Drinking Age, Tug-of-War, Lamingtons, Hot Dogs, and Junk Food

July 21, 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 imbibers of strong spirits. Today is Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Today is the 202nd day of the year, and 163 days remain.

Legal Drinking Age Day 

Legal Drinking Age Day is celebrated annually on July 21st. Even if you’re a ‘teetotaler’ you should be able to discern that this holiday commemorates the legal drinking age (21 years of age here in America – 18 in most ‘civilized’ countries). It allows you to celebrate the fact that you are of legal drinking age.
After Prohibition, nearly all states adopted a minimum legal drinking age of 21. Individual states were allowed to set their own legal drinking age. However, between 1970 and 1975, 29 states lowered their minimum drinking age to 18, 19, or 20 – largely in response to the change in the voting age.
In an effort to curb underage drinking, in 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed, which stated that; “federal highway funds would be withheld from U.S. states that failed to set the minimum legal drinking age to 21 years of age.” By 1988, all the states had adopted the age minimum. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests there’s been a 16% decline in annual traffic fatalities after setting the minimum legal drinking age to 21 — amounting to roughly 800 saved lives per year, (according to the American Journal of Public Health).
So if you are of legal drinking age, celebrate Legal Drinking Age Day, by safely, responsibly, and prudently indulging in one of your preferred adult beverages today. Wait, you say it’s not 5 o’clock yet. No matter, go ahead and indulge anyway. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.
Author’s Note:
This Blog in no way condones underage drinking or driving while intoxicated, and no reference to engaging in either of these practices was intended or implied.

National Tug of War Tournament Day 

National Tug of War Tournament Day is celebrated annually on July 21st. As you can obviously surmise, this holiday celebrates the age-old practice of tug-of-war tournaments.
Historians believe that some version of tug of war has been practiced for millennia – all the way back to both ancient Greece, Egypt and ancient China. In fact, between 1900 and 1920, tug-of-war was an event in the reinstated modern Olympics.
Today, formal organizations sponsor tug-of-war events governed by a strict set of rules – with eight people to a team with a muddy “moat” between them. The goal is to pull the rope at least four meters, or to cause the opponents to fall (and hopefully get very muddy).
There’s only one way to celebrate National Tug of War Tournament Day – Have a Tug of War.

Lamington Day 

Lamington Day is celebrated annually on July 21st. I know, most of you are probably wondering right now, what, where, or who is a Lamington? Well, let me enlighten you. Lamingtons are a sweet, cake-based snack from Australia, consisting of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and liberally sprinkled with fine-shaved coconut. They are generally eaten at tea time. Lamingtons were named after Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland, around the beginning of the 20th Century. Believe it or not, there is an organization, the Australian Lamington Appreciation Society (ALAS), and they created this holiday –which is committed to the preservation and promotion of Australia’s ‘world famous’ Lamingtons.
Lamingtons are the result of a culinary “happy accident” that turned out to be Australia’s signature sweet treat. As the story goes, Lord Lamington was hosting a dinner party at the Government House in Brisbane. When it came time for their after-dinner tea to be served, he was informed that a maid/servant had accidentally spilled some of [his favorite] yellow sponge cake (which was to be served with the tea to his guests) into melted chocolate. Instead of losing his temper, he recommended that all the pieces of cake be dipped into the chocolate then rolled in coconut shavings to make them easier for his guests to eat with their tea.
If you plan to celebrate Lamington Day, you probably won’t find Lamingtons at your local market or bakery. Your best bet is to travel to Australia (but you’ll probably need a time machine to get there in time to celebrate since Australia is about 17-hours ahead of California time, so by the time you read this, Lamington Day will be history there). On the off-chance that you can’t make it to Australia on the spur of the moment, or don’t possess a time machine, your only other alternative is to try to make some Lamingtons at home. Here is one recipe for Lamingtons. Good luck!

National Hot Dog Day 

National Hot Dog Day is celebrated annually on the third Wednesday in July. It doesn’t require a vivid imagination to deduce that this holiday celebrates hot dogs – those savory sausages that have become almost synonymous with American culture. [Hot Dogs, Apple pie, and Chevrolet]. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council designated July as Hot Dog Month and the third Wednesday in July as National Hot Dog Day.
Whether they are grilled, boiled, broiled, pan-fried, rotisserie cooked, cooked on a stick over a campfire or any other way, hot dogs are a favorite summertime staple. They are loved by children and adults alike plain or garnished with one or a combination of mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, bacon, chili, or sauerkraut.
On May 31, 2012, a world record was set for the most expensive hot dog. The “California Capitol City Dawg” sold for $145.49 at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California. The “California Capitol City Dawg” featured:

  • A grilled 18 inch, 3-pound all-beef frank, in natural casing, from Chicago.
  • It was served on a fresh-baked herb and oil focaccia roll spread with white truffle butter, then grilled.
  • It was topped with whole grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise.
  • In addition to the custom hot dog, it contained sautéed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup marinated/fruitwood smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire, chopped tomatoes, sweetened dried cranberries, and expensive moose cheese from Sweden.
  • It was dressed with basil olive oil/pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette and ground peppercorn.

The proceeds from the sale of each 3 lb. California Capitol City Dawg were donated to the Shrine’s Children’s Hospitals.

To celebrate National Hot Dog Day, you can try to replicate the $149.49 “California Capitol City Dawg” referred to above [good luck finding all the exotic ingredients on such short notice]. Or, you can join me in visiting Costco for their $1.50 ‘dog & drink’ special –the price of which hasn’t changed since their first stores opened in 1985. Or, you can opt for something in between — Just be sure to treat yourself to a hot dog today.
Below, I listed some other interesting hotdog factoids:

  1. The average American eats 50 hot dogs every year. [I knew that I was above-average at something].
  2. The most popular hot dog topping for adults is mustard…for children, ketchup.
  3. Hot dogs were first invented in 1484 in Frankfurt, Germany (hence the proper name, “frankfurters”).
  4. Despite their name, Hebrew National Hot Dogs are not actually kosher.
  5. Hot dogs were the first food eaten on the moon. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. ate hot dogs on their 1969 journey.
  6. International Hot Dog Eating Competition current records are – 72 hot dogs (including buns) in ten minutes in the men’s’ bracket and 41 for the women’s’ bracket.
  7. Over 25 million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year…and Dodger Stadium, home of the world-famous Dodger Dog, sells more hot dogs than any other stadium.
  8. Convenience store chain 7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America each year – 100 million annually.

National Junk Food Day 

National Junk Food Day is celebrated annually on July 21st. This holiday, as you can easily infer, is dedicated to those high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods that everyone loves to snack on. Dietitians tell us that junk food is any food that contains little nutritional value…foods that are high in salts, fats, and sugars — In other words, junk food is all that stuff that actually tastes good.
Although they have very little nutritional value, Americans still love their junk food. In fact, the average American eats about 25 pounds of candy a year, and about 45 slices of pizza as well – And these are but two examples of America’s affinity for junk food. Fast food restaurants, salty snacks (potato chips), sweet snacks (cake, ice cream, etc.), soda, the list goes on and on, are other examples of junk foods that we crave. I could spend all day researching the quantities of other junk foods that we consume each year to illustrate my point, but that would be pointless.
For some people, every day is Junk Food Day. For the rest of us, National Junk Food Day is an opportunity to guiltlessly eat your favorite junk food.
So go ahead and indulge yourself by eating anything you want, in any quantity (within reason) to celebrate National Junk Food Day. Just be sure to get back onto your healthy diet tomorrow.

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

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