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May 18, 2013

Today we celebrate:

International Museum Day – This day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums for the purpose of increasing awareness of the importance of museums in society. They were probably also hoping to increase the number of people visiting the thousands of museums sprinkled around the country. Well, it worked, attendance has been increasing steadily ever since. Last year, nearly 32,000 museums participated in this day by hosting special events in 129 countries.

No Dirty Dishes Day – I am not sure how this day is supposed to work unless you eat out for all of your meals today. The goal is to have no dirty dishes to wash today. Which I approve of wholeheartedly. I don't know of anyone who likes washing dishes but I can't really condone the idea of using paper plates all day because if everyone does this, the landfills will be overflowing. I just got a great idea! Have the kids wash the dishes today!

Visit Your Relatives Day – This is a day for family. Reconnect with family members you haven't seen in a while and spend some time with older members of your family. You never know how long you will have left with them.

Armed Forces Day – Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is a day to honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. There will be a wide variety of activities going on all day all over the country from parades to motorcycle rides to educational activities. In the past there were celebration days for each of the branches of the armed forces, but in 1949, Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, announced that they would all be consolidated under one day because all of the armed forces had united under Department of Defense. The only branch that has chosen to still have it's own day is the Marines although they support this day as well.

Military-Amateur Crossband Communications Day – On this day, the same day as Armed Forces Day, the Military Auxiliary Radio System conducts a traditional military to amateur crossband communications test and a message-receiving test. This gives amateur radio operators an opportunity to display their skills and receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense. This radio system is in place so that the military, as well as state and local emergency response organizations have access to communications in the event of an emergency

National Cheese Souffle Day – I have made a lot of things, but I have never made a souffle. Maybe I'll try this recipe tonight:

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day – Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this is a day to learn about the work that is being done by thousands of scientists, health professionals, and volunteers with the goal of creating an HIV vaccine.

I Love Reese's Day – This day was created by popular demand. I found a rumor that said “nearly 40,000 fans” joined a campaign on Facebook and said they wanted this delectable treat to have its own day. I can see that happening and if it's true, I'm a little surprised it was only 40,000. Clearly, their efforts were successful.

National Learn To Swim Day – Celebrated for the second year, this day is always and forevermore celebrated on the Saturday of the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. This is a day to become aware of the importance of teaching your children how to swim. Children who cannot swim are far more likely to drown if they accidentally end up in a pool or pond or lake or river. Make sure your child learns this important lifesaving skill and if your child is afraid of the water, as my youngest was when she started learning, don't cave in to their fear and give up making them go to lessons. My daughter cried through nearly 6 months of lessons before she finally started enjoying the water and now she swims like a fish. It's worth it.

O. Henry Pun-Off Day – This is a yearly competition inspired by the writings of William Sydney Porter who lived in Austin, TX in the late 1800s and used the pen name O. Henry. He had a gift for wordplay that is loved to this day so in 1978, pun-offs began to be celebrated. In 1990, Gary Hallock, began organizing and running the competition which takes place at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, TX.

Do Dah Day - Begun in 1979 in Birmingham, or so I am led to believe, this is a day a bunch of friends decided to have a party and over the years turned it into a fund raising event for local charities involving animals. More and more Do Dah volunteers joined the effort and it has become a festival with a parade.

To celebrate today, grab some of your relatives that you haven't seen in a while, make sure they are not so old they can't keep up with you today, and go to the O. Henry Museum in Austin for the pun-off. Grab some Reese's to take with you for a snack. When you finish here, swing by Birmingham to catch the Do Dah Day Parade, On the way home, stop in at a military base and see if they are going to have a parade there too, because you can never have too many parades. When you get back, sign up the kids, or yourself, for some swimming lessons and then find a friend who is an amateur radio operator so you can take part in the test. Later, do some research and find out what you can do to help the scientists develop an AIDS vaccine. Then, go out for dinner so you don't have to wash dishes and make sure you order a lovely souffle.

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