Peace Officers, Armed Forces, the Preakness, Swimming, Straw Hats, Nylon Stockings, and Chocolate Chips

May 15, 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 fellow fans of law enforcement. Today is Saturday, May 15, 2021. Today is the 135th day of the year, and 230 days remain.

Peace Officer’s Memorial Day

Peace Officer’s Memorial Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. As you might expect, this holiday is an observance in America that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who lost their lives in the performance of their duties. A part of Police Week, it was proposed in October 1961 when congress asked the President to designate May 15 to honor fallen peace officers. President John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 1, 1962. The law was amended in 1994 when President Clinton, through Public Law 103-322, directed that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff on this date.
Peace Officer’s Memorial Day honors Federal, state, and local officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. According to statistics, about 150 officers are killed each year while performing their jobs. Although it is an observance, (not an “official” holiday), many municipalities give officers time off, such as some extra time at lunch, to attend Memorial Services held in their community.
If you know of a Memorial Service being held in your area today, attend it in observance of Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. You don’t need to be the Commander in Chief to conclude that this holiday celebrates and honors the selfless individuals serving in all branches of our Armed Forces. They train diligently both physically and mentally so they will be prepared for any mission they face. They can be called upon at a moment’s notice to put themselves in harm’s way to protect your freedom and way of life.
Prior to 1950, each branch of the military had its own different days of celebration. On August 31, 1949, then-Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day. President Harry Truman also announced the holiday in a presidential proclamation on February 20, 1950. All branches of the military were asked to celebrate on this day and they all complied on the first Armed Forces Day – which was held the following year on May 20, 1950.
Armed Forces Day is a holiday to honor Americans serving in the U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and now, the U.S. Space Force. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Days following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense, However, the separate days are still observed, especially within their respective services.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2017, Chattanooga will celebrate its 68th year of the Armed Forces Day Parades.
Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard, and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. This race is the second jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown – the equivalent of the Super Bowl or the World Series in horse racing circles. The Preakness is an American thoroughbred horse race held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs (1 3⁄16 miles) on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds; fillies 121 pounds. It is always held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
First run in 1873, the Preakness Stakes was named by a former Maryland governor after a winning colt at Pimlico. The race has been termed “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because a blanket of yellow flowers altered to resemble Maryland’s state flower, is placed around the winner’s neck. Attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America among equestrian events, only surpassed by the Kentucky Derby.
To celebrate the Preakness Stakes, watch this race today – and learn more about the history of this race.

National Learn to Swim Day

National Learn to Swim Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. You needn’t be Michael Phelps to deduce that this holiday’s purpose is, as the name implies, to urge those who don’t already know how to “take the plunge” and learn how to swim. Its secondary purpose is to promote water safety in general. This holiday was created in 2012 by Swimways Corp, a leader in the recreational water products marketplace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury and death for children ages one to 14. With Memorial Day and summer vacations fast approaching, many people and families take to the water to cool off from the summer heat – lakes, rivers, the beach, and backyard pools are popular destinations.
National Learn to Swim Day is an opportunity for families to learn the importance and benefits of learning to swim. Swimming is enjoyed year-round, by people of all ages, and this holiday serves to remind us of the inherent risks involved when one is in, or around, the water.  It is vital to learn about, and practice, water safety from an early age.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist for figure out how to celebrate National Learn to Swim Day. Learn to swim if you don’t already know. If babies as young as 6-months-old and octogenarians can learn to swim – you can too.

Straw Hat Day 

Straw Hat Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. If you have languished over the quandary of exactly when it is socially acceptable to begin wearing your straw hat without committing a fashion faux pas, languish no longer, today is the day. The exact date of Straw Hat Day varies somewhat in the United States by region and climate, but May 15th is the generally accepted date to begin wearing your straw hat. Straw Hat Day is the unofficial start of summer in many areas of the country.
Before you dismiss Straw Hat Day as another frivolous holiday, consider this. According to Neil Steinberg’s book “Hatless Jack”, men have been murdered as recently as the early 20th century in the United States for the crime of wearing a straw hat out of season.
Today, your felt hats should be put away until September. This makes perfect sense, since, straw hats allow more air to circulate, thus making them cooler to wear during the hot summer months. During the winter, 75% of your body’s heat loss occurs through your head, but in the summer, that is not a concern, so protection from the sun seems to be a better reason to wear a straw hat.
So, today, break out your ‘boater’ and wear it proudly in celebration of Straw Hat Day. Just don’t get caught wearing it after Labor Day lest you be subjected to public ridicule by the ‘fashion police’.

Nylon Stockings Day 

Nylon Stockings Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. You needn’t be a hosiery aficionado to figure out that this holiday celebrates the creation of one of the most significant and innovative new products of the mid-20th century fashion industry – nylon stockings.
In 1935, a new synthetic material, nylon was developed by Du Pont corporation, and this holiday marks the date, in 1940, that Du Pont corporation put nylon stockings on sale for the first time. In a public-relations and marketing coup d’etat, Du Pont advertised the release date well in advance of, its new “stronger than steel and run-proof” stockings for women, and declared May 15th as N-Day. As a result, women across America lined up for blocks to get these new stockings, and Du Pont sold 5 million pairs on this single day. These new stockings came to represent newfound freedom for women and redefined the concept of feminine sexuality.
During World War II Du Pont was forced to divert its nylon production toward war-related materials, such as parachutes and aircraft tires. This, naturally, soon caused a shortage. In America, the demand for nylon stockings was so high that people began paying $20 per pair on the black market (before the start of the war they had cost a little over a dollar). In Chicago, police ruled out robbery as a motive in a murder case because the perpetrator had left six pairs of nylon stockings at the crime scene. Eight days after the end of WW II, Du Pont announced that it was resuming production of nylon stockings, however, it took until March of 1946 for Du Pont to attain the pre-war production levels of about 30 million pairs per month. The results were the so-called, “Nylon Wars”. As soon as word leaked out that a retailer had received a limited number of nylons, crowds would show up and demand that they be sold a pair. These crowds often became disorderly, and police sometimes had to be called to restore order.
To celebrate Nylon Stocking Day, wear your nylons proudly today. If you classify medical compression socks as “nylons”, I know that I will be wearing mine.

National Chocolate Chip Day

National Chocolate Chip Day is celebrated annually on May 15th. As you might naturally intuit, this holiday celebrates that sweet, tasty, and versatile necessity essential to every cook’s pantry – chocolate chips.
Chocolate chips aren’t just for cookies anymore. Chocolate chips are specially formulated to be used in a variety of baked goods. They provide a burst of rich chocolate flavor, yet retain the integrity of their flavor, texture, and shape. There are various kinds of chips available (semi-sweet, bittersweet, milk, mint and white chocolate, mini, standard, and large).
The most popular among these are the semi-sweet variety because of their versatility. You can use them in virtually any recipe that calls for chocolate chips. Chocolate chips store well at room temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees, are easy to measure (a standard six-ounce package equals one cup), and fold into almost any mixture with just a few strokes. They also add flavor, without overpowering the other ingredients.
Heck, I’ve been known to eat chocolate chips right out of the bag as a snack – along with some raisins and nuts. How are you going to enjoy your chocolate chips today in celebration of National Chocolate Chip Day?

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

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