K-9s, Genealogy, Good Samaritans, Fanny Packs, Donald Duck, Ken, Jewels, and Coconut Tortes

March 13, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1500 national days every year – meaning that there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose which holiday(s) you want to celebrate.
With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin.

Good morning military dog lovers. Today is Saturday, March 13, 2021. Today is the 72nd day of the year, and 293 days remain.

K-9 Veteran’s Day 

K-9 Veteran’s Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. You don’t need to be a cynophile to ascertain that this holiday celebrates dogs who serve in the military. The earliest record of using dogs in war dates back to 600 BC, however, this date marks the 79th anniversary of the day, in 1942, that the United States Army K-9 Corps was created.
During the first world war, American soldiers took notice of the European use of canines as sentries, message carriers, and other functions. Because of that, the Dogs for Defense program was initiated by a private citizen by the name of Mrs. Alene Erlanger. Along with the American Kennel Club and a handful of breeders, the group aimed to train the dogs for military use. By November of 1942, the first Dogs for Defense were prepared for duty in North Africa. While at first, they were gun-shy, they proved to be well-trained. As the war progressed, Dogs for Defense was unable to keep up with the demand, and the Army took over the training of the dogs.
The idea of a K-9 Veterans Day originated with a retired military working dog trainer named Joseph Wright who wanted recognition for dogs who serve in the military, law enforcement, and service dogs. He selected this date because it coincides with the creation of the Army K-9 Corps in 1942. To date, over 30,000 dogs have served in the military since the K-9 Corps was started, with over 1,500 deployed during the Korean conflict and 4,000 dogs deployed during the Vietnam conflicts. Currently, there are about 2500 K-9’s in service in the armed forces – with many more dogs serving with police departments, rescue operations, and service animals. Over the years the military, police, and rescue have developed a variety of training methods for K-9 units. Their training is tailored to meet the demands of their specific job and the role of each animal and handler.
K-9 Veteran’s Day is a holiday to honor all “working dogs” – Military, law enforcement, search and rescue, assistance, and dogs trained in other specialized fields such as cadaver dogs. So, if you know of a ‘service dog’ training facility in your area, celebrate this holiday by donating to it, or volunteer to help in any way you can.
Author’s Note:
K-9 Veteran’s Day is not an official holiday –yet! Progress is being made, however. Legislators on both the federal and state level are showing support for national recognition of K-9 Veteran’s Day. Florida enacted legislation recognizing K-9 Veteran’s Day in 2009, as did Pennsylvania in 2014. Other states, New Jersey, Wisconsin, New York, and Kentucky to name a few have legislation pending. Who knows, maybe next year, K-9 Veteran’s Day will be an official national holiday. 

Genealogy Day

The seventh and final holiday of “Celebrate Your Name Week” is Genealogy Day (sometimes referred to as Descendent’s Day), which is always celebrated on the Saturday of the first complete week in March. As you can easily infer from its name, this holiday urges us to trace our lineage to discover the roots of our family tree.
Genealogy is becoming more popular as people seek to discover their heritage and learn about their roots. Putting together your family tree can be time-consuming, yet at the same time, it can be rewarding. It’s like a puzzle waiting to be put together.
If you feel that you don’t have the time to do the extensive research necessary to put together your family tree, you might consider using the internet. There are quite a few websites available that can do most of the work for you. Just know ahead of time that these websites charge a fee for their services in most cases, and the fees can widely vary.
To celebrate Geneology Day, start to climb your family tree today and jiggle a few branches. Start piecing together your personal history. Hopefully, you will discover that your family tree resembles a majestic spreading oak – rather than a totem pole.

Good Samaritan Day  

Good Samaritan Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. As you might expect, this holiday is a day to emphasize the importance of rendering aid to those who need it.
The parable of the “good Samaritan” comes from the bible – Luke 10:25-37. Jesus told His disciples about a selfless person who assisted a man who had been stripped of his clothing, robbed of his money, beaten, and left for dead. A Jewish priest walked by the victim, but went to the other side of the street and did nothing. Another person also walked by and did nothing. But the Good Samaritan saw the man, kneeled next to him, cleaned and bandaged his wounds. He then put the man on his donkey and took him to an inn. He gave the innkeeper money to care for the victim and told him if the bill exceeded the amount, he would pay the difference the next time he stays at the inn. Jesus instructed His disciples to “Go and do likewise.”
Unfortunately, this scenario occurs more often than one might think. People often ignore someone in desperate need, many times in broad daylight. While getting involved during an actual crime may not be advisable, the advancement of technology makes it easy for just about anyone to pick up the phone and call 9-1-1 for assistance from emergency responders. If the perpetrator is no longer around, do what you can to comfort and aid the victim until help arrives.
Good Samaritan Day serves as an important reminder to help others in need. So, to celebrate this holiday, simply be a “good Samaritan” and help as many people as you can. Whether it’s an elderly neighbor who needs a little help, or a complete stranger in need, helping someone not only helps them, it sets a good example and makes you feel good too. And don’t forget the neglected and abused four-legged friends that need our help and compassion as well.
Author’s Note:
Good Samaritan Day is celebrated on this date because it is the anniversary of the murder of Catherine (Kitty) Genovese, Mar 13, 1964, in the Kew Gardens community, Queens, NY. Reportedly at least 38 of her neighbors, not wanting “to get involved,” witnessed and watched for nearly 30 minutes as the fleeing girl was pursued and repeatedly stabbed by her 29-year-old attacker.

International Fanny Pack Day  

International Fanny Pack Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in March. You don’t need to be a celebrity fashion designer to conclude that this holiday pays tribute to one of the world’s most utilitarian fashion essentials – the fanny pack.
For centuries, mankind has worn some form of gear to carry items for easy access – be it a backpack, a shoulder bag, or yes, a fanny pack. When you think about it, isn’t a fanny pack nothing more than a scaled-down backpack? Unless you’re going on an extended hike or camping trip, you no longer need a big bulky backpack to carry the essentials you need to survive. The answer, the fanny pack. In it, you can carry your glasses, a smartphone, or a small camera for those spontaneous “Kodak moments”, some snacks, your Identification card, and whatever other small items you deem necessary.
Although they may not be chic, fanny packs are by far one of the most useful fashion accessories ever conceived. They carry what we need and allow us to keep our hands free for other things. So,  celebrate International Fanny Pack Day by wearing yours proudly today.
Author’s Note:
I must admit that I still use mine occasionally.

Donald Duck Day 

Donald Duck Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. You needn’t be a professional cartoonist to determine that this holiday celebrates one of the world’s most beloved cartoon characters – Donald Duck – who was first introduced in a 1924 comic strip. In 1934, the irascible character made his official debut in a cartoon by Walt Disney Productions titled “The Wise Little Hen”. His full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck.
According to the 1941 publication “The Life of Donald Duck”, March 13th is his birthday. The evidence offered to back up this claim is his license plate number, 313. The cartoon “Donald’s Birthday” released in 1949 also offers more evidence. While his nephews Huey Dewey, and Louie are preparing for his celebration, there is a shot of a calendar showing the month of March with the 13th circled in red.
Although not my favorite cartoon character (I’m a Warner Brothers fan), in one recent survey, Donald Duck was voted the most popular animated character in the world, beating out Disney mascot Mickey Mouse.
Author’s Note:
Some people celebrate Donald Duck Day on June 9th – the debut of his first cartoon.

Ken Day 

Ken Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. This holiday marks the date in 1961 when Mattel released a ‘companion’ for their popular Barbie doll – And since a few days ago, we celebrated Barbie’s birthday, it seems only natural that there is also a holiday for her “lifetime” boyfriend, Ken.
According to Mattel, Ken (Carson) is Barbie’s boyfriend. Like Barbie, he is forever young and has been constantly reinvented. Ken is “into” everything – he’s had at least 40 ‘careers’, although his career-hopping is dwarfed by Barbie’s 78+ ‘careers’.  Apparently, one of the things that Ken wasn’t “into” was getting married. In 2004, after decades of being boyfriend-girlfriend, Barbie and Ken split up but, according to Mattel remained friends. On their 50th anniversary as a couple in 2011, according to Mattel, Ken launched a campaign to get Barbie back. and by Valentine’s Day of that year, they were reunited.
Unless you are still playing with dolls, I haven’t a clue about how you are supposed to celebrate Ken Day – but it might be an opportunity to have a “date night” with your significant other and use the opportunity to reaffirm your love and grow closer together.

National Jewel Day

National Jewel Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. This is a gem of a holiday that celebrates jewels of all shapes, sizes, cuts, and colors. The origins of this holiday are unknown, but chances are pretty good that either a jeweler or girl came up with the idea. After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right?
Fashion trends may come and go, but people have adorned themselves with jewels for centuries, and jewelry seems to be the one constant trend in fashion that never goes out of style. Early pieces of jewelry were made from stones, bones, teeth, and shells. Over the years, jewelry has been worn for functional purposes, protection against various dangers (talismans), signs of political strength, decorations, and status symbols.
To celebrate National Jewel Day, “bling” yourself up and go out on the town.

Coconut Torte Day  

Coconut Torte Day is celebrated annually on March 13th. Even if you have a “room temperature” IQ, you should be able to figure out that this holiday celebrates coconut tortes.
Together, coconut and tortes have no discernible history. However, separately, coconuts and tortes have a history of their own.
The first mention of the name coconut printed in English was in 1555. The word coconut comes from the Portuguese-Spanish word coco and means monkey face. The Spanish and Portuguese saw the resemblance of a monkey’s face in the 3 round indentations or “eyes” found at the base of the coconut. Coconuts were even used as currency in the Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean. Coconuts continued as a form of currency there through the early part of the twentieth century. Coconuts are fruits of the coconut palms that are native to Malaysia, Polynesia, and southern Asia. Through the advancement of modern global civilization, they are now prolific in South America, India, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, and Florida. The coconut’s name is not actually accurate. It is not a nut, but rather a seed and it the largest known seed in the plant world.
The word torte is German and literally, means cake. One of the oldest known tortes in the world is the Linzer Torte – which was named after the city of Linz, Austria. However, while torte is the German word for what we call cake, they can refer to different confections. British cakes, German tortes, and Italian tortas are generally heartier, denser creations. The French went for lighter, richer, layered affairs stuffed with custard, whipped cream or buttercream, frosted, and decorated with fresh fruit – but are very perishable. Tortes are rich, dense cakes made with many eggs and little or no flour, using ground nuts (and sometimes breadcrumbs) for texture.
Now, the next time you’re at a party and the subject of coconuts or tortes comes up, you’ll be prepared. To celebrate Coconut Torte Day, find a recipe online and enjoy a coconut torte for dessert tonight.

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

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