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February 12, 2016

Today we celebrate:

National Freedom To Marry Day - Created in 1999 by Lambda legal, a gay rights advocacy law firm, this is a day to promote same sex marriage.

International Winter Bike To Work Day - This is a day to celebrate exercise by biking to work in the winter.  Most people put their bikes away for the winter because it is just too cold for a winter activity.  But if you dress appropriately, it is still great exercise no matter what the weather is. Sign up at this website.

International Winter Bike To School Day - This is the first ever Winter Bike to School Day to be celebrated.  Teachers are asked to help track participants by asking their students how they got to school today.  Please make sure you live in an area where it is safe for students to bike to school. The roads by me are dangerous for bikers so I cannot allow my children to do so.

Hug Day - The sixth day of Valentine week, this is a day to hug the people you love. Hugging can be as innocent or as intimate as both participants want it to be, it’s all in your technique.  Therefore it is the perfect way of expressing your affection for anyone in your life that you care about.

International Darwin Day – Born on this day in 1809, Charles Darwin was, and still is, famous for his theories of evolution through natural selection. Whether you subscribe to these theories or not, you can still explain them to your children and also explain why you do or do not believe them.

Lincoln's Birthday – President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President and one of the greatest, in my opinion, was born on this day in 1809. Interesting, I didn't know he shared a birthday with Charles Darwin. I like to learn something new every day, so mission accomplished for today. This is a legal holiday in many states but not all of them. Not too surprisingly, I don't see any of the southern states on the list of states that celebrate today.

NAACP Day – Founded on this day in 1909, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in America, has a mission “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.” While all of those things have come one heck of a long way since 1909, I don't think anyone believes that its' mission is finished.

Oglethorpe Day – This day honors British General James Edward Oglethorpe (December 22, 1696 – June 30, 1785) who founded Georgia on this day in 1733 (which he named after King George II). He was something of a social reformer and humanitarian who hoped that he could move Britain's poor people from debtor's prison to Georgia.  I could never figure out why Britain would throw poor people in prison where they would have no chance of paying their debts.  He did manage to bring over some settlers that year but after that others came from other colonies and the communities that were formed didn’t want other poor people to come so they could have the room to improve their own situations.

Paul Bunyan Day – This day is also celebrated in June, but I think different states celebrate on different days. According to people who live in Bangor, Maine, on this day in 1834, Paul Bunyan was born in their area. However, people in Minnesota are under the impression that he was born in Bemidji, Minnesota and died in Kelliher, Minnesota. Still others say Paul Bunyan was based on a real man, a French-Canadian named Fabian “Joe” Fournier (or Saginaw Joe) who was born in Quebec, Canada in 1845. I'm sure you can find other possibilities if you look hard enough.

Safety Pup Day – Developed in 1985 by the National Child Safety Council and designed to address different safety issues with children such as stranger safety, Halloween safety, internet safety, etc. This day is frequently promoted by local police departments. This picture is from the Bluffton, Ohio, Police Department website.

National Lost Penny Day – Begun in 1995, this is a day to find all of the lost pennies you can and cash them in because combined, pennies are more useful than they are individually. The first penny was minted in 1787. It was designed by Benjamin Franklin and was made of copper. On this day in 1909, the first Lincoln penny was issued on the 100th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

National Plum Pudding Day – This dish has a rich heritage. It came from England in the 1600's and actually doesn't have any plums in it because back then most dried fruits, like raisins, were called plums. This dish has nutmeg, raisins, cinnamon, apples, and whatever else you might like to add.

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