Last year, I did a post on World War I for Veterans Day as it had been 100 years, exactly, since the end of that war. I also covered how other countries memorialize and/or celebrate and, ended the post with two poems. I’ve written in a previous post about my almost Army brat status and referred to my significant other in this post.
Ken’s first foray into the ‘military’ was the Hargave Military Academy in Virginia. His mother sent him there for summer school to assist with grades after a poor eighth grade year. He stayed for his ninth grade year and did very well. Unfortunately, it was extremely expensive and he returned to regular high school for tenth grade.
At the end of his junior year, he’d had enough of regular high school and made it clear to his mother that he wanted to go into the Navy. The military was all he was interested in. So, at the tender age of 17, his mother signed him into service. He went into the reserves for two years and began to train as a Corpsman. His sea duties were aboard the USS Robinson (DD-562), a Fletcher Class destroyer, the second ship in the Navy to be named after Captain Isaiah Robinson (Continental Navy). The “Robbie” received eight battle stars for World War II service and appeared in the movie Away All Boats.
After two years of training, he went active duty…and the Navy lost its mind. Orders to report to his new ship in hand, he was sent to Charleston, SC, to be assigned to the USS Canisteo (AO-99), a Cimarron Class fleet oiler, named for the Canisteo River in New York and the only ship to bear that name. It’s crew received nine medals.
Unfortunately, upon his arrival, there was no ship to board. The Charleston Naval Base had no record of it being there and, in the meantime, he was sent to the transit barracks. While waiting, he volunteered to be a lifeguard for a week. The remaining time was spent waiting at the barracks. After three weeks, the Navy adjusted his orders and sent him to Norfolk Naval Base, the home port of the Canisteo. Upon arrival, no ship. He was, again, assigned to the transit barracks…until they could find the ship. After a four-day wait, the Navy adjusted his orders a second time and he was sent to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. The shipyard had no record of the Canisteo being there so, he was sent…a-gain…to the transit barracks. His ship was finally found at the Todd Shipyards in Red Hook Brooklyn, a civilian shipyard. With his orders in hand (now, a rather large portfolio of paperwork), stamped by the Navy (adjusted a third time), he headed to his ship. He reported to the Officer of the Deck and was told that he had been reported AWOL. The OOD examined the orders, informed him that his Corpsman striker slot had been filled due to his (unintended) absence and, just like that, he was transformed into part of the deck force, wiping out two years of training. He became a Bosun’s Mate striker. *facepalm*
He left active service in 1964 and rolled into the IRR, waiting for the end of his contract to expire. On March 8, 1965, Marines landed near Da Nang, marking the beginning of the ground war in Vietnam. Ken was working a full time job and was watching what was going on. By the summer of 1966, he decided that he was going to go back to the Navy, interested in the River Patrol (and PBRs) and went to see a prior service recruiter. The recruiter told him that the Navy would not give him his rank back. Ken left his office and was stopped by a Marine recruiter in the hallway. He told him to go back in and ask about the Seabees. He did so and the Navy prior service recruiter changed his tune. Off he went to Camp Endicott in Rhode Island for training. He was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 and sent to Gulfport, Home of the Seabees.
He arrived in Vietnam in July of 1967. His base was Camp Haskins on Red Beach in Da Nang. The Marines were on Monkey Mountain across the bay and at Da Nang Air Base in the opposite direction, across the highway. At the beginning of the Tet Offensive, the bombing of the Air Base in January of 1968 nearly knocked Ken out of a guard tower. He was designated a builder and did his share of such but, spent most of his time running patrols with the Marines.
On November 3, 1967, a fellow Seabee had an accident with a saw while cutting some wood. A sawhorse shifted and the man injured himself, accidentally. The blade cut an artery in his thigh and Ken’s Corpsman training kicked in. He, literally, stuck his hand into the guy’s thigh to clamp the artery with his thumb and forefinger. When the rescue helicopter arrived, the coagulated blood on Ken’s arm prevented him from being able to remove his hand from the guy’s thigh. Ken got a free ride in the helicopter to the hospital with his charge. A life was saved (the actual details are pretty gruesome).
And, this concludes my long-ass tribute to my Fleet Navy/Vietnam Seabee veteran. If you have a veteran in your life…hug them. ~Vic
[Addendum: When I moved in with Ken some years ago, I was looking at his DD-214. He swore he only had one and I saw from the data that he had two. We sent off for his records and, sure enough, there were two. I discovered that, when he went to the prior service recruiter, the guy didn’t bother to check to see if Ken was still on contract. He was and, had he checked, Ken could have returned to the Navy, with rank intact, and left for Vietnam as part of the Brown Water Navy…and most likely died. The life span of PBR guys was fairly short.]
I did a post last year, celebrating the Summer Solstice of 2018. I got some really cool pictures that day. I got a few this year with some visitations from nature.
If anyone can identify my caterpillar, let me know. ~Vic
The Summer Solstice for our area of the planet was at 11:45am EDT.
The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium — from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern or, southernmost point (declination) for the year, as seen from Earth. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. The motion referred to here is the apparent path of the Sun when one views its position in the sky at the same time each day, for example at local noon. Over the year, its path forms a sort of flattened figure eight, called an analemma. Of course, the Sun, itself, is not moving (unless you consider its own orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy). Tnstead, this change in position in the sky that we on Earth notice is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, as well as Earth’s elliptical, rather than circular, orbit. The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time. It all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.
Did you know that the Sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice, in that it takes longer to set below the horizon? This is related to the angle of the setting Sun. The farther the Sun sets from due west along the horizon, the shallower the angle of the setting Sun. (Conversely, it’s faster at or near the equinoxes.) Bottom-line, enjoy those long romantic summertime sunsets at or near the solstice!
Many cultures, both ancient and modern, celebrate the sunlight with rituals and holidays. Every year on the summer solstice, thousands of people travel to Wiltshire, England, to Stonehenge […]. There are many Midsummer celebrations all over the planet.
April 18 has three fixed celebrations, two ‘Third Thursday’ celebrations and one floating celebration. Today is National Lineman Appreciation Day.
From National Day Calendar:
If the power is on where you are reading this article, you likely have a lineman to thank. From the power plant, the grid crisscrossing the country, both above and underground, and right up to the meters on our homes, these men, and women, build and maintain the system that keeps our nation running. Regardless of the source, the electricity has to be transported by employing transformers and other equipment. Due to the dangerous conditions power poses, safety is of utmost importance for both the lineman and the consumer.
When mother nature destroys what our linemen have built up, they are on call to build it back up again as quickly as possible. These men and women work tirelessly to get emergency systems back in working order and, urgently, return service to remaining areas. Even when there is no crisis, they work under dangerous conditions on a daily basis. Whether they are working in trenches, near water or on high towers, the risks are extreme.
This day was first recognized on April 10, 2013, by the U.S. Senate [via] Resolution S Res 95.
Northwest Lineman College Appreciation Day Tribute Gallery
[I think some Glen Campbell would be appropriate…or, REM, if you prefer. ~Vic]
I’ve posted for Veterans Day on November 11 and POW/MIA Recognition Day, the third Friday in September. Today is the national acknowledgement of the final pull-out of US troops in South Vietnam, ending our direct involvement.
From National Day Calendar:
[…] Veterans of this time period are gaining the respect that was not so freely given upon their return. Involving five U.S. presidents, crossing nearly two decades and 500,000 U.S.military personnel, it left an indelible mark on the American psyche. Returning Veterans did not always receive respectful welcomes upon their arrive on American soil. There were 58,000 killed, never to return. National Vietnam War Veterans Day recognizes the military service of these men and women who answered the call to service their country when she needed them. They didn’t make the decisions to go to war.
U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced legislation in 2017 to honor Vietnam Veterans with a day on the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam. President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Day Act on March 28, 2017, calling for U.S. flags to be flown on March 29 for those who served.
From The History Channel:
[…] in January 1973, representatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam and, the Vietcong signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war and, the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means. The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced.
Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops [left] South Vietnam as Hanoi [freed] the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam. […] before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire and, by early 1974, full-scale war had resumed. At the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000 of their soldiers and civilians had been killed in fighting during the year […].
On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces.
I live with a Vietnam Seabee Veteran. He was in-country at Camp Haskins, Red Beach, Da Nang harbor during Khe Sanh, Tet and the Battle of Hue. Thankfully, he was not directly affected but, he was nearly blown out of a guard tower when the USMC Da Nang Air Base was attacked in January 1968. He keeps a wad of shrapnel and an empty grenade in the office as a reminder of what nearly got him. He’s told me stories of returning home and being flipped off by civilians. He was never spit on, like some stories I’ve heard but, he certainly wasn’t welcomed back. ~Vic
February 20 has two celebrations. National Love Your Pet Day is, clearly, a national day to love your pet(s)…as if we need a reason or an excuse to shower our fur-babies with adoration or smother them with kisses and hugs. Still, it’s a sweet sentiment to proclaim a national day of rejoicing for our companions or, best friends or, children or, partners. They fulfill so many needs on so many levels that volumes of literature exist that could occupy a very large library.
The statistics on pets in the U.S. is interesting and on the rise. As of March 2017, 68% of all households have a pet(s), up from 56% in 1988. Topping the list, believe it or not, is freshwater fish. All of a sudden, I am seeing Nemo in the aquarium of the dentist’s office. Yeah. I know. Nemo was a saltwater fish but, that is the first thing that popped into my head.
The National Day Calendar folks couldn’t find the creator of this day but, thank you, whomever you are. So, give your pet(s) an extra hug or, a scratch or, a new toy or, treats (they really, really like treats) in celebration. They won’t mind.
Also celebrated today:
National Cherry Pie Day
Cheers and enjoy! ~Vic
January 1 has three celebrations with New Year’s Day being the most obvious. It is also National Hangover Day, a time of global suffering after the New Year’s Eve parties all over the planet. Loud snoring, moans, groans, staggering and heaving noises can be heard in nearly every neighborhood. Lost cars, car keys, phones, glasses, shoes and, quite possibly, underwear befuddle the squinty-eyed masses. Trashcans overflowing with bottles, cans and party favors litter cities worldwide and returning garbage workers will, collectively, curse tomorrow, many still suffering from their own hangovers. It’s a great time to be alive. The folks at National Day Calendar have graciously provided everyone with a list of symptoms, preventive measures and cures.
At a get together at the Oven and Tap, a restaurant in Bentonville, Arkansas, in October of 2015, people were talking about National Days. The conversation then turned to what day on the calendar had little or no National Days attached to it. When it was announced that January 1 was only known as New Year’s Day, Keegan Calligar and Marlo Anderson both stated, simultaneously, that it should be National Hangover Day.
National Hangover Day was submitted by Keegan Calligar and Marlo Anderson in October 2015. The day was approved by the registrar of National Day Calendar in November of 2015.
National Bloody Mary Day (How àpropos…)
Cheers and enjoy!
November 23 is a busy, busy day of 10 celebrations. I will highlight Buy Nothing Day as our consumerism is out of control.
This observance always falls on the day after Thanksgiving, coinciding with Black Friday. Some of the ways to observe are pretty funny:
♦ Cut up your credit cards.
♦ Do the whirl-mart…the act of pushing your empty cart around, disrupting other shoppers and buying absolutely nothing.
♦ Do a Christmas Zombie Walk…become the expression of obsessed Black Friday shoppers.
It appears the Canadians have the distinction of starting the movement as a protest in 1992. Vancouver artist Ted Dave founded and organized it in September. It was moved to the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1997.
Just stay home. Do you really need to spend that money and deal with all the frenzy? Just so you know, this Black Friday is on a full moon. Watch out.
National Cashew Day (Yum!)
National Eat A Cranberry Day (More yum!)
National Espresso Day
National Day of Listening (Day after Thanksgiving)
National Native American Heritage Day (Day after Thanksgiving/Yeah!)
Black Friday (Boo!)
National Flossing Day (Day after Thanksgiving)
Maize Day (Day after Thanksgiving)
Your Welcomegiving Day (Day after Thanksgiving)
“On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent.”
[Note: This is not a post to re-visit the actual war or discuss the minute details of every event. I will leave that to the historical scholars.]
One hundred years ago, today, the “war to end all wars” came to an end with the signing of the final Armistice in a railroad car in Compiègne, France. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire had signed the previous three. This was not the actual surrender as the Treaty of Versailles formally ended the entire war. Signed on June 28, 1919, the treaty was on the exact day, five years later, of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
“The first minute of silence was to indicate gratitude for those who had returned alive…the second to remember the fallen.”
Edward George Honey, an Australian journalist, was the gentleman whom first proposed a moment of silence. The two-minute silence, practiced today, originated in Cape Town, South Africa, via that town’s then Mayor, Sir Harry Hands.
Remembrance Day or, Poppy Day, is the memorial day observed in the Commonwealth of Nations and many non-Commonwealth countries and, evolved from the Armistice Day. Remembrance Sunday is observed by the UK and Commonwealth nations on the Sunday closest to November 11. Armistice Day is the primary holiday in France, Belgium and Serbia. Serbian people wear Natalie’s Ramonda instead of the poppy. The French wear the Bleuet de France, a Cornflower.
♢ Poland celebrates their National Independence Day on November 11.
♢ Italy celebrates their Armistice of Villa Giusti on November 4.
♢ The Republic of Ireland recognizes Armistice & Remembrance Day but, their National Day of Commemoration on the Sunday nearest July 11 is a reflection of their Irish War of Independence that started two months after the Armistice was signed.
♢ Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain were neutral and, have no specific WWI observances.
♢ Germany has a Peoples Day of Mourning covering all armed conflicts, observed on the Sunday closest to November 16.
We, here in the U.S., at the behest of several veterans organizations, changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans, regardless of a specific war. It is a national holiday and different from Memorial Day (last Monday in May), which honors those whom died while serving and, Armed Forces Day (also in May but, the third Saturday), honoring those currently serving.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
We Shall Keep The Faith
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
November 9 has three celebrations. National Louisiana Day highlights the 18th state. Purchased as a territory in 1803 during the Jefferson Presidency and admitted to the Union on April 30, 1812, its largest city is New Orleans and its capital is Baton Rouge. Those native to the state are referred to as ‘Louisianians‘ but, having had a great neighbor in Texas that was from this state, he, frequently, referred to himself as a certain Cajun ethnicity. The official nickname is the Pelican State but, other nicknames are Bayou State, Creole State, Sportsman’s Paradise and The Boot.
With a blending of cultures, this multilingual state has Native American (seven distinct tribes), French (Acadians), Spanish, African, German, Irish and Haitian influences. This unique mixture has brought forth grand cuisine, excellent music, Creole culture and Mardi Gras.
Louisiana is home to the National World War II Museum, the Historic Voodoo Museum, the Mardi Gras Museum, the New Orléans Jazz Museum, the Delta Music Museum, the Old State Capitol and the Tabasco Museum. It is also home to the earliest North American mound complex: Watson Brake, the U. S. National Monument & UNESCO World Heritage Site: Poverty Point and, the Troyville Earthworks.
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe [Jelly Roll Morton] – Musician (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941)
Louis Daniel “Louie” Armstrong [Satchmo] – Musician (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)
Truman Garcia Capote – Author (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984)
Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. – Musician/Singer/Songwriter (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017)
Howard Allen Frances O’Brien [Anne Rice] – Author (October 4, 1941)
Cheers and enjoy!
November 2 has four celebrations. Today is National Ohio Day and recognizes the 17th state to join the U.S. Nicknamed the Buckeye State, Ohioans also claim Birthplace of Aviation (North Carolinians dispute this, good-naturedly) and The Heart of It All. It’s largest city, Columbus, is also its capital and, apparently, it is the only state with a State Rock Song.
Admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803, it’s name is taken from the Ohio River which is a Seneca word, Ohi:yo’, meaning “good river”. Ancient remains indicate cultures going back as far as 13,000 BC and, one in particular, the Pre-Columbian Adena, left behind the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, a U.S. National Historic Place & Landmark. Known tribes were the Petun, the Erie, the Chonnonton, the Mingo Seneca, the Lenape, the Shawnee and the Iroquois Confederacy. All native tribes were eventually removed either by request, payment or, eventually the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
Tecumseh – Chief of the Shawnee (March 1768 – October 5, 1813)
George Armstrong Custer – Officer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876)
Phoebe Ann “Annie Oakley” Mosey – Sharpshooter (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926)
Wilbur & Orville Wright – Inventors (Wilbur…April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) (Orville…August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948)
Charles Milles Maddox Manson – Murderer (November 12, 1934 – November 19, 2017)
National Deviled Egg Day (Yum!)
National Jersey Friday (First Friday in November)
National Broadcast Traffic Professional’s Day (Observed on November 2 unless it falls on a weekend, then the following Monday)
Ending the post with, of course, Ohio’s State Rock Song:
Cheers and enjoy!
October 18 has two celebrations, one ‘third Thursday in October’ celebration and one ‘third Thursday of each quarter’ celebration (Ohhhhh K). National Chocolate Cupcake Day celebrates, well, chocolate cupcakes! My fellow blogger, Britchy, is a fine baker but, sometimes uses too much frosting (I couldn’t resist).
Also referred to as Fairy Cakes (British), Patty Cakes (Australian) or Bun (Irish, I think…), these tasty confections are perfect (to me, anyway) if you want cake without an entire cut piece and, they date back to 1796. An Amelia Simmons is credited as being the first known author of a cookbook called American Cookery with a recipe for “…cake to bake in small cups…”, though she didn’t use the word cupcake. The earliest documentation of that description comes from Eliza Leslie in her cookbook from 1828 Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats.
Cheers and enjoy!
Oh, I just couldn’t pass this one up.
October 6 has four celebrations and a brand new one. Today is National Mad Hatter Day, which is àpropos to this being the month of Halloween. Considering recent political dramas, theatre of the absurd also applies.
Being ‘mad as a hatter’ was a real thing at one time, all silliness aside. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, mercury nitrate was used extensively by haberdasheries in the production of felt. The symptoms of mercury poisoning or, Erethism were a myriad of crazy behaviors due to the neurological damage.
But, in the case of today’s Mad Hatter Day, grab a top hat and be ridiculous. Celebrate Lewis Carroll’s colorful character and be an “Alice in Wonderland” if you so choose.
Also celebrated today:
National Plus Size Appreciation Day
National German-American Day
National Noodle Day (I’m not kidding)
National Orange Wine Day (Founded by The Real House Wine to bring awareness to, of course, orange wines. It was proclaimed, today, by the Registrar at National Day Calendar.)
Cheers and enjoy!
September 25 has six celebrations and one ‘fourth Tuesday in September’ day. With today being Tune Tuesday, I couldn’t pass this up. Today, we honor National One-Hit Wonder Day. And, curiously, the folks at National Day Calender have no idea when this particular celebration was created.
Do you have a favorite one-hit wonder? I have several. But, for today, I will jump back ten years from my previous Tune Tuesday post. I’m a large fan of surfing music, so here are a couple from 1963. ~Victoria
Pipeline by The Chantays peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1963.
Wipe Out by The Surfaris peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the Autumn of 1963.
Also celebrated today:
National Lobster Day (Yum!)
National Comic Book Day
National Tune Up Day
National Research Administrator Day (That’s a mouthful.)
Math Story Telling Day (Who knew math needed stories…)
National Voter Registration Day (Fourth Tuesday in September)
Cheers and enjoy!
September 17 has three celebrations. Constitution Day & Citizenship Day commemorates the 1787 signing of the Constitution of the United States, despite Rhode Island holding out until 1790 and, all naturalized citizens. Patrick Henry refused to attend the Convention as he preferred the Articles of Confederation. He feared a strong central government and saw the Constitution a step backwards.
Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings—give us that precious jewel and you may take everything else. But I fear I have lived long enough to become an old-fashioned fellow. Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned: if so, I am contented to be so.
He managed to settle himself down after the Constitutional ratification as the convention members proposed 40 amendments, some of which became the Bill of Rights.
Under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, citizenship is defined as “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Cheers and enjoy!
August 31 has four celebrations and one proclamation day. National South Carolina Day honors the eighth state to join the United States, ratifying the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788. Initially part of Province of Carolina, The Palmetto State (Clarendon Province) was split in 1712 from what would become North Carolina (Albemarle Province). It was the first state to vote in favor of secession in late 1860.
It is home to Table Rock & Caesars Head State Parks, Cherokee Foothills Scenic Parkway, the Fort Sumter National Monument, the East Coast Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island and, Charleston, the oldest & largest city in the state. The two largest Native American tribes were the Cherokee and the Catawba.
An earthquake struck Charleston on this very day in 1886 killing 60 people.
Notable South Carolinians:
Francis Marion [Swamp Fox] – Revolutionary (1732 – February 27, 1795)
James Strom Thurmond, Sr. – Governor (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003)
Melvin Horace Purvis, II – FBI Agent (October 24, 1903 – February 29, 1960)
William Childs Westmoreland – General (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005)
James Joseph Brown – Musician (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006)
Cheers and Enjoy!
August 17 has five celebrations. National Massachusetts Day highlights the sixth state to join the Union and, the first New England colony. This is the place of the famous Boston Tea Party, the Sons of Liberty and, its capital is Boston. Officially, it is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but, it has a few nicknames:
The Bay State
The Pilgrim State
The Puritan State
The Old Colony State
The Baked Bean State
It is home to Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Martha’s Vineyard. It is also the home of the ‘real’ Boston Creme Pie, something called a ‘Fluffernutter‘ (that will be celebrated October 8), New England ‘Boston’ clam chowder and cranberries. It was the home of the Springfield Armory (now, a National Historic Site) and the 1692 Salem witch trials.
Notable Bay Staters:
Benjamin Franklin – Founding Father (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790)
Samuel Adams – Founding Father (September 27, 1722 – October 2, 1803)
Paul Revere – Patriot (January 1, 1735 – May 10, 1818)
John Adams – Founding Father (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826)
John Hancock – 1st Governor of Massachusetts (January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793)
Eli Whitney – Inventor (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825)
John Quincy Adams – 6th U.S. President (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848)
Ralph Waldo Emerson – Philosopher/Poet (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. – Physician/Poet (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894)
Susan B. Anthony – Women’s Activist (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. – Jurist (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935)
Richard Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller – Author/Futurist (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)
Theodore ‘Dr. Seuss’ Geisel – Author (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy – 35th U.S. President (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)
George H. W. Bush – 41st U.S. President (June 12, 1924)
Robert Francis Kennedy – Senator (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968)
Edward Moore ‘Ted’ Kennedy – Senator (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)
Francis Lee Bailey, Jr. – Attorney (June 10, 1933)
Michael Stanley Dukakis – 65th Governor of Massachusetts (November 3, 1933)
National Non-Profit Day
National I Love My Feet Day (I’m not kidding…)
National Thrift Shop Day
Black Cat Appreciation Day (Not to be confused with National Black Cat Day…because black kitties deserve two days to be celebrated!)
Cheers and enjoy!
August 16 has four celebrations. National Airborne Day was created by President George ‘W’ Bush in 2001.
On August 16, 1940, a “Test” Platoon led by Major William Lee and consisting of 48 volunteers of the U.S. 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, GA, made the first U.S. Army parachute jump from an aircraft in order to explore its applications in battle:
During the time between the World Wars, the 29th Infantry Regiment trained infantry soldiers and leaders, demonstrated tactics and tested innovations in Infantry warfare at Fort Benning including providing soldiers for the first parachute unit in the U.S. armed forces.
So, let’s all have a rum drink, ride a roller coaster, tell a joke and cheer on our Airborne folks! Enjoy, everyone!
August 10 has four reasons to celebrate. National Connecticut Day showcases the fifth state to join the United States. It is known, officially, as ‘The Constitution State‘ but, has other interesting nicknames:
The Nutmeg State
The Provisions State
The Land of Steady Habits (my favorite!)
It is the southernmost state in the New England area, settled by the Dutch. Early colonists were noted for their production of brass and, supplied buttons and munitions to the Revolutionary Army. It is the home state of the infamous Benedict Arnold.
Nathan Hale – Patriot (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776)
Noah Webster, Jr. – Educator (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843)
Charles Goodyear – Chemist (December 29, 1800 – July 1, 1860)
Phineas Taylor ‘P.T.’ Barnum – Entertainer (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891)
Harriet Beecher Stowe – Author (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896)
Samuel Colt – Manufacturer (July 19, 1814 – January 10, 1862)
John Pierpont ‘J.P.’ Morgan – Banker (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913)
Charles Henry Dow – Journalist (November 6, 1851 – December 4, 1902)
Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt – Theodore’s First Lady (August 6, 1861 – September 30, 1948)
Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr. – General Motors CEO (May 23, 1875 – February 17, 1966)
Dr. Benjamin McLane Spock – Pediatrician (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998)
Ralph Nader – Activist Attorney (February 27, 1934)
Gene Francis Alan Pitney – Musician (February 17, 1940 – April 5, 2006)
Joseph Isadore ‘Joe’ Lieberman – Political Attorney (February 24, 1942)
George “W” Bush – 43rd President (July 6, 1946)
Richard Carpenter – Musician (October 15, 1946)
Anna-Lou ‘Annie’ Leibovitz – Photographer (October 2, 1949)
Karen Anne Carpenter – Musician (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983)
Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend – Lt. Governor of Maryland (July 4, 1951)
Michael ‘Bolton’ Bolotin – Singer/Songwriter (February 26, 1953)
Cheers and enjoy!
July 20 has three celebrations. The most notable of the three is National Moon Day, commemorating Apollo 11 and the 1969 moon walk. Everyone knows about that one.
But, today is also National Pennsylvania Day, a recognition of the second state to join the Union. Known as the ‘Keystone State’, Pennsylvania also served as a temporary Capitol for the U.S….Philadelphia, the site of the signing of The Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution. It is the home of the Original Philly Cheesesteak, the Original Banana Split, Hershey’s Chocolate, Marshmallow Peeps and Twizzlers. It is also the home of the largest concentration of U.S. ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ Amish.
Daniel Boone – Frontiersman (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820)
Elizabeth Griscom ‘Betsy’ Ross – Flag Maker (January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836)
James Buchanan – 15th U.S. President (April 23, 1791 – March 4, 1861)
Louisa May Alcott – Author (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888)
Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman [Nellie Bly] – Journalist (May 4, 1864 – January 27, 1922) [NOTE: Wikipedia reflects May 5]
Lee Iacocca – Auto Executive [Ford & Chrysler] (October 15, 1924)
Arnold Palmer – Golfer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016)
Reginald Reggie Jackson – Baseball Player (May 18, 1946)
Gee. After all that, I think I need to visit!
Also celebrated today:
National Lollipop Day
Cheers and enjoy!
July 12th is another very busy ‘National Day’ with five celebrations. Simplicity Day is observed on the birthday of Henry David Thoreau. He was born on this day in 1817. As a philosopher, he believed in living a simple life:
“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex and, solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
He was a world-renowned author, historian, abolitionist, tax resister (my hero!), a surveyor, criticized over-development, preferred the natural ways and transcendentalism and, was a friend of and mentored by, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Born nearly 100 years prior to Alan Watts, the two could have been contemporary peers.
In our overly busy lives, steeped in political battles, materialism, social media madness and the struggle to survive, slowing down, disengaging and walking in nature can be a refreshing break. De-cluttering and simplifying one’s life can, ultimately, bring peace and balance.
Cheers and enjoy!
The 1st of July is a very busy day of celebration for the nation, leading up to Independence Day. It’s National Postal Worker Day, established in 1997 by a Seattle area carrier. I have two high school classmates that are postmen. They both really enjoy it. It can be a tough job, though.
If you are thinking “Neither rain nor sleet nor snow…” or something along those lines, the U.S. Post Office doesn’t have an “official” motto, really. There seems to be a bit of confusion from a modified translation of Herodotus’ quote regarding the courier service of the Persian Empire:
There is nothing in the world which travels faster than the Persian couriers. The whole idea is a Persian invention, and works like this: riders are stationed along the road, equal in number to the number of days the journey takes – a man and a horse for each day. Nothing stops these couriers from covering their allotted stage in the quickest possible time – neither snow, rain, heat, nor darkness. The first, at the end of his stage, passes the dispatch to the second, the second to the third, and so on along the line, as in the Greek torch-race which is held in honour of Hephaestus.
It’s also U.S. Postage Stamp Day…naturally. The very first postage stamp was issued on July 1, 1847 but, no one seems to know who created the National Day for it. Lost to history, I suppose.
Cheers and enjoy!
They have a “national day” for nearly everything. Some of them are very tongue-in-cheek, if not down-right ridiculous. Did you know there is a Ding-a-Ling Day? Yeah. I didn’t either. Apparently, it’s for dialing up friends, not pointing out stupid people. Who knew.
I wander around and take pictures of everything. I see so much I want to capture. My Samsung stupidphone gets a lot of use. I would really like to get a genuine camera but, I can’t decide what to get and cost is an issue. Expensive cameras don’t have payment plans like, say, a stupidphone.
So, anyway, enjoy National Camera Day…or, what is left of it. Take pix of your family. Take pix of your friends. Take pix of nature. Take pix of critters. Let your imagination wander. There is always something in a photograph that surprises.
Cheers and enjoy!