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May 20, 2017

Today we celebrate:

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day - This is a protest against censorship day, and truthfully I’m not sure it is still going on. I’m certainly not finding the thousands of people who supported it when it was created by Molly Norris in 2010. The idea was that if thousands or maybe millions of people drew depictions of Mohammed, then the ones who threatened cartoonists with death, would not be able to find and kill everyone. They were trying to get across the idea that these extremists didn’t have the right to censor what the world wants to say, do, or draw.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day – Three years ago, this became the first global online awareness celebration. It is hosted by many groups and organizations in the Autoimmune Arthritis community. It is going to be online again this year. It is an interactive, live, virtual convention that lasts for 47 hours and is free. This day was chosen for celebrations because in 2012, the first solar eclipse of the century occurred which the organizers used to symbolize the misunderstandings surrounding Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases.

Be A Millionaire Day – I could not determine the origins of this day but it seems to be about most everyone's desire to be a millionaire. I could not find any good advice on how to make it happen so maybe you should play the lottery today. That seems to be the quickest way.

Pick Strawberries Day – This is the season for picking strawberries. They are best when you pick them yourself and eat them while they are still warm from the sunshine. Call the place you usually go to pick them first, however. The weird weather we have all experienced has delayed a lot of their growth this year.

National Quiche Lorraine Day – This dish was apparently named after the Lorraine region of France and dates back to the 6th century. It is the original quiche recipe, all others are mere adaptations.

Eliza Doolittle Day – Eliza Doolittle is a fictional character from the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw in 1912. You may know it better by the musical version called My Fair Lady. I was not able to figure out why she rates her own day or why it needed to be this day.

Weights & Measures Day – On this day in 1875, an international treaty was signed establishing an International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Clearly an important organization, but I can't help but think that if it were not created, would we all be as concerned about measuring how much we weigh?

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.

Cultural Freedom Day - The first of many third Saturday in May holidays, for this one we celebrate free culture. The term comes from Lawrence Lessig who used “Free Culture” as the title to his book. The day is about creating art, and allowing anyone who wants to, to use their art, study it, spread it around and use it to improve their own art and spread that around as well.

National Learn To Swim Day – Celebrated for the third 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 on making them go to lessons. After a scare in a pool when she was three, my daughter cried through nearly 6 months of swimming lessons before she finally started enjoying the water and now she swims like a fish. It’s hard, but it's worth it.

River Cleanup Day - Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is a day of action. Thousands of volunteers all around the country get together in their local areas to clean up the trash in rivers, creeks, streams, and lakes. See if you can find a local volunteer group to join today, or make your own with some friends who care about our environment.

Preakness Stakes - Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is the second race of the Triple Crown and is always two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. It is an exciting race, especially if the same horse that won the Kentucky Derby is racing in it.

World Whisky Day - Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, this is a day to enjoy a whisky with your friends. I thought whisky was spelled whiskey, but according to the website, I was incorrect.

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