Scotch Tape, Art, Hell Freezing Over, and Hot Chocolate

January 31, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning fans of cellophane household adhesive tape. Today is Sunday, January 31, 2021. It is the 31st day of the year and 334 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Scotch Tape Day

Scotch Tape Day is celebrated annually on January 31st. As you might deduce from its name, this holiday celebrates Scotch tape – a cellophane tape with a variety of uses.
Richard Gurley Drew an employee at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company [now known as 3M] came up with the idea for cellophane tape in 1929. After months of experimentation, Mr. Drew finally came up with a transparent adhesive that made the tape clear – and viola, Scotch Cellulose Tape, (later renamed Scotch Transparent Tape) was invented. It made its debut and began being marketed on January 31, 1930 (hence the reason Scotch Tape Day is celebrated on this date). 3M received their patent for the tape on May 27 of the same year.
Cellophane tape wasn’t Mr. Drew’s only claim to fame. As a sales rep for 3M in the 1920s, he saw the frustration of auto bodyworkers in the shops he visited when trying to paint two-tone color cars. The adhesives they were using simply didn’t give the clean, crisp lines they wanted – so, in 1925, he invented Scotch Masking Tape in 1925. Mr. Drew is now in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Today many manufacturers make transparent adhesive tapes, but most people simply refer to it as “Scotch tape” and transparent tape is now used in 90 percent of households in America. To celebrate Scotch Tape Day, simply use some Scotch tape today.
Author’s Note:
The name “Scotch” in 3M products stems from the ethnic stereotype that Scottish people were stingy. Some stories claim that the tape didn’t adhere well at first, or didn’t have adhesive in the middle of it. As the story goes, customers told Drew to go back to his “Scotch” bosses and to tell them to add more adhesive. Whether true or not, the name stuck – as did the final version of the tape.

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day  

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day is celebrated annually on January 31st. It celebrates art and the warm fuzzy feeling its beauty inspires within our hearts.
Sadly, some artists these days, in an effort to seem more “edgy”, have forsaken the truth, beauty, and works that inspire, for works that are intended to shock, disgust, or enrage the audience. This, to me, isn’t “art” – it’s just a tawdry imitation.
Celebrating Inspire Your Heart With Art Day is relatively straightforward. Go to a gallery, theater, cinema, or music venue, and soak up the art. Just keep in mind the theme of this holiday. Select the art you choose to view today accordingly. Remember, you’re supposed to “inspire your heart” today – not give yourself a heart attack. Also, if you fancy yourself an artist, create an inspirational masterpiece of your own.

Hell is Freezing Over Day 

Hell is Freezing Over Day is celebrated annually on January 31st. Remember when you said, “I’ll do ____ ‘when Hell freezes over?” Well, evidently it’s getting downright frigid in Hades because this holiday urges us to get out your “when Hell freezes over” list today and accomplish a few tasks on it.
“Not until hell freezes over” is an idiom of improbability from the early twentieth century, which stemmed from the belief that hell is a very hot place, and thus will never freeze over. There are many variations on the phrase, such as “It will be a cold day in hell when…” and “There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell…”
We all have things we don’t like or want to do, things we find unpleasant, disgusting, or just futile. So, to celebrate Hell is Freezing Over Day, get started on some of those unpleasant tasks you vowed you wouldn’t do until “Hell freezes over.” Upon further reflection, since your “when Hell freezes over” list is composed of things that you never intended to do anyway, why not just add “celebrate Hell is Freezing Over Day” to that list and move on with your day? Surely you have better things to do.

National Hot Chocolate Day 

If you’re craving a warm, delicious beverage, then you’re in luck.  Today is National Hot Chocolate Day, celebrated annually on January 31st. As you can easily infer from its name, it celebrates the warm and creamy beverage that everyone loves to drink.
While the terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably, there is actually a big difference. Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. For that reason, hot cocoa tends to be sweeter and lighter. It often contains flavoring like vanilla or spices, like ground cinnamon. Those packets of Swiss Miss you grew up on are most definitely hot cocoa  – not hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is just as the name implies – melted chocolate. Good-quality chocolate is chopped finely or shaved so that it melts quickly when combined with hot milk, or even cream. It can also contain flavoring like vanilla, but usually has very little added sugar, because there is already sugar in the chocolate. The result is a rich, full-bodied beverage that tends to be less sweet than hot cocoa – but even more decadent. You can vary the amount of chocolate you use to make it as thick as you want – from thin like hot cocoa, to a rich, creamy nearly pudding-like consistency.
To celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day, make some hot chocolate. No cheating, though — None of that Swiss Miss crap! Take the time to make it from scratch. Don’t forget to leave room in your cup or mug for the miniature marshmallows!
Factoids:

  • Chocolate is the 3rd most traded commodity in the world, behind oil (#1) and coffee (#2).
  • Hot chocolate contains antioxidants and flavonols, both very healthy nutrients.
  • The Mayans made the first hot chocolate, and it was served with chili peppers.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Escape, Answering Machine Messages, and Croissants

January 30, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning members of the “rat race”. Today is Saturday, January 30, 2021. It is the 30th day of the year and 335 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Escape Day 

National Escape Day is celebrated annually on January 30th. It is a holiday that urges us to, temporarily at least, try to escape from our humdrum daily existence. I think that almost everyone feels the need to just unshackle themselves from the bonds of responsibility once in a while. It’s just human nature.  This holiday provides the perfect opportunity for you to do so – unless you have an ogre for a boss who insists that you work instead.
If you are unable to physically leave your environment, there are still ways that you can ‘escape’.

  1. Change the wallpaper on your computer at work to a tropical isle, a ski slope, a babbling brook, or any other destination to which you would like to escape.
  2. Forgo cooking and other forms of household drudgery like laundry, vacuuming, etc.
  3. Try a new look. Opt for a trendy new outfit, or change your hairstyle.
  4. Go somewhere remote without your phone, laptop, tablet, etc, and don’t tell anyone where you’re going. [If you have a spouse or ‘significant other’, take them with you].
  5. Treat yourself to a ‘spa day’.
  6. After work, draw a nice hot bath, put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door, and let your mind wander as you transform into a “happy prune”.
  7. Escape into a good book. Read slowly and take time out to let the imagery soak into your brain.

There are other means of escape as well, but I don’t recommend them. They involve illegal substances and/or excessive consumption of alcohol. Whatever means of escape you choose to celebrate National Escape Day – enjoy.

National Inane Answering Message Day 

National Inane Answering Message Day is celebrated annually on January 30th. You can correctly infer from this holiday’s name that it urges us to change the message on our answering machines to something less mundane. It urges you to liven things up by getting creative and creating a new funny or silly message for your answering machine.
Answering machine messages tend to be a little dull, ranging from network defaults to the classic, “Sorry, I’m not here right now… please leave a message after the tone”, or the infamous “leave-a-message-at-the-beep” prompt.
And, while we’re on the subject of answering machines, what is it that makes us forget our name, develop a speech impediment, and ramble on forever to convey our simple message? This phenomenon seems more prevalent in troglodytes from my generation who grew up having to actually talk to a live person at the other end of the telephone line. That was easy. Why is conveying your message to a machine any more intimidating? Is it the fact that you have to actually sum up your thoughts and express them coherently within a limited time frame? Who knows?  Am I the only one who has this problem?
Anyway, I digress. To celebrate National Inane Answering Message Day simply change your answering machine prompt to something zany – with a little pizzazz.

National Croissant Day  

National Croissant Day is celebrated annually on January 30th. As you might guess, it celebrates croissants – a crescent-shaped layered pastry renowned worldwide.
Croissants are a rich, buttery, crescent-shaped roll made of puff pastry that layers yeast dough with butter. The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough with butter. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. Traditionally 3 to 6 layers, which need to be refrigerated for a minimum of half an hour between each layer are used to make to obtain the ‘signature flakiness’. Because of this ‘laminating’ croissants are extremely time-consuming to make, however, the result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
The crescent symbol has a long history in many cultures. It symbolizes turning dreams into reality, new birth, rebirth, and/or immortality. So, quite naturally, the Croissant was not the first crescent-shaped bread – for instance, the Kipferl originated in Austria in the 13th century.
Croissants are traditionally a breakfast bread served with jam and butter, but they are also delicious as dinner rolls – or any other time for that matter. In the early 1970s, croissants evolved into sandwich form, though still primarily as breakfast sandwiches.
Since baking croissants are so time-consuming, if you plan to celebrate National Croissant Day by baking your own, you should get started soon — Or, you could just go to a bakery and buy some.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Curmudgeons, Free Thinkers, Carnations, Puzzles, Seeing-eye Dogs, and Corn Chips

January 29, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning grumpy geezers, cantankerous old coots, fault-finding fossils, et al. Today is Friday, January 29, 2021. It is the 29th day of the year and 336 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Curmudgeon’s Day

Curmudgeon’s Day is an annual celebration of the crusty, yet insightful, old fogeys who consistently apply the needle of truth to the balloons of hypocrisy, political correctness, and social norms. It is always celebrated on January 29th – the birthdate of W. C. Fields, the quintessential curmudgeon.
For most of my adult life, I was a “curmudgeon in training”. [I even owned a t-shirt at one point in my life that had “Curmudgeon in Training” stenciled on it]. I can’t pinpoint the precise point in my life at which I became a full-fledged curmudgeon, but I am convinced that I have now achieved the ultimate state of “Curmudgeon” (the polar opposite of Zen).
Being a curmudgeon is based more on attitude than chronological age. I knew kids in High School who were already well on their way to curmudgeondom (yours truly included), and I know people today who are well into their 80s and aren’t the least bit curmudgeonly.
To celebrate Curmudgeon’s Day, embrace your “inner curmudgeon”. Below are a few examples of ways to help you with that endeavor.

  • Go on your favorite social media platform and become the “grammar Nazi.”
  • Sit on your front porch and yell at all the kids to “skedaddle”.
  • Watch the movie(s) “Grumpy (and/or Grumpier) Old Men”.
  • Change the wallpaper on your computer to a Grumpy Cat meme.

Free-Thinker’s Day

Freethinkers Day is celebrated annually on January 29th. It celebrates the life and work of Thomas Paine, who was born on this date in 1737. Paine came to America in 1774 at the request of Benjamin Franklin. Throughout his life, he wrote many influential books and pamphlets including The Age of ReasonThe Rights of Man, and Common Sense. Each of these works brought public attention to key issues and helped establish the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. Paine’s writing inspired many people to strive for political, economic, and social advancement. He was also one of the first people to call for universal human rights and an end to slavery.
Freethinkers Day has been celebrated since the 1990s. Its purpose is to educate people about Paine’s work and the importance of free-thinking and freedom. Free Thinkers Day is an opportunity to promote appreciation of free thought, support reason over faith, and reject arbitrary authority.
If you are a free-thinker, celebrate Freethinkers Day, by picking up a copy of Common Sense or one of Paine’s other works, and take a moment to appreciate your civil liberties. If you are not a free-thinker but want people to think that you are, here are a few ways to ‘fake it’.

  • Go to a park and sit on a bench in the pose of the great Rodin sculpture “The Thinker”.
  • Take your laptop or tablet to the nearest Starbucks, order the most expensive, pretentious drink you can afford, and stare contemplatively at political websites (you don’t necessarily have to actually read them).
  • If someone asks you a question, say “hmm”,  put your hand on your chin, glance up and to the left or right, and slowly re-state the question back to them with the emphasis on a different word, followed by the word ‘interesting’. Then walk away.

National Carnation Day 

National Carnation Day is celebrated annually on January 29th. You don’t need a degree in horticulture to conclude that this holiday celebrates carnations – one of the world’s most-esteemed flowers.
Carnations have a long history and have been cultivated for over 2,000 years. They are the birth flower for January and the National Flower of Spain. In France, a purple carnation is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one. A Mothers’ Day tradition is to wear a red carnation if your mother is living and to wear a white carnation if your mother has passed away. According to biblical legend, carnations first appeared as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell.
There are two theories regarding the origin of the word carnation. One theory is that the name comes from “coronation” or “corone” since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns. The other theory is that the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh (a light pinky-peachy color), which was the flower’s original color.
And while we are on the subject of color, the color of the carnations you give can also hold meaning and/or symbolism for the recipient.

  • Giving carnations, in general, symbolizes fascination, love, and good luck.
  • Solid colored carnations mean – yes
  • Striped carnations mean – no, I can’t be with you or wish I could be with you
  • Pink carnations mean – I’ll never forget you
  • Light red carnations mean – admiration, yearning
  • Dark red carnations mean – deep love, affection
  • Purple carnations mean – capriciousness
  • White carnations mean – sweetness, innocence, pure love
  • Yellow carnations mean – disappointment, rejection

To celebrate National Carnation Day, brighten up your home with a few carnations today – either from your own garden or from your favorite flower shop.

National Puzzle Day 

National Puzzle Day is celebrated annually on January 29th. You needn’t be a cruciverbalist to know that this holiday celebrates puzzles – of all types.
Puzzles come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. From jig-saw to crosswords, to word search, to brain teasers and Soduko, puzzles are a favorite pastime of millions of people, young and old. People like puzzles for a variety of reasons. To some, they are just fun. Some just like the challenge of completing them, and graduating to ever more complex and difficult puzzle-solving levels. For some, it is a way to kill time and to eliminate boredom. And some people do puzzles to keep their minds sharp or to learn new words.
John Spilsbury, a London engraver, and mapmaker produced the first jigsaw puzzle by mounting one of his maps on a sheet of hardwood and cutting around the borders of the countries to create interlocking pieces. To celebrate National Puzzle Day, simply solve a few puzzles today. What type(s) of puzzles do you like? My favorite puzzles are crossword puzzles. I do about three of them every day.

Seeing-eye Dog Day  

Seeing-Eye Dog Day is celebrated annually on January 29th. Even a blind person [tacky, I know] could decipher that this holiday celebrates seeing-eye dogs.
Seeing-eye dogs, and other service animals, are wonderful creatures. They perform a valuable service to their masters. Training for seeing-eye dogs begins in puppyhood. Breeders take note of puppies that show the intelligence and temperament to become seeing-eye dogs. They are then sent to homes within the network that will begin their obedience training. At about 12 to 14 months of age, they are then sent to the facility where the actual seeing eye dog training takes place. The whole process takes up to 2-years. This link will take you to a website that will explain the qualities needed and the extensive training that these exceptional animals need to become seeing-eye dogs.
I can’t begin to tell you how to celebrate this holiday, because, as far as I’m concerned, every day should be Seeing Eye Dog Day.

National Corn Chip Day 

National Corn Chip Day is celebrated annually on January 29th. As you might expect, it celebrates one of the world’s favorite corn-based snacks.
Corn chips come in a variety of shapes, and flavors. Although corn chips and tortilla chips are both fried or baked snacks, some people incorrectly use the terms interchangeably. There is a difference: Corn chips, like Fritos™, are made from cornmeal which has been processed into a particular shape. Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas that have been cut into shapes (usually triangles), then deep-fried. The corn in tortillas (and hence tortilla chips) and the in corn chips are different. The corn used to make corn chips is just cornmeal, whereas, the corn in tortilla chips has undergone a process known as nixtamalization – which involves soaking the raw corn in an alkaline solution, then hulling it before it is ground into cornmeal. This was done by ancient Americans to make it easier to grind the corn. Modern scientists note that this process enhances the nutritional value, flavor, and aroma of the meal.
To celebrate National Corn Chip Day, enjoy some corn chips (not tortilla chips) with your favorite dip or salsa as a snack today.
Author’s Note:
Did you know that Fritos corn chips were first marketed in 1961? How many of you remember “Wampum”, Laura Scudder’s answer to Fritos in the early ’70s? In my opinion, they were far superior to Frito’s.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Diet of Worms, Daisies, Kazoos, Clashing Clothes, and Blueberry Pancakes

January 28, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning subterranean, soft-bodied, legless, bilaterally symmetrical invertebrate aficionados. Today is Thursday, January 28, 2021. It is the 28th day of the year, and 337 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Diet of Worms

Thankfully, Diet of Worms is not a food-related holiday nor, again thankfully, is it a reference to a holiday about a trendy new weight loss fad. In fact, Diet of Worms is not an official holiday at all.
In this instance, the word diet is used in its archaic form – meaning a group meeting or council, and Worms was the city in Germany where the Diet met. I chose to expound upon this council in today’s post because it may be of interest to my religious readers.
On this date in 1521, The Diet of Worms was convened. At these proceedings, Protestant reformer Martin Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the Pope over the Church by maintaining that the doctrine of indulgences, as authorized and taught by the Pope, was wrong. Luther also maintained that salvation was by faith alone without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. Luther maintained that the sacraments were a “means of grace”, meaning that while grace was imparted through the Sacraments, the credit for the action belonged to God and not to the individual. Furthermore, he had challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded. At the conclusion of this Diet of Worms, Martin Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic Church. The Diet opted to protect the authority of the Pope and the Church, and therefore they issued the Edict of Worms on May 25th, 1521 denouncing Martin Luther and banning him from the church.

National Daisy Day

National Daisy Day is celebrated annually on January 28th. It obviously celebrates the beauty and cheerfulness of daisies.
While January may seem an odd month to celebrate daisies (what with Spring still being 2-months hence), daisies grow year-round in some temperate regions, and, in some cultures, they represent purity and innocence. Daisies are a popular flower the world over and grow naturally on every continent, except Antarctica.
The name ‘daisy’ is thought to come from the Old English daes eag, which is thought to mean ‘day’s eye’ – after the way it opens at dawn. Daisies are ‘vascular plants’ – those which circulate nutrients and water throughout the plant. The daisy family, known by scientists as Compositae, make up almost 10% of all flowering plants on Earth. A daisy is actually two flowers in one. The (usually) white petals count as one flower and the cluster of (usually) tiny yellow disc petals that form the ‘eye’ is technically another.
Daisy leaves are edible and can make a tasty addition to salads (they’re closely related to artichoke and are high in Vitamin C). Additionally, daisies have lots of medicinal properties. They are thought to relieve indigestion, slow bleeding, and ease coughs. In homeopathy, the garden daisy is known as the gardener’s friend for its ability to ease an aching back. Bees love daisies as well, making them an important friend of honey makers.
To celebrate National Daisy Day, pick a few daisies from your garden and make a nice centerpiece for your table. If you don’t have any daisies in your garden, plant some today.
Author’s Note:
A word of caution to my gardener friends! As pretty as daisies are, if not tended to properly and kept in check, they can quickly go from a beautiful ornamental flower to a pesky weed. They can thrive in fairly inhospitable conditions and are resistant to most bugs and pesticides.

National Kazoo Day 

National Kazoo Day is celebrated annually on January 28th. You can correctly infer from its name that it celebrates the kazoo – a simple, yet popular ‘musical instrument’.
The kazoo has been around for about 165 years. Alabama Vest of Macon Georgia made the first kazoo in the 1840s. Actually, he conceived the kazoo and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clock-master make it to his specifications. Commercial production of the kazoo didn’t occur until many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was first started by Emil Sorg in Western New York. Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker. Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today.
Kazoos are easy to play. Simply hum a tune into the kazoo, and you’re an expert. So, celebrate National Kazoo Day by playing a few tunes on your kazoo. If you have misplaced your kazoo, you can always try the old comb and waxed paper version.

Clashing Clothes Day

Clashing Clothes Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday each January. As you might expect, this holiday encourages you to throw ‘convention’ out the window and wear whatever clothing combinations you want – regardless of whether they conform to what “society” deems appropriate attire.
Plaid, polka dots, stripes, flowers – they all go together, don’t they? Who cares! Celebrate Clashing Clothes Day by wearing them in any combination you see fit.

National Blueberry Pancake Day 

National Blueberry Pancake Day is celebrated annually on January 28th. You don’t need a culinary arts degree to realize that this holiday celebrates blueberry pancakes.
Blueberry pancakes – they aren’t just for breakfast anymore. You can enjoy them any time of the day. They are nutritious enough to eat for breakfast, tasty enough for a mid-day snack, and easy enough to make for dinner.
To make blueberry pancakes, mix up a batch of your favorite plain pancake batter. Wash the blueberries, pat them dry, and keep them in a separate bowl. Once you’ve poured the batter onto the griddle, drop a few blueberries on top. This will ensure that your blueberries aren’t bruised during the cooking process and will provide perfect bursts of flavor when you bite into your pancake.
Do I really need to explain to you how to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day? Remember, blueberries are full of healthy anti-oxidants. IHOP, here I come!

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

Holy Crap!

January 27, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let today’s festivities begin.

Good morning flush toilet advocates. Today Wednesday, January 27, 2021. It is the 27th day of the year, and 338 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Thomas Crapper Day 

Thomas Crapper Day is celebrated annually on January 27th. I realize that you are probably asking yourself right now;  “Who the crap is Thomas Crapper, and why the crap does he have a day dedicated to him, and why should I give a crap anyway?” Well, basically, Thomas Crapper is credited with creating the technology for the modern-day flush toilet. Although he did not invent the flush toilet as many believe, he did improve the design of and popularize flush toilets. So, as you can plainly see, this holiday isn’t just a load of crap, it actually has gravitas. Mr. Crapper was Baptized on September 28th, 1836, but no record of his actual date of birth is available, so this holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of his death on this date in 1910.
Rather than expound at length on Mr. Crapper’s entire life, and what led up to the creation of this holiday, I will simply provide you with this link which gives you a crap-load of information about him, and should answer all of your questions – and save me a crap-load of time trying to explain it to you.
In celebration of Thomas Crapper Day, pay homage to your “porcelain throne” today. Admire its craftsmanship and give thanks for the convenience it provides — and try not to have a crappy day. Oh well, enough of this crap! Time to move on.

Vietnam Peace Day

Vietnam Peace Day is celebrated annually on January 27th. It is a holiday near and dear to the hearts of many from my generation. On this date in 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris, France.
The main negotiators of the accords were Dr. Henry Kissinger (United States National Security Adviser) and  Le Duc Tho (Vietnamese Politburo member). They both received the Nobel Peace Prize later in the year for their efforts. This link provides a more detailed account if you would like a “refresher course’ in history.
To celebrate Vietnam Peace Day, just be thankful that this unpopular war was finally brought to a conclusion.

National Geographic Day

National Geographic Day is celebrated annually on January 27th. As you might suspect, it celebrates National Geographic Magazine, whose first issue was published on this date in 1888.
The magazine was originally text-oriented, but the editors soon realized that the most popular articles in their magazine were the ones that contained photographs and soon shifted to a more pictorial format [as photographic technology improved], and has since become famous for its breathtaking photography.
National Geographic has covered thousands of topics over the years, from lovely, peaceful Balinese dancers to more controversial topics like the brutal killing of animals by poachers. It has satisfied people’s interest in faraway places – their foods, customs, their people, and their unique and exotic animals for over 130 years. More recently, the magazine has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of environmental issues, such as deforestation and endangered species.
To celebrate National Geographic Day, browse through some issues of this historic magazine. If possible, compare issues from the past with more current issues to see how the magazine has evolved over the decades.

National Chocolate Cake Day 

National Chocolate Cake Day is celebrated annually on January 27th. You don’t need to be a member of MENSA to determine that this holiday celebrates one of America’s favorite desserts – chocolate cake.
Cakes have a rich culinary history. In Greece, cakes (or “plakous”) were heavy and flat, and people served them with nuts and honey. The Romans made cakes that were more like cheesecake than a pastry and presented them as offerings to the gods. In Medieval England, people used the words “bread” and “cake” interchangeably to refer to anything made with flour dough.
The earliest known recipe for a chocolate cake was published in a work titled “The Lady’s Receipt Book” by noted Philadelphia cookbook author Eliza Leslie in 1847. A company called O. Duff and Sons created the first boxed cake mix in the late 1920s. In 1947, after years of research and development, General Mills released the first “just add water” Betty Crocker cake mixes. The available flavors were Ginger, Spice, Yellow, and White. In 1948, Pillsbury introduced the first modern chocolate cake box mix.
Since then, chocolate cake has become the most popular kind of cake. There are many varieties of chocolate cake from which to choose; milk chocolate cake, dark chocolate cake, chocolate fudge cake, chocolate “Molten Lava” cake, Red Velvet Cake, or my favorite, Devil’s Food cake.
The objectives of  National Chocolate Cake Day are threefold:

  1. To bake a chocolate cake – Preferably from scratch, although you could just use a mix if you lack the skills or confidence to make one from scratch.
  2. To decorate a chocolate cake. – In this author’s humble opinion, adding ice cream or whipped cream counts as decorating the cake – as long as it’s touching the cake.
  3. To eat a slice of chocolate cake. – No explanation necessary.

If you are too lazy or busy to bake and/or decorate a cake, then, by all means just buy one – just ensure that it is a chocolate cake. No further explanation regarding how to celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day is necessary, is it?

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

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