Bats, Mustangs, Kickball, Auctioneers, Haiku, and Cheese Balls

April 17, 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 holidays 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 my batty friends. Today is Saturday, April 17, 2021. Today is the 107th day of the year, and 258 days remain.

Bat Appreciation Day 

Bat Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. You needn’t be a chiropterologist to determine that this holiday celebrates bats. Even though this is the beginning of baseball season, this holiday does not refer to the good ole Louisville Slugger; nor does it refer to that ‘grumpy old bat’ who lives down the street. This holiday is a holiday to appreciate bats – that group of mammals oft-maligned in fiction.
Bats are mistakenly regarded with superstition, fear, and uncertainty – and are often labeled as “dirty,” disease carriers,” and “bloodsuckers” by many people. In actuality, there are 1240 different species of bat, which means that they make up about 20% of all classified mammals species. Bats are actually beneficial to mankind, especially if you live in an area plagued by mosquitoes and other insect pests. Bats can consume over 1200 mosquitoes an hour, and often eat their body weight in insects every night. Out of those 1240 species, only two feed on something other than fruit and insects; and those two only on small mammals. No species of bats are “vampire bats” that feed exclusively on blood.
Bats are the only species of mammals that can actually fly, and with so many different species, it is not surprising that bats come in different sizes. The largest bat is the “flying fox” with a wingspan of over 6 feet. They are native to the islands in the South Pacific. The smallest bat is the “bumblebee bat” which is smaller than your thumb and weighs less than a penny. They are native to Thailand.
Some bats are migratory mammals and fly hundreds of miles over land and sea each year to survive winter, while others hibernate, and yet others go into torpor (regulated hypothermia that can last from a few hours to a few months).  Bats navigate the dark areas they live in using echolocation…a form of “bat radar” if you will. They emit sounds that bounce off of objects in their path, sending echoes back to the bats. From these echoes, the bats can determine the size of objects, how far away they are, how fast they are traveling, all in a split second. Bats can even find their food in total darkness using their “radar”.
At birth, a pup weighs up to 25 percent of its mother’s body weight, which is like a human mother giving birth to a 30-pound baby. Bats only give birth one baby (pup) at a time, and are the slowest reproducing mammals on Earth, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction. In fact, more than half of the bat species in the United States are in severe decline or listed as endangered. Other factors that contribute to the decline of bat populations are the loss of habitat and disease.
Celebrate Bat Appreciation Day by learning more about bats. Many zoos feature a “nocturnal house” where you can see bats up close and personal, and learn more about them. If your zoo doesn’t have such an exhibit, a simple Google search will offer you all the information about bats that you will ever need.

Ford Mustang Day

Ford Mustang Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. You don’t need to be a car buff to realize that this holiday marks the anniversary of the launch date of one of America’s most-beloved “muscle cars” – the Ford Mustang.
On this date in 1964, the Ford Mustang was introduced to the public, and America fell in love. It was one of Ford’s most popular models ever. Thanks to a massive media campaign just prior to the release date, on the day it was released to Ford showrooms across America, 22,000 Mustangs were sold. Only 100,000 had been scheduled for production in 1964, and those were sold in the first three months. Before the year was over, the car had set a record by selling 418,812 units, and within 18 months the count was over a million.
The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the first Mustang was $2,368. Ford managed to keep manufacturing costs down by using many parts and features (drivetrain, chassis, interior, suspension) that had been used on earlier Ford vehicles, primarily Falcon and Fairlane models. Dealers didn’t need to stock a whole line of specialized parts for the Mustang, and mechanics were already familiar with repairs.
There are two schools of thought regarding where the Mustang got its name. The first is that John Najjar, one of the car’s designers, was a big fan of the P-51 Mustang, a World War II fighter plane, and named the car after the famous Fighter. The other story is that the name was suggested by Robert J. Eggert, the market research director for the Mustang, who was also a horse breeder. He had received a book, The Mustangs, for his birthday, and he threw the word in with some other names that were being tested by focus groups. The focus groups declared Mustang the runaway winner. No matter which is story true, the “Pony car” became an American icon.
The Mustang has gone through many incarnations. It has been totally redesigned, taken off the market, then brought back several times since 1964.
To celebrate Ford Mustang Day, learn more about this classic automobile. Did you ever own a Mustang? Did you know someone who owned one? What did you think about it? Did it live up to all the “hype?”
Author’s Note:
I don’t know about you, but in my humble opinion, the only true Mustang was the original body style made in 1964, 1965, and 1966 – before they started “tinkering” with its design.

National Kickball Day 

National Kickball Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. You don’t need to be a baseball fan or a soccer fan to ascertain that this holiday celebrates the uniquely American sport – kickball, which is a combination of these two sports. Kickball Day is created by WAKA Kickball & Social Sport, the nation’s premier social sports and event company, which runs kickball leagues for thousands of people each year in the United States.
Kickball is a popular playground sport that has been around since the early 1900s. Originally called “Kick Baseball” the game was used by physical education teachers to teach school children the basics of baseball. The game is typically played on a field and uses 3 bases, a pitcher’s mound, and a home plate. Like Baseball or softball, 2 teams compete to score runs by kicking a rubber ball and running around the bases to score. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. Kickball is fun and easy to play, so it is popular with children and adults alike.
Kickball Day gives you an excuse to get outside and relive your childhood glory days or discover a new way to exercise. So, to celebrate National Kickball Day, organize a kickball game in your neighborhood amongst your family, friends and/or neighbors. I’m relatively certain that you know someone who has a soccer ball, and that there is a baseball/softball field in/near your neighborhood that you can use.

National Auctioneer’s Day

National Auctioneer Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in April. While the creator(s) of this holiday is/are unknown, according to National Auctioneer’s Association, National Auctioneer’s Day has been celebrated for over 25 years. The same organization also points out that nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in goods and services are sold by professional auctioneer’s each year.
While auctioneering as a sales method has been around for over 2,000 years, the rhythmic cadence used by auctioneers today is uniquely American.  It is thought to have been developed during the Civil War, and the rapidly punctuated chatter of the auctioneers not only got the job done but make it entertaining as well. Auctioneers provide a service to both the buyer and the seller. They must maintain high standards to stay competitive. Across the country, there are a variety of auctions from livestock and art sales to automobile and surplus auctions. Left the imagination, just about anything can be put up for auction.
The last bastion of the competitive free enterprise system, auctions and the age-old profession of auctioneering continue to grow every year. Whether online or on the lawn, auctions continue to grow in popularity with consumers. Bidders enjoy the thrill of competition with an auction and the rush that comes with the chase for treasures. Auctions are still one of the most effective and efficient means of turning assets into cash quickly.
Below are some fun facts about auctions and auctioneers.

  •     “Auction” derives from the Latin word “Auctus” which means “increasing.”
  •     The first recorded auctions appeared in Babylon in 500 B.C.
  •     The Roman Empire was sold at auction in 193 A.D.
  •     Founded in 1674, Stockholm’s Auktionsverk is the oldest auction house still in business.
  •     Pilgrims used auctioneers to establish commerce and auctions were used to sell crops, livestock, furs, tobacco and other assets.
  •     America’s first president, George Washington, was an avid auction buyer.
  •     Auctioneers are commonly referred to as “Colonel”, the nickname given to auctioneers originated after the Civil War when only officers of the Colonel rank could conduct auctions of war plunder.
  •     The Jones’ National School of Auctioneering and Oratory was the first American auction school. The school open in Davenport, Iowa in 1905.
  •     During the Great Depression, auctioneers traveled the country liquidating the estates of farmers whose farms failed because of drought and bank foreclosures.
  •     In the 1950’s, auctions in the United States expanded to multiple marketplaces and banks, accountants, attorneys, and government agencies began using auctioneers to liquidate assets and surplus property.
  •     Not including the millions of transactions that occur through online auction websites like eBay, auctioneers sell approximately a quarter-trillion dollars in goods and assets annually in the United States.
  •     The largest sector of auctions is automobile auctions with approximately $80 billion in vehicles sold annually by auctioneers.
  •     The fastest growing sector of the auction industry is real estate auctions and benefit auctions.

The best way to celebrate National Auctioneers Day is to attend an auction. If there is not an auction in your area today, visit an online auction site. Who knows, you might finally be able to rid yourself of that regrettable “A Chipmunk Christmas” purchase.

National Haiku Poetry Day 

National Haiku Poetry Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates Haiku poetry – a type of poetry that was created in Japan in the 9th century.
There are specific rules about the structure of Haiku poetry. A Haiku consists of three lines. The first line consists of 5 syllables. The second line consists of 7 syllables. The third line consists of 5 syllables – notice that I said syllables and not words. Many non-Japanese Haiku writers make that mistake. They use the proper 5-7-5 format but they use words instead of syllables. Although what they wrote might be profound, or even entertaining, it is not technically a Haiku. The lines of a Haiku poem rarely rhyme.
To celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day, learn more about this unique type of poetry. Challenge yourself to compose a Haiku, it’s not as easy as it sounds. What is your favorite style of poetry?
Below are a couple of example of Haiku poetry:

Creativity
Contains five syllables so,
Haiku, here we are.

How many candles
Needed for your birthday cake?
Just set it ablaze. 

Husband Appreciation Day

Husband Appreciation Day is observed annually on the third Saturday of April. Husband Appreciation Day is a holiday to show the man in your life just how much he means to you and your family.
Many husbands are taken for granted and their contributions go unrecognized. This holiday provides the perfect opportunity to let him know how much you admire and appreciate him for all he does. You made the decision to marry him and share your life together, so take this day to let him know just how much you cherish him.

National Cheese Ball Day 

National Cheese Ball Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. The cheese balls to which this holiday refers are not the Cheetos-like cheese balls sold as dry snacks, nor does it refer to that family member or friend who is always telling ‘corny’ jokes. National Cheese Ball Day refers to those spreadable balls of cheese, usually rolled in nuts, served on snack trays during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special occasions.
A traditional cheese ball appetizer includes ingredients like cream cheese, cheddar cheese, nuts, salt, pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Gourmet versions use bleu cheese, olives, pineapple, sherry, or smoked salmon. There are different types of cheese balls. Some are round balls of cheddar spreads coated in nuts, others are made with cream cheese.
Cheese Balls are available year-round in most supermarkets. They are also easy to make yourself at home. There are myriad recipes available online. So, what better ‘special occasion’ to serve a cheese ball than National Cheese Ball Day.
Author’s Note:
According to legend, a man named Elisha Brown Jr. pressed the first cheese ball at his farm in 1801. It weighed 1,235 pounds! He presented it as a gift to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House.

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

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