Plimsolls, Umbrellas, Flannel, Teddys, and Cream Cheese Brownies

February 10, 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 maritime law enthusiasts. Today is Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Today is the 41st day of the year, and 324 days remain.

Plimsoll Day 

Plimsoll Day is celebrated annually on February 10th. Obviously, it celebrates Plimsolls. I’m sure that most of you are asking right about now, “What the heck is a Plimsoll?” I’ll answer that question shortly, but the real question you should be asking today is; “Who is Plimsoll?” The answer to that question is Samuel Plimsoll, born on this date in 1824. He was a member of the British Parliament, who on this date in 1876, was instrumental in the passing of the Unseaworthy Ships Amendment to the British Merchant Shipping Act (or Plimsoll Amendment). It had to do with the overloading of Merchant Ships, thus putting sailors’ lives at risk. Basically, he is the one responsible for the cargo line, or Plimsoll line that you see on Cargo Ships today.
In the beginning, this law merely required that the line had to be painted on the boat. It did not say the line had to be an accurate representation of the safe waterline position for the ship’s cargo load. So, merchants simply painted a line on their vessels, thus complying with the “letter of the law” – but still endangering the safety of sailors. Politicians being, well for lack of a better word, politicians, took 18 years, until 1894, to rectify the situation and change the law to stipulate that the line had to be an accurate depiction of the safe load capacity of the ship. Today, the Plimsoll Line is universally recognized and is actually several lines – each one indicating the safe waterline mark in relation to both cargo type and water type (salinity, temperature, ocean region, and season).
Now, to answer the question “What is a Plimsoll?” A Plimsoll is a type of shoe. More specifically, a Plimsoll is a shoe with a canvas upper and a rubber sole. Known originally as “sand shoes”, today they are known as deck shoes or sneakers. But which came first: the sneaker or the man? The shoe in question was invented for beachwear by the Liverpool Rubber Company in the 1830s. It wasn’t until sometime after the Plimsoll Line was created in 1876 that the distinctive footwear came to be known as a Plimsoll shoe (since the rubber band between the upper part of the shoe and its sole resembled the Plimsoll Line on a ship’s hull). So you could logically conclude that the shoe came first. But, when you consider that Samuel Plimsoll was born in 1824, which predates both the shoe and the legislation, and you’re left with a chicken vs. egg conundrum. I’ll leave the solution to this mystery for you to decide.
To celebrate Plimsoll Day, put on your Plimsolls, lay back your recliner, and try to solve the Plimsoll conundrum I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Umbrella Day 

Umbrella Day is celebrated annually on February 10th. Not surprisingly, it celebrates one of the most invaluable inventions of all time – the umbrella. On rainy days, umbrellas protect clothing from getting soaked, and on sunny days they shade us from harmful UV radiation and the heat of the glaring sun.
Umbrellas have many nicknames, including brolly, gamp, parasol, and Bumbershoot, but whatever you call it, umbrellas are made for one thing – to protect us from the elements. Umbrellas come in all sorts of sizes, colors, shapes, and, designs. The smallest umbrellas fit inside a purse or glove compartment. The largest umbrellas are lawn and beach umbrellas which are used to shade larger areas.
To celebrate Umbrella Day, check to make sure your umbrella is serviceable and handy – just in case rains and you decide to go outside. If you don’t own an umbrella, today is a good day to buy one.

National Flannel Day 

National Flannel Day is celebrated annually on February 10th. You don’t need to be a ‘fashionista’ to surmise that it celebrates flannel – a world-renowned, centuries-old fabric.
Flannel is a soft woven fabric that is thought to have originated in Wales sometime in the 16th century. Flannel is made of a fine, smooth yarn called worsted yarn. The yarn is napped on one or both sides. Napping is a finishing process where the fiber ends are brought to the surface, making the fabric softer and warmer. These days, it is also made from cotton or synthetic fibers as well. There is even a ‘vegetable flannel’ which is made from Scots pine fiber.
However, this holiday isn’t about the origins of flannel as much as it is about the wearing of flannel. Flannel has come in and out of vogue many times over the years. It was used in the Civil War to make undershirts. In the 1880s, it became a popular material for work shirts. Factory workers, construction workers, and lumberjacks embraced it, and at this same time, it was also used to make long underwear. It was used during World War I for undershirts, belts, and patches, and again during World War II, in the lining of the M1941 Field Jacket. In between the wars, during the Great Depression, it was also widespread, because it provided warmth at an economical price. Flannel eventually began to shed its ‘blue-collar’ roots, and soon was used in making suits for businessmen. In the early 1990s, flannel was ‘adopted’ as a fashion statement by the ‘grunge rock’ music scene when bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam began wearing flannel shirts. And, even more recently, it has become a part of ‘hipster’ fashion.
Today, you are urged to channel your “inner lumberjack” and wear your best flannel shirt. If you don’t already own at least one flannel shirt, you are in the minority and should rectify that fashion faux pas immediately. Flannel is prized because of its softness and its warmth and is a welcome addition to any wardrobe on those chilly winter days. Not all flannel is plaid, and you can find flannel in a variety of colors these days – so you really have no excuse not to celebrate National Flannel Day.

Teddy Day 

Teddy Day is celebrated annually on February 10th. Have I been in a coma? Exactly when did Valentine’s Day become a week-long celebration? Apparently, this is the fourth holiday of Valentine’s Week. I didn’t make the connection until now, but previous holidays this week have also been a part of Valentine’s Week. Starting with Rose Day on February 7th, there is now a holiday for every day of the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. February 8th was Propose Day, yesterday was Chocolate Day, and now today is Teddy Day.
Teddy Day ostensibly celebrates the love women have for adorable, stuffed toys. What better than a fluffy, soft teddy bear toy to hold on to, when you drift off to sleep? See, I got that wrong too. Since Valentines Day is a holiday about romance, I thought that Teddy Day would celebrate the lingerie and not the cuddly stuffed bear. Geez, am I really that far out of touch with pop culture?
Anyway, I digress. Celebrate Teddy Day in any manner you deem appropriate.

Cream Cheese Brownie Day 

Cream Cheese Brownie Day is celebrated annually on February 10th. As you might suspect, it celebrates cream cheese brownies. Who can resist the heavenly taste of a rich fudge brownie marbled with cream cheese? Its combination of sweet and tangy flavors will please almost everyone.
The brownie is America’s favorite bar cookie. Although desserts called “brownies” have been around since the 1800s, the cake-like confection we know and love today can be traced back to 1906. Culinary historians credit “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” with the first published recipe for the modern brownie, but this early recipe was far less chocolaty than what we’re accustomed to today. It only called for two squares of baking chocolate. Sacrilege! Today there are hundreds of different brownie recipes. Many incorporate interesting add-ins like peanut butter, walnuts, caramel, peppermint, banana, or (of course) cream cheese.
So, to celebrate Cream Cheese Brownie Day, make a batch today. If you don’t already have a recipe, try this one.

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

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