December 27th – Visit the Zoo Day

December 27, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning exotic animal lovers. Today is Wednesday, December 27, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Visit the Zoo Day

The holiday season is winding down but the children are still on Christmas break. What better time for a family excursion to the zoo? Although I couldn’t find any documentation regarding the history of  Visit the Zoo Day, it is prominently featured in a number of my sources.
Zoos and menageries have been around for at least 5000 years. Evidence of one menagerie was discovered by excavators in ancient Egypt that is thought to date back to around 3500 BC. King Solomon was a known animal collector, as were King Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. Wild animals were also collected to be used in the arenas during the Roman Games, though most of those died violent deaths after being pitted against each other for the amusement of the crowd. Later, British kings kept wild animals in the Tower of London, with the price of viewing them being a small dog or cat that could be used to feed them. When Columbus discovered America, it sparked a renewed interest in zoos all across Europe. His discovery of a “new world” meant new creatures to see.
The first actual zoo that was created not to stroke the ego of monarchs and royalty, but rather to educate and entertain, was opened in London in 1828. Since then, zoos have made great strides to humanely keep animals. Modern-day zoos are at the forefront of much of the research which goes on into animal behavior and how best to protect vulnerable animals from extinction. Many zoos have breeding programs, where they work with other facilities around the world to increase the numbers of endangered populations. In most of the better zoos around the globe, the enclosures the animals are kept in are relatively roomy and attempt to mirror an animal’s natural environment as closely as possible. Zoos are fascinating (and often smelly) places where we can get a lot closer to nature than we would normally.
Today, there are over 2,800 zoos in the world, and over 6 million people visit them each year.

Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day

Sharpen the scissors and get the paper, today is Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day. Not surprisingly, in my research, I could garner no information about the origins of, or the reason for this holiday. Information on its creator is equally lacking. Nonetheless, Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day exists. And if you have the dexterity to do so, today is the day to cut out some snowflakes.
I am definitely not an artsy-craftsy type of guy. Heck, it takes me three tries to draw a “happy face”. I remember my teachers in elementary school being able to turn out perfect snowflakes every time. My best attempts, however, looked like a piece of paper that had been chewed by rats.
So, if you’re bored, gather your children or grandchildren around and celebrate Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day by cutting out some paper snowflakes with them. Heck, turn it into an afternoon party. Take a trip down ‘memory lane’ (more like ‘nightmare lane’ for me) and cut out a few paper snowflakes.

National Fruit Cake Day

I am not a big fan of fruitcake, especially those dense, sickeningly sweet things that one can buy in the stores during the Christmas season. I swear that those lumps of industrial waste have a half-life equivalent to that of Plutonium. After the Apocalypse, whatever life form re-discovers this planet will find two things; Cockroaches, and fruitcake. They will find both because even cockroaches find fruitcake indigestible.
Fruitcakes are quite possibly the most popular item for re-gifting. A whopping 38% of people say they give fruitcakes away when they receive them. Nevertheless, fruit cakes have remained popular for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians buried their loved ones with fruitcakes because they believed this particular food was essential for the journey to the afterlife. (This explains a lot. Evidently, tomb raiders found a never-ending supply of fruitcake, and, to this day, market them during the holiday season). The Crusaders were known for eating fruit cakes during their campaigns. (Obviously, the diet consisting mainly of fruitcake made them extremely angry, and they vented their wrath upon the enemy). The small cakes could withstand long journeys without spoiling and were full of nutritious items like dried fruits and nuts. (They could also use them as shields to ward off blows from their foes).
The folks over at Holiday seem to share my opinion. However, if you are hearty enough, and have a tool sharp enough to penetrate one, Celebrate National Fruit Cake Day by having a slice of fruitcake today. Be forewarned though that you will probably spend the rest of your life trying to digest it.

Historical Events

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

  • In 1831 – Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin’s discoveries during the voyage helped him form the basis of his Theory of Evolution. The voyage lasted 5-years. He published the evidence supporting it in his 1859 book, “On the Origin of Species.”
  • In 1845 – Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anesthesia for childbirth for the first time. The event was the delivery of his own child in Jefferson, GA. The event also revolutionized the use of anesthesia in medicine and surgery.
  • In 1900 – Carrie Nation staged her first raid on a saloon at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, KS. She broke each and every one of the liquor bottles that could be seen.
  • In 1918 – The Greater Poland Uprising of 1918–1919 began. The revolt against the Germans began in Poznań after a speech by the Polish Prime Minister, Ignacy Paderewski. The uprising led to the newer territory being added to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles.
  • In 1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.
  • In 1938 – The first skimobile course in America opened in North Conway, NH.
  • In 1945 – The World Bank was created with an agreement signed by 28 nations.
  • In 1947 – The children’s television program “Howdy Doody,” hosted by Bob Smith, made its debut on NBC.
  • In 1949 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted sovereignty to Indonesia after more than 300 years of Dutch rule. The Southeast Asian country’s independence came after 4 years of revolution and struggle. In August 1945, Indonesian President Sukarno signed the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, which was formally accepted and recognized by the Dutch in 1949.
  • In 1951 – In Cincinnati, OH, a Crosley automobile, with a steering wheel on the right side, became the first vehicle of its kind to be placed in service for mail delivery.
  • In 1965 – The BP oil rig Sea Gem capsized in the North Sea, with the loss of 13 lives.
  • In 1971 – Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip were on the cover of “Newsweek” magazine.
  • In 1978 – Spain adopted a new constitution and became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
  • In 1979 – Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal succeeded President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed.
  • In 1985 – Palestinian guerrillas opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports. A total of twenty people were killed, including five of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.
  • In 1985 – Dian Fossey, an American naturalist, was found murdered at a research station in Rwanda.
  • In 1992 – The United States shot down an Iraqi fighter jet during what the Pentagon described as a confrontation between a pair of Iraqi warplanes and U.S. F-16 jets in U.N.-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.
  • In 1996 – Muslim fundamentalist Taliban forces retook the strategic airbase of Bagram, solidifying their buffer zone around Kabul, the Afghanistan capital.
  • In 2001 – President George W. Bush granted China permanent normal trade status with the United States.
  • In 2002 – North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said that it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.
  • In 2002 – Clonaid announced the birth of the first cloned human baby. The baby had been born on December 26.
  • In 2007 – Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan was killed after a shooting and the detonation of a suicide bomb while campaigning for the upcoming elections in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

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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