Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's celebrations

April 30th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
National Oatmeal Cookie Day
National Honesty Day
National Raisin Day
Hairstyle Appreciation Day
Hairstylist Appreciation Day
World Healing Day
National Rebuilding Day
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day
International Walk Days
National Sense of Smell Day (always the last Saturday of April)
National Go Birding Day
Spank Out Day USA
National Child Care Professionals Day
New York World's Fair opens, 1939
George Washington gives first presidential inaugural address, 1789
On this day in 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler's dreams of a "1,000-year" Reich.
Louisiana Purchase Day: Louisiana Purchase of 828,800 square miles (2,147,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803 (which later became 14 new states)
Admission Day (Louisiana) 1812
The Vietnam War ends with the fall of Saigon (later renamed Ho Chi Minh City) (1975)
Just Pray No: Worldwide Weekend Prayer and Fasting
(leading up to the "National Day of Prayer," an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May since 1952, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation")
Christian Feast Day: Honoring various saints
St. Adjutor's Day (patron of swimmers, yachtsmen; against drowning)
May Eve, the eve of the first day of summer
Walpurgisnacht/Walpurgis Night (Central and Northern Europe) named after Saint Walburga and she became associated with May Day, named after Saint Walburga (ca. 710-777/9). As Walburga was canonized on 1 May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, this celebration is associated with dancing and with bonfires

Beltane Fire Festival (Calton Hill, Edinburgh)
Eve of Beltane/Beltane Fire Festival (Celtic Druidic holiday)
Colombia children's day (last weekend of April)
National Persian Gulf Day (Iran)
Queen's Day/Koninginnedag (largest one-day holiday in the Netherlands) birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands, started in August 1885 for the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after the accession of Queen Juliana, Queen's Day was celebrated today on her birthday. Although Queen Beatrix's birthday is on January 31st, she officially celebrates her birthday on April 30th to continue the tradition. People dress in orange in reference to the colours of the House of Orange-Nassau
Mexico children's day (also known as "El Día Del Niño")
Teacher's Day (Paraguay)
Carodejnice (Czech Republic and Slovakia)
King's Birthday: Birthday of the King Carl XVI Gustav/Konungens födelsedag (an official flag days of Sweden)
Consumer Protection Day (Thailand)
Saigon Liberation Day/Reunification Day (Vietnam) 1975
Gahambar Maidyozarem/'mid-spring' feast - Zoroastrian, 2003
Salus (Festival of the Dead) (Portugal & Spain)
Feast of Valborg (Sweden)
Vappu Day (Finland)
Maitag Vorabend (May Day Eve) (Switzerland)
Kidsproj - Valborgsmassoafton (Sweden)
Divining Your Future Husband - April 30; to romantic folklore, a young lady may divine the identity of her future husband by washing a handkerchief and hanging it on a stalk of corn, growing wheat, or a rosebush overnight. After the morning sun dries the handkerchief, she will see the initials of the man she is to marry.
The Workers Day (Uruguay)
(Photo credits: Oatmeal Cookie,; raisins,; old historic Cathedrals labyrinth,; birding, Wikipedia; New York World's Fair,; Map of current U.S. states that were completely or mostly located inside the borders of old colonial French Louisiana at the time of Louisiana Purchase, Wikipedia; National Day of Prayer,; Maypole2,; Queen's Day,; King Carl XVI Gustav birthday, King's Day in Sweden,; Walpurgis Night, Walpurgisnacht in Heidelberg, Wikipedia; People at a Vappu picnic in Kaivopuisto in 2008, Wikipedia; ; maypole dancers,; maypole streamers,
Welcome to May tomorrow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy "Zipper Day"!

Today is Zipper Day, thanks to Gideon Sundback (1880-1954), a Swedish-American electrical engineer, of Hoboken, N.J. who designed the modern zipper (1913). Due to the death of his wife, Gideon, threw himself into his work which resulted in a patent for the zipper.
Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine, received a patent in 1851 for an "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure". Perhaps because of the success of his sewing machine, he did not try to seriously market it, and missed out on any recognition he might otherwise have received.
Next, 42 years later, Whitcomb Judson, who invented the pneumatic street railway, marketed a "Clasp Locker". He opened a factory, the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. The clasp locker had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and met with little commercial success.
Then, in 1906, Gideon Sundback was hired to work for the Judson's Universal Fastener Company. Good technical skills and a marriage to the plant-manager's daughter Elvira Aronson led Sundbäck to the position of head designer. He worked for Gideon Sundback remodeled Judson's fastener into a more streamlined and reliable form, was the fastener a success. Originally, his invention was called "Hookless Fastener No. 1," then, "Hookless Fastener No. 2". On April 29, 1913 it was patented as the "Hookless Fastener" and after more improvements patented in 1917 as the "Separable Fastener". He finished the design and patented the 'Separable Fastener' in 1917.
The name zipper was created by B.F. Goodrich who used the device on their new boots. Initially, boots and tobacco pouches were the primary use for zippers; it took another 20 years before they caught on in the fashion industry. About the time of World War II the zipper achieved wide acceptance for the flies of trousers and the plackets of skirts and dresses. 
(Sources: Wikipedia & history of the zipper; photo credit: Sundback,; Elias Howe Sewing Machine September 10, 1846, Wikipedia; Judson's improved 'clasp-locker' fastener, 1893, Wikipedia; Sundback zipper patent,; zipper,; jean fly zipper,

Plant a tree, it's "National Arbor Day"!

"Each generation takes the earth as trustees." - J. Sterling Morton
Arbor Day (from the Latin word, arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees.
It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1872 with Journalist, Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), also the editor of Nebraska's newspaper. He previously served at the Governor of Nebraska territory (1858-61) and later served as the US Secretary of Agriculture, (1893-97).
His political connections probably helped him with his campaign for tree appreciation which started firts with news articles and then later with a holiday to plant trees with prizes for the individuals and counties that planted the most trees. And it was a hit! The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day.
By 1885, it became a legal holiday in Nebraska and moved to April 22nd which was Morton's birthday (also later became Earth Day).
During the 1870s, other states started adding Arbor Days too. By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance, from January (in the south) to May (in the north) depending on the state's climate zone.
To find your state's arbor day:  
International dates: 
“If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden; 
If you want to be happy for life, plant a tree.” 
- English Proverb
(Sources: Wikipedia; photo credit: Photo credits: tree for the future,; tree,; Morton photo,; Historic Washington Magnolia, Arkansas, 1997; street trees, self absorbed; tree planting,; Greenery Day, Himeji castle,; how to plant a tree,

Friday's celebrations

April 29th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
National Arbor Day (last Friday of April) The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872
International Dance Day
World Dance Day
National Shrimp Scampi Day

National Dream Hotline
Sense of Smell Day
Moment of Laughter Day

National Hairball Awareness Day (always the last Friday in April)
Zipper Day: Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer, of Hoboken, N.J. designed the modern zipper (1913).
The National World War II Memorial opens (on April 29, 2004 in Washington, D.C.), providing recognition for the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war. The memorial is located on 7.4 acres on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The Capitol dome is seen to the east, and Arlington Cemetery is just across the Potomac River to the west.
Rodney King trial verdict announced, 1992 / Riots erupt in Los Angeles and surrounding areas
Cyclone kills 135,000 in Bangladesh, 1991
Nixon announces release of White House Watergate tapes, 1974
First flight by African-American Astronaut, Col. F. Gregory (1985)
Birthday - Dale Earnhardt (racer)

Birthday - Jerry Seinfeld Birthday: 1954 (Happy 57th!)
Christian Feast Day: honoring saints
St. Catherine of Siena's Day (patron of Italy; against fire)

The ninth day of Ridván (Bahá'í Faith)
Marriages Permitted Again - April 29th; In the Middle Ages, marriages have been frowned upon during Lent and thought to be unlucky, but were permitted again after Easter Sunday under the old calendar. Since May marriages are unlucky ("Marry in April when you can, Joy for maiden and man; Marry in the month of May, You will surely rue the day" according to an old rhyme), take advantage of the last days of April if you're in a hurry to tie the knot!
National Persian Gulf Day (Iran)
Cassé Canari ou Wèt mô nan d'lo (Haiti)
The beginning of Arita Ceramic Fair (Arita, Saga, Japan)
Shōwa Day, traditionally the start of the Golden Week holiday period (Japan)
Emperor's Birthday (Japan) 
Midori no hi (Greenery Day, Japan) Between 1989 and 2006 it was celebrated on April 29th. In 2007 Greenery Day was moved to May 4th. The present observation of Greenery Day as a national holiday in Japan stems from the celebration of the Emperor Shōwa's birthday on April 29th every year during the Shōwa era. The name of the holiday was changed from "Birthday of the Emperor" to "Greenery Day." As its name suggests, it is a day to commune with nature and to be thankful for blessings. The day was renamed to "Greenery Day" to acknowledge the controversial wartime emperor's love for plants without directly mentioning his name. However, in practice it is seen as just another day that expands the Japanese Golden Week vacation. In 2007, Greenery Day moved to May 4th, and April 29th was changed to Shōwa Day.
Cheng Cheng Kung Landing Day (Taiwan, 1661)
Hari Raya Haji Day (Singapore)
Ming loyalist Koxinga's Landing (Taiwan)
Birthday of Sultan of Terengganu (Malaysia)

Koninginnedag/Queen's Night (Netherlands)
(Photo credits: tree,; Shrimp Scampi, dangerous and; laughter, daily spiritual; National World War II Memorial,; Jerry Seinfeld,; Middle Age marriages,; Greenery Day, Himeji castle,; Dancing people dressed in orange on the canals of Amsterdam during Queen's Day in 2007)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday's celebrations

April 28th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day (always the last Thursday in April) - The Take Our Daughters To Work program was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1993. It was an educational opportunity for girls to learn about the work world and feel better about themselves and their future. Then, 10 years later, in 2003, the program was expanded to include boys.
Cubicle Day 
Costume Day  
National Blueberry Pie Day
Fireman's Fun Festival  
Santa Fe Trail Day  
Texas Wildflower Day
National Kiss-Your-Mate Day
Great Poetry Reading Day
Poem in Your Pocket Day
International Guide Dog Day
The execution of Facist dictator of Italy (aka "Il Duce") Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, at the close of WWII, 1945, as they attempted to flee to Switzerland
Chickasaw and Choctaw abandon communal lands, 1897
President James Monroe (5th President) was born, 1758
International Congress of Women opens at The Hague, 1915
Space Shuttle Discovery 12 launched (1991)

Christian Feast Day: Honoring saints
St. Peter Chanel's Day
St. Vitalis and Valeria's Day
Feast of Jamál ("Beauty"), the first day of the third month of the Bahá'í calendar (Bahá'í Faith)
International Workers' Memorial Day
World Day for Safety and Health at Work (International)

Flag Day - in Aland Islands (1954)
National Day of Mourning (Canada) to commemorate workers killed, injured, or suffering illness from occupational hazards and accidents
National Heroes Day (Barbados)
Carnival Day (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Ratification Day - in Maryland (1788)
The first day of the Floralia, in honor of Flora, Goddess of flowers and plants and the season of spring (Roman Empire)

(Photo credits: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day logo, the white; take your daughter to work,; blueberry pie,; Oak Trees in a Field of Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush, Central Texas,; Guide Dogs of america logo,; Space Shuttle Discovery,; Flag Day in Aland Islands,; Flora,; poetry wordle, 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's celebrations

April 27th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
Write An Old Friend Today Day
National Tell A Story Day  
National D.J. Day
National Prime Rib Day
New Beginning Festival  
Sleep Day

Administrative Professionals Day (aka, National Secretary's Day, 1955) (always the Wednesday of the last full week of April/on the Wednesday before the last Saturday in April)
Babe Ruth Day
Morse Code Day - birthday of Samuel Morse, inventor (1791)
There is a Morse code list of letters and numerals (dashes and dots) and a telegraph key to send the code: A typical "straight key." This U.S. model, known as the J-38, was manufactured in huge quantities during World War II, and remains in widespread use today. In a straight key, the signal is "on" when the knob is pressed, and "off" when it is released. Length and timing of the dots and dashes are entirely controlled by the operator.
World Graphic Design Day (Communication design discipline)
Festival of Art Sabotage
The universe is created (On this day in 4977 B.C.), according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

The first Social Security checks were distributed on this day in 1937
Matanzas Mule Day, 1898 - first naval actions of the Spanish-American War, US naval forces bombarded the Cuban village of Matanzas and the only casualty of the bombardment was one mule
Birthday - President Ulysses S. Grant (18th President) 1822
Christian Feast Day: honoring saints   
St. Zita's Day (patron of housemaids, finding lost keys)
St. Liberalis Day
Internet Evangelism Day
Freedom Day (South Africa) It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on this day in 1994

UnFreedom Day (South Africa) day of mourning, annual celebration of South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections of 1994 Independence Day (Sierra Leone) independence from United Kingdom in 1961
Independence Day (Togo) independence from France in 1960
National Day of Resistance (World War II) Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces (Slovenia)
National War Veterans' Day (Finland)
2nd Republic Day (Austria)
Crown Prince William Alexander Day (Netherlands)
Constitution Day - in Yugoslavia (1992)

Kidsproj - VHASAKI / Culture Day in India
Meenakshi Kalyanam - in India; Hindus celebrate the marriage of the goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundereswarar (also known as Lord Shiva) and commemorate their own marriages; celebrated as part of the Hindu Chitrai Festival, with a huge procession to the Meenaskshi Temple
Panguni Uttiram (Malaysia and Singapore) celebrated with free food, Malaysia & fire walking ceremony at the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore
Saur Revolution Day (Afghanistan) 1978
Dan We Zo, alias St Louis Cleimeille (Haiti)
Montserrat's Day (Catalonia)
Battle of Flowers Fiesta Event (San Antonio, TX)

Horse Day (Turkmenistan) (last Sunday of April since 1991) celebrate their "heavenly horses" which they inherited from their ancestors
(Sources: Wikipedia & Google; photo credits: prime rib,; old envelope,; multitasker,; Chart of the Morse code letters and numerals, Wikipedia; telegraph key, Wikipedia; Social Security check in the mail,; Day of Freedom, S. Africa,; Odissi performer from Odisha, Wikipedia; Horse Day, Dragon Head with rider,