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JULY 20, 2018 | NATIONAL MOON DAY | NATIONAL LOLLIPOP DAY | NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY

National Moon Day July 20
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NATIONAL MOON DAY

National Moon Day is observed annually on July 20 and commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969.   NASA reported the moon landing as being “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the moon.  Six hours after landing, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. He spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft. He was soon followed by Buzz Aldrin. While Aldrin spent slightly less time on the moon than Armstrong, together they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material to bring back to Earth.  Michael Collins, piloted Apollo 11, remained alone in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned.

Caught up in the thrill of the adventure, millions watched the mission from Earth. Televisions around the world tuned in to the live broadcasts giving the astronaut a world-wide audience. As a result, all witnessed as Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface and described the event as “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Unquestionably a tangible achievement in the space race, reaching the moon placed the United States in a role to go forth and explore farther and deeper into the reach of the universe. In the months and decade that followed, NASA and the Soviets stepped up the missions.

Fast forward forty years and private expeditions plan to take humankind exploring our solar system. Armstrong’s “one small step for mankind” inspired imaginations and sparked innovation for generations to come.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Share your memories of the moon landing. View the moon through a telescope and explore the surface. Start a discussion about space exploration and how it’s influenced the world today. Use #NationalMoonDay to share on social media.

NATIONAL MOON DAY HISTORY

In 1971, President Richard Nixon proclaimed National Moon Landing Day on July 20 to commemorate the anniversary of man’s first moon landing.

With no continuing proclamation to follow, Richard Christmas took up the baton and began a “Chrismas Card” writing campaign. A former gas station attendant, the Michigan native wrote to governors, congressmen and senators in all 50 states urging them to create National Moon Day. By July of 1975, 12 states had sponsored bills observing Moon Day.

James J. Mullaney, former Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy at Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Staff Astronomer at the Allegheny Observatory, is a modern day supporter of a National Moon Day.  He says, “If there’s a Columbus Day on the calendar, there certainly should be a Moon Day!”  Mr. Mullaney has been working toward making National Moon Day an official Federal holiday.

NATIONAL LOLLIPOP DAY

July 20th, National Lollipop Day, is an annual observation of this popular and flavorful treat.

Ever delightful and sweet, lollipops have been satisfying the sweet tooth for generations and possibly for centuries. They may have been a way to preserve nuts and berries in honey during prehistoric times.  Much later when sugar was plentiful, lollipops appeared in 16th century Europe.  

In the United States, confectionaries and medicine shops as early as the 1860s sold lollipops in various forms, but it wasn’t until 1908 that George Smith gave lollipops an official 20th-century story.   He gets credit for inventing the modern style lollipop and in 1931 trademarked the name which he claims came from his favorite racing horse, Lolly Pops.

They range from the small size, which can be purchased by the bag full and are also given away at banks, barber shops, and parades, to the very large ones that are made out of candy canes twisted into circles.

LOLLIPOPS IN POP CULTURE

1934 – In the movie Bright Eyes, Shirley Temple sang the song “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”

1939 – The Wizard of Oz brought us a world of characters, including the Lollipop Guild. Armed with a giant spiral sucker, The Lollipop Guild welcomed Dorothy to the Land of Oz.

1969 – How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. The Tootsie Pop (the trademark name for Tootsie Roll’s lollipop) commercial debuted on U.S. television. The 60-second advertisement included a boy, cow, fox, turtle, owl and the narrator.

1973-1978 -The lollipop-loving detective, Kojak, from the TV series of the same name, softened the tough guy while at the same time, toughened up the lollipop.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy a lollipop today to celebrate.  Post on social media using #NationalLollipopDay.

HISTORY

The National Confectioners Association founded National Lollipop Day.

 

NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY

National Pennsylvania Day on July 20 recognizes the second state to join the Union.  Once the home of the temporary capital of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is also known as the Keystone State. While the source of the nickname has been forgotten, the meaning is not lost. Bridge builders know leaving the vital keystone out of their structure would be folly and would lead to collapse.

Pennsylvania played many roles that could be considered keystones. Its vote for independence was split between its eight delegates and played a vital role in deciding to move toward independence and cementing the union of the newly formed country.

Throughout military operations, Pennsylvania provided forces to support the cause. Valley Forge tells the story of leadership and sacrifice of a young and developing army and citizenry.

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed in Philadelphia during its tenure as the temporary capital. It was geographically centered among the 13 original colonies.

Pennsylvania Flavor

We can eat our way through history, too! To understand Pennsylvania’s flavor profile, we will start in Lancaster County and the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. German and Swiss immigrants brought with them a wide range of hearty recipes that they incorporated into the fresh ingredients available in Pennsylvania countryside. From pork and sauerkraut, pot pies to scrapple, they filled the tables with the bounty of the land.

Much of more of the sweeter side of Pennsylvania Dutch flavor finds its way into restaurants than the savory does. The whoopie pie, shoofly and funnel cakes are a tourist and fair favorites, but the home-cooked seasoning of chicken corn chowder or stuffed cabbage rolls often cannot be found in a restaurant.

For the best and original Philly Cheesesteak, there is only one place to go. Made with thinly sliced beef rib eye, sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms, melted cheese, on a long, crusty Italian roll. A hot dog vendor, Pat Olivieri, created the cheesesteak in the 1930s. One cab driver caught a whiff and soon Olivieri opened a restaurant. It’s still there with competition across the street, a 24-hour a day rivalry for tourists and cheesesteak lovers to choose along with several others in the area.

Head on over to Hershey to pick up all variety of chocolate and adventure. Don’t stop there! Pennsylvania’s sweet tooth has deep roots. From Twizzlers to Peeps, confectioners love Pennsylvania. Candy isn’t the only sweet treat on the menu, though. In 1904, the banana split was invented in Latrobe, PA.

If your preference is more on the salty side, Pennsylvania has that covered, too. They’ve mastered soft and hard pretzels and have a terrific competition between four regional potato chip brands.

Full of regional festivals and local cuisine, Pennsylvania is also home of Kennett Square, Mushroom Capital of the United States.  Every year, they shut down the town square for a mushroom festival.  Their mushrooms make it into dishes around the world, even into your very own.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Join National Day Calendar as we celebrate National Pennsylvania Day by exploring the iconic, historic and hidden treasures of this enchanting and complex state. Use #NationalPennsylvainaDay to share your experiences on social media.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar™ is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months.  In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
 
Whether you want to celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake or enjoy popcorn (our office favorite) on National Popcorn Day, stay in-the-know by signing-up for our e-mail updates, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t find yourself unprepared on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day – join us as we #CelebrateEveryDay!

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