Big Wind, Russian Cosmonauts, Wild Side, Only Children, DEAR, Grilled Cheese, and Licorice

April 12, 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 blowhards. Today is Monday, April 12, 2021. Today is the 102nd day of the year, and 263 days remain.

Big Wind Day 

Big Wind Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this holiday does not refer to our current President or his Congress; nor does it refer to an extreme case of flatulence, nor does it refer to the classic 1939 motion picture “Gone with the Wind”.
In actuality, Big Wind Day refers to the highest wind speed ever recorded on this planet since the technology was developed to measure wind speed. You might expect that the highest wind speed ever recorded would be in a tornado or hurricane, but that is not the case. On this date in 1934, the staff at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire recorded a sustained surface wind speed of 231 MPH.
Wind speed is measured using anemometers. These anemometers are placed 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground and are located at official weather observation stations around the world. The “wind speed” reported in each observation is an average speed for the most recent two-minute period prior to the observation time. This is also considered the “sustained wind” for routine surface observations. This two-minute average is calculated from a series of 24, five-second average values.
To celebrate Big Wind Day, research the causes of wind and its effects.

Russian Cosmonaut Day 

Russian Cosmonaut Day, (or as the United Nations refers to it, International Day of Human Space Flight), is celebrated annually on April 12th. You needn’t be a cosmonaut, nor an astronaut to determine that this holiday celebrates space travel.
On this date in 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, aboard Vostok 1, became the first human to travel into space. He spent 108 minutes in space. This flight marked the beginning of the space race. It is probably the only instance in which the Russians can accurately proclaim; “We did it first”.
To celebrate Russian Cosmonaut Day, learn more about the history of manned space flight and the innovations that have stemmed from it.

National Only Child Day 

National Only Child Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. A couple of days ago, we celebrated National Sibling Day, so it only seems appropriate that there should also be a holiday for people without siblings as well. Well, National Only Child Day is that holiday.
There are advantages to being an only child. Only children don’t have to share toys or bedrooms with annoying brothers and sisters. They can sit in the front seat of the car anytime they want. Only children don’t have to fight for their parent’s undivided attention. And, most importantly, they don’t have to wear those dingy, tired and tattered, hand-me-down clothes and shoes.
On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages to being an only child. Being an only child can be lonely. Only children don’t have brothers and sisters to play (fight) with. They can’t blame that broken or missing knickknack on their sibling. And some people assume an only child means a spoiled, selfish child.
Regardless of some negative stereotypes, only children usually do quite well and enjoy very successful careers and lives, just like those with siblings. Despite, or perhaps because of, the pros and cons of being an only child, some famous people are only children.
Listed below are just some of the famous people who are/were only children:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Cary Grant
  • Al Pacino
  • Betty White
  • Carol Burnett
  • Gregory Peck
  • James Dean
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Robin Williams
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Elvis Presley [although Elvis had a twin (Aaron) who died at birth]
  • John Lennon

Author’s note:
Although some of the people above are listed as only children, some may have had step-siblings.

DEAR Day 

DEAR Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. For all of the functional illiterates on Facebook and Twitter, DEAR Day does not refer to the antlered ruminant that inhabits forests and plains – nor does it refer to someone whom you regard with esteem. The “DEAR” in DEAR Day stands for Drop Everything and Read. DEAR Day was created to encourage families to set aside time to read together each day.
Reading is a good way to escape the confines of your humdrum life. Go on an “adventure in your mind” by reading a historical, fictional, or fantasy novel. Research a subject about which you would like to learn more. Or, simply learn how to do something with a “how-to” book. The only limits are your imagination.
So, to celebrate DEAR Day, simply, set aside time to read today. Be it a couple of chapters in that novel you started last month, a newspaper, or a magazine article, read something today. Do you read every day?
Author’s Note:
If you read this post, it counts as credit for celebrating this holiday. 

Walk On Your Wild Side Day 

Walk On Your Wild Side Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. As you might infer, this holiday urges us to step out of the box and do something entirely out of character. History is full of people who have changed the world by refusing to be constrained by societal norms. Don’t be influenced by what other people are doing, be the one that they emulate. Rather than trying to fit into a box, create the “box” into which other people want to fit.
Most people live their lives according to some form of social constraints. They believe that the rules are there to keep everyone safe and that any variance from “the norm” is some sort of sacrilege. However, throughout history, it has been those people that colored outside the box, or in fact refused to recognize that there is a box at all, who have left the most lasting legacies. “Worrying about what other people will think”, is really a silly reason for doing, or not doing something. Just because everyone else is doing something in a particular way doesn’t mean that is the only way to do it.
To celebrate Walk On Your Wild Side Day, find the better, smarter, easier way to do something.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. You don’t need to be a member of MENSA to deduce that this holiday celebrates one of the world’s most popular sandwiches – the grilled cheese sandwich.
Although grilled cheese sandwiches are, arguably, one of the favorite sandwiches in America, we didn’t invent them.  Melting cheese on top of slices of bread has been around since the Roman Empire. Many other cultures have put their own spin on grilled cheese sandwiches through the ages as well. Originally grilled cheese sandwiches were made as an open-faced sandwich. The ‘toasted on both sides’ grilled cheese sandwiches that we know and love today didn’t become popular until the 1920s when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became readily available.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are tasty and simple to make. There are as many different types of grilled cheese sandwiches as there are different cheese and bread combinations. However, the method for making them pretty much remains constant – butter two slices of bread, place one butter side down in a skillet, add your cheese, place the other slice of bread butter side up over the cheese, flip the whole thing over when the first slice of bread is a nice golden brown, then toast the other side to perfection.
To celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, simply enjoy your favorite type of grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today. The possibilities are endless because you get to determine the type of cheese(s) and type of bread you use. [Refer to the ‘Walk On Your Wild Side Day’ segment above]. Pair it with a bowl of your favorite soup if desired.

National Licorice Day

National Licorice Day is celebrated annually on April 12th. For some odd reason, this holiday celebrates licorice – a flavor that is either loved by millions [or despised by millions] of people worldwide. It was created by Licorice International in 2004 to celebrate the rich history and health benefits of black licorice, but, has since evolved to include all types of licorice. Today, licorice comes in a variety of colors, flavors, and shapes. From twists, stem-shaped candies, and licorice ropes, to jelly beans, jewels, and many others – this holiday celebrates them all.
The word ‘licorice’ is derived (via the Old French licoresse), from the Greek word ‘glukurrhiza’, meaning “sweet root”. I was surprised to learn that licorice comes from the root of the licorice plant, a legume that is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia.  Licorice can be used for confectionary, to flavor drinks (licorice tea is popular in some cultures), and has medicinal purposes. Licorice is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, even though their flavor is similar.
To celebrate National Licorice Day, if you like licorice, enjoy some today – in any form. If you don’t like licorice, celebrate the fact that you are not obligated in any way to celebrate this holiday – or any of the other holidays I write about on a daily basis for that matter.
Authors Note:
It doesn’t matter from whence it comes, I fall into the ‘despised by millions’ category regarding all types/forms of licorice, so I won’t be participating in this holiday. 

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

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