated every year on November 16th.
Buttons come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles, from pearly white shirt buttons to ornate Victorian buttons to cute fastenings shaped like insects and animals. Any outfit can be updated by adding the right buttons, and sewing them on is one of the easiest types of needlework to learn. And buttons don’t just belong near buttonholes anymore. Buttons, either individually or in clusters, can be used to decorate almost anything.
When I was growing up, most households had a sewing machine, and to go along with it, a big jar full of buttons. No garment was ever thrown away without first removing the buttons and throwing them in ‘the jar’. With the trend towards a “throw-away” society these days, many of these jars of buttons were just thrown away, but a few became cherished button collections. National Button Day celebrates these collections and buttons in general. If you don’t already have a button collection, maybe you should celebrate National Button Day by starting one.

Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout is an annual intervention event observed annually on the third Thursday of November (or the Thursday before Thanksgiving) if there happens to be five Thursdays during the month of November. It is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Approximately 40 million American adults still smoke, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country. The Great American Smokeout challenges people to quit smoking on that day or use the day to make a plan to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to quit cigarettes for 24 hours with the hopes that this decision will continue forever.
The first Great American Smokeout was held in San Francisco’s Union Square on November 16, 1977. The event evolved from a series of smaller-scale initiatives. In 1970, in Randolph, Massachusetts, Arthur P. Mullaney suggested people give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money to a local high school. In 1974, a “Don’t Smoke Day” (or “D-Day”) was promoted by Lynn R. Smith of the Monticello Times in Monticello, Minnesota. On November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society successfully prompted nearly one million smokers to quit for the day and most experts agree that this California event gave rise to the first national Great American Smokeout campaign the following year.

National Fast Food Day

The concept of ready-cooked food for sale can be attributed to the Ancient Romans. In many cities, street stands or “thermopoliums” (small pub-like shops) offered hot sausages, bread, and wine to patrons on-the-go. Thousands of years later, in 1867, the first American fast food restaurant opened in New York. It was a hot dog stand on Coney Island.
Today, fast food is an American staple. Everything from Fried Chicken to Pizza, Burgers to Hot Dogs, and Tacos to Chinese food all fall under the fast-food umbrella. In 1970, American consumers spent $6 billion on fast food. Thirty years later in 2000, American consumers spent $110 billion at fast food franchises. If you extrapolate those figures out, and if the rate of growth remained constant, today, the annual spending figure for consumer spending on fast food in America would be in the neighborhood of $170 billion dollars or more.
First popularized in the United States in the 1950’s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form for quick dine-in or takeout and typically with a drive-thru. Following World War I, automobiles became more popular and more affordable. At that time drive-in restaurants were introduced. In 1921, White Castle, an American company founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas, opened, selling hamburgers for five cents each. Anderson had opened the first White Castle in 1916 as a limited menu, high-volume, low-cost, high-speed hamburger restaurant.
Merriam-Webster dictionary first recognized the term “fast food” in 1951. The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world and has more than 300 fast food chains, representing 40% of the nation’s total restaurant sales. There are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the United States alone, making it nearly impossible to drive down the road without going by at least one fast food chain restaurant. Need more proof of the popularity of fast food? In 1970, United States consumers spent $6 billion on fast food. Thirty years later in 2000, American consumers spent $110 billion. I don’t know what that number is today, but judging by the sharp increase of people in America classified as obese, it can’t be good. American fast food franchises also have locations in over 100 countries.
The modern concept of fast food in America was created in the 1950’s by Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. Fun fact – The first Happy Meal was served in June of 1979.
Celebrate National Fast Food Day at your own peril by eating at one of the myriad fast food restaurants in your area today.

More Holidays  

Below is a list of other holidays celebrated on this date worthy of mention: 

Historical Events

Below is a list of significant historical events that occurred on this date:

  • In 1776 – British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution.
  • In 1864 – Union Gen. William T. Sherman and his troops began their “March to the Sea” during the American Civil War.
  • In 1907 – Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state.
  • In 1915 – Coca-Cola had its prototype for a contoured bottle patented. The bottle made its commercial debut the next year.
  • In 1933 – The United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations for the first time.
  • In 1940 – The Warsaw Jewish ghetto was sealed off. The largest Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland, the Warsaw ghetto, was created in October 1940 by a German decree. According to the decree, all Jews in the city had to move to the ghetto, which was closed off by a 10-foot wall and had soldiers and police guarding it against the outside 24 hours a day. The ghetto was the scene of one of the largest Jewish uprisings during the Second World War in 1943.
  • In 1945 – UNESCO was founded. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a special branch of the United Nations which promotes peace and well-being through education, scientific collaboration and cultural understanding and exchange. It is headquartered in Paris, France and has 195 state members.
  • In 1952 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Lucy first held a football for Charlie Brown.
  • In 1957 – Jim Brown (Cleveland Browns) set an NFL season rushing record of 1163 yards after only eight games.
  • In 1965 – The Soviets launched Venera 3. Part of the Venera program, it was the first space probe to land on another planet – Venus. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, it was not able to send any data back to Earth. The first space probe to send data from another planet to Earth was Venera 7.
  • In 1966 – Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard was acquitted in his second trial of charges he had murdered his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954.
  • In 1969 – The United States Army announced that several had been charged in the massacre and the subsequent cover-up of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968.
  • In 1973 – Skylab 3 carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, on an 84-day mission.
  • In 1973 – President Nixon signed the Alaska Pipeline measure into law.
  • In 1981 – A vaccine for hepatitis B was approved. The vaccine had been developed at Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research.
  • In 1982 – An agreement was announced on the 57th day of a strike by National Football League (NFL) players.
  • In 1985 – Colonel Oliver North was put in charge of the shipment of HAWK anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
  • In 1988 – Estonian declared its sovereignty from the USSR. Estonian issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration as part of the Singing Revolution. The Declaration declared Estonian sovereignty from the Soviet Union and declared Estonian laws paramount over Soviet laws. The day is now celebrated as the Day of Declaration of Sovereignty.
  • In 1994 – Major League Soccer announced that it would start its inaugural season in 1996.
  • In 1997 – China released Wei Jingsheng, a pro-democracy dissident from jail for medical reasons. He had been incarcerated for almost 18 years.
  • In 1998 – In Burlington, Wisconsin, five high school students, aged 15 to 16, were arrested in an alleged plot to kill a carefully selected group of teachers and students.
  • In 1998 – The Supreme Court said that union members could file discrimination lawsuits against employers even when labor contracts require arbitration.
  • In 1999 – Chrica Adams, the pregnant girlfriend of Rae Carruth, was shot four times in her car. She died a month later from her wounds. The baby survived. Carruth was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years and 11 months in prison for his role in the murder.
  • In 2000 – Bill Clinton became the first serving United States president to visit Communist Vietnam.
  • In 2001 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. The film version of the popular book by the same name written by author J. K. Rowling starred Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and followed Potter’s first year at Hogwarts, a school for magic.
  • In 2004 – A NASA unmanned “scramjet” (X-43A) reached a speed of nearly 10 times the speed of sound above the Pacific Ocean.

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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