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March 25, 2013

Today we celebrate:

Seward's Day – Always on the last Monday in March, this day commemorates the purchase of Alaska from Russia by Secretary of State William Henry Seward on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million. Most people at the time thought it was a ridiculous thing to do and called it “Seward's Folly”.   Mr. Seward suffered a great deal of criticism until they discovered gold in Alaska in 1897.  Sadly, Mr. Seward died before that happened.

International Waffle Day – Not to be confused with National Waffle Day on August 24th, this day originated in Sweden and is supposed to commemorate the day the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she was pregnant.  I'm not really sure what that has to do with waffles since I'm pretty sure they didn't have such a thing two thousand some years ago.

National Medal Of Honor Day – This is a day dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients. This day was chosen for the celebration because it was on this day in 1863 that the first Medals of Honor were awarded to 6 brave men.

Tolkien Reading Day – Created by the Tolkien Society for the purpose of encouraging people to read Tolkien's works. This day was chosen because it was on this day in the Lord of the Rings that Sauron fell in defeat.

Old New Year's Day – In the early Medieval period, this day was celebrated as the beginning of the New Year because of Archangel Gabriel's message to Mary. I think this was before the whole waffle craze started.

Passover – Celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery.  It is celebrated with a very special meal called the Seder. 

International Day Of Remembrance Of The Victims Of Slavery And The Transatlantic Slave Trade – This day honors the lives of all those who suffered and/or died as a result of slavery and those who endured the horrors of being transported across an ocean in slave ships.

Greek Independence Day: A National Day Of Celebration Of Greek And American Democracy – Created in 2011 by President Obama, this is a day to celebrate democracy in general and Greek Independence in particular.

National Lobster Newburg Day – In 1876, Sea Captain Ben Wenburg, showed Chef Charles Ranhofer and Charles Delmonico of Delmonico's restaurant a new dish that they altered a little then named after the Captain, “Lobster a la Wenburg”. Alas for the Captain, Mr. Delmonico and Captain Wenburg had an argument and Wenburg was kicked out of the restaurant and never allowed to return. Delmonico then renamed the lobster dish to Lobster Newburg.

Pecan Day – Native Americans used pecan trees as a major source of food in the fall. They are also said to be the first to have cultivated this particular tree.

To celebrate today, read as many of Tolkien's books as you can while eating waffles with a pecan topping. Then go out and see if you can find any Medal of Honor recipients so you can congratulate them before going to the library to find some books on the effects of slavery on the people who were forced into such a fate. Then you can celebrate democracy by having a vote in your house about whether or not you should have a New Year's party. Everyone loves a party so I know how that vote will turn out so you should get some lobster so you can serve Lobster Newburg for your non-Jewish guests along with the Seder meal for your Jewish guests, after dinner you can call up some Alaskans so you can all wish them a Happy Seward's Day!.

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