Lincoln was our 16th President, born on February 12, 1809. This Kentucky-born Civil Rights Activist is considered one of America’s greatest heroes. He began with humble beginnings, rising up to claim the nation’s highest office. His tragic death in 1865 came at a time when Americans needed him the most.
Lincoln’s Birthday is observed as a legal holiday in many U.S. states including CA, CT, NJ, NY and more. The earliest recorded observance of this great man’s birthday was in 1874, initiated by a pharmacist in Buffalo, NY.
To honor his birth, there is an annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.. As part of the bicentennial celebration, the U.S. Mint released four new pennies featuring stages of Lincoln’s life –his log cabin birthplace, reading as a young man while taking break from log splitting, as a State Legislator in front of the Illinois Capitol building, and finally the partially built dome of the U.S. Capitol building.
Lincoln was also known as “Honest Abe” and “The Great Emancipator” – two titles he fully lived up to during his political career. He maintained the Union during the U.S. Civil War, and allowed for the emancipation of many slaves. Celebrate his great accomplishments today by learning more about his life – pick up one of many books dedicated to him, or watch the 2012 epic historical drama!
Today is Groundhog Day! Send an official free eCard to friends and family! People have been celebrating Groundhog Day (or some form of it) for centuries. According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges from hibernation and does not see his shadow, he will leave his burrow. This signifies that the end of winter is near. On the other hand, if the groundhog does see his shadow, he will retreat back into his burrow and winter will continue for at least another six weeks.
Groundhog Day is deeply rooted in ancient weather lore. February 2 is one of the four “cross-quarter” days—the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes. February 2, which is also known as Imbolc or Candlemas, is exactly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. One of the earliest references to predicting the weather on this day can be found in an old English song: “If Candlemas be fair and bright / Come, Winter, have another flight / If Candlemas brings clouds and rain / Go Winter, and come not again.”
So how much longer is winter going to last? Only Punxsutawney Phil knows the answer to that question! He has been making predictions since 1887. If the groundhog does not see his shadow today, we will have an early spring. Share the news of Phil’s forecast and wish your friends a Happy Groundhog Day with an official free eCard!
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Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! In the late 1950s, an American engineer named Al Fielding and a Swiss inventor named Marc Chavannes created Bubble Wrap. They were actually trying to come up with a textured, plastic wallpaper, but soon realized that their product had huge potential as a packaging material.
Fielding and Chavannes formed the Sealed Air Corporation and introduced Bubble Wrap to the public in January of 1960. Today, Sealed Air is a global Fortune 500 company and produces enough Bubble Wrap to stretch from the Earth to the Moon each year.
Did you know that in the past, Sealed Air has sponsored an annual Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors? Kids competed to create the most innovative product using Bubble Wrap as the primary material. Past winners include a floating garden, a cell phone cover, a swing for children with movement disorders, and a transformable kite kit.
To celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, join a social media group for Bubble Wrap fans or enjoy popping an entire roll of Bubble Wrap bubbles!
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day! On this day we celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to the pursuit of justice and equality for all.
President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law on November 2, 1983—fifteen years after the assassination of the civil rights leader. A congressman from Michigan introduced the legislation just a few months after Dr. King’s death in 1968, but it took years of petitions, politics, and personal appeals from Coretta Scott King to get it passed.
Martin Luther King Day is celebrated every year on the thirdMonday in January. There are only two other federal holidays that honor individuals—Washington’s Birthday (also known as Presidents Day) and Columbus Day.
Today is Thesaurus Day! Peter Mark Roget, the author ofRoget’s Thesaurus, was born on this day in 1779. In 1840, Roget retired from a successful career in medicine and spent the rest of his life working on “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” He published his dictionary of synonyms in 1852. Since then, it has never been out of print!
Did you know that the word “thesaurus” is Latin for “treasure”? Roget’s original treasure trove of information included 15,000 words organized into six primary categories—existence, relation, quantity, number, and time. Today the book boasts over 230,000 words, but it is still organized by ideas and concepts as opposed to alphabetically.
Pull out your thesaurus, use some new words, and stretch your vocabulary in honor of Thesaurus Day!
(Editor’s Note: Daisy Torkildson is a student at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. We thought this memorial she wrote about family and food is entertaining, original, and quite touching. So we wanted to share it with all of you, as a reminder of what holidays are really all about.)
Today Means Thanksgiving
A narrative by Daisy Torkildson
In Memory of Alice Anderson
Today means The cooks are up before dawn; the stove, griddle, and oven
once turned on, will not cease to heat until the mighty feast is on the table, and the cans of cranberries or beets make their one and only appearance of the year, going from can
to decorative bowl, to garbage, bypassing my mouth
Today means Everyone is enlisted in the battle for Thanksgiving dinner
providing aid to the fearless and tireless cooks of the
kitchen; warriors in their own right.
Today means Taking out the trash more than 3 times today.
Today means Adding the extra section of the dining table, and hunting
for every stable chair in the house.
Today means Pulling out and dusting off the good china from the cabinet
Today means Cooking enough food to feed three armies and eating the
leftovers for weeks, or sending them home with family.
Today means Snacking on lefse fresh from the griddle and not eating
breakfast or lunch to save room for your stomach’s
biggest performance of the year: Thaknsgiving dinner.
Today means Finally you’ve turned twelve, which you think will entitle you to sit at the “adult” table, when suddenly your sister informs you that you must be 18 to receive such an honor.
Your hopes and pride are crushed as you sullenly trudge
back to the “little kids” table, where you pout for the rest
of the evening.
Today means The table has been set for hours and when the mashed
potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, green beans, turkey, ham
and every other imaginable dish are on the table, it still
takes everyone a half an hour to be rounded up and seated.
Today means Eating so much food that you have to unbuckle your belt
and undo your jeans to relieve the pressure coming from your newly conceived “food baby.” And once you can move again, you crawl to the nearest soft surface and proceed to nap for the next 3 hours.
Today means There are multiple piles of dishes seemingly as tall as Mount Everest, and the dishwasher is almost constantly running.
Today means Pinochle tournaments, football games, and naps in full sway.
Today means The first Thanksgiving without Grandma; not having her chase us out of the kitchen for snitching food or yell down the stairs to us noisy kids to stop jumping on the beds or ask us to recite a poem for the annual Thanksgiving program and say what we’re thankful for.