November 28th – Giving Tuesday (aka National Day of Giving)

November 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my generous friends. Today is Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, also known as National Day of Giving,  is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. After the crass commercialism of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the season of giving.
The tradition of charitable giving during the holidays began thousands of years ago. Today, it continues to be an important part of many cultures and religions around the world and has been a long-standing tradition in America since its creation.
Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving. Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving. Social media played a big part in spreading the word about Giving Tuesday quickly. The first announcement about Giving Tuesday was made through Mashable, a technology website. The first Giving Tuesday was covered extensively by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Deseret News, and the White House official blog, causing the scheme to gain an enormous amount of popularity in a short period of time. Giving Tuesday is organized and celebrated each year with the simple aim of encouraging individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to give to the less fortunate.
There is no shortage of ways to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Secret Santa programs, donating money, and volunteering your time are just a few.

Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28,1964. The 228-day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965. It honors our closest celestial neighbor, the fourth planet in the solar system. In the 8 months that it was on its mission, the Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to successfully fly by Mars. It also gave the world the first close-up images of Mars. Since then several exploratory missions have been sent to Mars to gather data about the planet.
Today, 5 spacecraft orbit Mars and 2 spacecraft – the Curiosity Rover and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity – are on the planet’s surface. All 7 send an incredible amount of data about the planet back to astronomers on Earth.
Mars is similar to Earth in many ways – it has the same rotational period and seasonal cycles – Mars has 2 moons, Deimos and Phobos, and has the largest volcano, Olympus Mons, in the Solar System. Because of its similarity to Earth, many astronomers and scientists believe that at some point in its history Mars may have been a hospitable planet for life. Exploration of Mars has been high on the agenda of the space programs of many countries. NASA, the American space agency has estimated that it could send humans to the Red Planet by the 2030’s.
The planet Mars is referred to as the “Red Planet” because it appears red when viewed from Earth. Scientists speculate that it gets its red hue from the high amount of iron oxide (rust) on its surface.
On Red Planet Day, take a few minutes to look upwards into the sky, and gaze at our neighbor. Hopefully, you will have a cloudless night sky for viewing. You can also recognize this holiday by reading up about Mars and viewing pictures of it. There are plenty of pictures online.
Because of its proximity to Earth, there is much debate about whether or not life ever existed on Mars. Marvin the Martian, Bugs Bunny’s nemesis in a number Warner Brother’s cartoons, weighs in on the ‘yes’ side of the argument – and will “scrooch” you if you disagree.
Below are some interesting facts about Mars.

  • Mars is the fourth Planet from the Sun.
  • Mars gets its name from the Greek word “Ares”, the God of War
  • Mars is often visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
  •  The distance of Mars from the Sun averages 136,764,000 miles.
  • Mars’ rotation around the Sun takes 687 Earth days.
  • Mars’ rotation period: 1.026 Earth days.
  • Mars’ gravity is 1/3 that of Earth.
  • Mars is the 7th largest planet, about 1/10th the mass of Earth.
  • Mars’  temperature range is -207 to +81 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mar’s atmosphere is nothing like the Earth’s. It’s thin and composed mostly of carbon dioxide.
  • A man who weighed 100 pounds on Earth would weigh only 38 pounds on Mars because of the difference in gravity.

Make Your Own Head Day

Well, this holiday makes no sense to me. I think whoever created this holiday was prematurely dipping into the holiday eggnog. From what I gather from my sources, you are supposed to make a piece of art in your own image.
Aside from the literal translation, this holiday could also be interpreted to mean that you should make up your own mind, take some time for self-reflection, or just be yourself. Stop trying to wear someone else’s hat if it doesn’t fit. Or, perhaps this holiday is about your perception of yourself – in other words, how you see yourself as compared to what others see. I just don’t know.
There was an interesting video on YouTube a while ago where a forensic artist drew a picture of a group of women according to the way they described themselves, then drew another picture of that person according to the way another person described them. The artist was behind a curtain and couldn’t see the subject. The results were surprising.
Not being artistically inclined (it takes me 3 attempts to draw a “happy face”), I probably will not be celebrating Make Your Own Head Day. But, if you are artistically inclined, why not give it a try?

It’s Letter Writing Day

It’s Letter Writing Day is celebrated annually on this date and urges you to, oddly enough, write some letters today.  Bonus points if you use the cursive alphabet that your teachers so painstakingly tried to teach you in Elementary School (if you still remember how).
To celebrate It’s Letter Writing Day, write some letters to your friends and distant family today. They’ll be glad to hear from you. Heck, why not kill two birds with one stone and use It’s Letter Writing Day to compose those epic tomes that you include in your Christmas cards updating your friends and family on the happenings in your life over the past year?
Semi-writing-related Factoid: The first skywriting occurred on this date in 1922. Captain Cyril Turner, British Royal Air Force ace pilot, flew into position over New York City, spelling out “HELLO USA CALL VANDERBILT 7200” in plumes of white smoke. Over 47,000 people called the number. The telephone number was that of the Vanderbilt Hotel, where George Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company, was sitting with skywriting pioneer and RAF pilot John Savage. So convinced was Mr. Hill by this exhibition that he contracted Mr. Savage to use skywriting advertisements to promote Lucky Strike Cigarettes – and the first widespread commercial use of skywriting was born.

Turkey Leftover Day

Thanksgiving was last week and by now, you’re probably pretty tired of eating turkey. You’ve made hot and cold turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle soup, turkey hash, and turkey a la king and now, it’s time to either finish it off or throw it out.
It only takes a few days for leftover food to go bad. Bacteria can grow in any food that needs refrigerating when left at room temperature for longer than two hours, so, after a few days of heating and cooling and heating and cooling your leftover turkey, it’s best to throw it out to avoid the risk of food-borne illness.

National French Toast Day

French Toast is the perfect way to start your day. The basic recipe for French Toast is bread, milk, eggs, vanilla, and some sugar and cinnamon, and then topped with delicious maple syrup, but many variations of this classic breakfast can be found around the world.
The origin of French Toast is unknown, but recipes date back to the sixteenth century in Europe and although we tend to call it French Toast, the dish didn’t originate in France. Some ancient Latin recipes from the 4th-century mention soaking bread in milk before frying What we in America know as French Toast has many other names depending on where you are from, including – eggy bread, German toast, and Bombay toast – but they all start with the same basic ingredients in mentioned above. Prior to the Hundred Years War, French toast was known in England as “poor knight’s pudding” because it was a simple and inexpensive dish that a knight with no money could afford. In France, it was called “pan perdu” or lost bread, because it was a way of using lost or stale bread.
Regardless of what you call it, treat your family to some French Toast for breakfast this morning.

Historical Events

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

  • In 1919 – American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament
  • In 1925 – The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut on station WSM.
  • In 1934 – Notorious bank robber George “Baby Face” Nelson was killed by FBI agents near Barrington, IL.
  • In 1942 – A fire destroyed the Coconut Grove in Boston. 491 people died in that fire.
  • In 1943 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin met at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran to map out strategy concerning World War II. The conference dealt with the Axis powers in Europe and Asia and made plans to open up a second front against the Germans in France during WW II.
  • In 1953 – New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers.
  • In 1958 – The African nation of Chad became an autonomous republic within the French community.
  • In 1963 – President Johnson announced that Cape Canaveral would be renamed Cape Kennedy in honor of his assassinated predecessor. The name was changed back to Cape Canaveral in 1973 by a vote of residents.
  • In 1964 – NASA launched the Mariner 4. It was the first spacecraft to make a flyby of Mars and was also the first to send images of a Mars back to Earth.
  • In 1967 – Graduate student Jocelyn Bell and her advisor Antony Hewish at Cambridge University were the first people to observe and discover pulsars. Pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron magnetized stars that emit radiation.
  • In 1975 – East Timor declared its independence from Portugal.
  • In 1977 – Larry Bird was introduced as “College Basketball’s Secret Weapon” with a cover story in Sports Illustrated.
  • In 1978 – The Iranian government banned religious marches.
  • In 1979 – An Air New Zealand DC-10 flying to the South Pole crashed in Antarctica killing all 257 people aboard.
  • In 1983 – The space shuttle Columbia took off with the STS-9 Spacelab in its cargo bay.
  • In 1985 – The Irish Senate approved the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern Ireland.
  • In 1987 – A South African Airways Boeing 747 crashed into the Indian Ocean. All 159 people aboard were killed.
  • In 1989 – Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci arrived in New York after escaping her homeland through Hungary.
  • In 1990 – Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain.
  • In 1991 – South Ossetia declared its independence. The disputed region in the country of Georgia called itself the Republic of South Ossetia. The declaration of independence was not recognized by Georgia and was followed by the South Ossetia War. Only a few countries, including Russia and Venezuela, recognize it as a sovereign country.
  • In 1992 – In Bosnia-Herzegovina, 137 tons of food and supplies were to be delivered to the isolated town of Srebrenica.
  • In 1992 – In King William’s Town, South Africa, black militant gunmen attacked a country club killing four people and injuring 20.
  • In 1994 – Jeffrey Dahmer, a convicted serial killer, was clubbed to death in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate.
  • In 1994 – Norwegian voters rejected European Union membership.
  • In 1995 – President Clinton signed a $6 billion road bill that ended the federal 55 mph speed limit.
  • In 2010 – WikiLeaks released to the public more than 250,000 United States diplomatic cables. About 100,000 were marked “secret” or “confidential.”

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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