Buttons, Windshield Wipers, Clarinets, and Fast-Food

November 16, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning button lovers. Today is Tuesday, November 16, 2021. November 16th is the 320th day of the year, and 45 days remain.

National Button Day 

National Button Day is celebrated each year on November 16th. You don’t need to be overly perceptive to ascertain that this holiday celebrates collections of buttons and/or buttons in general. I know, just last month we celebrated Count Your Buttons Day. I can only infer that that holiday was just a precursor to today’s National Button Day. It’s easier to celebrate your buttons on a “national scale” if you have already organized and counted them. The National Button Society, founded in 1938, established Button Day as a celebration for all who enjoyed collecting and crafting with buttons.
Buttons come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles, from pearly white shirt buttons to ornate Victorian buttons to cute fastenings shaped like insects and animals. Any outfit can be updated by adding the right buttons, and sewing them on is one of the easiest types of needlework to learn. And buttons don’t just belong near buttonholes anymore. Buttons, either individually or in clusters, can be used to decorate almost anything.
When I was growing up, most households had a sewing machine, and to go along with it, a big jar full of buttons. No garment was ever thrown away without first removing the buttons and throwing them in ‘the jar’.
Alas, with the trend towards a “throw-away” society these days, many of these jars of buttons were just thrown away – however, a few survived to become cherished button collections. If you don’t already have a button collection, perhaps you should celebrate National Button Day by starting one today.

National Check Your Wipers Day 

National Check Your Wipers Day is celebrated annually on November 16th. You needn’t be an automotive maintenance specialist to determine that this holiday urges us to check to see that the wiper blades on our vehicle(s) are in good condition.
Autumn is in full swing, and inclement weather is nigh upon us. That, coupled with the impending holiday season (and the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions on travel and gatherings in many areas of the country) means that many people will be traveling ♫over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house♫ and/or to visit other loved ones this year. In 2020, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported 50.6 million people traveled by automobile for the Thanksgiving holiday, making it one of the year’s busiest travel weekends. So, as many of us hit the road this year, it is important to remember to proactively check our wipers.
Visibility is one of the most important factors while driving in poor weather conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 24% of all accidents are weather-related. And, according to a survey conducted by MICHELIN® Wiper Blades, 92% of drivers agree that poor wiper blades can affect their driving ability. However, 90% of drivers do not plan the time to check their wipers properly and, amazingly, 55%+ don’t even know how to check their wiper blades properly.
Listed below are some guidelines regarding when you should be checking the condition of your wiper blades.

  • During an oil change.
  • When you fill gas.
  • After a car wash.
  • Before a road trip.
  • At the start of Winter and Spring seasons.

Standard recommendations suggest we change our wiper blades every 6 to 12 months. However, the frequency varies depending on your location and how often you drive your vehicle. People should regularly inspect their wipers to ensure that they are not past their lifespan – which can often lead to compromised visibility.
To celebrate National Check Your Wipers Day, simply get up off of your big, fat [sofa] and go check your windshield wiper blades – NOW! I’m waiting.

Clarinet Day 

Clarinet Day is celebrated each year on November 16th. Logic and deductive reasoning tell us that this holiday celebrates the clarinet – a popular, single-reed woodwind musical instrument. Clarinet day was created as a means to celebrate those people who play the clarinet, but also to celebrate those people who enjoy listening to clarinet music.
The clarinet is a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. It was invented during the Late Baroque era. Composers of the time, such as Bach and Handel were writing music that strained the range limits of the trumpet, thus putting new demands on the skills of their trumpeters, who were often required to play difficult melodic passages in the high, or as it came to be called, clarion register. Trumpets of the time didn’t have valves and pistons to help the trumpeters meet the needs of these composers. Therefore, a new musical instrument was needed that would fill that gap. – and the clarinet was born.
Today, there are many different kinds of clarinets in a variety of tonal ranges. The most common type of clarinet in use these days is the B♭. However, the clarinet in A, just a semitone lower, is regularly used in orchestral, chamber and solo music. Most orchestral clarinetist own both a clarinet in A and B♭ since both are used in orchestras. The clarinet is an exceptionally flexible instrument, used in a wide variety of musical genres including the classical concert bands, military bands, marching bands, and jazz.
To celebrate Clarinet Day, learn more about the history of this musical instrument. Then, listen to some music that prominently features the clarinet.

National Fast-Food Day 

National Fast-Food Day is celebrated annually on November 16th. Even if you aren’t a Michelin Chef you should be able to deduce that this holiday celebrates fast-food – a quick, convenient way to get a meal on-the-go.
The concept of ready-cooked food for sale can be attributed to the Ancient Romans. In many cities, street stands or “thermopoliums” (small pub-like shops) offered hot sausages, bread, and wine to patrons on-the-go. Thousands of years later, in 1867, the first American fast-food restaurant opened in New York. It was a hot dog stand on Coney Island.
Following WWI, automobiles became more popular and more affordable., and at that time drive-in restaurants were introduced. In 1921, White Castle, an American company founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas, opened, selling hamburgers for five cents each. Anderson had opened the first White Castle in 1916 as a limited menu, high-volume, low-cost, high-speed hamburger restaurant –and the fast-food industry was born.
However, with the Great Depression and WWII, the market for fast-food declined sharply. But, after the war, with the economy booming, fast-food restaurants began to see a resurgence, and by the 1950s fast-food establishments were, once again, thriving. The modern concept of fast food in America was created in the 1950s by Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s. [Fast-food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form for quick dine-in or takeout and typically with a drive-thru]. Merriam-Webster dictionary first recognized the term “fast-food” in 1951.
The United States has the largest fast-food industry in the world and has more than 300 fast food chains, representing 40% of the nation’s total restaurant sales. There are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the United States alone, making it nearly impossible to drive down the road without going by at least one fast food chain restaurant. Need more proof of the popularity of fast food? Today, fast food is an American staple. Everything from Fried Chicken to Pizza, Burgers to Hot Dogs, and Tacos to Chinese food all fall under the fast-food umbrella. In 1970, American consumers spent $6 billion on fast food. Thirty years later in 2000, American consumers spent $110 billion at fast food franchises. If you extrapolate those figures out, and if the rate of growth remained constant, today, the annual total for consumer spending on fast food in America today would be in the neighborhood of $170 billion dollars or more. I don’t know what effect this fast-food trend is having on society, but judging by the sharp increase of people in America classified as obese, it can’t be good. And, we’re sharing our wealth. American fast-food franchises now also have locations in over 125 countries around the world.
To celebrate National Fast-Food Day, simply eat at one of the myriad fast-food restaurants in your area today. Although eating fast-food regularly can put your health in peril, eating it occasionally shouldn’t kill you too much. In fact, some fast-food establishments are now actually offering “healthier” menu items for those who are concerned about their health.
Fun Fact:
The first Happy Meal was served in June of 1979.

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

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