National Weed Appreciation Day on March 28th each year reminds us that some weeds are beneficial to us and our ecosystem. Humans have used weeds for food and herbs for much of recorded history. Some are edible and nutritious, while other weeds have medicinal value.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called them “the lungs of the Earth,” Robert Frost and millions of poets were inspired by them, and Sting is fighting to save them. We’re talking about forests. And celebrities aren’t the only ones who feel a strong connection with them. We all do. Just a simple walk in the woods can calm and invigorate our senses. In fact, the forests are so crucial to the future of our planet that the UN declared March 21 to be the International Day of Forests. For many years now, this amazing global celebration has been creating awareness all over the world about the importance of forests. They are one of our greatest natural treasures that we must preserve and protect.
Native to China, giant pandas are members of the Bear (Ursidae) family. Their rapidly shrinking habitat is a major cause for concern. As an endangered species, successful panda breeding programs are rare. In the wild, there are approximately only 1,864 (according to the World Wide Fund for Nature) and 100 living in zoos around the world. With their white face and black eyes and body, panda bears are easily identifiable. However, their black-and-white coloring was designed for their natural habitat. They disappear into the snowy mountains and temperate forests of southwest China. And despite their sweet disposition, they tend to isolate themselves in the wild. They eat mostly plants and do not hibernate in the winter like many other bears.
National Anthem Day commemorates the day the United States adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its National Anthem. Written by Francis Scott Key, the “Star-Spangled Banner” became the National Anthem in 1931.
The story behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” is as moving as the anthem itself. While an attorney, Key was serving in the Georgetown Light Field Artillery during the War of 1812. In 1814, his negotiation skills as a lawyer were called upon to release Dr. William Beane, a prisoner on the British naval ship, Tonnant. Early in September, Key traveled to Baltimore in the company of Colonel John Skinner to begin negotiations. While Key and Skinner secured Beane’s release, the British navy had begun attacking Baltimore. The trio waited at sea to return to Georgetown. Fort McHenry is built on a peninsula of the Patapsco River. Just across the Northwest Branch is the city of Baltimore. In 1814, the population of Baltimore was roughly 50,000 people, hardly the metropolis it is today. The country itself was still young, and often families of soldiers lived nearby, providing support to their soldiers.
The British navy abandoned Baltimore and turned their full attention to Fort McHenry on September 13th. As the 190-pound shells began to shake the fort, mother nature brought a storm of her own. Thunder and rain pelted the shore along with the bombs and shells. Throughout the night, parents, wives, and children in their homes could hear and feel the bomb blasts across the way. There were reports of the explosions being felt as far away as Philadelphia. It was a long night of fear, worry, and providing comfort for one another. At sea, Key had a similar night. Being a religious man, one who believed the war could have been avoided, he watched the bombs bursting in the air over the water and steadily pummeling Fort McHenry. It was undoubtedly a sight to behold. For 25 hours, the star-shaped fort manned by approximately 1,000 American soldiers endured over 1,500 cannon shots. The Fort answered with almost no effect.
In the early morning of September 14th, after Major George Armistead’s troops stopped the British landing party in a blaze of gunfire, the major ordered the oversized American flag raised in all its glory over Fort McHenry. Sewn a few months before by Mary Pickersgill and her daughter, the enormous banner replaced the storm flag, which had flown during battle. As Key waited at sea for dawn to break and smoke to clear, imagine the inspiring sight in the silence of the morning to see his country’s flag fully unfurled against the breaking of the day and the fort standing firm. Key was so moved by the experience he immediately began penning the lyrics to a song which were later published by his brother-in-law as a poem titled “Defence of Fort M’Henry.”
The Star Spangled Banner
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation. Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’ And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
International Polar Bear Day on February 27 raises awareness on the issues facing polar bears and the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint. Climate change is a huge threat to polar bears’ existence and it’s up to us to take action and protect their future. Polar bears are classified as marine mammals, carrying with them a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellent coat to keep them insulated against the icy cold air and water they encounter on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. With their territory melting away beneath them, International Polar Bear Day is an important opportunity for us to remind ourselves what is at stake here, preserving the future of these magnificent mammals.
Pluto Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Although Pluto was discovered in 1930, the story of its discovery started in 1840 after French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier sensed that there was a planet outside of Uranus due to irregularities in its orbit. His intuition led him to develop mathematical calculations to explain the discrepancies in Uranus’s orbit in relation to the laws of planetary motion and gravity, which led to the eventual discovery of Neptune.
After Neptune was discovered, an event widely regarded as a validation of a subset of the astronomy practice called celestial mechanics. It was then realized that there was yet another planet disturbing Uranus’s orbit since the irregularity in its orbit continued. This led to the search for Pluto — initially called Planet X — being headed by Percival Lowell, whose death would later see the search for Pluto passed to Clyde Tombaugh, who eventually discovered it.
The planet, which was named after the Roman god of the Underworld, was considered one of the nine planets in the solar system up until 2006. The International Astronomical Union reduced its status and tagged it a ‘dwarf’ planet due to not meeting the criteria to be considered a full-sized planet and being two-thirds of the size of the earth. It is believed that the first two letters in ‘Pluto’ were in honor of Percival Lowell whose belief that there were other planets beyond Neptune, helped fuel the drive that led to its discovery.
National Cabbage Day on February 17th recognizes a delightful garden staple that provides some of the best recipes for the Celtic holidays coming up next month. It’s an excellent day to test your corned beef and cabbage skills alongside other delicious seasonal dishes.
National Umbrella Day casts a little shade on February 10th. The day honors one of the world’s most useful inventions, the umbrella!
Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, but it also protects us from the heat of the sun. You can also use an umbrella as a fashion accessory. While the umbrella is primarily practical, they also decorate cocktails. These brightly colored paper umbrellas make fun party favors, especially when visiting sunny locations.
Traditionally the groundhog awakens from his nap for a nice welcomed break during the winter to see if he can see his shadow. Many believe if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he retreats into his den and goes back to sleep. However, if he does not see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play, and people celebrate, believing spring is just around the corner.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has hosted the annual Groundhog day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow: Pedicts six more weeks of Winter
Connecticut’s Chuckles didn’t see his shadow: Predicts an early Spring
Texas Bee Cave Bob is an armadillo and predicts an early Texas Spring
International Zebra Day is observed every year on January 31. With their natural environment diminishing and increasing human development, these gentle animals are in danger. When habitats are threatened, animals, too, become endangered. International Zebra Day is all about raising awareness and what you can do to help in the conservation of this animal. Zebras are mostly found on the African continent, in the semi-desert areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, and the hilly areas of Namibia, Angola, and South Africa. You can easily identify a zebra by its unique black and white stripes.
Originally a creation by Christy Hargrove, National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21 is a day to learn about and celebrate the world’s cutest rodents. Here’s the thing about squirrels: some people hate them and say that they’re an “invasive species.” But can those people leap across a space ten times the length of their body? Didn’t think so.
Penguin Awareness Day is observed on January 20 every year and while we are certainly aware of how adorable these flightless birds are, the dwindling number of penguins needs more attention. The rapidly shrinking population of penguins every year goes mostly unnoticed because their natural habitat is usually where humans don’t live. Penguin Awareness Day is a great initiative to raise awareness on this crucial matter, and also enjoy fun penguin-themed activities.
National Winnie the Pooh Day on January 18th commemorates author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882. He brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories, which also featured his son, Christopher Robin.
Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh. This friendship inspired a collection of books starting with When We Were Young in 1924. E.H. Shepard beautifully illustrated the books. Their adventures took them and millions of children through the Hundred Acre Woods. Each character played a unique role in the books. Whether the wisdom of Owl or Rabbit lead the group awry or a celebration ensued, the story’s characters became beloved around the world.
In the 1960s, Disney bought the rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh characters dropping the hyphen from Pooh’s name. The illustrations were a bit different, too. Milne’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages and are considered classic children’s stories today.
For over 100 years, bobbleheads have been entertaining and fascinating fans and collectors. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, too. Bobbleheads commemorate iconic teams, movies, and cartoon characters. Individually, they represent some of our most exciting athletes or thrilling television and movie characters.
Early bobbleheads, known as bobbers or nodders, developed in Germany. They took root in the United States pop culture in the 1950s and 60s. Bobbleheads resurged in the late 1990s when professional sports teams began using them as promotional items. Today, as toys and collectibles, bobbleheads continue to amuse and captivate us.
The US Code directs that Wright Brothers Day commemorates the first successful flights in a heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled airplane. Orville and Wilbur Wright made that first successful flight on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. While other inventors created planes that flew, Orville and Wilbur invented the first mechanically propelled airplane. Those inventors who came before them also inspired the Wright brothers in many ways. From a young age, Orville Wright and his brother, Wilbur, developed a fascination with flight. Inspired by a rubber band-propelled helicopter created by the inventor, Alphonse Penaud, the brothers dedicated their lives to the invention. They first found success manufacturing bicycles, including the Van Cleve and St. Clair.
Red Planet Day, November 28, recognizes the planet which has captivated human observers for countless years, Mars. Right now, we know that Mars is red thanks to photographs beamed back to Earth from American rovers.
For centuries, the naked human eye has been able to detect the reddish tinge of the solar system’s fourth planet, glimmering in the night sky. Little did scientists know, the red on Mars’ surface came from a preponderance of iron oxide, common rust. On Red Planet Day we celebrate our fascination with Mars, along with all the scientific advancements in understanding the dusty planet.
In 2012, a movement was launched officially recognizing the American bison as the national mammal of the United States. Organizers included making National Bison Day the first Saturday of November. The United States Senate signed resolutions yearly supporting the passage of such a proclamation. On May 9, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the law making the American bison the national mammal of the United States.
World Lemur Day is celebrated on the last Friday of October and this year, the holiday is scheduled to fall on October 28. The objective of this holiday is to raise awareness about the need to preserve this endangered species, and to celebrate its unique attributes. The holiday was first observed in 2014, when it was founded by Jonah Ratsimmbazafy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Since then zoos and animal rights organizations across the globe have been celebrating this particular event. World Lemur Day is celebrated in tandem with the World Lemur Festival.
Hey, y’all! I’m Zoey, a black Pitador, adopted from The Colony Animal Shelter, over three years ago. Today is also NATIONAL BLACK DOG DAY. And therefore I want to say something. We black doggies are full of unconditional love, playful, and have beautiful shiny fur. On top of that, we make great companions, just like all the other puppies. I don’t know, why we get so easily overlooked when it comes to adopting a dog. All I know, is I’m very thankful, that the Chesters had a big heart and let me be a part of their pack from there on forward. I appreciate it very much for being a good dog, giving them sweet puppy kisses, make a good playmate for the kids and my furry brothers and sisters, which are another dog and three cats. Please! Next time, when y’all go to the shelter, consider adopting one of our doggies with black fur. Here is sweet YEEHAA! from a southern four-legged beauty. Thank you for taking your time, for reading these words. It’s time for me to go back and play with my stick and my tennis ball. And to all my black puppy friends:
International Rabbit Day promotes protecting and caring for domestic and wild rabbits every year on the fourth Saturday of September. Who doesn’t love a cute bunny rabbit? These soft, furry animals are enjoyed by many around the world. Often used as a symbol of fertility and or rebirth, many associate these adorable animals with spring and Easter.
Every year on the last Friday in September, Save the Koala Day raises awareness for the plight of the koala. It’s also a day to educate the public on the importance of conserving the koala’s natural habitat. Even though it’s called a koala bear, the koala isn’t actually a bear. Instead, the koala is a marsupial. This means that the koala is a mammal that carries its young in a pouch. In the late 18th century, English-speaking settlers in Australia called the animal a bear. These settlers thought the koala looked and behaved like a bear. Since then, many people call these animals koala bears. Australia provides the only natural habitat in the world for koala. Known as tree-hugging mammals, koalas live in eucalyptus trees. They grow up to 3 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 9 to 30 pounds.
September 24th is World Gorilla Day! Gorillas are one of the most endangered apes, whose population counts between 100,000 and 200,000 specimens. These giant apes are from Equatorial Africa and display behavior and emotions surprisingly similar to humans. We humans actually share no less than 98.3% of our genetic code with them. Along with chimpanzees and bonobos, we all descend from a single common ape-like ancestry!
Happy International Rabbit Day! Happy Save The Koala Day! Happy World Gorilla Day!
The Lindau Lighthouse (Lindauer Leuchtturm) is the southernmost lighthouse in Lindau, Germany, on Lake Constance (Bodensee). It is 108 feet (33 meters) tall and has a circumference of 79 feet (24 meters) at its base. Notably, it has a clock on its facade.
On National Black Cat Appreciation Day, black cats could use a good spin doctor. They’re so sleek and seductive with their all-knowing yellow and green eyes, but black cats seldom get positive press even though they’re just as adorable as other cats. Let’s look at facts about this national day that honors our beautiful, sleek cats, and the reason why it was created in the first place.
Sara is a Lefthander herself. We found out early, when she was still a baby and tried to reach everything with her left hand. We haven’t seen a lot of disadvantages. However, it was not easy for me to guide her hand writing a letter or word sometimes. I had to take her hand as a fist and guide it. Eventually, we figured it out together.
While Vitamin C is widely recognized for warding off colds, the vitamin is also clinically proven to be a powerhouse in other areas of health, too. For example, Vitamin C may reduce blood pressure and potentially lower the risk of heart disease. Those at risk of gout can lower that risk by increasing their intake of Vitamin C. Topically, Vitamin C keeps skin healthy by protecting it from oxidative damage caused by daily exposure to light, heat, and pollution. The popularity of topical vitamin C products has risen dramatically. /
Fresh air and warmer temperatures lure us outdoors, and what better way to experience the thrill of an excursion than in a Jeep 4×4. Whether it’s up rocky slopes or through muddy trails, Jeep vehicles let you take the adventure to a whole new level. Crossing creeks, touring valleys, and maneuvering through rocky terrain are just part of the trek. You can see lost history and beautiful vistas in a Jeep brand vehicle. Get away with friends for the day or take off for a week by yourself to refuel. This celebration reminds us that every day was meant for adventure! /
Rats are so smart that some people keep them as pets. Besides being easy to care for, rats are easily tamed. Rats are also very curious, social, and full of personality. These characteristics make these rodents excellent pets. Rat owners should know that like most pets, these animals need their exercise. Owners should take them out of the cage at least once a day for about an hour.
Happy National Vitamin C Day! Happy National Jeep 4×4 Day! Happy World Rat Day!