PURPLE HEART DAY
Purple Heart Day on August 7 commemorates the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit. The Purple Heart honors the men and women who are of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. During the American Revolutionary War, the Badge for Military Merit decorated six known soldiers.
General George Washington created the Badge of Merit in 1782. The honor was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action.” Its design included a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver. Across the face, the word Merit was embroidered in silver. While the badge symbolized the courage and devotion of an American Patriot, no one knows who designed the award.
Until Washington’s 200th birthday, the Purple Heart persisted as a Revolutionary War footnote. Through the efforts of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department created the Order of the Purple Heart. Today the medal bears a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms.
While an accurate and complete list of names no longer exists, National Geographic recently estimated that nearly 1.9 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since its creation. It’s the oldest U.S. military honor still bestowed upon service members today. Until 1944, the Purple Heart recognized service members’ commendable actions as well. Then in 1944, the requirements limited the award to only those wounded or killed in combat.
Purple Heart Firsts
- William Brown and Elijah Churchill received the Badge of Military Merit during the Revolutionary War when the award first replaced the Fidelity Medallion.
- Army General Douglas MacArthur received the first modern-day Purple Heart.
- Army Lt. Annie G. Fox received the Purple Heart during World War II for her actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PurpleHeartDay
Honor everyone who has received a Purple Heart. Learn more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Use #PurpleHeartDay to post on social media.
PURPLE HEART DAY HISTORY
Since 1932, Purple Heart Day has been celebrated on both Washington’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. Some states and cities observed Purple Heart Day in their own way at different times throughout the year. Each declaration encouraged citizens to support wounded veterans with the purchase of a purple viola.
No matter when the day was observed, it recognizes the merit, and more importantly, the men and women killed and wounded in combat who earned the badge of honor. As the day evolved, it more commonly was observed on the day of the Purple Heart’s creation.
NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY
Observed annually on August 7, National Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea. At one time, the beacon of light could be found across almost all of America’s shorelines.
A lighthouse is described as a tower, building or any other type of structure that is designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.
- Mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbors
- Assist in aerial navigation
- The number of lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance. Modern electric navigational systems are replacing them.
- Their light source is called a lamp (either electric or oil-fueled).
- Originally lit by an open fire and then candles.
- Differ depending on the location and purpose but have standard components
- The lantern room is a glassed-in housing at the top of a lighthouse tower
- Beneath the lantern room is the Watch Room or Service Room
- Next to the Watch room is an open gallery.
- Development accelerated in the 17th century with Britain’s Trinity House constructing its first in 1609.
- In North America, St. Augustine, Florida built the first lighthouse. Printed on a 1791 map, it had been built by Menendez after his landing in 1586.
- Boston Light built on little Brewster Island next in 1716.
- The oldest existing lighthouse in the United States is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. Built in 1764, this lighthouse is still in operation.
- At the end of the 19th century, the United States had the most lighthouses of any nation.
- The 9th Act of the first Congress created the US Bureau of Lighthouses in 1789, which placed lighthouses under federal control.
- The United States Coast Guard took over on July 7, 1939.
- Hobbyists enjoy visiting and photographing lighthouses. They also collect ceramic replicas.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalLighthouseDay
Tour lighthouses near you. Take a road trip. With lighthouses on every coast and the great lakes, one or more is surely worth the trip! Share your photos of lighthouses and use #NationalLighthouseDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY HISTORY
On August 7, 1789, the United States Congress approved an act for the “establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.” It was two hundred years later that Congress designated August 7 as National Lighthouse Day.
NATIONAL RASPBERRIES N’ CREAM DAY
Enjoy fresh berries in cream on August 7th during National Raspberries N’ Cream Day. With the raspberry season in full swing, what better way to celebrate than with this simple and delicious treat.
There are several days on the calendar celebrating raspberries. We just finished National Raspberry Cake Day last week. You will find three delicious recipes on that page alone to enjoy.
At one time, raspberries were a midsummer crop. However, new technology, cultivars, and transportation make it possible to enjoy these sweet berries all year long. Because of these new technologies, raspberry growers now have an extended selling season.
Did You Know:
- There are more than 200 species of raspberries.
- Scotland grows an abundance of raspberries. Raspberries love their fertile, well-drained soils.
- However, Russia produces the most raspberries in the world at 120,000 tons per year.
- Besides red, raspberries come in purple, gold and black colors, too.
- Unlike other fruits, raspberries don’t ripen off the shrub. If picked green, the raspberry will not sweeten or soften.
HOW TO OBSERVE #RaspberriesNCreamDay
While enjoying raspberries at the height of their season, explore recipes. There are so many ways to enjoy raspberries. Preserving them in jams and jellies is just one way. Another delicious treat this time of year is ice cream. Baked goods are always a family favorite.
However, eating berries fresh off the shrub is one of the greatest pleasures around! Visit a pick-your-own farm and experience warm, juicy berries popping in your mouth on a summer day.
Please enjoy this Raspberry Cream Layer Cake Recipe:
Use #RaspberriesNCreamDay to post on social media and spread the word.
NATIONAL RASPBERRIES N’ CREAM DAY HISTORY
We have not determined the origins of Raspberries N’ Cream Day.
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.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
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