December 16th – Boston Tea Party Day

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

Good morning patriotic tea aficionados. Today is Saturday, December 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Boston Tea Party Day

The Boston Tea Party (initially referred to by John Adams as “the Destruction of the Tea in Boston” was a nonviolent political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, on December 16, 1773. Disguised as Indians, the demonstrators destroyed the entire supply of tea sent by the East India Company in defiance of the American boycott of tea carrying a tax the Americans had not authorized. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor, ruining the tea. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. The Tea Party became an iconic event in American history, and other political protests often refer to it.
Here are a couple of facts about the ‘tea party’  that aren’t commonly known. According to Boston Tea Party Ships & Museums:

  • The three ships holding the British tea were built in America and owned by Americans, not the British.
  • Hundreds of people participated (116 took credit); not the ‘small band’ reported in history books.
  • The Sons of Liberty carefully planned and executed the Boston Tea Party which could have attributed to the absence of violence and confrontation.
  • The three-hour event occurred because American colonists believed Britain was unfairly taxing them to pay for expenses incurred during the French and Indian War.

Celebrate Boston Tea Party Day with a “spot of tea”, and perhaps a ‘crumpet’ or two.
Author’s Note: As far as I can determine, this holiday is in no way connected to yesterday’s International Tea Day.

National Wreaths Across America Day

National Wreaths Across America Day is observed annually on the 3rd Saturday in December and is a movement to cover all Veterans grave markers with a Christmas wreath. In 1992, Morrill Worcester and his business Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of 5,00 wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Years before as a young boy, Worcester had visited Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital. The experience had reminded him through his life of the sacrifice some had made in order for others, including himself, to succeed and flourish. Mr. Worcester made plans to lay the surplus wreaths in honor of our Veterans at an older, less visited section of Arlington National Cemetery. To his surprise, quite a number of volunteers stepped forward to help him deliver and place the wreaths.
In 2007, the Wreaths Across America non-profit group was founded. Today, the event has expanded to all 50 states and volunteers lay wreaths at veterans cemeteries all across America to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is Remember. Honor. Teach. By coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans cemeteries around the country Wreaths Across America strives to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve to preserve our freedoms.
To celebrate National Wreath Across America Day, visit the National Wreaths Across America website to volunteer or to donate to their worthy cause.

Stupid Toy Day

Stupid Toy Day is celebrated annually on this date. It gives us the opportunity to reflect back on all of the stupid toys from our childhood and remember the joy and fun they brought us. The origins of Stupid Toy Day are unknown, but Christmas seems an appropriate time as any to celebrate it – a time rampant with gag gifts, “white elephant” gift exchanges, and a lot of letters to Santa pleading for toys, stupid or otherwise.
I’m sure that we all had our fair share of stupid toys when growing up – do any of you remember the Slinky, Yo-Yos, Lawn Darts, the Slip & Slide, the Magic 8-Ball, et al? The list is endless. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to disparage them, or the people who lovingly gave them to us as presents, by calling them stupid – sometimes a simple, basic idea creates a product that yields endless hours of fun.
With that said, sometimes there’s nothing more enjoyable than a silly toy or puzzle to let you escape from the rigors of daily life. If you’re one of the lucky few who still has a stupid toy or two hidden away in the closet, use your celebration Stupid Toy Day as an excuse to find it and enjoy some stupid fun with your stupid treasure. If you don’t still have any of your stupid toys from your childhood, put one or two on your Santa Wish List this year so you can celebrate this holiday next year.

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day

If you have small children or grandchildren still in your home, the creators of this holiday, Wellcat.com, think you will understand this holiday. It is the day of the year when you tell your children that Barbie and Barney don’t really exist.
What? Wait! Barbie and Barney don’t exist? Nonsense! Who’s next on their “hit list”? Sponge Bob Square Pants or Kermit and Miss Piggy? Next, they’ll have us believe that The Tooth Fairy is a myth, or that the Easter Bunny doesn’t actually leave the festively decorated ovum strewn on the lawn on Easter morning. These radicals probably deny the existence of Santa Claus as well – even though the existence of Santa is a fact clearly substantiated by the classic 1947 documentary film, “Miracle on 34th Street”, and by an article titled “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”, published in a trusted daily publication, The New York Times, in answer to a query from a girl named Virginia about the existence of Santa Claus.
To what lengths will these wild-eyed, lunatic-fringe extremists go to undermine the very fabric of this great nation? Harrumph! Barbie and Barney Backlash Day indeed!

Chocolate Covered Anything Day

Chocolate Covered Anything Day is a holiday custom-made for chocoholics. It encourages you to cover any food you want with chocolate. Chocolate Covered Anything Day is a great day to indulge in your favorite food – chocolate – in excess. Pour, spread, drizzle, or slather chocolate over cakes, cupcakes, pies, pancakes or waffles, nuts, raisins, strawberries, or even ants (yes, some people actually eat chocolate covered ants)! Get creative and experiment with more unusual dishes like beef tenderloin smothered in a rosemary, chocolate, and wine, or opt for something with a Mexican flair and pour some molé sauce over your favorite cut of meat.
There are many different types of chocolate that you can use to top your food: sweetened, unsweetened, bittersweet, semisweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa, and more. With few exceptions, covering any food with some form of chocolate will make it better. The only limitation is your imagination and your palate.
Fun fact: Cacao beans, the main ingredient in chocolate, were so valuable in the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations that they were used as currency to pay for commodities and taxes.

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 1653 – Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • In 1707 –The last eruption of Mount Fuji occurred. The highest volcano in Japan erupted for the last time in what is known as the Hōei Eruption. The eruption lasted for 17 days.
  • In 1773 – Considered as one of the key events in the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party occurred when protesters in Boston, a territory controlled by the British, dumped heavily taxed British tea into Boston Harbor.
  • In 1809 – Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
  • In 1835 – In New York, 530 buildings were destroyed by fire.
  • In 1850 – The first immigrant ship, the Charlotte Jane, arrived at Lyttleton, New Zealand.
  • In 1903 – Women ushers were employed for the first time at the Majestic Theatre in New York City.
  • In 1905 – Sime Silverman published the first issue of “Variety”.
  • In 1912 – The first postage stamp to depict an airplane was issued was a 20-cent parcel post stamp.
  • In 1916 – Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.
  • In 1940 – French Premier Petain arrested Pierre Laval after learning of a plan for Laval to seize power and set up a new government with German support.
  • In 1944 – During World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium. It was the final major German counteroffensive in the war.
  • In 1950 – President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight “Communist imperialism.”
  • In 1951 – NBC-TV debuted “Dragnet” in a special preview on “Chesterfield Sound Off Time”. The show began officially on January 3, 1952.
  • In 1960 – A United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City, killing 134 people.
  • In 1971 – The Indo-Pakistani War ended. The third major conflict between the two countries was fought because of India’s support of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation. The war ended after only 13 days with the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh.
  • In 1972 – The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go unbeaten and untied in a 14-game regular season. The Dolphins went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
  • In 1973 – O.J. Simpson broke Jim Brown’s single-season rushing record in the NFL. Brown had rushed for 1,863 yards, while Simpson attained 2,003 yards.
  • In 1981 – Congress restored the $122 minimum monthly social security benefit for current recipients.
  • In 1984 – The play “Diamonds” opened in New York City.
  • In 1985 – Reputed organized-crime chief Paul Castellano was shot to death outside a New York City restaurant.
  • In 1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a leftist priest, was elected president in Haiti’s first democratic elections.
  • In 1991 – Kazakhstan gained its independence from Russia. The Central Asian country was the last Soviet republic to declare its independence.
  • In 1991 – The U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
  • In 1993 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for negotiations on a comprehensive test ban.
  • In 1995 – Many U.S. government functions were again closed as a temporary finance provision expired and the budget dispute between President Clinton and Republicans in Congress continued.
  • In 1995 – NATO launched a military operation in support of the Bosnia peace agreement.
  • In 1996 – Britain’s agriculture minister announced the slaughter of an additional 100,000 cows thought to be at risk of contracting BSE in an effort to persuade the EU to lift its ban on Britain.
  • In 1998 – The U.S. and Britain fired hundreds of missiles on Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein’s refusal to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors.
  • In 1999 – Sigourney Weaver received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In 1999 – Torrential rains and mudslides in Venezuela left thousands of people dead and forced at least 120,000 to leave their homes.
  • In 2000 – Researchers announced that information from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft indicated that Ganymede appeared to have a liquid saltwater ocean beneath a surface of solid ice. Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, is the solar system’s largest moon. The discovery is considered important since water is a key ingredient for life.
  • In 2000 – President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state. Powell was sworn on January 20, 2001.
  • In 2001 – In Tora Bora, Afghanistan, tribal fighters announced that they had taken the last al-Qaeda positions. More than 200 fighters were killed and 25 captured. They also announced that they had found no sign of Osama bin Laden.
  • In 2001 – A British newspaper, The Observer, reported that a notebook had been found at an al-Qaeda training camp in southern Afghanistan. The notebook contained a “blueprint” for a bomb attack on London’s financial district.
  • In 2002 – Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The 1997 treaty was aimed a reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2009 – Astronomers discovered GJ1214b. It was the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.
  • In 2010 – After 25 years on television, the last episode of Larry King Live, one of CNN’s most-watched TV programs was aired. While the official end date for the talk show was December 16, an episode on cancer was aired two days later on December 18. The show was replaced by Piers Morgan Tonight.

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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