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WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT TODAY?

Today is March 24th and it is:

World Tuberculosis Day

 

World Tuberculosis Day is a worldwide event that aims to raise public awareness about tuberculosis and the efforts made to prevent and treat this disease. This event is held on March 24 each year and is promoted by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

March 24th marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis--the TB bacillus. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. World Tuberculosis Day can be traced back to 1982, when the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease launched World TB Day on March 24 that year, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Dr. Koch’s discovery.

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I plan on posting interesting tidbits about each day/date of the calendar.  I hope others will add to it as well.  It can be related to any subject as long as it happened on or is correlated in some way with that particular date.

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It’s Mardi Gras time, arguably one the best celebrations in the world. It stretches from Twelfth Night (the last night of Christmas) all the way until Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” to reflect the practice of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. It’s also a time to bring out those colorful beads and masks and party! This celebration goes on in many parts of the world in various forms. So get out there and join the Mardi Gras celebrations on February 25, and party with the world!  

 TUESDAY HISTORY

The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar.  Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.

Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.

Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.

When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday.

What is Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday is another name for Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. It begins the season of Lent for Christians. Fat Tuesday falls on February 25, 2020.

What happens on Fat Tuesday?

Traditionally, Lent is a period of fasting. So on Fat Tuesday one is supposed to bulk up on fatty, rich foods that you do not eat during the Lenten time. That’s one of the reasons pancakes and fastnachts (which contain fat, sugar and eggs) are often eaten on the holiday.

The day also marks the end of shrovetide or Carnival (or Carnaval), which is the week leading up to Lent.

Fat Tuesday is about readying oneself for Lent, not just by feasting before a fast. For Christians, it is a time to reflect, confess and ready one's spirit for the forty days of repentance that is Lent.

“To shrive” is to hear confessions. Thus, Shrove Tuesday is a day of feasting as well as penance.

Does it have any other names?

It is also called Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday in French. It is referred to as Fastnacht Day in Germany - meaning “the eve of the fast” - and Fetter Dienstag. In England, it is also called Pancake Tuesday because of the traditional pancake meal that occurs on that day.

Why Fastnacht Day?

Some of us like to name our days after the food we consume. Shrove Tuesday is the day where many people eat a Pennsylvania Dutch doughnut, called fastnacht. Fastnachts have been a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition for generations and were originally designed as a way to use up all the lard in the house before the beginning of Lent. 

How do you spell fastnacht?

Fastnacht is pretty common, but fausnacht, fauschnaut, faschnacht, fassenacht and fosnacht are also acceptable. Feel free to invent your own version for added confusion.

 
 
 
How fattening are they? 

Depends on the recipe. Fat grams can range from about 7 to 12 per fastnacht. Some say the calorie count is as low as 200. Others say it's nearly 500.

 

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TODAY IS.......

National Chili Day – February 27, 2020

On February 27, we celebrate National Chili Day — a moment to pay homage to the legendary dish that brings people together, and can tear them apart. Chili is the ultimate people-pleaser, but it’s also the ultimate cook-off dish. Family recipes are guarded like crown jewels, and secret ingredients are never spoken of above a whisper. And the debates about what makes true chili — beans or no beans? —are fierce! But these are all part of what makes chili such an experience. When chili is being served — perhaps with some chopped onions and shredded cheese on top — everyone comes to the table.

 

NATIONAL CHILI DAY ACTIVITIES
  1. Cook up your favorite chili

    Maybe your go-to recipe is in your head, or maybe it’s earmarked in your favorite cookbook. Maybe you need to call your mom and have her give your step-by-step instructions. However the chili gets on the stove, get it there, and then enjoy a piping hot bowl of the good stuff.

  2. Host a chili cook-off

    Everyone, and we mean everyone, has a chili recipe. So invite everyone over and have a chili throw down. Competition will be fierce, but so will your appetites.

  3. Go on chili tour

    We mean it when we say that everyone has a chili recipe — that includes the chefs at your favorite restaurants. Find out which spots in your town have chili on the menu, and do your own version of a progressive dinner to find your favorite. Then next year on National Chili Day, you’ll know where to head.

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL CHILI DAY
  1. It's hearty

    Some soups are barely an appetizer, but chili is a meal unto itself. A big bowl of steaming chili can warm you up and satisfy you like few other foods can. It sticks to your bones and keeps you full.

  2. Everyone has an opinion

    Secret chili recipes are the stuff of legend — and of deliciousness. The variety in the dish is mind-boggling, and means you’ll never get sick of showing up at a friend’s house and hearing that chili being served. And chili has sprung one of the fiercest food debates there is: do beans belong in chili?

  3. It brings people together

    Chili is the ultimate comfort food. You start feeling good the minute you open the door, its spicy aroma wafting through the air. Hold a steaming bowl of the stuff in your hands and you’re on your way to perfect culinary experience. No one misses chili night. It’s informal, cozy, and a time for people to be together.

     

    AND IT'S ALSO.......

    International Polar Bear Day – February 27, 2020
     
     

    Polar bears are some of the coolest creatures on the planet, and they live in some of the coldest places on Earth. Each year on February 27 we celebrate these magnificent creatures on International Polar Bear Day. The day was established by Polar Bears International, an organization devoted to preserving polar bears and the sea ice they depend on, to draw global attention to the plight of these magnificent mammals.

     

    HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL POLAR BEAR DAY
    1. Chill out 

      Polar Bears International, the organization that started International Polar Bear Day, encourages friends of polar bears to celebrate by taking part in their Thermostat Challenge by lowering their thermostats on February 27 to reduce carbon emissions (and help the polar bears).

    2. Visit a polar bear

      What better way to celebrate International Polar Bear Day than to see one of these exceptional creatures in action. Check to see if your local zoo features a polar bear exhibit (just a few examples that do: the Bronx Zoo in New York, the San Diego Zoo, and the Oregon Zoo). No polar bears nearby? Checkout highlights from Explore.org’s live cams.

    3. Have a Coke

      Coca-Cola helped polar bears capture our hearts. Polar bears and Coca-Cola seem to have been inseparable since time immemorial—but actually, the relationship began with a French Coca-Cola ad in 1922. By humanizing the polar bear, Coca-Cola made an otherwise scary predator accessible to millions. So crack open a Coke, and say a toast to the best bears.

       

    WHY INTERNATIONAL POLAR BEAR DAY IS IMPORTANT
    1. Polar Bears aren’t actually white

      Polar bears are exceptional animals. Here’s just one reason to love them: their iconic white coat isn't actually white at all—it's transparent. Polar bears are covered in a thick layer of clear, air-filled fur that luminesces in the light. Underneath all that hair is black skin designed to absorb the warmth of sunlight.

    2. Polar bears are the Michael Phelps of the animal kingdom

      Polar bears may look chubby and lazy, but don't be fooled. The largest land carnivores on Earth are able to swim up to 60 miles at a single stretch—without rest—in search of food.

    3. Polar bears need our help 

      Polar bears live in the Arctic areas of the northern hemisphere, which are being threatened by loss of sea ice from global climate change. Two-thirds of the planet’s polar bears could be gone by 2050, and scientists estimate the bears could be extinct by 2100.

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Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, who did not see his shadow, predicting an early or late spring during the 134th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2020 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

 

It's..................

Image result for happy groundhog day

And since the little runt didn't see his shadow today, we will be blessed with six more weeks of winter.  Or so the story goes!

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National Croissant Day – January 30, 2020
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January 9, 2020 – NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY 

 

Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. 

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities.  They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.

From local, state and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.

On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.

 

#LawEnforcementAppreciationDay

There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Find more ideas at Concerns of Police Survivors and share your support using #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.  

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY

Several organizations came together to create National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. Some of the organizations supporting the observance include:

  • Concerns of Police Survivors
  • FBI National Academy Associates
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • International Association of Chief of Police
  • Officer Down Memorial Page
  • Law Enforcement United
  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
  • International Conference of Police Chaplains
  • National Troopers Coalition

Since then the inaugural celebration, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.

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Thanks, Dave!

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Did you know that today is...
National Bagel Day – January 15, 2020
 
What is National Bagel Day?

National Bagel Day is January 15. Bagels have a history that is richer than your favorite cream cheese spread! These rounds of dough can be found just about anywhere: breakfast joints, coffee shops, supermarkets, or even your kitchen pantry. In fact, 2018 saw more than 354 million bagels sold. 

National Bagel Day History
Bagels have a long and highly documented history that travels from the Jewish families of Poland in the 1600s to wrapped up in parchment paper in your hands today. And, unlike many things created nearly five-hundred years ago, bagels are remarkably unchanged. Sure, cream cheeses and butters and flavors and toppings may have evolved over time but bagel is a beigel is a beygal
 
Bagels made the jump to America with a massive Polish-Jewish immigration in the 1800s that firmly entrenched itself in New York City where it thrived. In fact, an entire union was created in the early 1900s called Bagel Bakers Local 338 to support the growing, immigrant-led industry. That also begat the “bagel brunch,” that we still enjoy to this day with little to no changes: lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions. 
 
While bagels were hugely popular in New York City almost immediately, they didn’t make their way to the national scale until the mid 20th-century where automation and bread slicing (the coolest thing!) made mass manufacturing much more efficient. Since then, bagels have taken off to include a variety of flours, toppings, dips and smears but still remain – by and large – exactly as they were in the 1600s. 
 
National Bagel Day timeline
1950s Bagels Become An American Staple

Bagels are sold in supermarkets across the nation and surpass the donut as an essential breakfast item.

Early 1900's New York Icon

Over this century, the popularity of bagels spread through the growing Eastern European and Jewish-immigrant communities in New York City.

1610 New Baby, New Bagel

The first known written records about bagels appears in Krakow, Poland which dictated that bagels should be gifted to women soon after childbirth.

1300s The First Bagel Appears

The beginnings of the modern bagel can be traced to the Polish obwarzanek, a thin, boiled, then baked ring of dough.

Traditions of National Bagel Day
Eat a bagel
Pretty easy! Head to your local bakery and take a big ole bite into a yummy, warm, crispy, doughy, bagel with your favorite toppings!
 
Bake a bagel
Surprisingly simple and rather enjoyable, there’s nothing that tastes or smells better than freshly baked bagels straight out of the oven. A great activity for you and your loved ones. 
 
Give a bagel
Considering that the initial written context of bagels came as a traditional gift for pregnant women, this will go great at any maternity ward! Or, just give it to someone you know who lives bagels. 
 
National Bagel Day FAQs
When is National Bagel Day?
National Bagel Day is every year on January 15. 
 
Should I eat a bagel on National Bagel Day?
We recommend eating bagels as often as possible, but especially so on National Bagel Day. 
 
What's the difference between a bagel and a donut?
Bagels are actually a type of bread, which is different than a donut, which is a type of fried dough. 
 
National Bagel Day Activities
  1. Have a bagel at every meal

    Take this day as an opportunity to appreciate the versatility of the bagel, and feel free to use it as an excuse to try as many flavors as you would like!

  2. Share the bagel love

    What office, classroom, or group of friends doesn't love bagels? Scope out your local bagel shops for exclusive National Bagel Day deals and spring for a dozen delicious bagels to share.

  3. Find the best bagel in town

    Everyone has their favorite bagel place, so maybe it's time to figure out which one is the best. Maybe each place has its own specialty bagel — be adventurous and try it out!

Why We Love National Bagel Day
  1. There are countless varieties

    Have you ever walked into a bagel shop and noticed all the different flavors available? From bagels weaved with cinnamon raisin swirl to the classic everything bagel, there is always a variety to satisfy your sweet or savory cravings.

  2. Bagels are versatile

    Many of us have had bagels for breakfast, but how about as a deli sandwich or maybe a pizza bagel? The chewy and dense texture make bagels a perfect vehicle for toppings, spreads, anything else delicious you can think of!

  3. They are convenient

    You can find bagels at grocery stores, coffee shops, and even gas stations. You can eat them toasted or just plain. Either way, they are still a delicious and easy choice when you are on-the-go.

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Well What is Special about January 2, 2020 is ...

  • 2nd day of the year. There are then 364 days left in 2020.
  • 1st Thursday of 2020.
  • on the 1st week of 2020 (using US standard week number calculation).
  • 12th day of Winter. There are 78 days left till Spring.
  • Birthstone for this day: Garnet
January 2, Zodiac Sign
Zodiac
Capricorn
 
January 2, 2020 United States Holidays & Popular Observances
  • January 2, is the 9th of the 12 days of the Christmas Season (Twelvetide).
 
January 2, 2020 Popular Holidays & Observances Worldwide
 
  • Public Holiday - New Zealand
  • Bank Holiday - Canada
  • Berchtold Day (Berchtoldstag) - Switzerland
  • Guru Govind Singh Jayanti (गुरु गोबिंद सिंह जयंती) - India
  • New Year Day Holiday - Cuba, Moldova, Romania & Serbia
  • Scotland: New Year's Holiday - United Kingdom
  • Black and White Carnival (Carnaval de Negros y Blancos Comienza) - Colombia
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Giving Tuesday – December 3, 2019


What is Giving Tuesday?
Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people take the time to kickoff the holiday season by giving back to their community. Whether it be donating money to a charitable cause or volunteering, Giving Tuesday is a day set to benefit the community. 

 

History of Giving Tuesday
The idea of Giving Tuesday was first announced in September 2012, two months prior to the first Giving Tuesday occurring on November 27. The announcement was made by Giving Tuesday founding partner and technology website, Mashable. The purpose of the day is to inspire people and companies to take action, just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday created a framework for retailers to sell merchandise. Other Giving Tuesday founders and partners include Skype, Cisco, Microsoft, Sony, Aldo, Case Foundation, Heifer International, Phoenix House, and Starwood Hotels. Shortly before and after November 27, 2012, Giving Tuesday was covered by Washington Post, the White House official blog, ABC News, and Huffington Post. Forbes also used the occasion to publish a guide on effective giving.

In 2013, Mashable partnered with Google+ to hold a “hangout-a-thon” for Giving Tuesday. The holiday received coverage in many philanthropy information websites, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator. The December 4 Chronicle of Philanthropy article highlighted a donation by Good Ventures to GiveDirectly, Google’s hangout-a-thon, and matching grants announced by the Case Foundation. Charitable giving on Giving Tuesday in 2013 was approximately twice the value in 2012, with over 7,000 participating nonprofits.

For the 2018 holiday occurrence, Facebook and PayPal announced they’d match up to $7 million in donations to United States nonprofits on a first come first serve basis. The match limit was hit after only an hour, with an announcement saying the match was achieved within seconds. A total of $125 million was raised via Facebook on Giving Tuesday, the highest for a single day on the platform.

Giving Tuesday Activities
Donate to your favorite charity
With an abundance of causes to support, there are many options for people to donate to charity. You can mail in a check, drop off some money, or even click 'Donate' from the comfort of your desk.

 

Volunteer
We sometimes forget that one helpful way of giving back is by volunteering. Contact a local hospital, shelter, or nonprofit ahead of time and see how you can help.

 

Donate clothes/shoes
That sweater you swore you would wear this fall (and never saw the daylight), can be of use to someone in need. Go through your closet and donate any articles of clothing you know you're not going to wear again (or ever).

 

Why We Love Giving Tuesday
It makes us feel good
Whether you admit it or not, the holiday season can get the best of us. Especially when our main stressors are what gift to get that certain family member. If we splurge on materialist goods, giving back to a charitable cause takes some of that guilt away.


We can help those in need
By volunteering at a local community center, or donating money to your favorite organization, we're are able to help those in need. You can provide a warm meal at the local soup kitchen, or even clean drinking water by donating $5.

 

Anyone can participate
You don't have to be rich or in the Peace Corps to participate in Giving Tuesday, every small act counts. Donating $1 can make a huge impact on any cause.

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National Christmas Lights Day – December 1, 2019

 

U.S.National Christmas Lights Day 2019 — December 1
Time to deck the halls, folks, because December 1 is National Christmas Lights Day! Before the invention of electric lights, families would balance candles on the branches of their Christmas trees—a risky practice that naturally led to several house fires. Electric Christmas lights were first invented in 1880 by Thomas Edison, who promptly strung them all over the outside of his Menlo Park laboratory. Because people were initially distrustful of electricity, however, it took another several decades for the invention to catch on. And it wasn’t until 1903, when General Electric began selling pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, that electric lights became popular with people of all classes. Today, electric lights are an integral part of the winter holiday season, and certainly aren’t exclusive to Christmas. As we get ready for the end of the year, let’s string up our lights and celebrate. ‘Tis the season, after all.


National Christmas Lights Day Activities
Take a Christmas lights walk
Bundle up in your winter coat and take a walk through your neighborhood to enjoy the lights on display. Or, if there’s a place in your hometown that’s notorious for grandiose light displays, take a trip over there to check them out. It’s a great way to stay connected with your community, get exercise, and just enjoy the beauty of the winter season.


Coordinate with your neighbors
If you feel like putting on a big scene with your neighbors, you can collaborate on a specific design together. Whether it’s a repeated motif or an extended scene, this is a great way to exercise your creativity and have a great time with your neighbors. And as a bonus, you might end up going viral thanks to some passer-by with a smartphone.


Set your lights to music
This was a trend a few years ago, but we maintain that it’s still a classic Christmas project. If you’ve got the know-how (or know someone who does), you can set your lights to flash to the beat of your favorite song.

 

Why We Love National Christmas Lights Day
They’re beautiful
There’s something about the look of Christmas lights shining on a cold winter’s night that captures the imagination. You’re instantly transported back to your childhood, back when magic was real and life was a lot less complicated. Whether they shine against a blanket of snow or glimmer from the trunk of a palm tree, Christmas lights have their own special kind of beauty.


They keep you warm
Anyone who has ever singed their hand on a bulb that’s been burning too long knows this to be true. Sure, a roaring log fire might be a more efficient way to keep warm (or heck, even a furnace), but in case you don’t have either of those things, curl up next to a bright strand of Christmas lights and warm on up. (Just be careful not to touch them).


They make a great family puzzle
At some point during the months leading up to December, the Christmas lights will inevitably become tangled. It doesn’t matter how carefully you put them away the year before—they will always be tangled when you bring them out again. So rather than be miserable and grumpy about it, gather the family together and turn the Great Untangling into a game! Build up your hand-eye coordination and your strategic thinking skills as you get ready to “step into Christmas.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World AIDS Day – December 1, 2019

 
WorldWorld AIDS Day 2019 — December 1

First recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day falls on December 1 each year. World AIDS Day is dedicated to spreading awareness of the AIDS pandemic spread by the spread of HIV infection, and to mourning those who have died of the disease. An estimated 40 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981, and an estimated 37 million are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improvements in treatment, the AIDS epidemic still claims an estimated two million lives each year, of which more than 250,000 are children.


World AIDS Day timeline
2013
"A Functional Cure"
12 of 75 people treated in a French study were “functionally cured” of HIV, not experiencing a return of the virus even after stopping antiretroviral therapy
1987
First Antiretrival Drugs
AZT (zidovudine) is the first drug available to treat HIV.
1986
1M Americans Impacted
Accordingto reporting in “The New York Times”
1981
U.S. Recognition
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports on AIDS for the first time
1920s
A Pandemic Surfaces
The HIV-1 strain of virus emerged to circulate in Kinshasa, closely related to a virus found in chimpanzees


How to Observe World AIDS Day
Wear a red ribbon
Wearing a red ribbon in your lapel is the most broadly recognized way of showing your support on World AIDS Day. Red symbolizes blood, and the pain caused by the disease, anger about global inaction to fight the epidemic, a warning to take the disease seriously, and a symbol of love, passion, and tolerance towards those affected by the disease. Check online to find a ribbon supplier that supports a charitable cause.


Donate to an AIDS charity
There are a host of national and international nonprofits devoted to fighting the disease and problems associated with its spread. Check online and consider whether you’d like to support an organization in the United States, where deaths have been declining since the mid 1990s but infection continues to affect thousands of people each year, or perhaps an organization focused on infection in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Adult HIV Prevalence has reached 1 in 20 people and 1.2 million people die of HIV/AIDS each year.


Attend a candlelight vigil
Most major cities in the US host candlelight vigils on World AIDS Day as a way of visually commemorating those lost to the disease and vowing to fight it in the future. Check online to find a vigil near you and head along to show your support. Don’t forget to share your experience on social media to ensure that the idea is brought to the front of mind for your friends, and to demonstrate your support.


Why World AIDS Day is Important
AIDS impacts everyone
In its early years, some criticized World AIDS Day for focusing on children and young people, but organizers aimed to alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the disease as primarily affecting gay men, boosting recognition of it as a family disease. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age,globally,and of 1.8 million new HIV infections in 2016, 43 percent were among women.


Getting to zero
Since 2012, the multi-year theme for World AIDS Day has been achieving zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, and zero discrimination. In 2016, new infections among young women aged 15 to 24 were 44% higher than they were among men in the same age group, which suggests the high profile AIDS-related deaths of male celebrities such as Freddie Mercury, Robert Mapplethorpe and Rock Hudson have continued to overshadow realities of new infection rates amongst women in the public imagination. World AIDS Day seeks to challenge those perceptions and protect everyone.


Equalizing access to treatment
Research shows that stigma associated with sex work and LGBT populations, internationally, is a growing factor in unequal access to effective treatment. International AIDS funding began to fall for the first time in 2015, but still, less than half of those suffering with HIV/AIDS have access to anti-retroviral treatment across the world. It’s never been more important to draw attention the inequalities in treatment, in order to stop its spread once and for all.

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National French Toast Day – November 28, 2019
 
What is National French Toast Day?
No need to wonder about what to make for breakfast on November 28 — it’s National French Toast Day. You know — that thick, sweet, savory dish that’s become a staple of the American breakfast diet. Just writing about this topic has us thinking about heading out for a late breakfast. That’s why we’re so jazzed about National French Toast Day — which, in 2019, falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. French Turkey Toast, anyone?
National French Toast Day history
Here’s the first thing you need to know: The French do not call this French toast. It’s called “pain perdu,” or “lost bread,” because you can literally use stale bread to make it. (Most Americans, however, might find that objectionable.)

French toast, according to Frenchly, comes from a desire to not waste food. Also, please note that it’s a major faux pas to throw bread way. (Bread has religious meaning.) Most experts agree that French toast dates back to ancient Rome. A similar recipe can be found in the book of Apicius from the 5th century BC. The Romans dipped slices of bread in milk (and sometimes eggs) before frying them, and called it “Pan Dulcis.”

Fast forward to the 1400s and you’ll find a similar recipe at the court of Henri V where the “lost bread” attracted many fans. Still, it wasn’t until the mid 17th century that the term “French Toast” appeared in England. Food historians believe the term “French” does not even mean France; instead, it refers to the verb “to French” which means “to slice” in Old Irish.

So, “French toast” is actually “sliced toast.”

Irish settlers traveling to the U.S. and Canada may have brought the term with them. The phrase “French toast” first appeared in The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink in 1871. However, similar recipes were also called “Egg toast,” “Spanish toast,” and even “German toast.”

There’s another less exotic theory. French toast may have been called “French” because it enabled chefs to inflate the price. “Traditionally in the United States, we have an admiration for French cuisine, which we consider elaborate and gastronomic,” says Kitchen Project Editor-in-Chief Stephen Block. “And that’s probably why this dish was named that way. It’s just marketing. There’s no chance that ‘Lost Bread’ could have worked. And since the dish was successful and the recipe was easy, the name spread.”
 
 
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Yes, today is THANKSGIVING DAY!  However and contrarily, today is also....

National Day of Mourning – November 28, 2019
 
 
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Of course, we all know today is.....

Thanksgiving 2019 – November 28, 2019
 
America’s Thanksgiving holiday, born in the 1500s, mythologized in 1621, and observed even during the bleakest hours of the Civil War, now stands as one of the nation’s most anticipated and beloved days — celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in November (November 28, 2019). Perhaps no other nonsectarian holiday has more tradition. Family, friends, food, and football have come to symbolize Thanksgiving — a rare celebratory holiday without an established gift-giving component. Instead the day urges all of us to be grateful for things we do have.
History of Thanksgiving
This story doesn’t necessarily start with Pilgrims. 
 
Evidence shows that Spanish explorers and settlers held thanksgiving services during the late 1500s in what is now Florida and New Mexico. Thanksgivings also took place in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown holding a thanksgiving in 1610.
 
The ‘First’ Thanksgiving
 
It wasn’t until a decade later that the Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, arrived in the New World. They celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The gathering included 50 people who were on the Mayflower (all who remained of the 100 who had landed) and 90 Native Americans. The feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World, along with young daughters and other servants.   
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National Cake Day – November 26, 2019
 

For 2019, National Cake Day is on Tuesday, November 26. We believe Marie Antoinette said it best when she (allegedly) said “let them eat cake!”

We’re not sure the peasants of 18th century France were too fond of the sentiment but nevertheless we’ll take her advice do just that! 

What is National Cake Day?
Can’t wait for your birthday? Remember, National Cake Day falls on November 26. No one really knows how this holiday came about, but we all know that we all love to eat cake.

National Cake Day History
The term “cake” has a rather complicated history. The word itself is of Viking origin, from the Old Norse word “kaka.”
It’s All Greek to Me!
The ancient Greeks called cake “plakous,” which was derived from the word for “flat.” The simple ingredients include flour mixed with eggs, milk, nuts, and honey. They also had a cake called “satura,” which was a flat heavy cake. During the Roman period, the name for cake became “placenta,” which was derived from the Greek term. A placenta was baked on a pastry base or inside a pastry case.

National Cake Day Activities


Bake a cake
The most obvious and fun way to celebrate National Cake Day is by putting on an apron (or not if you wish to get flour all over your clothes), and preheat your oven! You can make one from scratch or use a little help from little box at the store.


Invite your friends over for a cake decorating contest
You provide the base and they provide the creativity. Invite your friends over for a night full of frosting and laughs, and judge the cakes by the best, worst, and most creative designs.


Let them eat cake (at work)
Everyone loves a nice treat at work. Surprise your co-workers by bringing in a homemade or store-bought cake. When people ask what the occasion is, the answer is simple, "It's National Cake Day, duh!"

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – November 25, 2019
 
On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated by henchmen of dictator Rafael Trujillo. The sisters, who had been active in movements against the Trujillo regime, were beaten and strangled to death, then placed in a Jeep that was driven off a mountainous road in order to make their deaths appear accidental. In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The date marks the beginning of 16 days of remembrance and activism, culminating in International Human Rights Day.

According to a report by the United Nations, 19 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years of age have experienced physical and/or sexual violence “by an intimate partner.” In some cases, this violence ends in the women’s death.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women timeline
December 17, 1999 The Day Becomes Official

A United Nations resolution establishes November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

1981 The Date is Saved

Women attending the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros mark November 25 as a day to raise awareness of violence against women.

November 25, 1961 Mirabal sisters Assassinated

Three female Dominican political activists are assassinated. This is the event that will eventually inspire the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

How to Observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  1. Join the movement

    There are a lot of things you can do to keep the momentum going — from learning the facts about violence against women to organizing meetings, teach-ins and marches to express your support and solidarity.

  2. #OrangeTheWorld

    Share photos, messages and videos showing how you "orange the world" alongside other women worldwide. It's all part of a campaign organized by UN Women, the United Nations organization that dedicates itself to gender equality and the continuing empowerment of women.

  3. Write an op-ed

    Most local newspapers are happy to accept opinion pieces from readers. Write an op-ed alerting others to the existence of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

     

    5 Facts About Violence Against Women
    1. It's an epidemic

      An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have been physically and/or sexually assaulted by a nonpartner.

    2. It's up close and personal

      Some studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experienced violence from an intimate partner.

    3. It's spreading

      Women and girls account for 71 percent of all human trafficking victims.

    4. The numbers are staggering

      More than 1 in 10 females have experienced forced sexual acts in their lives.

    5. Times are changing

      At least 140 countries have laws against domestic violence and sexual harassment.

    Why International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is Important
    1. It raises awareness

      Every second of every day, women around the world are subjected to violence. Observing this day provides us with the space to recognize the problem and to start taking steps to reduce and, hopefully, eliminate it.

    2. It inspires action

      This day is not only a chance to raise awareness but to create an atmosphere in which women and men can organize together and take direct action to combat the epidemic of violence against women.

    3. It makes the future bright

      Only when women are free from the fear of brutality can we start to create a future in which every person is treated with respect and dignity.

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The Great American Smokeout!  November 21, 2019
 
The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November (November 21, 2019), challenging smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. If you or a loved one smokes cigarettes, consider joining the movement, and take the first step toward quitting cigarettes forever!
History of Great American Smokeout
The inception of the Great American Smokeout stems from a 1970 event in Randolph, Massachusetts. High school guidance councilor Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for one day and donate the money they would have spent on buying cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. A few years later in 1974, newspaper editor Lynn R. Smith led Minnesota’s first Don’t Smoke Day. The two efforts caught on and on November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society got 1 million people to quit smoking for the day. This marked the first official Smokeout before the American Cancer Society took it nationwide in 1977. As a result, there was a dramatic change in the public view of tobacco advertising and use. Many public establishments and work places are now smoke-free to protect non-smokers and support people trying to quit. 
 
Every year the Great American Smokeout draws attention to preventing deaths and chronic illnesses caused by smoking. From the late 1980s to the 1990s, many state and local governments have raised taxes on cigarettes, limited promotions, discouraged teen cigarette use, and taken further action to counter smoking. States with strong tobacco control laws saw up to a 42% decrease of smoking in adults.
 
Though smoking rates have dropped, almost 38 million Americans still smoke tobacco, and about half of all smokers will encounter smoking related deaths. Each year, more than 480,000 people in the United States die from a smoking related illness, meaning smoking causes 1 out of 5 deaths in the US alone.
 
How to Observe Great American Smokeout
  1. Make a plan

    Learn about options to curb cravings and get your support system ready to help you through hard times. If you're trying to help someone else quit, check out some ways to ensure you're doing it the right way.

  2. Get rid of anything smoking-related

    It's the perfect day to remove all smoking-related items from your home. Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters from your car and workplace as well. Also consider stocking up on substitutes like gum and crunchy snacks.

  3. Reflect on your smoking past

    If you've tried to quit before, the Great American Smokeout is a good time to reflect on your past attempts. Think about why those attempts didn't work, and go back to the drawing board for the next time around. 

4 Famous Ex-Smokers You Never Knew Smoked At All
  1. Gwyneth Paltrow

    The Academy Award-winning actress smoked frequently as a teen and didn't decide to quit until she was pregnant with her first child.

  2. ​Barack Obama

    The former president quit with the help of Nicorette ​gum, hoping to set a good example for his daughters.

  3. ​Jennifer Aniston

    The "Friends" star quit smoking successfully by turning to yoga and other exercise to keep her mind off of cigarettes.

  4. ​Mila Kunis

    The actress admitted she used cigarettes as a way to slim down for her role in "Black Swan," but has since given up the habit.​

Why Great American Smokeout is Important
  1. A single day can help people take the first step

    The Great American Smokeout highlights the dangers of smoking tobacco and provides a meaningful way for people to avoid cigarettes. It also offers a comfortable environment for family members and friends to speak about tobacco and how to quit smoking.

  2. It brings people together

    Not only does the Great American Smokeout speak to the negative effects of smoking, but it also helps people come together in the name of quitting. People trying to quit can communicate with one another online using the hashtag #GreatAmericanSmokeout, or by attending local events in various cities.

  3. It provides resources to quit

    The American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout website provides resources, news, and stories about the journey to quit smoking. Smokers can find inspiration and tips to increase their chances of quitting successfully.

 
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Mickey Mouse’s Birthday – November 18, 2019
 

It must be fun to celebrate your birthday when you never age! Mickey Mouse first appeared in the short film “Steamboat Willy” on November 28, 1928. Ever since then, fans all over the world have celebrated this day as his birthday. Mickey reminds us of the magic of childhood — a time when dreams had wings, and our imagination made everything possible. Besides, everyone loves Mickey!

Mickey Mouse’s Birthday timeline 2004 Mickey Goes CGI

"Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" featured the character in CGI animation for the first time.

1993 Toontown!

Mickey's Toontown opened at Disneyland. The 1988 Disney film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" inspired this new part of the Magic Kingdom. The area featured the "Mickey's House and Meet Mickey" attraction.

1987 Ear Force One

The first Mickey Mouse hot air balloon took flight.

1935 Mickey — in color

The first Mickey Mouse film in technicolor, "The Bad Concert," was released. This marked the end of Mickey's black and white era.

1928 From rabbit to mouse

Artist Ub Iwerks modified Oswald Rabbit — turning him into Mickey Mouse. Mickey's big-screen debut came in the feature film "Steamboat Willie."

How to Celebrate Mickey Mouse’s Birthday
  1. Put him on your wrist

    Mickey Mouse watches never seem to go out of style. There's even a 90th anniversary edition now available.

  2. Visit a Disney resort

    Enjoy music, fireworks, and special snacks as the parks stage a Mickey-themed party.

  3. Throw your own party

    How about a Mickey Mouse party for the kids where everyone gets to dress up like Mickey, Minnie, or another Disney character?

5 Things You Never Knew About Mickey Mouse
  1. He has a middle name

    Mickey's full name is Michael Theodore Mouse.

  2. The secret of this mouse's gloves

    Mickey Mouse wears white gloves so that his hands can be distinguished from his entire body.

  3. A friend to presidents

    Most U.S. presidents have posed alongside Mickey, with the notable exception of Lyndon Johnson.

  4. "Hot Dogs!"

    Those were the first words Mickey Mouse said. In fact, he was the first cartoon character to speak.

  5. Star power

    He is the first cartoon character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

 

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In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

 

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Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

 

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Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non- government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.

United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

 

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The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day

Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

President Eisenhower's letter to Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, designating him Chairman, Veterans Day National Committee

The White House Office

October 8, 1954

Dear Mr. Higley:

I have today signed a proclamation calling upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 as Veterans Day. It is my earnest hope that all veterans, their organizations, and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of this day. With the thought that it will be most helpful to coordinate the planning, I am suggesting the formation of a Veterans Day National Committee. In view of your great personal interest as well as your official responsibilities, I have designated you to serve as Chairman. You may include in the Committee membership such other persons as you desire to select and I am requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch to assist the Committee in its work in every way possible.

I have every confidence that our Nation will respond wholeheartedly in the appropriate observance of Veterans Day, 1954.

Sincerely,

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

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National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day – November 7, 2019

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day is an opportunity to celebrate the sumptuous combination of chocolate and almonds. Nearly 40 percent of all the world’s almonds end up in some form of chocolate, most often a candy bar. The pairing is one of the oldest known recipes using chocolate. While National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day, held on November 7, is sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, it’s primarily an online celebration involving dark chocolate and almond lovers.

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day timeline 1938 Government endorsed chocolate

The federal government, recognizing the nutritional value of chocolate, added it to the meal rations for U.S. troops.

1925 Cocoa became big business

The U.S. Cocoa Exchange opened in New York City to facilitate cocoa transactions.

1920 Mounds bar born

Hershey's Mounds bar, made with almonds, coconut, and dark chocolate, hits the shelves.

1853 Cocoa tarries lifted

This made chocolate accessible to more than just the upper class.

1830 You can eat it

J.S. Fry and Sons, a British chocolate maker, devised a way to turn cocoa into a solid bar.

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day Activities
  1. Dip it at home

    Buy a nice big bar of dark chocolate along with a jar of almonds to make your own dipped almonds at home. You might add a teaspoon or two of cornstarch to thicken the chocolate sauce. Sprinkle them with some sea salt to add extra flavor.

  2. Buy a dark chocolate and almond candy bar

    You have plenty to choose from! You've got Hershey's Special Dark with Almonds, or a Mounds bar, which includes shaved coconut (Mounds' sister bar, Almond Joy, features milk chocolate), or the Dove Silky Smooth Promises Dark Chocolate & Almond.

  3. Tour a chocolate factory

    The kids will love you for it! There's Hershey's in (the obviously named) Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can also hit the theme park next door. The Sanders and Morely Candy Makers chocolate factory in Clinton Township, Michigan offers a free tour, as does Hammond's Candies in Denver.

5 Reasons Why Chocolate's Healthier Than You Think
  1. Better fat

    Experiments on rats have shown that the fat in cocoa is actually less fattening than the fat in other fatty foods.

  2. Anti-inflammatory

    Research shows cocoa works as an anti-inflammatory agent in humans.

  3. Improved eyesight

    Consumption of cocoa thins the blood and improves circulation to the brain; it's thought to improve vision as a result.

  4. Good for your skin

    Dark chocolate, in particular, contains antioxidants that actually can improve the condition of your skin.

  5. Get your fiber

    Dark chocolate contains fiber and offers all of the health benefits that fiber brings, including satisfying your appetite.

Why We Love National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  1. It's a tasty combo

    The origins of combining dark chocolate and almonds are unknown, but whoever did it knew what they were doing. There's something about the taste and texture of almonds that just works alongside the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate.

  2. Believe it or not, it's healthy!

    While there's plenty of fat in dark chocolate-covered almonds, health benefits do exist when eaten in moderation. The antioxidants in dark chocolate, combined with the vitamins and proteins in almonds, offer a snack that can help reduce cardiovascular disease.

  3. Made in the USA

    The U.S. is the world's largest producer of almonds, and the majority of production happens in California. One Sacramento plant churns out more than two million pounds of almonds each day.

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National Candy Day – November 4, 2019
 
What is National Candy Day?

We hope your sweet tooth is ready, because November 4 is National Candy Day. These sweet and sour treats have been our favorite snack since childhood. Whether they’re hard, chewy, fruit flavored, or a “melt in your mouth not in your hand” sort of treat, candy has been a consistent source of happiness and, as we get older, nostalgia. 

National Candy Day History
The story of candy begins in India. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, the Persians and Greeks learned that the people in India had, what they called, reeds that make honey without bees. These reeds were actually sugarcane, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Ancient Indians would boil sugarcane juice, turning it into individual pieces of sugar, which they called “khanda.”
 
Before sugarcane was domesticated outside of Asia, honey was used in ancient China, the Middle East,  Egypt, Greece, and Rome to coat fruits and flowers, which would preserve them and turn them into a form of candy. Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was used as medicine to either calm the digestive system or cool the throat. In the Middle Ages, candy was mostly consumed by the wealthy and was made of sugar and spices to aid digestive problems, which were very common, as food was neither fresh nor balanced. 
 
Candy first came to America in the 18th century from France and Britain. Very few colonists were skilled in sugar work, meaning only the wealthy were able to enjoy these new treats. In the 1830s, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, technological advances allowed candy to be accessible to more than just the rich, including a new market specifically for children. While some artisan sugar workers remained, candy stores were becoming an American staple, especially in the lives of children across the country. Penny candy became the first thing a child would spend their money on, and candy store owners relied mostly on the business of children and families to keep them running. 
National Candy Day timeline 1817 Butterscotch

In a town called Doncaster in Yorkshire, England, a man named Samuel Parkinson began making butterscotch as a hard candy.

1883 Saltwater taffy

New Jersey shop owner David Bradley's candy store flooded due to a major storm. Because of this storm, he began calling his taffy "saltwater taffy."

1941 M&M's

M&M's were invented by Forrest Mars, who got the idea by watching soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell during the Spanish Civil War. The chocolates had hard shells so the soldiers could carry them during warm weather. 

1960 Starburst

Starburst candies were invented in the UK by Peter Phillips and were originally called Opal Fruits.

National Candy Day FAQs
Which holiday has the highest candy sales?

Halloween pulls in the most candy sales over any other holiday, as people load up on bags of sweets to pass out to eager trick-or-treaters.

When is National Candy Month?

National Candy Month occurs in June to celebrate over 100 years of candy and the impact its had on all of our lives. 

What is the most popular candy in the U.S?

Though the preferred candy tends to differ depending on the state, the two highest selling candies in the United States are M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

National Candy Day Activities
  1. Buy candy for a friend

    Give sweets to be sweet! Nothing says "Have a great day" better than a box of colorful candy.

  2. Make your own

    How about making your own candy for a change? Candy is made by boiling sugar in water or milk until it starts to caramelize. Find a recipe that strikes your interest and make it at home!

  3. Try something new

    We all have our go-to candies, but next time you're at the shop, try the candy you always look at but never actually pick up. It might be a new favorite.

Why We Love National Candy Day
  1. It's delicious

    If you've never had a king-sized Kit Kat bar or pack of Sour Patch Kids, then you haven't lived. Candy is great. End of story.

  2. Childhood nostalgia

    From crushing piñatas at birthday parties, to passing out Hershey's Kisses for Valentine's day, candy was a big part of our childhoods. No matter how much we grow, candy will always bring back those special memories.

  3. It's improves your mood

    Happy? Sad? It doesn't matter! Candy is used by many people as a way to boost happiness. It has a natural knack for lifting our moods.

 

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National Retirement Security Week – October 20-26, 2019
 
National Retirement Security Week - History September 13, 2006 The Senate passes the resolution

By unanimous consent, the Senate votes to designate the third week in October as National Retirement Security Week.

August 3, 2006 National Retirement Security Week is proposed

U.S. Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduce a resolution to establish the weeklong observation.

How to Observe National Retirement Security Week
  1. Start saving money

    Ubiquity Retirement + Savings discovered that 32% of Americans didn’t start saving until they were in their 30s, and another 13% waited until their 40s to prepare for retirement. Don't wait any longer, start saving now.

  2. Speak with a retirement plan consultant or expert

    Nearly 60% of Americans say they have a workable knowledge of how their retirement vehicles operate, but 30% say they don’t know much about how their's works, if anything at all. Find a consultant or expert who can guide you through the details and works closely with you to develop a retirement strategy that meets your needs.

  3. Spread the word

    Most money-related issues are tagged with a me-first mentality, but preparing for retirement should never be viewed as a competition — National Retirement Security Week is the result of a bipartisan effort, after all. Whether you share a post about the week on your social channels, ask your friends if they are on track for a secure retirement, or set up a meeting at work to discuss retirement planning with your coworkers, just do your part to get the word out there.

5 Tips Everyone Should Know About Saving For Retirement From Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
  1. Automate Your Saving

    Have your contributions automatically deducted from your paycheck to guarantee that you're saving.

  2. Boost Contributions as You Age

    If you're over 50 years old, you can save an extra $6,000 per year tax deferred.

  3. If You're Young, Invest More Aggressively

    Choosing a more aggressive investment strategy early will quickly grow your nest egg and give you time to recoup if the market takes a dip.

  4. Meet Your Company Match

    If your company offers to match your contribution up to a certain percentage do it. It is free money and as Ubiquity Retirement + Savings CEO Chad Parks points out, that match can be tax-deductible for your employer.

  5. Diversify Your Retirement Vehicles

    Add a tax-advantaged retirement account like a Roth IRA so that some of your saving grows tax free. For more information visit www.myubiquity.com

Why National Retirement Security Week is Important
  1. Planning for the future is paramount

    While we don't think it's practical to plan out every aspect of one's life, looking forward when it comes to saving money is imperative. While there's nothing wrong with using welfare if you absolutely need it, but it shouldn't be your only choice in terms of financial support during your retirement years.

  2. Retirement funds are a concern for most people

    According to Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, 66% of Americans are worried that they won't have enough money saved up by the time they retire. These concerns aren't unjustified. 1 in 3 Americans currently have less than $5,000 saved — an amount that would last a few months at most depending on location — and it is predicted that half of Americans won't be able to maintain their standard of living once they retire.

  3. Not all employees are offered a retirement plan

    While 28% of Americans take full advantage of their company’s retirement saving options, 20% aren't even offered a plan by their employer. This week is here to help guide those individuals to alternative solutions, like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

 
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National Fluffernutter Day – October 8, 2019
 
National Fluffernutter Day 2019 – October 8

Marshmallow Fluff, peanut butter, bread — what’s not to love about a Fluffernutter? And on October 8, you can eat as many as you’d like thanks to National Fluffernutter Day. Initially, the term “Fluffernutter” was coined as a way for the marshmallow spread manufacturing company, Durkee-Mower Inc., to market a sandwich that featured Fluff. Now, it’s a national holiday. So celebrate National Flutternutter Day by eating it in sandwich, cookie, cupcake, or candy form — we promise not to judge how you get your Fluffernutter intake.

National Fluffernutter Day - History ​1960 ​"Fluffernutter" used as a marketing tactic

​As a way to market the marshmallow/peanut butter sandwich idea — and appeal to more people — an advertising agency coined the term “Fluffernutter."

​1920 Same creme — new name

​Archibald Query sold his Marshmallow Creme recipe to Durkee-Mower, Inc. — the company that still owns it today — and renamed it Marshmallow Fluff

​1917 ​The original creme is created

​​Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts, invented a sweet, marshmallow-like spread that he named Marshmallow Creme.

National Fluffernutter Day Activities
  1. Go nuts with your fluffernutter creations.

    Although Fluff with peanut butter is the OG of fluffernutters, there’s no rule saying you can’t get creative — so experiment with new combinations. For a more savory take, try adding bacon. To add a bit of tang, spread on some jam. If you want to create the ultimate sweet treat, try adding bananas, chocolate chips, or Nutella.

  2. Spread the fluffernutter love

    While it may be tempting to keep the gooey goodness of a fluffernutter to yourself, remember: there’s plenty of Fluff to go around. So on National Fluffernutter Day, celebrate by spreading the love by making extras for your coworkers and friends. If you have kids, bake fluffernutter-inspired cupcakes or cookies for them to bring to school and share with classmates and teachers.

  3. Share the goodness on social media.

    Whatever fluffernutter creations you choose to consume, share your tasty treats on social media. Snap a pic, take a Boomerang, capture the deliciousness on a video — however you choose to post about your National Fluffernutter Day treat, just be sure to use #FluffernutterDay when posting.

​​5 Reasons We Can't Get Enough Fluff
  1. Fluff has made it to outer space

    ​Former International Space Station commander Sunita Willimas requested to have containers of Fluff on her 322-day journey to space.

  2. Fluff festival

    ​Celebrated every September, the “What the Fluff?” festival takes place in Fluff’s hometown of Somerville, Massachusetts, and draws approximately 10,000 visitors every year.

  3. Only 4 ingredients

    ​Fluff has yet to change its recipe: corn syrup, dried egg whites, sugar and vanilla.

  4. The Northeast luffs Fluff

    ​Half of all Fluff profits (through selling 7 million pounds annually) comes from New England and upstate New York.

  5. ​Paul Revere’s descendants invented the first Fluff-like product

    Paul Revere’s great-great-great grandchildren created Snowflake Marshmallow creme and started selling “Liberty Sandwiches"— consisting of creme and peanut butter, during World War I.

Why We Love National Fluffernutter Day
  1. We get to eat something delicious

    There are a lot of great reasons why celebrating National Fluffernutter Day is so much fun, but one of the main reasons is pretty simple: they’re just so fluffin’ amazing. Marshmallowy goodness with peanut butter spread between two slices of bread — who doesn’t love that? Plus, it’s the perfect treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Well, on this day anyway.)

  2. Adults get to embrace their inner kid

    Of course kids love National Fluffernutter Day, but it's also an opportunity for adults to feel like a kid again. Although people of all ages can eat fluffernutters any day of the year, chances are most adults don’t — so National Fluffenutter Day is the perfect opportunity for them to indulge on a treat they most likely haven’t had in a long time.

  3. It’s an excuse to not cook

    Whether or not you love cooking, National Fluffernutter Day is an automatic night off. So relax, because you’ll have all this extra time to do whatever you want — like savor every last bite of a fluffernutter. To save even more time, shop for your fluffernutter ingredients the day before National Fluffernutter Day.

 
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Good by!

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Fall is a beautiful time of year indeed, Dave.  Love your pictures!

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In remembrance of all of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and all those whom they left behind.  Godspeed and blessings.

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Not only is it LABOR DAY, but today is...... World Coconut Day – September 2, 2019
 

You can’t make a piña colada or a decent Thai curry without it, its water makes a great recovery drink, and its fibrous husk, when burned, repels mosquitos — these are just three of many excellent reasons to celebrate World Coconut Day on September 2. One of nature’s most versatile products, the coconut plant (and its various parts) can be used for food and drink, cosmetic preparations, and decorating. Some coconut proponents (cocoproponents?) even claim that the fruit’s oil can reverse dental decay — if you swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day! Most of us aren’t comfortable with a mouthful of oil, no matter whence that oil comes or what it’s purported to do. But we can still get caught up in the coconut craze. Whether you’re stuck on a deserted island or comfortable in your own home, here are some (relatively normal) ideas for using this tropical wonderfruit.

 

World Coconut Day - History

2000s Coconut Water Boom

Coconut water becomes a popular drink in the West

1971 Put the Lime in the Coconut

Harry Nilsson's "Coconut," which tells the story of a woman who put the lime in the coconut and drank them both up, debuts

1280 Indian Nut

Marco Polo encounters the coconut on his travels to Sumatra and refers to it in his writing as "nux indica," or "Indian nut"

World Coconut Day Activities
  1. Crack one open

    It’s a lot of fun to crack into a real coconut, and no, you don’t need a machete. There are a number of methods, so check out some YouTube videos. Whichever you choose, be sure to save the coconut water before prying out the sweet meat for snacking.

  2. Cook something different

    If you have only ever had coconuts in tropical drinks and macaroons, get acquainted with the savory side of this fruit. Try your hand at a coconut-based curry, coconut shrimp, coconut-lime rice, or even coconut-crusted onion rings!

  3. Throw a tiki party

    Now that you have all these coconutty delights, why not host a Polynesian-themed party? They’re best held in the backyard, where you can light the area with tiki torches. Provide leis and/or grass skirts, decorate with orchids and tropical fruit, and play some festive ukulele music to get guests in the mood. Don’t forget to put umbrellas in the drinks!

Why We Love World Coconut Day
  1. There are so many ways to enjoy coconuts

    Odds are that you have recently experienced coconut, in some form or another. If you haven’t had a smoothie or a cocktail or an entree made with coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut water, coconut oil, or the fruit itself, you may have washed your face, shampooed your hair, moisturized, or exfoliated with a coconut by-product. Coconut shells can be used as bowls, to make buttons, and to create the sound effect of horses’ hooves.

  2. Coconuts are delicious

    Coconut products add a scrumptious creaminess to any drink or dish. A smoothie takes on a tropical flair, while even the simplest curry gets depth from coconut milk. Raw coconut makes a perfect snack, and lends just the right amount of chewiness to baked goods. And unless your coconut has added sugar, it will work well in savory applications as well as sweet ones.

  3. You guessed it — coconuts are nutritious

    Is coconut the new kale? Well, probably not, but coconuts are high in iron, magnesium, fiber and protein. Coconut water provides potassium and sodium. In moderate amounts, coconut oil — a medium-chain fatty acid — is not harmful, although the jury is out on whether or not it’s helpful. And coconut products play prominent roles in gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan diets.

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Labor Day – September 2, 2019
 
 
Summer’s final fling has arrived in the form of Labor Day. Yes, most of us get the day off, but this holiday triggers mixed emotions. While summer still has 21 calendar days left, it’s time to get serious. School’s starting and there’s a sense that summer vacation is over. So what’s behind Labor Day — and how did it earn a place as a federal holiday?

Let’s take a look.

What is the the meaning of Labor Day?

Do you get weekends off work? Lunch breaks? Paid vacation? An eight-hour work day? Social security? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you can thank labor unions and the U.S. labor movement for it. Years of hard-fought battles (and the ensuing legislation they inspired) resulted in many of the most basic benefits we enjoy at our jobs today . On the first Monday in September, we take the day off to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on the American worker’s contributions to our country.

When is Labor Day in 2019?

Labor Day always falls on the first Monday in September, which means anywhere from September 1 through September 7. This year it’s September 2 in the U.S. and Canada — where it’s known as Labour Day. However, this is not the case for most countries — the majority of which celebrate on May 1.

Labor Day History

Labor Day History

There’s disagreement over how the holiday began. One versions is set in September 1882 with the Knights of Labor, the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations at the time. The Knights in New York City held a public parade featuring various labor organizations on September 5 — with the aid of the fledgling Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York. Subsequently, CLU Secretary Matthew Maguire proposed that a national Labor Day holiday be held on the first Monday of each September to mark this successful public demonstration.

In another version, Labor Day in September was proposed by Peter J. McGuire, a vice president of the American Federation of Labor. In spring 1882, McGuire reportedly proposed a “general holiday for the laboring classes” to the CLU, which would begin with a street parade of organized labor solidarity and end with a picnic fundraiser for local unions. McGuire suggested the first Monday in September as an ideal date for Labor Day because the weather is great at that time of year, and it falls in between July 4th and Thanksgiving. Oregon became the first U.S. state to make it an official public holiday. Twenty-nine other states had joined by the time the federal government declared in a federal holiday in 1894.

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U.S.National Financial Awareness Day 2019 – August 14
How much would you like to bet that most people don’t know August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day?
It’s more important than you think. And plus, what’s more fun than financial independence? First off, think about that great feeling you get when you don’t have the looming specter of debt hanging over you. Also, sound financial decisions can really make a difference down the road. Remember, retirement is a time to take all those vacations you couldn’t when you were working the daily grind. Because money is important to our overall peace of mind, Financial Awareness Day is a great time to review where you are now and where you’re going financially. Don’t let bad financial decisions ruin the best years of your life!

National Today News: New Apple Card generates lots of interest

National Financial Awareness Day - History
1959
Put it on plastic
American Express introduced its first credit card in 1958 and the following year releases the first plastic credit card.
1950
Check, please
Frank McNamara and Ralph Schneider introduce the Diners Club Card as an alternative to cash. It has 20,000 cardholders in a year.
1946
Charge ahead
John Biggins, a banker in Brooklyn, introduces the "Charg-It" card, believed to be the first bank card. (Customers used it at local businesses, who then forwarded the bill to the bank.)
How to Observe National Financial Awareness Day
Invest
Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Instead of spending it on some fleeting luxury, why not get in on some of that sweet return-on-investment action? Very rarely do you get the chance to spend your money on something that gives a bit back — well, unless you take a trip to Vegas, but those odds are for suckers. In the end playing it safe is always sexier than spending it all. Use National Financial Awareness Day as an excuse to start investing. It’s sure to pay off!
Take a trip to the U.S. Mint
What better way to celebrate money than by finding out how it’s made? There are four U.S. mint locations: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point. If pennies aren’t quite as pretty as paper to you, head down to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing or BEP for short. Not only do they offer tours and rare currency products, but you can take any of those ratty dollars that accidentally got tossed in the dryer and redeem them for free. How’s that for smart money?
Get smart about your money
National Financial Awareness Day is the perfect opportunity to make a budget. We know, we know, it’s not an attractive task but it’s so important. Find out where you spend your money by making a spreadsheet or using one of the many online services and apps that will do it for you. The numbers may shock you but that’s okay — knowledge is power!
Why National Financial Awareness Day is Important
It celebrates Easy Street
As the saying goes, why work for your money when you can make it work for you? Sometimes in the seemingly endless race to chase that paper, we forget that we don’t always need to take the uphill course. With the right knowledge, you can make the road to riches far less bumpy and a lot more scenic. Sound investment practices can help you spend less time working and more time enjoying your life.
It teaches us that finances don’t have to be confusing
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king and if there's one thing most people are clueless about, it’s finance. There’s no downside to having a bit of financial literacy in life. It’s a subject many people find daunting, but taking the initiative to learn how money works will make all your peers green with envy. Just like everyone flocks to that one mechanically-inclined friend when their car breaks down, you’ll be that guy — but for money. Plus, when your car breaks down you can just buy a better one!
It reminds us to prepare for the unforeseeable future
They say money can’t buy you happiness. Perhaps — but not having money can sure bring you a lot of sadness. That’s why it’s so important to make sound investment decisions now so you’re not suffering later. You never know what kind of pitfalls life may throw your way but there’s no better safety net than having a nice contingency fund in your pocket.

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TODAY IS......

INTERNATIONAL LEFT HANDERS DAY- August 13


International Left Handers Day on August 13th recognizes all those individuals who have mastered using their left hand in a right-handed world. We take our hats off to you – left-handed!
Approximately 10% of the population are southpaws. Scientists don’t know why a person develops left-handedness. But it’s more likely a child will be left-handed if one parent is a lefty, too. Parents of left-handed children used to force them to use their right hands. In the eyes of right-handers, the predominant use of the left hand seemed evil. Parents feared their communities would shun their children. While we accept left-handedness more readily than days gone by, its occurrence hasn’t increased.
Famous Cartoonist Joe Wos, founder of mazetoons, states that his favorite day to celebrate is International Left Handers Day, being a lefty himself.
Many lefties seek to blend in because they will stand out soon enough. Their unique quality makes them feel awkward. They bump elbows or seem like a klutz. However, in a world designed for the right-handed, those who are other dominant adapt quite well. For example, eight United States presidents were left-handed, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Would the Sistine Chapel and the Mona Lisa stand the test of time if Michaelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci had been right-handed?
Left Handers Day recognizes the uncommon individual who throws, catches, writes, and uses a fork with their left-hand. They view the world just a little differently. At a restaurant, they seek out the seat that will place their dominant elbow on the outside of the booth. Right-handed athletes groan a bit when the southpaw shows up as an opponent on the roster. They present a challenge right-handers aren’t always sure how to handle due to lack of practice. Lefties square off against righties all the time.
Don’t be shy on Left-Handers Day. Show the world how brilliant and unique you are!
HOW TO OBSERVE #LeftHandersDay
Take a left-handed friend to lunch or out for coffee. If you’re right-handed, try doing everything with your left hand. Left-handers post photos using #lefthandersday to prove your left-handed awesomeness.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for a project designed just for Left-Hander’s Day. Use #NDCClassroom to let share your ideas with us.
INTERNATIONAL LEFT HANDERS DAY HISTORY
International Left Handers Day was founded in 1992 in the United Kingdom. Because of the popularity of this observation in the United States, the Registrar at National Day Calendar added the day to its list of national days.

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