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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.

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