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July 1, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Balloon Airmail Day - This day in 1859, was the first attempt at using a hot air balloon to transport mail long distances. John Wise piloted a balloon from St. Louis, 809 miles (the longest balloon flight ever made at that time) to Henderson, NY where he crashed in a storm. He was supposed to go to New York City. Unfortunately, all the mail was lost in the crash so the attempt is considered a failure. He made a second attempt on August 17, but because of poor wind currents, he only managed to travel 30 miles from Lafayette, Indiana to Crawfordsville, Indiana (instead of NYC) before he gave up and had to set down. But because the mail survived that trip and was put on a train to complete its’ journey, that flight was considered a success and is known as America’s first airmail flight.

National Television Heritage Day - Oh, the memories. The things I could tell you about television sets of old would blow the minds of the young people today. Of course, saying that makes me feel very old and I’m not. But I am old enough to remember when televisions had a dial that went up to 13 and you had to get up and walk across the room to change the channel. I remember that we had only one television and as the youngest person in the house, I had to watch whatever other people were watching. I would fight with my sister about it sometimes, but I always lost and came to hate Little House on the Prairie simply because my sister loved it so much. I remember adjusting the rabbit ear antenna on top of the television to try to get a better picture. I remember that at a certain time at night, the shows would stop and the test signal would come on and that would be it until the next morning. Oh yes, and one more thing, there was no recording anything to watch later. You had to watch a show when it was on, or you missed it and had to try to catch it on a rerun. If you missed that too, that was it. Now my children will not be amazed at all of this because at my house, not too much has changed since the old days. I have a VCR and a DVD player but the TV they are connected to doesn’t play television shows so I can’t record anything. I refuse to pay for cable so I have an antenna and only get about 7 channels.  Two of those channels show old black and white movies and old television shows like Batman with Adam West. And sometimes the remote control works, and sometimes it doesn’t and we have to walk across the room.

American Zoo Day - The first American zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, opened on this day in 1874. I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t believe that animals should be caged up in zoos and I agree with you. However, don’t forget that many zoos are working hard to save endangered species by studying and breeding them. And they have played a role in ensuring that many species still exist today.

National Financial Freedom Day - This is a day to focus on your plan for financial freedom. Do you know what you are spending your money on? Have you reduced your debt? Are you saving enough for the future? Do you have a plan for future expenses like college? Are you insured well enough? If you are smart with your money, you can ensure that one day you will have financial freedom and can retire if you want to.

International Chicken Wing Day - This is the most popular party food ever in the entire world, I think. Especially during the Super Bowl when they can be hard to find at the grocery store. And I think everyone has their own special recipe for cooking them. Some people say this day is celebrated on July 5th, so go ahead and have some chicken wings on both days.

National Postal Worker Day - This is a day to appreciate the men and women who sort, process, and deliver our mail every day of the week except Sunday. That is an immense undertaking for a country our size but they do an amazing job every day. Thank you, Postal People!

National Gingersnap Day – Crispy, crunchy and impossible to mistake for anything else because of the strong smell of ginger. This is a love it or hate it kind of cookie.

Canada Day – A federal holiday in Canada, this day celebrates the anniversary of the Constitution Act which created Canada by combining three colonies in 1867.

National GSA Employee Day – The General Services Administration, an independent agency of the United States government, was established in 1949 and helps manage and support federal agencies with transportation, office space, cost cutting policies and other assorted administrative functions. They employ more than 10,000 people and today is their day.

Second Half Of The Year Day – This is a day to look back on your New Year's Resolutions. What have you accomplished and what do you need to work harder on? Figure out if you were unrealistic with your goals and change, update and renew your goals and dedication to accomplishing them.

Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day – There are more wacky ice cream flavors that you can possibly imagine. There are the traditional vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry everywhere you go and every ice cream maker has their own special flavors like chocolate peanut butter cup. But then, if you go looking in local ice cream parlors you can find crazy flavors like Lavender Honey Ice Cream, and Sea Salt Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. You can go to a garlic festival and find garlic ice cream. You can even find ice cream that really shouldn't be ice cream.

International Joke Day – I was unable to find out who created this day, but for a day like this that is not important information. Today is a day for joking all around the world. Laughter is important to us for many different reasons so enjoy the excuse to laugh today. Tell jokes and spread the fun around the world.

National Build A Scarecrow Day - Some say this day is celebrated on July 1st, others say it’s on the first Saturday in July and still others say it’s on the first Sunday in July. All I can really be sure about is that this day is celebrated early in July and that it is a day to build a scarecrow to protect your vegetable garden from crows. Get creative and see what works to scare the crows and what they just end up using as a perch.

Comic Sans Day - Comic Sans is a typeface style that was created around 1994 by Vincent Connare. It was based on the lettering style of some comic books he had. It took off and became pretty popular among a lot of people, but not everyone. Many people felt it was being used inappropriately and when it was used for serious messages, those messages appeared to be not so serious and even inspired contempt. So it became very controversial. But in the Netherlands, in 2009, radio DJs Coen Swijnenberg and Sander Lantinga decided it needed a celebration day so they choose the first Friday in July. Some Dutch companies change their websites to Comic Sans on this day.

Zip Code Day – Before airplanes became a really reliable form of transporting mail around the country, and even for some time afterward, the Post Office used the much slower railroad. With the population booming, the Post Office was having a lot of difficulty delivering the mail in an efficient manner, so in the 1960's they spent quite some time working on finding a solution to that. On this day in 1963, the zip code system began and involved some major readjustments in the method of transporting mail.

U.S. Postage Stamp Day – Before postage stamps were created in 1840 in the United Kingdom, mail was paid for by the person receiving the mail, not the person sending the mail. Which is ridiculous because if the receiver didn't want to or was not able to pay for it, the postal service didn't get paid. Also the people sending the mail sent whatever they wanted, no matter what it might ultimately cost the recipient. The postage stamp changed all that and made the mail system much more efficient. Over the next twenty or so years, other countries followed suit with the United States issuing their first official stamps on this day in 1847.

June 30, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Social Media Day - This is a day that was begun in 2010 in order to recognize the tremendous impact social media has had on communication around the world. Thanks to social media, we can find out what is going on in the world almost instantly. It also has a downside because pictures or events that you don’t necessarily want to be public can also travel around the world in a matter of moments.

National Meteor Day – Keep your eyes open for meteors tonight. You never know when you're going to see one. Sometimes astronomers can give us a heads up when we will get a meteor shower, but even if there is no shower expected, you could still see a stray meteor. These are also known as shooting stars.

National Handshake Day – Celebrated on the last Thursday in June, this is a day for an old fashioned hand shake. No fist bumps or high fives or crazy secret handshake routines. No sir, people have been shaking hands for centuries. There was a time when a handshake was as good as a signed contract. People shake hands to say hello and to say goodbye, and to offer congratulations. You may be thinking that you are experiencing some deja vu today because we just had a Handshake Day back on the 21st, but that was a worldwide event. This day is only for the United States to celebrate. The rest of the world can just put their hands back in their pockets today. Unless you want to come over here and shake our hands, because that would be perfectly acceptable.

National Bomb Pop Day – Bomb Pops are a frozen Popsicle type of dessert that is made by Blue Bunny. They were invented in 1955 by James Merritt and D.S. Abernethy in Missouri. They even have a sugar free variety so unless you are allergic to one of the ingredients, you have no reason to not get them for your family today. This day is celebrated on the last Thursday in June.

Asteroid Day - This is a day to do whatever we can to protect our planet and our people from asteroid impacts. It is held on the anniversary of the 1908 asteroid impact in Siberian Tunguska, which is the largest impact in what scientists call “recent history”. It isn’t so recent that I remember it, even though my children have, on multiple occasions, suggested that I should be old enough.

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day – This is a day to make a one second adjustment to our time in order to stay close to the average solar time. Apparently our daily rotation is not exactly 24 hours but is a fraction of a second longer. Therefore, every now and then, at the end of June or December, we need to add a second to the clock so that we don't eventually have days when midnight comes sometime in the afternoon. There are scientists whose job it is to track the Earth’s rotation and they have told us that we do not have to add any seconds this time. The last time a second was added was June 2015.

NOW Day (National Organization for Women) – Founded on this day in 1966, by 28 women, this organization is about fighting for equality for women in all aspects of life.

Roswell UFO Days – The first day of a four day festival. At this festival, the City of Roswell tells the Universe that if they are looking for a place to crash, Roswell is ready to receive them. UFO experts, enthusiasts and skeptics are invited to Roswell to celebrate “one of the most debated incidents in history.”

June 29, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul - This is a day that has been celebrated for a very long time.  It is a feast in honor of the martyrdom of apostles Peter and Paul.  We are not sure if it is the anniversary of their death or if there is another reason for this day being chosen.

Hug Holiday – I was not able to find a reliable source for where this holiday came from, so normally I wouldn't include it. However, this is not a busy day and I really like hugs so there you have it, now you just have to give me one.

National Almond Buttercrunch Day – Crunchy, buttery and nutty, if you like that combination, you'll be in heaven today.

Camera Day – Joseph Niepce created the first photographic image in 1826 or 1827 but it faded pretty quickly and he needed 8 hours of light exposure in order to take the picture. There is some dispute about that date, you might find some websites saying it was taken in 1814, but that info seems sketchy to me. In 1839, Louis Jacques Daguerre took the first image that didn't fade and it only needed 30 minutes of light exposure. All that pales in comparison to the pictures we can take with today's cameras, but every new technology starts somewhere. It’s pretty amazing that these men figured out how to take a picture of something they could see with their eyes and reproduce it exactly (well, almost exactly, since they were black and white) on paper.  Prior to this, of course, any “pictures” had to be drawn or painted by an artist. If you search for images of the first camera, you will find copies of the picture that I have jazzed up a bit here.  However, this is not the first camera invented….because what on earth would be taking the picture of the first camera? is, in fact, the largest camera invented by George Lawrence in 1900. It weighed 900 pounds and cost $5,000 (the same as a large house) and took 15 men to move and operate.

Waffle Iron Day – Early, primitive waffle irons date back to the 14th century. They would imprint elaborate patterns on the waffles and were baked over a fire. In 1869, Cornelius Swarthout patented the waffle iron in the U.S. and 1911, the first electric waffle iron was invented.

June 28, 2016

Today we celebrate:

National Columnists’ Day - Created by Jim Six in May 1988 and celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of June every year since, this is a day to contact your favorite columnists and wish them a happy day. Maybe even take a minute to tell them what you like about what they write.

International Body Piercing Day - Some people are really into putting holes in their bodies in interesting places. I’m not, but if you are, this is a day for you. This is the birthday of Jim Ward, who happens to have introduced many of the different styles of piercing and the body jewelry that are in use now. He also opened the first piercing parlor in the United States. This is a new day started in 2014.

Paul Bunyan Day – This is a day for tall tales. You've all heard of Paul Bunyan, I’m sure. Tell your children about him today. Don't forget about Babe, the Blue Ox. Feel free to add your own embellishments to the story, that's what makes a tall tale so much fun. Maybe you could take a story from your own life and turn that into a tall tale. Daniel Boone is another one who inspired a lot of tall tales.

National Insurance Awareness Day – This is a day for spreading awareness of how important insurance is. Call your insurance company and see if they will celebrate today by giving you a discount on something. We can't get by without insurance these days whether it's car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance. It's big business and we need it because it saves us from losing everything we have when someone inevitably sues us for something or we experience some kind of disaster. Make sure your insurance is up to date today.

International Caps Lock Day - This day was created by Derek Arnold in the year 2000. It is also celebrated on October 22nd and is simply intended to be a fun, goofy day. Others have created their own Caps Lock Days at various points in the year because you just can't get enough of playing around on your keyboard, either that or they like to have an excuse to yell at people on social media.

National Tapioca Day - I love tapioca pudding and I’ve heard that you can also do other things with it like putting it in a drink. I haven’t tried that yet, I’m not sure I like it that much, but perhaps today would be a good day to find a good recipe. Maybe this one:

Tau Day – I didn't know what this was either until I looked it up so I will happily enlighten you. Tau is double Pi. Pi, of course, is 3.14....therefore Tau is 6.28...Hence the reason it is celebrated today.

June 27, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Helen Keller Day - Helen was not just a deaf and blind person, she was a person who, with the help of her teacher, overcame her sensory deficits and learned to communicate with and teach the world that ALL people have value and can contribute to society. Deaf and blind people did not need to hide away in their homes, they could go out in the world and make a difference just like anyone else. It was on this day in 1880, that Helen was born.

International Ragweed Day - Ragweed is an invasive weed that many people are allergic to in some form or other. This day is celebrated on the first Saturday of the summer and was created by the International Ragweed Society on the suggestion of Prof. Dr. Kristof Nekam and Dr. Tamas Komives. I think that the main goal of celebrating this day is to work on reducing the number of ragweeds in the world. Dig it up people, bag it so it can’t propagate, and throw it away.

National Indian Pudding Day - This is a day for eating and enjoying the puddings that were created by Native Americans. They were not like the puddings that we are used to today. They were made from molasses and cornmeal, among other things, most of the time, and were baked.

National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day - Begun in 2010 by Congressional Resolution, this is a day to spread awareness of the issues that people who suffer from PTSD face every day.  We usually see this disorder in members of the military because of what they go through every day during war time.  But they are not the only ones who can be affected.  Anyone who has to endure an extremely stressful event can be at risk.  And, of course, the family and friends of people with PTSD also suffer.  There are treatments and ways of living a normal life.  Some people qualify for a service dog which can be extremely beneficial.

Sunglasses Day – This is a day to celebrate eye protection. Even primitive societies have been known to devise some sort of covering that can be seen out of but still protect their eyes from the sun. These days we have a myriad of styles and colors of sunglasses to choose from. You can make them part of your fashion statement if you want to. The important thing is to realize that your eyes do need to be protected from the sun so that your eyesight will last longer.

Decide To Be Married Day – This is a day to celebrate couples who decide to get married. It is based on a poem entitled, “Decide to be Married”. Oddly enough, my happily married husband of 21 years always tries to talk people out of making this decision. Do you think he's trying to tell me something?

National HIV Testing Day – Every year on this day, since 2005, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has promoted an HIV testing day. They want everyone who could possibly be at risk to be tested today. The earlier you are diagnosed, the earlier you can begin treatment and the longer you can live a normal lifestyle.

Happy Birthday To You” Day – This song has been around longer than I would possibly have guessed. The melody was composed in 1859 by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher from Kentucky. It was first published in 1893 with the lyrics her sister, Patty Smith, wrote for it and it was called “Good Morning To All”. It was changed to a birthday song and copyrighted in 1935. Find someone who has a birthday today and sing it to them.

National Orange Blossom Day - This is a day to celebrate the flower known as the orange blossom which is ultimately responsible for producing the delicious fruit we all know as oranges.  Citrus fruits are important sources of Vitamin C and we use the flavor of citrus for many desserts and drinks and more.

Industrial Workers Of The World Day – On this day in 1905, The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was formed. The concept of the IWW is that all workers should be united as a social class and that capitalism and wage labor should be abolished. Sounds great in theory, but history has shown us that putting it into practice is difficult and so far has not been very successful.

Please Take My Children To Work Day – Celebrated on the last Monday in June, this is a day to recognize stay-at-home mothers and the very difficult job they have every day doing pretty much every job there is. On this day, stay-at-home moms can kick back, relax a little and laugh at themselves.

June 26, 2016

Today we celebrate:

America's Kids Day – Celebrated on the fourth Sunday in June, the goal of this day is to teach American children about what it is to be an American. We need to teach them our fundamental values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, there is a lot of cynicism out there, but it is still possible for children to grow up to be anything they want to be if they are willing to work for it. That's what it is to be an American.

Descendants Day – Also celebrated on the last Sunday in June, this is a day to research your family tree to see if you are the descendant of someone (or a group of someones) important to history. Of course, everyone you are descended from is important to your personal history since you wouldn't be here if it were not for each and every one of them.

Forgiveness Day - There is a Global Forgiveness Day later in the summer, but this is just a national one so you don’t have to forgive any international wrongdoers today. I’m not sure who created this day or when, but it’s pretty clear what it’s all about. And it is a very good idea to forgive anyone who has wronged you. So, OK, I forgive my sister for monopolizing the remote control when we were kids, and forcing me to watch Little House on the Prairie, which I probably would have actually enjoyed if it had been my idea to watch it. But I’m over it now, all is forgiven.

Tropical Cocktails Day - We just recently had a day for cocktails, but this is more specific. You can only have Tropical cocktails today. Did you know there is a cocktail that has the name “Tropical Fart”, ask your bartender for that one, I dare you. I am amazed at some of the names of these drinks we ask for. There’s another one called the “Great White Shark Attack”, who comes up with these names? And I have absolutely no idea how bartenders memorize all of the recipes.

Log Cabin Day – Celebrated on the last Sunday in June by most people, this day is sponsored by the Log Cabin Society of Michigan and has been an annual event since 1987. Michigan is so far the only state that celebrates this festival.  They do so by conducting tours of many log cabins in the state.

National Chocolate Pudding Day – Chocolate pudding is pretty good, especially for a chocolate lover. Add a little vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and you have turned pretty good into delicious.

National Canoe Day – This is a Canadian celebration founded by the Canadian Canoe Museum with the idea of increasing participation in canoeing across the country. Whether you are new to the sport or you have been canoeing for years, get out and find some water to canoe in today. Enjoy the water, the quiet and the animals you find.

Beautician's Day – This is a day to celebrate the person who styles your hair or paints your nails. Most of us can't do that by ourselves and the people who do it for us help us to look the best that we can be.

International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking – This is a United Nations created day to raise awareness of the serious problems that illegal drugs bring to society. This day is celebrated by people all over the world with awareness programs.

International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture – Another United Nations sponsored day created in 1997 to condemn the act of torture which is a crime under international law. Sadly, many governments and individuals ignore this law but the United Nations is working toward completely eradicating this horrific act.

June 25, 2016

Today we celebrate:

Global Smurfs Day - Celebrated on the Saturday closest to June 25th (or on June 25th when it falls on a Saturday like this year) this is a day to celebrate those lovable blue creatures that were created by Peyo, a Belgian comic artist. Peyo was born on this day in 1928 and created the Smurfs in 1958

Leon Day - This is a day that marks the point in the year that is exactly halfway to Christmas. It is Noel spelled backwards. You may, or may not, see this celebrated by stores having Christmas sales (I really hope I don’t see this.), radio stations playing Christmas music, charity organizations asking for money, local communities having concerts, parties, or fireworks, friends and neighbors wishing you a happy Christmas 6 months early, or family members beginning to hint about what they might enjoy receiving as a Christmas gift.

World Vitiligo Day - Vitiligo is a skin disease that destroys the cells that produce melanin, which means that people with dark colored skin will gradually have larger and larger white patches on their bodies.  It is often confused with leprosy in many countries and has a huge and negative social and psychological impact.  People are suffering from this disease are frequently shunned by family and friends.  This is a day to spread awareness of the disease and factual information about its’ causes and treatment.

National Strawberry Parfait Day – I understand that Parfait is French for perfect, and that is just what this dessert is, strawberry perfection.

Day of the Seafarer - This is a day to celebrate the people of the sea.  Working on the oceans and seas is a dangerous profession but without them we wouldn’t eat fish, or be able to transport anything by water.

National Catfish Day – This day was created by President Ronald Reagan's Proclamation in 1987. This is a day to eat farm raised catfish, the farming of which has become a sizable industry in America.

Color TV Day (CBS)- On this day in 1951, CBS broadcast the very first color TV program which very few people could enjoy since nearly everyone in America who owned a TV, owned a black-and-white TV since color TV's hadn't taken off yet and wouldn't for another decade. After all, why spend more money to buy a color TV if most of the shows on it were still black-and-white. Besides, TV was still pretty new at that point and many households had just recently purchased their first one. I'm sure they didn't want to turn right around and buy a new one.

Global Beatles Day – This is a day to celebrate the Beatles and the gifts they gave to the world because of their promotion of peace and love and the expansion of the human consciousness. They started a wave of global changes in fashion and art, among other things. This day was chosen to honor the first live global television broadcast of “All You Need Is Love” by John Lennon which occurred back in 1967 on this very day.

Great American Backyard Campout – On this day, thousands of Americans will gather in backyards all over the country to have their very own campout. Experience the outdoors without having to travel too far. This is a great option for people with young children who don't want to get too far away from indoor plumbing or who think their young children will not be able to last a whole night outside. This day is celebrated on the last Saturday in June every year.

Bartender and Mixologist Day - This is a day that is also celebrated on the last Saturday in June and is a day to celebrate the people who mix up our drinks. They take perfectly normal ingredients and mix them in all kinds of crazy ways into things that we then decide to drink. It is debateable if all of it is actually tasty or if people are just really, really weird. But since most people don’t have the recipe for many of their favorite drink concoctions memorized, this is the day to thank the people who do, and maybe give them a little bit nicer tip than usual.

International Ragweed Day - Ragweed is an invasive weed that many people are allergic to in some form or other. This day is celebrated on the first Saturday of the summer and was created by the International Ragweed Society on the suggestion of Prof. Dr. Kristof Nekam and Dr. Tamas Komives. I think that the main goal of celebrating this day is to work on reducing the number of ragweeds in the world. Dig it up people, bag it so it can’t propagate, and throw it away.

ARRL ( American Radio Relay League) Field Day – The most popular on-the-air event in the US and Canada. Celebrated on the fourth weekend of June every year by more than 35,000 ham radio enthusiasts and their clubs. Some celebrate with a contest, others by practicing emergency radio drills, still others with picnics and campouts.

June 24, 2016

Today we celebrate:

National Kissing Day - This began as a United Kingdom holiday, but we have joined in on the fun. It has been celebrated in the United Kingdom for about the last eleven years, according to the website. It is a day for kissing so pucker up and get the lip balm ready because you’ll need it.

Celebration of the Senses Day - This is a day to celebrate all of your senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. How you choose to celebrate is left up to you so do whatever is most pleasing to these senses. It doesn’t need to be all at the same time, although if you can, it would certainly save time.

Museum Comes to Life Day - This day has been celebrated since 2006 and is a day to go to a museum and imagine what it would be like if everything in it came to life. Take your kids with you and see what scenarios their amazing imaginations come up with. I don't know for sure but I imagine that this day has some connection with the movie, Night at the Museum.

National Pralines Day – A sweet pecan treat that is very popular in New Orleans. It originally came from France and used almonds but when those Frenchmen and women arrived in New Orleans way back when, almonds were hard to come by, so they switched to pecans and now no one even thinks of using almonds in this delectable dessert.

International Fairy Day – This is a day that celebrates those tiny, winged, little people who are born on the laugh of a baby. I couldn't find out where this day came from or why we should celebrate it, but if you have children, particularly the little girl variety, you probably already celebrate this day every day.

Swim a Lap Day – This is a day to get a little exercise. Put on your bathing suit, (go ahead, I won’t look) and hop in the pool to swim a lap. Although since you went to all that trouble to get your suit on and find a pool, I don't know why you would stop at one lap. Go ahead and swim as many laps as you can.

Take Your Dog To Work Day – This is a day to celebrate dogs and encourage people to adopt them. There are so many wonderful dogs out there that would make perfect pets for you. We adopted our dog from a rescue organization and I cannot now imagine how we got along without him. He even melted my not-a-dog-person husband's heart. This day began to be celebrated in 1999 and was created by Pet Sitters International.  It is always on the Friday after Father’s Day.

Drive Your Corvette To Work Day - On June 30, 1953, the first Corvette was produced in Flint, Michigan. So this day is celebrated on the Friday before June 30th. If you have a Corvette, drive it to work today. If you don’t have one, you can either pretend and dress up your Civic as a Corvette, or you can rent one for the day.