December 15th – Bill of Rights Day

December 15, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning patriots. Today is Friday, December 15, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Bill of Rights Day

To Americans, the Bill of Rights is key amendments to the Constitution, which protect our individual rights. On March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the 13 original colonies and went into effect. States and individuals were concerned that the Constitution did not properly cover and protect a number of rights of individuals. The Constitution was signed by the original 13 states with the requirement or understanding that, a Bill of Rights would be created, amending the new United States Constitution. On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution; 10 of which were added to the Constitution on this date in 1791. These 10 amendments, which later became known as “The Bill of Rights”, outlined the basic rights of individuals:

  • Amendment 1 – Freedom of speech, press, and religion.
  • Amendment 2 – The right to bear arms.
  • Amendment 3 – Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, except during war.
  • Amendment 4 – Rights and protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
  • Amendment 5 – Rights to due process of law, protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination.
  • Amendment 6 – Rights to a speedy trial by a  jury of peers and rights of accused.
  • Amendment 7 – Rights to trial by jury in civil cases.
  • Amendment 8 – Protection from cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail.
  • Amendment 9 – Protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights.
  • Amendment 10 – States rights and the power of the individual States.

As previously mentioned, there were originally 12 amendments proposed. The two Amendments that did not pass dealt with the number of Representatives to Congress and compensation to representatives. Had they passed, there would be over 6,000 congressmen today and Congress would be even more overpaid.
Can you imagine how disorganized our government would be with so many representatives? They can’t get anything done with 535 representatives. Getting any meaningful legislation from over 6,000 representatives would be akin to herding cats  – which is the perfect segue to our next holiday.

Cat Herder’s Day

There is an old simile that goes: ” ____ is like herding cats” – meaning that it is a real fiasco and virtually impossible to accomplish. Sometimes, around the holidays especially, even the simplest of tasks can seem like herding cats. What with shopping, wrapping, decorating the house inside and out, cleaning in preparation for the arrival of the “in-laws”, things can be just too hectic at times. The only thing to do is muscle through it and realize that it will all be over soon, and things will be back to normal – whatever that means. Whether it’s work, home, school, or just life in general, whatever has you seemingly herding cats all day must be tackled head-on. Don’t skirt the issue, just square your shoulders and plunge ahead.

National Wear Your Pearls Day 

National Wear Your Pearls Day is not a holiday for the ostentatious to wear their “bling”. Quite the contrary, this holiday celebrates the fact that something as simple as a grain of sand can be transformed into something so exquisite. Best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeAnna Bookert, founded National Wear Your Pearls Day because pearls represented the story of her life and how she struggled with depression. “I wear pearls as a reminder that I have purpose and value.”  The Registrar at National Day Calendar approved National Wear Your Pearls Day in 2015 and its inaugural year was December 2016.
The beautiful result of nature’s design, one irritating grain of sand can cause an iridescent pearl to form. Just as pearls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so do people and the kinds of trials thrown into our lives. We create our own beauty from the tragedies of our lives but often do not see it. We devalue ourselves and as a result, lose motivation to be a part of life. Like pearls, we develop a process to protect ourselves from further damage, layer by layer becoming stronger and more resourceful. Recognizing the collective value of our strengths is like wearing our pearls.
National Wear Your Pearls Day was created to remind us that when life throws dirt our way, we all have value in the end. So, when life throws dirt your way, put on your pearls as a reminder that you have value regardless of your current circumstances.

Free Shipping Day

Free Shipping Day is an annual one-day event held sometime in mid-December. Since its creation in 2008 by  Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org, this holiday has been celebrated on varying dates between December 15th and December 18th. By combining free shipping with guaranteed Christmas delivery, Knowles upped the ante for online sales. Merchants and consumers alike have seen the benefits of Free Shipping Day.
Free Shipping Day benefits both the customers and the online merchants. The bottom line for customers is the savings they see by not having to pay for shipping, which can be quite expensive at times…especially if you need an item by a specific date. The bottom line for the merchants is, quite naturally, their ‘bottom line’. They see benefits from more customers taking advantage of the free shipping on this holiday, which in turn might enable them to spend more on last-minute holiday gifts.
If you plan to do any online shopping this Christmas season, Free Shipping Day is the day to do it. On this promotional holiday, you will get to shop from large and small online merchants that are offering free shipping with a guarantee of delivery by Christmas Eve.
To celebrate Free Shipping Day, fire up tour infernal contraptions and let your fingers do your Christmas shopping this year. To maximize your savings, be sure to do your online shopping at one of these participating online retailers.

National Underdog Day

National Underdog Day has no relation to that esteemed crime-fighting canine of yore…Underdog. Instead, National Underdog Day, which is celebrated on the third Friday in December each year, was created in 1976 as a day to celebrate those unsung heroes and the “second bananas” of literature, movies, and more. Those people who complete some of our favorite ”top dogs”; such as Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes, Robin to Batman, Tonto to The Lone Ranger, etc, etc.
National Underdog Day is not solely for the famous “second bananas”. It pertains to everyone who, despite their best efforts, never seem to be able to rise to the top. The ordinary “everyman” who works diligently to provide for his family and has no desire for the spotlight; yet in a time of crisis still manages to “be there” for his loved ones and provide what they need.
There are many examples of ‘underdogs’ achieving success.; Steve Jobs with Apple, Bill Gates with Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook, and yes, even Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago. All of these people achieved success despite the odds being stacked against them.
In sports, the term ‘underdog’ refers to the individual or team that statistically has the least chance of winning. Sometimes, though, through dedication, perseverance, desire, and sheer determination, they win despite the odds.
The term ‘underdog’ actually originated in the shipbuilding industry. Planks of wood were referred to as “dogs.” As they were placed, one man would supervise from above while another, the “underdogs”, would stand below, in the dark, cutting and fitting the boards. They would be covered in soot and sawdust, in horrible conditions, while the man above would get all the credit for the work.
To celebrate this holiday, reach out and say “Thank You” to all of the unsung heroes in your life.

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day was started in 2011 by ugly Christmas sweater lovers as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. Celebrated on the third Friday of December, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugliest Christmas sweaters.
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown in popularity and is now an international event. In 2014, the creators of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. You can now help children across the world by wearing an ugly sweater on December 18th and encouraging others to go online and donate.
Try these tips to create your own masterpiece on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day:

  • Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme are a great starting place. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
  • Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
  • Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsel, or any other glittery, jingly items lying around the house.
  • Add a collar, Dickey, or ruffle.
  • Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
  • Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.

Celebrating National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day couldn’t be easier — Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. If by chance, you don’t own an ugly Christmas sweater, today is the day to make or purchase one.

National Cupcake Day/Lemon Cupcake Day

Cupcakes have been an American culinary staple since the 19th century. Prior to cupcakes, ingredients used in baking were primarily weighed rather than measured. Cupcakes shifted the art of baking from weighing to measuring ingredients.
For many years, cupcakes were known as one-two-three-four cakes because of their recipe: one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs – plus one cup of milk and one spoon full of baking soda. This formula is still the traditional cupcake recipe that many people use today.
My sources were mixed regarding this (these) holiday(s). Some listed them individually, some listed one or the other, and one source listed them as I did…together. To celebrate National Cupcake Day/Lemon Cupcake Day, bake a batch of cupcakes today. I’m relatively certain that the Cupcake Gods won’t put a pox on your house should you opt for a flavor other than lemon. If you are too lazy, or too unskilled, to bake your own, you can buy cupcakes at almost every grocery store or bakery.
Fun fact: The world’s largest cupcake was displayed in July of 2009 at the Covenant Garden Real Food Market in London. This cupcake was about 4 feet in diameter and weighed over 330 pounds. It also contained 200 eggs and took over 50 hours to make.

International Tea Day 

And, what better beverage to pair with your cupcake(s) than a nice cup of tea. International Tea Day has observed annually on this date since 2005. This holiday aims to draw the global attention of both governments and citizens to affect the impact of the global tea trade on workers and growers. It has been linked to requests for price supports and fair trade agreements. After initial discussions at the World Social Forum in 2004, the first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi in 2005. Later celebrations were organized in Sri Lanka in 2006 and 2008. In 2015, the Indian government proposed expanding the observance of International Tea Day through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Though International Tea Day is most commonly celebrated in tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India, and Tanzania, the “tea police” probably won’t break down your door in the middle of the night and arrest you if you choose to celebrate it too. Enjoy a ‘spot’ (or two) of your favorite tea variety today.

Historical Events

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

  • In 1654 – A meteorological office established in Tuscany began recording daily temperature readings.
  • In 1791 – The Bill of Rights became law. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States are known as the Bill of Rights. They became law after Virginia ratified the amendments.
  • In 1840 – Napoleon Bonapart’s remains were interred in Les Invalides in Paris, having been brought from St. Helena, where he died in exile.
  • In 1854 – In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use.
  • In 1877 – Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.
  • In 1890 – American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government.
  • In 1925 – The third Madison Square Gardens opened.
  • In 1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution went into effect. Ratified on December 5 of the same year, the amendment repealed the prohibition on alcohol in the United States which had come into force on January 17, 1920, when the 18th amendment took effect.
  • In 1938 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
  • In 1939 – The classic movie “Gone With the Wind,”  premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta. The award-winning film was adapted from the Pulitzer winner Margaret Mitchell’s book by the same name.
  • In 1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into practice Bill of Rights Day.
  • In 1944 – A single-engine plane carrying U.S. Army Major Glenn Miller disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris.
  • In 1944 – Dr. R. Townley Paton and a small group of doctors laid the groundwork for the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration.
  • In 1961 – Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem by an Israeli court. He had been tried on charges of organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.
  • In 1961 – The United Nations General Assembly voted against a Soviet proposal to admit Communist China as a member.
  • In 1964 – Canada’s House of Commons approved a newly designed flag thereby dropping the Canadian “Red Ensign” flag.
  • In 1965 – Two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, maneuvered within 10 feet of each other while in orbit around the Earth.
  • In 1966 – Walter Elias “Walt” Disney died in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
  • In 1970 – The Soviet probe Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land softly on the surface of Venus. The probe only survived the extreme heat and pressure for about 23 minutes and transmitted the first data received on Earth from the surface of another planet.
  • In 1978 – President Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China 30 years after the creation of the People’s Republic of China.  The announcement also called for the severing of relations with Taiwan – a position that was quickly reversed under protests.
  • In 1979 – The former Shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left the United States for Panama. He had come to the United States for medical treatment on October 22, 1979.
  • In 1979 – In a preliminary ruling, the International Court of Justice ordered Iran to release all hostages that had been taken at the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.
  • In 1982 – Paul “Bear” Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at the University of Alabama.
  • In 1982 – Gibraltar’s frontier with Spain was opened to pedestrian use after 13 years of closure.
  • In 1983 – The last 80 United States combat soldiers in Grenada withdrew. It was just over seven weeks after the United States-led invasion of the Caribbean island.
  • In 1989 – An uprising in Romania began as demonstrators gathered to prevent the arrest of the Reverend Laszlo Tokes, a dissident clergyman.
  • In 1992 – IBM announced it would eliminate 25-thousand employees in the coming year.
  • In 1992 – Bettino Craxi, the leader of Italy’s Socialist Party, was informed that he was under investigation in a burgeoning corruption scandal in the northern city of Milan.
  • In 1993 – The prime ministers of Britain and the Republic of Ireland (John Major and Albert Reynolds respectively) made the “Downing Street Declaration,” stating the basis for trying to achieve peace in In Northern Ireland.
  • In 1995 – The U.N. Security Council authorized NATO to take over the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
  • In 1997 – The San Francisco 49ers retired Joe Montana’s number (16) during a halftime ceremony of a game against the Denver Broncos.
  • In 1999 – Syria reopened peace talks with Israel in Washington, DC, with the mediation of President Clinton.
  • In 2000 – The Chernobyl atomic power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, was shut down.
  • In 2000 – New York Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to accept an $8 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The book was to be about her eight years in the White House. The advance was the highest ever to be paid to a member of Congress.
  • In 2001 – It was announced that Siena Heights University would begin offering a class called “Animated Philosophy and Religion.” The two-credit class would cover how religion and philosophy are part of popular culture and is based on the television series “The Simpsons.”
  • In 2009 – The Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight. Considered to be one of Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airplanes, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has suffered from problems associated with its lithium-ion batteries.

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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