May 20th – Armed Forces Day

May 20, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning past, present, and/or future members of the Armed Forces. Today is Saturday, May 20, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It is simply a day to honor 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 their 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 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 five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard. 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.

Be a Millionaire Day

The term “millionaire” first appeared in the English language in a letter written by Lord Byron in 1816. At the time, the only millionaires were Royalty. However, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, more millionaires were created outside of the aristocracy. Today there are more than 12 million millionaires scattered around the globe.
Be a Millionaire Day encourages you to act like a millionaire today, even if you aren’t.  I’m sure that most of you would like to join the “Millionaire Club”, who wouldn’t? If, like me you are a long way from that goal, here are a few things you can do to feel like a millionaire.

1) Buy yourself an extravagant gift that you would not normally buy.
2) Go over your investment portfolio and track your progress.
3) Make a sizable donation to your favorite charity.
4) Go to a casino.
5) Buy a lottery ticket. What the heck, you have as good a chance of winning as anyone else.

Factoid: The first millionaire in the United States was John Jacob Astor (1763 – 1848). Astor made his fortune in trade and later established the first trust in American history. His great-grandson, John Jacob Astor IV, was the wealthiest person aboard the Titanic.

Eliza Doolittle Day

Eliza Doolittle Day is pretty much a meaningless holiday for anyone except fans of musical theater and Audrey Hepburn. Eliza Doolittle is a character in the Musical My Fair Lady. She is a flower girl who is trying to learn to speak like a proper English lady. The reason this holiday is celebrated today is because of a line from the show which reads as follows:
“One evening the king will say, ‘Oh, Liza, old thing — I want all of England your praises to sing. Next week on the twentieth of May, I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day’.”  
Celebrate this holiday by try speaking in ‘proper’ English today.

Weights and Measures Day

What is the difference between a dram, a gram, and a grain? Who decides what is the correct form of measurement? When were weights and measures standardized?
Weights and Measures Day is, quite simply, the anniversary of the signing of an international treaty establishing the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. The treaty was signed on this date in 1875, on international territory at Sèvres, France.
Before the International Bureau of Weights and Measures was formed, there was a hodgepodge of different weights and measures. It seems like every country, and sometimes even regions within a country had their own system of weights and measures. Some of the more unique of these are; the chalder or chaldron, the clove, the scruple, the Indian candy, the Chinese catty and tan, the Japanese chin, the Jupiter, the kip, and the slug. As funny as they sound to us, all were valid measurements which were made obsolete after the treaty was signed.
That pretty much covers this holiday. Oh yeah, except for answering the first question.

A dram is a U.S. customary system unit of mass. It is also used as a unit of volume, fluid drams. It equals to 1/16 ounces and 1/256 pounds. The abbreviation is “dr”.

A gram is a metric system unit of mass. It is one-thousandth (1/1000) of the metric system base unit, the kilogram. It is a very commonly used unit of mass in daily life. The abbreviation is “g”.

A grain is equal to 1/7000th of a pound or 64.799 milligrams.

To get the ‘full measure’ of this holiday, you could celebrate by weighing or measuring something…or not.

National Learn to Swim Day

National Learn to Swim Day was created in 2012 by Swimways Corp, a leader in the recreational water products marketplace, and is celebrated on the third Friday in May. Its 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.
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 the 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 how. If babies as young as 6-months-old and octogenarians can learn to swim…you can too.

Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel in the Triple Crown, horse racing’s equivalent of the Super Bowl or the World Series.  The Preakness is an American flat thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year 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.

National Quiche Lorraine Day

Who is Lorraine, and why the heck does she have a Quiche named after her? The answer to that question is that Lorraine is not a “who” but rather, a “where”. Quiche Lorraine originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region in northeastern France (hence, Quiche Lorraine). The word Quiche evolved from the German word küchen, which means cake. Alsace-Lorraine, now a region of northeastern France, borders on Germany and over the centuries was variously under German control. According to food historians, when this quiche, now considered a quintessentially French dish, was developed, the region was a German province called Lothringen. Despite the many bastardizations of this recipe that you find in cookbooks (and online), Quiche Lorraine is a specific recipe which uses heavy cream and bacon and no cheese. You can blame Julia Child for adding cheese to this classic recipe. The recipe for Quiche Lorraine in her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen” pointed out that the original recipe did not include cheese, but said that you could include cheese if you were so inclined. This is her recipe. Try it today if you are in an adventurous mood.

Pick Strawberries Day

Pick Strawberries Day is a sweet, tasty way to enjoy a late spring day. If you don’t have strawberries in your garden, or if they aren’t quite ripe, do not despair. Sometimes local farmers allow people to go into their fields and pick their own strawberries. If all else fails, you can always visit your favorite grocery store or Farmer’s Market and “pick” up a basket or two.
HEADS UP: Don’t use all of the strawberries you “pick” today. You will need some for a different holiday tomorrow.

More Holidays 

On This Date 

  • In 1774 – Britain’s Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior.
  • In 1775 – North Carolina became the first colony to declare its independence (from England).
  • In 1830 – The fountain pen was patented by H.D. Hyde.
  • In 1861 – North Carolina became the eleventh state to secede from the Union.
  • In 1873 – Blue jeans were patented. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis invented the garment, which today represents one of the most popular types of trousers worldwide.
  • In 1874 – Levi Strauss began marketing his iconic blue jeans with copper rivets.
  • In 1899 – Jacob German of New York City became the first driver to be arrested for speeding. The posted speed limit was 12 miles per hour.
  • In 1916 – Norman Rockwell’s first cover on “The Saturday Evening Post” appeared.
  • In 1926 – Congress passed the Air Commerce Act. The act gave the Department of Commerce the right to license pilots and planes.
  • In 1927 – Charles Lindbergh took off from New York to cross the Atlantic for Paris aboard his airplane the “Spirit of St. Louis.” The trip took 33 1/2 hours.
  • In 1932 – Amelia Earhart took off to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She became the first woman to achieve the feat.
  • In 1939 – The first telecast over telephone wires was sent from Madison Square Garden to the NBC-TV studios at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. The event was a bicycle race.
  • In 1939 – The first regular air-passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean began with the take-off of the “Yankee Clipper” from Port Washington, New York.
  • In 1940 – The first prisoners arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz was the biggest extermination camp during World War II. From 1940 to 1945, the Nazi regime murdered at least 1.1 million people here.
  • In 1970 – An estimated 100,000 people marched in New York supporting United States policies in Vietnam.
  • In 1978 – Mavis Hutchinson, at age 53, became the first woman to run across America. It took Hutchinson 69 days to run the 3,000 miles.
  • In 1983 – In South Africa, a car bomb planted by anti-Apartheid activists killed 19 people. The Church Street Bombing was carried out by the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). It was one of the bloodiest chapters in the ANC’s long and difficult struggle against racial segregation and oppression in South Africa.
  • In 1985 – The FBI arrested U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer John Walker. Walker had begun spying for the Soviet Union in 1968.
  • In 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope sent back its first photographs.
  • In 1993 – The final episode of “Cheers” was aired on NBC-TV.
  • In 1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado measure banning laws that would protect homosexuals from discrimination.
  • In 1999 – At Heritage High School in Conyers, GA, a 15-year-old student shot and injured six students. He then surrendered to an assistant principal at the school.
  • In 2006 – The Three Gorges Dam officially opened. The hydroelectric dam is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity. Despite its benefits, the project remains controversial because it flooded archeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.3 million people.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

May 19th – O. Henry Pun-off Day

May 19, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning punsters. Today is Friday, May 19, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

O. Henry Pun-off Day

If you were pundering what to celebrate today, O. Henry Pun-off Day might just be the answer. A pun is the humorous use of a word or words in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications, or words that have the same or nearly the same sound but different meanings.
Since 1977, O. Henry Pun-off Day has been held annually on the third Friday in May in Austin, TX; the adopted home of author William Sydney Porter (aka O. Henry). Participants compete in one or both of the two areas of punning prowess: Punniest of Show, which features individuals performing a 90-second prepared piece filled with puns; and PunSlingers, which pits individual punsters in head-to-head bouts of spontaneous punning on a randomly selected variation of traditional topic themes. A four-person panel of judges that offers scores of 1–10 based on performance, originality, and wit for each contestant, then the four scores are tallied for an overall score.
If you can’t make it to the event this year, you can still celebrate. You could have some pun by irritating your family with corny puns. Or, you could research O. Henry and read some of his works, or just opun a book of puns and read a few of your favorites.

Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species Day is celebrated on the third Friday in May and is an opportunity to celebrate biodiversity and efforts to conserve that diversity. It highlights the plight of many at-risk and critically endangered species and seeks ways in which we can alter our behavior in small ways on a daily basis to help to protect them.
A species is added to the endangered species list when it is determined to be endangered or threatened because of any of the following factors:

  • The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range.
  • Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes.
  • Disease or predation.
  • The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.
  • Other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival.

National Bike to Work Day

National Bike to Work Day is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is held on the third Friday in May each year. It is timed to coincide with the arrival of warmer weather.
The League was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen”, were challenged by rutted, poorly maintained roads, and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians…not unlike the present day.
Bicycling is a great form of exercise. It is also good for the environment, and it saves you money. What better reasons do you need to ride your bike to work today?

 May Ray Day 

The signs that summer is nigh upon us are all around. Stores are featuring summer attire, markets are filled with fresh local produce, summer flowers and plants are blooming, and kids are anxiously waiting for the school year to end.
May Ray Day celebrates the fact that summer is almost here, and the days are getting longer, and warmer, and sunnier. The object of this holiday is to get out of your house today and soak up some ‘rays’. Take a hike. Go to your favorite beach, or lake, or river. Have a BBQ in your backyard. The possibilities are endless. What is your favorite summer outdoor activity?
CAUTION: With that said, don’t overdo it. You haven’t spent a day in the sun for quite some time, so be sure to use adequate sun block (I need like SPF – infinity). Also, be aware of the signs of sunstroke. You don’t want to spoil your sun-day, fun-day with a trip to the Emergency Room.

Boy’s Club and Girl’s Club Day 

This date marks the organization of the first Boy’s Clubs in 1906 (it wasn’t until 1990 that Girl’s Clubs were put under the same umbrella group). Boy’s Club and Girl’s Club Day celebrates the invaluable contributions of Boy’s Clubs and Girl’s Clubs to the community.
There are clubs all over America providing safe recreational activities for our youth. They teach values and citizenship. They help to keep kids out of trouble and off of the street. In today’s society, there are more and more families in which both parents work and more single-parent families. These groups ease the burden on these families.
To celebrate this holiday, learn more about Boy’s and Girl’s clubs in your area. Volunteer at one, or make a donation.

National Pizza Party Day

National Pizza Party Day is celebrated on the third Friday in May.The origins and purpose of National Pizza Party Dat are unknown, although I suspect that it could have something to do with the last day of school. Some schools begin their summer vacation around this time, and many classes finish off the school year with a pizza party. It doesn’t really matter, though…after all, do you really need an excuse to eat pizza?
You don’t need to be a member of MENSA to figure out how to celebrate this holiday, but in case you still don’t have it figured out, here’s a hint…have a pizza party. What toppings do you like on your pizza? Since I am a carnivore, I prefer all meat toppings, although a good Hawaiian (ham and pineapple) pizza also makes me drool.

 

National Devil’s Food Cake Day

National Devil’s Food Cake Day, oddly enough, celebrates Devil’s food cake; which is considered the counterpart to the classic white angel food cake. Devil’s food cake has a unique light and moist texture, which sets it apart from other chocolate cakes. The recipe calls for quite a bit of baking soda and boiling water instead of milk. Both of these ingredients contribute to the fluffiness of this classic dessert. Devil’s food cake first appeared in the United States in the early 1900’s. It is quite similar to red velvet cake and the names are often interchangeable in some parts of the country. To celebrate this holiday, make a Devil’s food cake, and have some for dessert tonight.

More Holidays 

International Virtual Assistants Day – Observed the third Friday in May.

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 

National Defense Transportation Day – Observed on the third Friday in May.

National Hepatitis Testing Day

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day  (May 19th to May 21st)

On This Date 

  • In 1643 – Delegates from four New England colonies met in Boston to form a confederation.
  • In 1743 – Jean-Pierre Christin invented the Celsius thermometer. The centigrade temperature scale, which is based on the freezing and boiling point of water, is used by most countries around the world. Exceptions include the United States, Belize, and Palau.
  • In 1796 – The first United States game law was approved. The measure called for penalties for hunting or destroying game within Indian territory.
  • In 1847 – The first English-style railroad coach was placed in service on the Fall River Line in Massachusetts.
  • In 1856 – Senator Charles Sumner spoke out against slavery.
  • In 1911 – The first American criminal conviction that was based on fingerprint evidence occurred in New York City.
  • In 1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk started the Turkish War of Independence. The fight against the allies of the Triple Entente ended some four years later. The Republic of Turkey was founded, and Atatürk became its first President.
  • In 1921 – Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.  [Then, apparently began to ignore it whenever it was politically expedient].
  • In 1928 – The first frog-jumping jubilee held in Calaveras County, CA.
  • In 1935 – T.E. Lawrence “Lawrence of Arabia” died from injuries in a motorcycle crash in England.
  • In 1958 – Canada and the United States formally established the North American Air Defense Command.
  • In 1959 – The North Vietnamese Army began organizing the Ho Chi Minh trail. According to the United States National Security Agency (NSA), the system of supply routes used by the “Vietcong” was “one of the greatest achievements of military engineering of the 20th century.”
  • In 1962 – Marilyn Monroe performed her, now infamous, sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” for U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The two were rumored to have been engaged in an affair.  It turned out to be her last public performance.
  • In 1963 – Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail was published. King used the open letter to defend his nonviolent resistance against racism and segregation. It became one of the central texts for the civil rights movement in the United States.
  • In 1964 – The State Department reported that diplomats had found about 40 microphones planted in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
  • In 1967 – United States planes bombed Hanoi for the first time.
  • In 1988 – In Jacksonville, FL, Carlos Lehder Rivas was convicted of smuggling more than three tons of cocaine into the United States. Rivas was the co-founder of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel.
  • In 1992 – Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the CBS sitcom “Murphy Brown” for having its title character decide to bear a child out-of-wedlock.
  • In 1992 – In Massapequa, NY, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot and seriously wounded by Amy Fisher. Fisher was her husband Joey’s teenage lover.
  • In 1992 – The 27th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect. The amendment prohibits Congress from giving itself midterm pay raises.
  • In 1994 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died.
  • In 2000 – The bones of the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton went on display in Chicago.
  • In 2003 – Hundreds of Albert Einstein’s scientific papers, personal letters, and humanist essays were made available on the Internet. Einstein had given the papers to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in his will.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

May 18th – International Museum Day

May 18, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning you old fossils. Today is Thursday, May 18th. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

International Museum Day

International Museum Day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums and celebrates museums and the role that they play in society today. Museums preserve humanity’s treasures for future generations. They are our windows into past civilizations, art, history, and culture.
Since its creation, International Museum Day has steadily grown. In 2012, about 32,000 museums in 129 countries on all continents participated in International Museum Day.
Check for an event in your area and attend it if you can.  [Museums are in constant need of funds for maintenance, upgrading displays, and sponsoring educational programs, so leave a donation in addition to any admittance fees you pay. You might also consider volunteering at your museum].

National Notebook Day

Take note, 2016 marked the inaugural celebration of National Notebook Day. This holiday is celebrated on the third Thursday in May and meant to celebrate those who still cling to keeping journals and diaries in notebooks.  At some point, almost everyone has felt the need to keep a diary or journal to record their innermost thoughts and feelings — And, smoldering away somewhere deep inside, that need may still be lurking.
National Notebook Day urges you to give in to those feelings and start a journal/diary again. Are you unhappy with your job, are you struggling with a relationship, is life, in general, getting you down? Write it down in a notebook. Did something make you happy today, did someone make you smile through a simple act of kindness, did you try something new? Write it down in a notebook.
Since this is a relatively new holiday, you are the arbiter of how you celebrate. If you aren’t inclined to start a diary today, perhaps you can revisit some of the cringe-worthy poetry, and teenage angst of your youth by re-reading some of your old journal entries. It’s entirely up to you.

Visit Your Relatives Day

It’s easy to lose touch with your loved ones. We all lead busy lives so visits to relatives, even in the same town, are often relegated to Christmas and maybe a few other major holidays.
The origins of Visit Your Relatives Day are unknown, but as the name implies, it is meant to encourage us to visit family more often, especially those relatives who we don’t get the chance to see very often.
Reach out to your relatives today. The spirit of the holiday dictates that you should visit your relatives today, but if you can’t stop by, at least reach out to them via phone, email or internet chat, or even a letter or note.

Mother Whistler Day

Everyone is familiar with the famous painting “Whistler’s Mother” by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. But what most of you probably didn’t know is that his mother wasn’t the intended subject of the painting. The model he planned to use didn’t show up, so his mother dutifully sat for the portrait. And also, “Whistler’s Mother” is not the actual title of the work. The actual title is “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”. With that said, however, Mother Whistler Day has absolutely nothing to do with the painting, the painter, or his mother. Mother Whistler Day celebrates anyone who can whistle.
Whistling is carefully controlling a stream of air flowing through a small hole. Blowing through a small hole, whether it be pursed lips, cupped hands, or simply a piece of wood, plastic or metal will produce a ‘whistle’.  Some people can make a whistle out of a small hole in a blade of grass.
Whistling has probably been around as long as humanity itself. Whistling has been used in many ways, for many different things throughout history. Whistling is used to make music, to attract attention, to warn people, to show appreciation, to communicate, or to just make noise. Many dog trainers use whistles to train dogs and no self-respecting policeman in the days of yore was without his whistle.
To celebrate Mother Whistler Day, pucker up and whistle a happy tune.
Author’s Note: While we’re on the subject of whistlers (and mothers), my mother could really whistle. Her whistle could be heard for nearly a half mile – and if we were out playing and heard her whistle, no matter what we were doing, we had 15-minutes to get home…or else!

No Dirty Dishes Day

Day after day, we do the daily chore of washing and drying dishes, then put them away in various cabinets and drawers. We perform this monotonous task after every meal until sometimes it seems that even putting them in the dishwasher and running it, is a chore. No Dirty Dishes Day is meant to be a reprieve from this mundane task. No Dirty Dishes Day is not intended to be a holiday where you just let your dirty dishes pile up in the sink or dishwasher.  The objective is to not dirty any dishes today. One way to do this is to use disposable pans, plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. Another way is to take your family out for all three meals.

Brown Bag It Thursday

Brown Bag It Thursday is observed the third Thursday of May each year. This holiday encourages you to take a break from the office vending machines, the sketchy food trucks, or nearby fast food establishments and make a healthy and nutritious lunch at home to take to work today – and, as a bonus, you’ll probably save some money too. Same thing applies to your school-age children…pack them a healthy lunch today too.  If, like me, you are retired, pack a nutritious lunch and enjoy it in your back yard or in your neighborhood park.
Often, we opt for convenience over nutrition without thinking about what we are doing to our bodies. Brown Bag It Thursday serves to remind us of the importance of eating a healthy diet…and how easy it really is to eat healthily.

National Cheese Soufflé Day

A soufflé is a baked egg dish made with egg yolks, beaten egg whites, and various other ingredients. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up”. That is an apt description of what happens when this dish is baked. The traditional way to make a soufflé is in individual ramekins. Soufflés are light and fluffy and can be enjoyed as any meal, but more often than not, they are served as breakfast or brunch. Take the time to make one today. To get the full effect, be sure that you are ready to eat as soon as they come out of the oven because soufflés tend to deflate quickly once they are removed from the heat.

National Apéritif Day

National Apéritif Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of May annually. An apéritif is an alcoholic drink that people drink before eating a meal, such as a classic dry martini. a Rob Roy, or a Grapefruit Sparkler. They are meant to stimulate the appetite and palate without overwhelming them. Apéritifs are best served cold and typically contain vermouth, gin or Campari.

More Holidays 

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day and World AIDS Vaccine Day – These two are the same basic holiday…but with different links.

Hummus Day – Observed on the third Thursday of May.

I Love Reese’s Day

Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day

On This Date 

  • In 1652 – In Rhode Island, a law was passed that made slavery illegal in North America. It was the first law of its kind.
  • In 1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed Emperor of the French. Even today, the French leader, a native of Corsica, is widely known for his successful military campaigns – and his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
  • In 1848 – The first German National Assembly gathered in Frankfurt. The assembly constituted the first freely elected parliament of Germany. It produced a constitution that provided the basis for today’s constitution of Germany (Grundgesetz).
  • In 1896 – The Supreme court upheld the “separate but equal” policy in the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
  • In 1917 –  Congress passed the Selective Service act, which called up soldiers to fight in World War I.
  • In 1927 – The United States’ worst school massacre killed 45 people. In the Bath school disaster, a disgruntled school board member set off several bombs at the Bath Consolidated School and other locations in Michigan.
  • In 1931 – Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashed his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean non-stop. He was picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.
  • In 1933 – The Tennessee Valley Authority was created.
  • In 1934 – Congress approved an act, known as the “Lindberg Act,” that called for the death penalty in interstate kidnapping cases.
  • In 1951 – The United Nations moved its headquarters to New York City.
  • In 1953 – The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.
  • In 1974 – India became the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.
  • In 1980 – Mt. Saint Helens erupted in Washington state. The eruption killed 57 people and $3 billion in damage was done.  A large part of the previously cone-shaped volcano was replaced by a massive crater; its summit is now some 1300 feet (400 meters) lower than before the eruption.
  • In 1983 – The Senate revised immigration laws and gave millions of illegal aliens legal status under an amnesty program.
  • In 1998 – The federal government and 20 states filed a sweeping antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., saying the computer software company had a “choke hold” on competitors which denied consumer choices by controlling 90% of the software market.
  • In 1998 – Federal officials arrested more than 130 people and seized $35 million. This was the end to an investigation of money laundering being done by a dozen Mexican banks and two drug-smuggling cartels.
  • In 2009 – The Sri Lankan Civil War ended. The 25-year conflict between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers had claimed up to 100,000 lives. It ended with the Tigers’ defeat.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

May 17th – Pack Rat Day

May 17, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning hoarders. Today is Wednesday, May 17th. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Pack Rat Day

Pack Rat Day does not refer to that species of rodent which uses whatever materials are in its proximity in building their nests. Rather, it celebrates their human counterparts who have a hard time letting go (of things). Most of us find it difficult to let go of things, especially things with sentimental value. I am no exception. Although I don’t have a lot of material possessions, I do have the propensity to accumulate kitchen gadgets, office supplies, and camera equipment. Additionally, I still have, but do not use, the cedar chest that I built in the 8th grade, many of my dear departed mother’s nick knacks which were around the house as I was growing up, and many of her old cast iron pans and glass bakeware.
Pack Rat Day is the day to relish the fact that you had the foresight to hold on to items like these. Go through some of them today and let the memories flow. Remember, don’t throw away anything today. This holiday is all about celebrating your “pack-rattiness”.

World Telecommunications Day

The International Telegraph Union, an organization formed in 1865 to support the emerging communication methods of the time, has been present throughout all the great breakthroughs in communication – since the invention of the telephone in 1876, the launch of the first communications satellite in 1957 and, ultimately, the birth of the Internet. It remains the most important entity in the field of communications.
World Telecommunications Day is inexorably linked with the International Telegraph Union and celebrates the constant evolution of one of the most important factors of our lives –communication. The goal of World Telecommunications Day is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives and stimulate the development of technologies in the field.

World Hypertension Day

For those of you who don’t know, hypertension is just the fancy way of saying ‘high blood pressure’. The recommended blood pressure for an average adult is 140/90 or less and for the hypertensive population with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease without any other complications is 130/80 or less.
World Hypertension Day was created in 2005 by the World Hypertension League. Its purpose is to raise awareness of hypertension and to promote early detection, control, and prevention of the disease. Through such specific themes, the World Hypertension League ins trying to raise awareness, not only of hypertension but also of the factors that are contributing to the increase of hypertension cases and on ways to prevent it. This year’s theme is “healthy diet, healthy blood pressure”.
Hypertension has been linked to heart attacks, kidney disease, and strokes and can be fatal. I suffer from it, along with millions of others. To celebrate this holiday, do some research into hypertension; learn about its symptoms, and schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider today for a simple blood pressure check.

National Cherry Cobbler Day

Cherries are in season right now, so it is not surprising that today is National Cherry Cobbler Day. As I covered in another cobbler-related holiday last month, a cobbler is a basically a fruit pie without a bottom crust.
Back in the 19th century, pioneers of the American West had to adapt many recipes because of a severe lack of ingredients. The traditional pie evolved into the cobbler, which was often served as the main dish of the meal.
No one knows how cobblers got their name, but some culinary historians believe the name may have been inspired by their resemblance to cobblestones.

National Walnut Day

National Walnut Day was created by the Walnut Marketing Board in June of 1949 to promote walnuts and point out their nutritional value. In 1958, a Senate Resolution was signed by President Eisenhower designating May 17th as National Walnut Day.
Walnuts are a good source of fiber. They contain vitamin E and antioxidants. Walnuts reduce cholesterol and are beneficial to cardiovascular health. Due to their resemblance to a brain, in some cultures, walnuts also symbolize intelligence.
Whether in a salad, in a side dish, or by themselves, enjoy some walnuts today.

More Holidays 

On This Date 

  • In 1681 – Louis XIV sent an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.
  • In 1756 – Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War.
  • In 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange was founded at 70 Wall Street by 24 brokers.
  • In 1814 – Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Norway’s constitution, which provided a limited monarchy, was signed.
  • In 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, KY.
  • In 1877 – The first telephone switchboard burglar alarm was installed by Edwin T. Holmes.
  • In 1881 – Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, DC.
  • In 1932 – Congress changed the name “Porto Rico” to “Puerto Rico.”
  • In 1939 – The first fashion to be shown on television was broadcast in New York from the Ritz-Carleton Hotel.
  • In 1940 – Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France.
  • In 1943 – The Royal Air Force dam busters wrecked three German dams. The RAF squadron used revolutionary bouncing bombs to avoid the torpedo nets protecting the dams. The audacious air raid was depicted in a 1954 war film.
  • In 1946 – President Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
  • In 1948 – The Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel.
  • In 1954 – The Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal. Despite this landmark decision, de facto racial segregation remained for years in some areas of the country.
  • In 1972 – Germany ratified the Treaty of Warsaw. Chancellor Willy Brandt signed the treaty, by which Germany gives up any territorial claims and guarantees the Oder-Neisse line as the valid border to Poland.
  • In 1973 – The Senate Watergate Committee began its hearings.
  • In 1980 – Rioting erupted in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie. Eight people were killed in the rioting.
  • In 1985 – Bobby Ewing died on the season finale of “Dallas” on CBS-TV. He returned the following season.
  • In 1987 – An Iraqi warplane attacked the United States Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States called the attack a mistake.
  • In 1990 – The WHO deleted homosexuality from its list of mental diseases. Precisely 14 years later, the first same-sex marriages in the United States were performed as Massachusetts became the first state to legalize them.
  • In 1996 – President Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. Megan’s Law was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994.
  • In 1998 – New York Yankees pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league baseball history to pitch a perfect game.
    In 1999 – Ehud Barak became Prime Minister of Israel. During his tenure, Barak attempted to revive the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). However, his efforts were unsuccessful.
  • In 1999 – Eric Ford, a tabloid photographer, was sentenced to 6 months at a halfway house, 3 years probation and 150 hours of community service. The sentence stemmed from a charge that Ford had eavesdropped on a call between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and then had sold a recording of the conversation.
  • In 2000 – Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and David Luker surrendered to police in Birmingham, AL. The two former Ku Klux Klan members were arrested on charges stemming from the bombing of a church in 1963 that killed four young black girls.
  • In 2006 – The United States aircraft carrier Oriskany was sunk about 24 miles off Pensacola Beach. It was the first vessel sunk under a Navy program to dispose of old warships by turning them into man-made reefs and diving attractions. It was the largest man-made reef at the time of the sinking.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

May 16th – Love a Tree Day

May 16, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning tree-huggers. Today is Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Love a Tree Day

Love a Tree Day celebrates the symbiotic relationship between mankind and trees. What’s not to love about trees? They are majestic and beautiful. They benefit mankind by providing shade on those long hot summer days. And, through a process called photosynthesis, give off oxygen; which mankind needs to exist. Win! Win! Although some may disagree, when trees drop their leaves each fall as part of their natural life process, they also provide a form of light exercise as you rake the leaves and dispose of them.
To celebrate Love a Tree Day, pamper your trees today. If they need to be trimmed, trim them. If  there are any competing plants or weeds nearby, remove them. Give your trees some fertilizer, and a good drink of water. Then relax and enjoy a nice cold beverage of your choice in the shade they provide.
Below are some fun facts about trees. 

  • There are some tree species that live to be several thousand years old.
  • A mature tree can remove nearly 70 times more airborne pollution than a newly planted one.
  • A single tree produces about 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two fully mature trees can provide enough oxygen each year to support a family of 4.
  • Over 20% of the Earth’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.

Wear Purple for Peace Day

If you think that Wear Purple For Peace Day is just another one of those namby-pamby, stomach-turning holidays created by the United Nations or some “hippiesque” group wanting peace throughout the world, you are mistaken. Wear Purple for Peace Day is much weirder than that.
Wear Purple For Peace Day was created out of the belief that the only reason outer space aliens have not yet visited Earth is because we are too violent. The goal is to make Earth a peaceful place so that the aliens might someday deem us worthy of a visit.
How silly! Everyone knows that the aliens are already here. They live among us now. They have taken over every level of our Government, our universities, and are slowly getting us accustomed to subjugation, tyranny and omnipresent power in the hands of a select few. How else can you possibly explain what is going on with our state and local governments and on college campuses these days?

Biographer’s Day

The modern style of biography originated in the eighteenth-century and is most closely associated with James Boswell, who undertook an extraordinary biography of his charismatic companion Samuel Johnson. Samuel Johnson was a famous author and lexicographer, who wrote, among other things, the ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ (published in 1755), the first English dictionary. The ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ was the book upon which most dictionaries were based until it was superseded by the publishing of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ in 1928.
Biographer’s Day commemorates the date when the two first met in a London bookshop in 1763. Boswell’s work, The Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, is widely considered to be the greatest biography ever written. Boswell’s expansive work about Mr. Johnson, warm, uncompromising, and exhaustively detailed, established a new way of writing a biography and shaped the emergence of the biography format that is popular today.

Mimosa Day

Mimosa Day celebrates the tasty, yet simple to make cocktail made with equal parts of orange juice and champagne. It is an elegant cocktail which was created in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It is traditionally served in a champagne flute and is usually enjoyed on special occasions such as weddings, Easter and Mother’s Day, and on cruise ships or at resorts. In recent history, it is becoming popular during Sunday brunches as well.

National Coquilles St. Jacques Day

Coquilles St. Jacques translates to  St. James’s Scallops. It is a classic French dish made with made with scallops, heavy cream, butter, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese, baked in a scallop shell. If you are inquisitive and adventurous this link gives you the legend of St. James the Greater, his association with scallops, and a recipe for Coquilles St. Jacques.

More Holidays 

On This Date 

  • In 1770 – Marie Antoinette, at age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
  • In 1868 – President Andrew Johnson was acquitted during the Senate impeachment hearing, by one vote.
  • In 1888 – The first demonstration of recording on a flat disc was demonstrated by Emile Berliner.
  • In 1888 – Austin became the official Capitol of Texas.
  • In 1910 – The U.S. Bureau of Mines was authorized by the U.S. Congress.
  • In 1914 – The American Horseshoe Pitchers Association (AHPA) was formed in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • In 1919 – Albert Cushing Read took off on the first transatlantic flight in history. The crossing from New York City to Lisbon, Portugal on a Curtiss NC-4 flying boat took 19 days.
  • In 1929 – The first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood. The first Academy Awards were presented at a private dinner with about 270 attendees. Today, it is the world’s most important entertainment awards ceremony.
  • In 1939 – The Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Indians met at Shibe Park in Philadelphia for the first baseball game to be played under the lights in the American League.
  • In 1946 – Jack Mullin introduced the first magnetic tape recorder.
  • In 1960 – A Big Four summit in Paris collapsed due to the American U-2 spy plane incident.
  • In 1960 – Theodore Maiman, at Hughes Research Laboratory in California, demonstrated the first working laser. The American physicist’s invention, an advancement of earlier research by scientists in the United States and the Soviet Union, was patented in 1967.
  • In 1966 – In China, the Cultural Revolution began. The publication of the May 16 notification marks the beginning of the political campaign, which was initiated by Mao Zedong and lasted ten years. Its objective was to strengthen communism by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society.
  • In 1975 – Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The ascent by the Japanese adventurer came 22 years after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit.
  • In 1977 – Five people were killed when a New York Airways helicopter, idling on top of the Pan Am Building in Manhattan, toppled over, sending a huge rotor blade flying.
  • In 1985 – Michael Jordan was named Rookie of the Year in the NBA.
  • In 1987 – The Bobro 400 set sail from New York Harbor with 3,200 tons of garbage. The barge traveled 6,000 miles in search of a place to dump its load. It returned to New York Harbor after 8 weeks with the same load.
  • In 1988 – The Supreme Court ruled that police do not need a search warrant to search discarded garbage.
  • In 1990 – Legendary performer Sammy Davis Jr. succumbed to his battle with throat cancer.
  • In 1990 – Muppet and Sesame Street creator Jim Henson died from toxic shock syndrome.
  • In 1991 – Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress.
  • In 1996 – Admiral Jeremy “Mike” Boorda, the nation’s top Navy officer, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after some of his military awards were called into question.
  • In 2000 – U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was nominated to run for U.S. Senator in New York. She was the first U.S. first lady to run for public office.
  • In 2003 – Adam Rich, the child actor who played the youngest son on the television program “Eight is Enough”, was placed on three years probation after he pled no contest to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was also ordered to take part in a 60-day treatment program and pay about $1,200 in fines.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

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