December 14th – Well, I’ll Be A Monkey’s Uncle

December 14, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning simian supporters. Today is Thursday, December 14, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Monkey Day

Monkey Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated internationally on December 14. While the holiday is mainly about monkeys, it also celebrates all things simian; all non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs. It is the one day of the year when “monkeying around” is acceptable. While the spirit of this holiday encourages a little “monkey business”, it has a more serious undertone as well; that of raising awareness of the theory of evolution, medical research, and animal rights.
There are three distinct types of simian primates. Familiar species such as baboons and macaques are classified as Old World Monkeys; Capuchins and howler monkeys are New World Monkeys, and chimpanzees and gorillas are Apes. There are currently 264 known monkey species in the world.
Monkey Day was started in 2000 when artist Casey Sorrow, then an art student at Michigan State University, jokingly scribbled Monkey Day on a friend’s calendar, and then first celebrated the holiday with other MSU art students. It gained notoriety when Sorrow and fellow MSU art student Eric Millikin began including Monkey Day in their artwork and Fetus-X comic strips and began promoting it online along with other artists. Since then, Monkey Day has been celebrated internationally, across countries like the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
There are a number of ways to celebrate this holiday. You can visit the primate section of your local zoo; research “monkeys” online or at your local library; watch simian based movies such as “King Kong” or “Planet of the Apes”; eat a lot of bananas; or enjoy some “Chunky Monkey” ice cream; or any combination of these. Your imagination is the only limiting factor.

Roast Chestnuts Day

♫Chestnuts roasting on an open fire♫.
Each year about this time we begin singing the praises of roasting chestnuts. Roast Chestnuts Day is a relative newcomer to the list of holidays, and the date was selected to coincide with the beginning of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” But, the practice of roasting chestnuts has been around since at least the 16th century when they would be roasted and sold by street vendors to busy people in need of a tasty snack.
When chestnuts are roasted, the natural sweetness of the nut is revealed. They are an ideal snack if you want something sweet, that also happens to be nutritious. Chestnuts are comparatively low in calories and are a good source of fiber. They are also very rich in vitamin C. Although they are technically nuts, they taste very unlike other nuts – a sweet, earthy taste.
Chestnuts are no longer a regional treat. They are readily available in most supermarkets these days, so why not celebrate Roasting Chestnuts Day by roasting some chestnuts for your family tonight? If you don’t know how to roast chestnuts, it’s really quite simple. You can make them at home using your conventional kitchen oven. All you need to do is cut a cross shape into each nut, put them on a cookie sheet and bake them until the skins open. Then, just peel away that tough skin and enjoy.

National Bouillabaisse Day

Bouillabaisse is a fish stew that originated in Marseilles, France around 600 B.C. At that time, Marseilles was a Greek colony so the stew was originally called “kakavia.” Bouillabaisse also appears in Roman mythology as a soup that Venus feeds to Vulcan. Today, bouillabaisse is an extremely popular dish in the Mediterranean region.
Marseilles fishermen typically make the dish when they return to port. Rather than using the more expensive fish that they catch, they use common fish like rockfish and shellfish. Different herbs and spices such as garlic, orange peel, basil, saffron, and bay leaf are added to the soup for flavor. Vegetables like tomatoes, onions, celery, and potatoes were added to the recipe during the 17th century.
By now, you should know of my aversion to seafood. Putting it in a soup does not change that. I will not be celebrating this holiday.

Another Holiday

Below is another holiday celebrated on this date and worthy of mention.

Historical Events

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

  • In 1798 – David Wilkinson of Rhode Island patented the nut and bolt machine.
  • In 1799 – The first president of the United States, George Washington, died at the age 67.
  • In 1819 – Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.
  • In 1900 – Professor Max Planck of Berlin University revealed his revolutionary Quantum Theory.
  • In 1903 – Orville Wright made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet.
  • In 1911 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He reached the destination 35 days ahead of Captain Robert F. Scott.
  • In 1918 – For the first time in Britain women (over 30) voted in a General Election.
  • In 1939 – The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for making aggressive demands of Finland.
  • In 1945 – Josef Kramer, known as “the beast of Belsen,” and 10 others were executed in Hamelin for the crimes they committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps.
  • In 1946 – The U.N. General Assembly voted to establish the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City.
  • In 1958 – Soviet explorers reached the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. The Pole of Inaccessibility is a location on Earth that is extremely difficult to access. In the North, it is the point in the Arctic Ocean that is farthest from land, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is the point farthest from the Southern Ocean on Antarctica. In 1958, a Soviet team led by Yevgeny Tolstikov became the first people in history to reach the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, which is 546 miles (878 kilometers) from the geographic South Pole. Temperatures at this location averages around – 73 degree F (–58 degrees C).
  • In 1959 – Archbishop Makarios was elected Cyprus’ first president.
  • In 1961 – Tanzania joined the United Nations. Tanzania was created as a merger of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Archipelago, both of which were under British rule until independence.
  • In 1962 – The space probe Mariner II approached Venus. It transmitted information about the planet’s atmosphere and surface temperature.
  • In 1981 – Israel annexed the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in the 1967 war.
  • In 1983 – The U.S. battleship New Jersey fired on Syrian positions in Lebanon for the first time after American F-14 reconnaissance flights were fired on.
  • In 1984 – Howard Cosell retired from the NFL’s Monday Night Football.
  • In 1985 – Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a major American Indian tribe as she formally took office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
  • In 1986 – The experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. The trip took nine days to complete.
  • In 1987 – Chrysler pled no contest to federal charges of selling several thousand vehicles as new when Chrysler employees had driven the vehicles with the odometer disconnected.
  • In 1988 – The first transatlantic underwater fiber-optic cable went into service.
  • In 1993 – A judge in Colorado struck down the state’s voter-approved Amendment Two prohibiting gay rights laws, calling it unconstitutional.
  • In 1993 – The United Mine Workers approved a five-year contract that ended a strike that had reached seven states and involved some of the nation’s biggest coal operators.
  • In 1995 – The presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia signed the Dayton Accords to end fighting in Bosnia.
  • In 1995 – AIDS patient Jeff Getty received the first-ever bone-marrow transplant from a baboon.
  • In 1997 – Iran’s newest president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people of the United States. The preceding Iranian leaders had reviled the United States as “The Great Satan.”
  • In 1997 – Cuban President Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II’s upcoming visit to Cuba.
  • In 1998 – Hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.
  • In 1999 – Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the “Peanuts” comic strip. The last original “Peanuts” comic strip was published on February 13, 2000.
  • In 2000 – It was announced that American businessman Edmond Pope would be released from a Russian prison for humanitarian reasons. Pope had been sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on espionage charges.
  • In 2001 – European Union leaders agreed to dispatch 3,000-4,000 troops to join an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.
  • In 2001 – The first commercial export, since 1963, of U.S. food to Cuba began. The 24,000 metric tons of corn were being sent to replenish what was lost when Hurricane Michelle struck on November 4.
  • In 2012 – Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

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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