San Francisco Earthquake, Juggling, Amateur Radio, Newspaper Columnists, Linemen, Piñatas, and Animal Crackers

April 18, 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 movers and shakers. Today is Sunday, April 18, 2021. Today is the 108th day of the year, and 257 days remain.

Preface: 
Before I get into today’s “reasons to celebrate” I am highlighting an event that, although not a cause for celebration, certainly holds some historical significance – especially for people who reside in the Bay Area of Northern California. Today marks the 115th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake. At 5:12 AM, on this date in 1906, an earthquake devastated the city of San Francisco.
The resulting fires burned for days. The “official” death toll reported at the time was 375. However, Government officials (surprise, surprise) skewed the statistics to protect property values and to affect efforts to rebuild the city. Hundreds of deaths in Chinatown went unreported and ignored. No one knows for sure how many people died, but a more precise estimate is over 3,000. About 80% of the city was destroyed.
Neighboring cities like San Jose and Santa Rosa also suffered significant property damage and loss of life. In Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where before the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new outlet just north of Marina.
Out of a population of 410,000, over 225,00 people were left homeless. At the time of the disaster, San Francisco had been the ninth-largest city in the United States and the largest on the West Coast. San Francisco was a thriving metropolis and the financial, trade, and cultural center of the west coast. It operated the busiest port on the West Coast, and was the “gateway to the Pacific”.
The most widely accepted estimate for the size of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other estimates have been proposed, ranging from 7.7 to as high as 8.25. The main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the city, near Mussel Rock. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada. It remains one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States; along with Hurricane Katrina and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

 International Juggler’s Day 

International Juggler’s Day is celebrated annually on April 18th. You needn’t be a circus performer to determine that this holiday celebrates jugglers – and the skill of juggling.
The earliest known record of juggling dates all the way back to 1994 BC by the ancient Egyptians.  Juggling is a physical skill involving the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment, or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling.
I don’t know why this date was selected as International Juggler’s Day. This date holds no significance in the annals of juggling that I can find. Anyway, since the demise of variety shows on TV in the late 1960s, about the only place you can find jugglers these days is at a circus or carnival side-show. That’s a shame because the hand/eye coordination and concentration of jugglers are truly amazing.  If there is a circus or carnival side-show near your town, celebrate International Juggler’s Day by making it a point to attend a performance. You could also celebrate this holiday by finding three (non-lethal and non-breakable) objects and trying to teach yourself how to juggle.
Author’s Note:
This holiday could also be loosely interpreted to refer to a consummate multi-tasker, like someone at work who is constantly “juggling” multiple projects at once. Almost every workplace has someone like this. If there is no circus or carnival side-show in your area, kick back at work and watch this ‘clown’ work himself/herself into a tizzy trying to keep tabs on all their projects – It might be just as entertaining as the circus.

International Amateur Radio Day 

International Amateur Radio Day is celebrated annually on April 18th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates amateur radio and the many amateur radio operators worldwide.
This year marks the 96th anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). The IARU and its more than 160 Member-Societies created World Amateur Radio Day to celebrate its beginnings in Paris, France on this date in 1925.
Amateur radio operators are recognized for their invaluable contributions to disaster relief efforts and workers during natural disasters in areas where normal communications have been interrupted. They are often the only means of passing along vital information in a time of disaster or crisis. Currently, there are more than 3-million licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.
Long before the Internet and smartphones, amateur radio operators talked and shared information for decades. Amateur Radio continues to attract people worldwide by providing international communications for free (once you have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on radio equipment, that is).
To celebrate International Amateur Radio Day, learn more about amateur radio and the role amateur radio operators still play in communication around the globe.

National Newspaper Columnists Day  

National Newspaper Columnists Day is celebrated annually on April 18th. This holiday celebrates the life and career of famed journalist Ernie Pyle. Today marks the anniversary of the day, in 1945, that columnist Ernie Pyle was killed in action on Ie Shima Island while covering WW II.
National Newspaper Columnists Day was created by The National Society of Newspaper Columnists (which was founded in 1977) to pay homage to Mr. Pyle, and so many other journalists who have lost or risked their lives pursuing their craft.
The best way I know of for you to celebrate National Newspaper Columnists Day is to read the columnists in your local newspaper.

National Lineman Appreciation Day

National Lineman Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on April 18th. As you can easily infer, this holiday was created to pay homage to the men and women who keep your lights on, your phone connected, and your cable TV in working order.
If the power is on at your house, you have a lineman to thank for it. From the meters on your house to your local power plant, to the grid crisscrossing the country both above and underground, linemen build and maintain the system that keeps our nation running.
Regardless of the source, the electricity is transported by using transformers and other equipment. Due to the dangerous conditions electricity poses, safety is of utmost importance for both the lineman and the consumer.
When mother nature causes a power outage, linemen are called upon to get to work. They work tirelessly in all sorts of weather, under emergency conditions to get the power back on again as quickly as possible. Even when there is no crisis, they work in dangerous conditions, whether they are working in trenches, near water, or on high towers, the risks are extreme.

Piñata Day 

When most people see the word piñata. they think of Mexico, but the roots of the piñata go back to 14th-century Europe – before the discovery of the Americas, in case you failed World History in high school.
The name piñata is actually a variation of the Italian pignatta. It eventually made its way to Spain. When piñatas arrived in Mexico with the Spanish conquistadors, they actually underwent an interesting transformation, becoming deeply entrenched with religious significance. The traditional piñata is actually a sphere (rather than those animal characters used for parties and such) with seven points protruding from it – one for each of the seven deadly sins. The attack (swatting the piñata with a stick) is actually meant to demonstrate the battle of the soul against temptation and evil, with the contents being the rewards of the ever after. [Wow! that’s surprisingly deep for a paper-mâché ball of treats and prizes, don’t you think]?

National Animal Crackers Day 

National Animal Crackers Day is celebrated annually on April 18th. Obviously, this holiday celebrates animal crackers.
Animal-shaped crackers were first brought to the United States during the late 1800s. The demand for these treats skyrocketed so bakers began to produce them domestically. Stauffer’s Biscuit Company was the first company to produce animal crackers in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or “Nabisco Brands.” It was not until 1902 though that the animal cracker’s box debuted its “Barnum’s Animals” circus theme. These fun little crackers are usually in the shape of circus or zoo animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys, but since their start in 1902, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum’s Animal Crackers? Today more than 40 million packages of animal crackers are sold each year around the world. For reasons that completely baffle me, they are still popular today.
To celebrate, enjoy a box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers. They won’t kill you too much.

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

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