December 9th – Christmas Card Day

December 9, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning seasonal greeting card fans. Today is Saturday, December 9, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Christmas Card Day

Christmas Card Day honors Sir Henry Cole (1818 – 1874) of England. Cole created the first commercial Christmas Card in 1843. It is commonly believed, but not confirmed, that he premiered his first Christmas card on this date.
Until about a decade ago, sending Christmas cards through the mail was a holiday “must”. Although sending cards through the mail continues to be very popular, the cost and time of writing and sending cards have caused many people to stop sending them. Free Ecards have surged in popularity. Animated Christmas and seasonal Ecards have made sending and receiving them a lot of fun.
Celebrate this holiday by sending out your Christmas cards and holiday greetings today, if you haven’t already done so.

Weary Willie Day

“Weary Willie” was one of America’s best-known and best-loved clown characters. Created by Emmett Kelly at the height of the depression, “Weary Willie” did not catch on with the public at first because he was indistinguishable from so many ‘real’ people of the time who were forced by financial circumstance to dress in shabby attire. It wasn’t until the end of the depression that “Weary Willie” became popular.
Weary Willie Day celebrates the birth date of his ‘creator’, Emmett Kelly, who was born on this date in 1898. Kelly died of a heart attack in 1979. However, his legacy, the “Weary Willie” character, still thrives today; an iconic reminder of the stalwartness of the generation that survived the Great Depression.

International Shareware Day

International Shareware Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in December and was created to remind shareware users about the value they have gained through their use of shareware programs and is celebrated on the second Saturday of December. The secondary purpose of this holiday is to perhaps to entice shareware users to quit freeloading and actually pay for the use these programs.
Unlike open source software, ‘shareware’ is a proprietary software model – the author retains ownership of the program and the code, and often scaled down versions of commercial software applications are released as shareware. While you can use the software without paying, the idea is that if you find it useful, you should pay, or upgrade to the full, non-free version of the software. Some shareware is also only made available for a limited trial period, after which users are expected to pay to continue using it.
Another concept closely related to shareware is ‘freeware’, where the software is made available for free without an expectation of payment, except perhaps for donations to the author.
The first piece of software called ‘freeware’ was PC-Talk, a telecommunications program created by Andrew Fleugelman in 1982. The term ‘shareware’ was first used with the program PC-Write (a word processing tool), released by Bob Wallace in early 1983.
Very few shareware and freeware downloads are ever paid for, meaning that the chances of sustaining yourself on shareware income remain fairly slim. This is sad because this mode of software production has resulted in some wonderful software tools being made available to users around the globe – virus protection software, all kinds of computer utilities, and much more. Lack of financial returns also means that many shareware and freeware projects are abandoned, not updated or not supported.

International Anti-corruption Day

I can think of no more appropriate time for this holiday (and by ‘time’ I refer to an era rather than a specific date). The world is fraught with corruption – economic,  political and otherwise.
Even the creators of this holiday, the United Nations, should take a good long “look in the mirror” if they are serious about ending corruption. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Does this sound familiar?
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption. Again, does this sound familiar?
On October 31, 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties (resolution 58/4). The Assembly also designated December 9th as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005.
As usual, this “resolution”, like most other touchy-feely, self-serving resolutions of the United Nations, has done nothing to stop the rampant spread of corruption throughout the world. I guess it is up to us to end this cycle of corruption. I don’t know exactly how, but a good beginning would be the ballot box. Do Not vote for any incumbent in the next election. With that said, I sometimes think that we would be better served if we just randomly selected our elected officials from the phone book. Whoever was selected in this manner could certainly do no worse than the crop of bloviating buffoons who currently represent us.

National Pastry Day

Pastries, in one form or another, have been around since about 2600 B.C. The Egyptians made doughnut-like pastries out of crude flour and honey and then dipped them in wine. In the 7th century, pastry-making developed as a culinary art form in the Middle East. It spread to Europe after the Crusades, and French and Italian chefs developed their own version of the recipes and experimented with new techniques.
In Medieval times, pastry chefs catered mostly to the rich and powerful, but eventually, their techniques filtered down to the masses and pastries became popular with everyone. Today, pastries are as popular as ever. There is an entire industry devoted to pastry. Pastry chefs are employed in some of the biggest, fanciest hotels in the world, and are in charge of making cakes and sweets and of course, classic pastry desserts for guests, regardless of social class.
There are now many different types of pastry including shortcrust, flaky, puff, choux, and phyllo (aka ‘filo’) to name a few. To celebrate National Pastry Day, visit your favorite bakery for a pastry of your choice, or bake one at home.

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 1608 – English poet John Milton was born in London.
  • In 1625 – The Treaty of the Hague was signed by England and the Netherlands. The agreement was to subsidize Christian IV of Denmark in his campaign in Germany.
  • In 1783 – The first executions at Newgate Prison took place.
  • In 1793 – “The American Minerva” was published for the first time. It was the first daily newspaper in New York City and was founded by Noah Webster.
  • In 1803 – The 12th Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Congress. With the amendment, Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.
  • In 1854 – Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England.
  • In 1884 – Levant M. Richardson received a patent for the ball-bearing roller skate.
  • In 1893 – Auguste Vaillant, a French anarchist, bombed the French Chamber of Deputies. No one was hurt in the attack, but Vaillant was sentenced and executed for his actions.
  • In 1907 – Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, DE, post office.
  • In 1926 – The United States Golf Association legalized the use of steel-shafted golf clubs.
  • In 1917 – Turkish troops surrendered Jerusalem to British troops.
  • In 1940 – During World War II, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa.
  • In 1940 – The Longines Watch Company signed the first FM radio advertising contract with experimental station W2XOR in New York City.
  • In 1941 – China declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy.
  • In 1955 – Sugar Ray Robinson knocked out Carl Olson and regained his world middleweight boxing title.
  • In 1958 – In Indianapolis, IN, Robert H.W. Welch Jr. and 11 other men met to form the anti-Communist John Birch Society.
  • In 1960 – Sperry Rand Corporation unveiled a new computer, known as “Univac 1107.”
  • In 1960 – The first episode of Coronation Street aired. The longest-running TV soap opera, this British production follows the life of people living on Coronation Street, a fictional street in a fictional suburb of Manchester.
  • In 1961 – Tanganyika gained its independence from Great Britain.The Republic of Tanganyika was administered by the British from 1916 until 1961. Part of German East Africa, the territory was officially handed over to the British by League of Nations mandate in 1922. The Republic was short-lived. In April 1964, it joined the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which became the United Republic of Tanzania in 1965.
  • In 1962 – “Lawrence of Arabia,” by David Lean had its world premiere in London.
  • In 1965 – “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired on television for the first time. The popular animated musical special about Christmas was based on Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip called Peanuts. The special was critically acclaimed as a telling commentary on the loss of the spirit of Christmas among Americans. It is now screened every year at Christmas time around the world.
  • In 1975 – President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default.
  • In 1979 – Smallpox was declared eradicated. The World Health Organization officially certified that after a number of concentrated vaccination campaigns around the world smallpox had been eradicated. Only two infectious diseases have been completely eradicated in history; the other is Rinderpest, which is an infectious disease of cattle that was eradicated in 2011.
  • In 1983 – NATO foreign ministers called on the Soviet Union to join in a “comprehensive political dialogue” to ease tensions in the world.
  • In 1985 – In Argentina, five former military junta members received sentences in prison for their roles in the “dirty war” in which nearly 9,000 people had “disappeared.”
  • In 1987 – In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli patrol attacked the Jabliya refugee camp.
  • In 1990 – Lech Walesa won Poland’s first direct presidential election in the country’s history.
  • In 1990 – Slobodan Milosevic was elected president in Serbia’s first free elections in 50 years.
  • In 1990 – The first American hostages to be released by Iraq began arriving in the United States
  • In 1991 – European Community leaders agreed to begin using a single currency in 1999.
  • In 1992 – Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation.
  • In 1992 – Clair George, former CIA spy chief, was convicted of lying to the U.S. Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. U.S. President George H.W. Bush later pardoned George.
  • In 1992 – United States troops arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to oversee the delivery of international food aid, in operation ‘Restore Hope’.
  • In 1993 – The United States Air Force destroyed the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos that were marked for elimination under an arms control treaty.
  • In 1993 – Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavor completed repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • In 1993 – At Princeton University in New Jersey, scientists produced a controlled fusion reaction equal to 3 million watts.
  • In 1994 – Representatives of the Irish Republican Army and the British government opened peace talks in Northern Ireland.
  • In 1994 – President Clinton fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after learning that she had told a conference that masturbation should be discussed in school as a part of human sexuality.
  • In 1996 – UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali approved a deal allowing Iraq to resume its exports of oil and easing the UN trade embargo imposed on Iraq in 1990.
  • In 1999 – The United States announced that it was expelling a Russian diplomat that had been caught gathering information with an eavesdropping device at the U.S. State Department.

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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