Category: April 01

  • NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY – First Saturday of Every Month

    NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY

    If it’s the first Saturday of the month, it’s National Play Outside Day. So, no matter what month it is, everyone put down their electronic devices and get outside!

    #PlayOutsideDay

    All year long, we are given numerous opportunities to get outside and play. But sometimes, life, responsibilities, and distractions keep us from spending time in the fresh air as we should. National Play Outside Day is a reminder to stretch our legs and expend some energy in the great outdoors.

    Benefits of Outdoor Play

    Why is playing outside so good for us? Besides getting us off the sofa or away from the desk, it also gives us an opportunity to explore our neighborhoods. While it’s impossible to list all the benefits of outdoor play, we do have a few to share.

    • Playing outdoors is a freeing activity. It frees us from routines, enclosed spaces, and frames of mind.
    • The outdoors fills us with energy. Whether it’s the fresh air, sunshine, or physical activity, we perk up and become motivated to accomplish things.
    • It clears the cobwebs from our brains. We sometimes get stuck on a topic, project, or issue and are unable to resolve it. A change of scene often brings clarity we didn’t have before.
    • Outdoor play provides terrific physical activity for our bodies. Our hearts pump fresh oxygen to our limbs and brains.
    • We experience new sights and sounds. Children get to experience the world around them.
    • As a social activity, playing outside encourages positive interactions.
    • When you play outside every month, it becomes habit-forming – and this is one good habit to have!
    • It stimulates the imagination. Outdoor play almost has no boundaries. Your yard can be a kingdom or the playground can be a mountain to scale.

    We’ve only scratched the surface of the benefits of outdoor play. There are so many more! So, be sure to get outside with the family on the first Saturday of every month – or even more often than that!

    HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY

    We know the seasons change, so what we were able to do outside last month will be different this month. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the day. This is your monthly reminder that it’s time to get outside and play. We have suggestions for every season that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!

    • Explore hiking trails near you.
    • Visit the local swimming pool or even take swimming lessons.
    • Check out every park in your neighborhood and climb, slide or swing on every playground set.
    • Start a game of catch, kickball, tag, or Frisbee or make up a game.
    • Go to the beach.
    • Run through the sprinkler.
    • Go camping.
    • Go fishing.
    • Fly a kite.
    • Jump in a pile of leaves.
    • Build a fort – of leaves or snow or whatever is handy.
    • Walk around the block.
    • Go for a bike ride.
    • Build a snowperson.
    • Go sledding.
    • Identify the constellations at night and look for meteors.
    • Visit your favorite state or national park.
    • Check out these 9 Fun Winter Outdoor Activities.

    What’s your favorite way to play outside? Introduce some of the games you used to play to your children. Whatever you do, be sure to get outside and play! Use #PlayOutsideDay to share on social media.

    NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY HISTORY

    In 2011, Aaron Wiggans and Rhonda D. Abeyta founded National Play Outside Day as a reminder to explore and play in the world outside. The day encourages healthful habits that will last a lifetime.

  • NATIONAL HANDMADE DAY – First Saturday in April

    NATIONAL HANDMADE DAY

    National Handmade Day on the first Saturday in April recognizes all those who put forth their creative talents into gifts warming the heart and leaving us awed.

    Whether it’s baked goods, beauty products or woodcraft, quilts, toys, or artwork, those who create handmade gifts do so with an eye toward craftsmanship. Some carry on traditions from one generation to the next, and others transfer skills learned in a trade, making it an art form. From artisans to craftsmen, tinkerers, and those with eclectic style who create beautiful, functional works of art and scrumptious delights, each shares a bit of their passion.

    For anyone who has ever received a handmade gift, we delight in these one-of-a-kind treasures. We savor baked goods, bath, and skin products, and we can’t wait for more. Pottery, jewelry, and other designs become heirlooms, handed down from generation to generation, gathering history wherever they go. We marvel at each stitch in a quilt or notch in a carving, the care taken to make just the right cut or to pair scents or colors. Custom pieces carry even more meaning.

    From inspiration to finished pieces, those who have a passion for handmade crafts delight in their projects. It brings pleasure to their lives, and they enjoy bringing them to you.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHandmadeDay

    • Shop your local handmade artisan stores and see their latest offerings.
    • Share your homemade projects for others to admire.
    • Try your hand at making something handmade. You might discover a skill you didn’t know you had.
    • Explore the world of handmade products and get to know the faces behind them.
    • Share your favorite finds and use #NationalHandmadeDay to share on social media.

    From Scratch Farms

    NATIONAL HANDMADE DAY HISTORY

    From Scratch Farm founded National Handmade Day to celebrate all the passion handmade businesses put into making their products and running their businesses.

    In 2018, the Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Handmade Day to be observed annually.

    About From Scratch FarmNational Handmade Proclamation

    Established in 2013, From Scratch Farm is a family business owned and operated by Amy Bierstedt. In her own words, “It started as a family business, with a dream of helping everyone make better, healthier, more organic choices for their body and home.” Their products include lip balms, healing salves, body scrubs, bath salts, vapor rubs, warmer melts, laundry detergents, and wool dryer balls, plus custom-designed postcards and t-shirts. Visit their website or follow them on their social media channels.

    www.fromscratchfarm.comFrom Scratch Farm
    www.facebook.com/FromScratchFarm
    www.instagram.com/thefromscratchchick

    Homemade FAQ

    Q. What kinds of items are sold in handmade shops?
    A. You might be surprised by the variety and quality of products you’ll find in a handmade shop. Look for:

    • Clothing and clothing accessories
    • Jewelry
    • Home accessories such as rugs, blankets, curtains, pillows, and décor
    • Wedding accessories
    • Furniture
    • Personal hygiene and cosmetics
    • Candles
    • Toys and dolls
    • Books
    • Art
    • Paper, cards, stationery, and scrapbook items

    Q. Where can I shop for handmade items?
    A. Handmade businesses may have storefronts but many of them also have websites or exclusively sell online. Start locally by exploring your main streets and shopping districts. You might find handmade businesses right in your own neighborhood.

  • NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY – April 1

     

    NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY – April 1

    NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY

    National Sourdough Bread Day on April 1st recognizes one of the world’s oldest leavened breads. 

    Sourdough is produced through the process of long fermentation of the dough using lactobacilli and yeasts. The use of naturally occurring yeasts and friendly bacteria versus cultivated yeast causes the bread to have a slightly sour, but pleasant taste. 

    Most likely the first form of leavening available to bakers, it is believed sourdough originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC. During the European Middle Ages, it also remained the usual form of leavening.

    As part of the California Gold Rush, sourdough was the principal bread made in Northern California and is still a part of the culture of San Francisco today. The bread was so common at that time the word “sourdough” became a nickname for the gold prospectors. In The Yukon and Alaska, a “sourdough” is also a nickname given to someone who has spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle. It refers to their tradition of protecting their sourdough during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body. The sourdough tradition was also carried into Alaska and western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush.

    San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the United States today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries able to trace their starters back to California’s Gold Rush period. Many restaurant chains keep it as a menu staple. Sourdough bread is a great side to your soup, stew or toasted with your morning cereal.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #SourdoughBreadDay

    • Bake some homemade sourdough bread.
    • Share a recipe or order some from your favorite bakery.
    • Celebrate by tagging them and letting them know how much you appreciate them.
    • We also have a recipe for you to enjoy: San Francisco Sourdough Bread recipe.
    • Use #SourdoughBreadDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY HISTORY

    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this delicious food holiday. 

    Sourdough FAQ

    Q. Can I make a sourdough starter at home?
    A. Yes. Sourdough started doesn’t require many ingredients – just water and flour. It’s the method that gets the yeast forming for delicious sourdough bread.

    Q. Can I freeze sourdough starter if I don’t have time to feed it?
    A. Yes! That’s the beauty of sourdough. The yeast will go into hibernation while frozen, but when you thaw it and begin to feed it again, it will grow and continue to thrive.

    Q. How can I change up my sourdough for something a little different?
    A. Try adding nuts, seeds, spices, cheese, or vegetable juices to your sourdough. There are many different recipes to try, so it’s easy to get creative.

    April 1st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    1957

    Panorama, a BBC television programme, runs a segment on the Swiss spaghetti harvest.

    1959

    NASA selects its first seven astronauts who become known as the Mercury 7.

    They included Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. Of the seven, Alan Shepard would be the first American in space. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Gus Grissom would die tragically with two other astronauts (Ed White and Roger Chaffee) when a fire erupted during a pre-launch test for the first manned Apollo 1 flight. They were the first casualties of the NASA space program.

    1970

    American Motors releases the first Gremlin off the assembly line.

    1978

    Australian millionaire Dick Smith towed what appeared to be a giant iceberg into Sydney Harbor. It was an accomplishment he had been promising to do for months and now he had. It was also time to chip off chunks and fill everyone’s drinks. Well, until his prank was revealed by a sudden rain that washed away fire suppression foam and shaving foam showing a small wooden mountain draped with plastic sheeting loaded on the barge.

    1996

    The Taco Liberty Bell and other patriotic businesses wipe out National Debt. Or that’s what the headlines would have read if their April Fool’s prank had gotten carried away. Their full-page ads informed the public that the fast-food chain had purchased the national treasure to offset our nation’s debt and encouraged other businesses to do the same.

    2019

    National Day Calendar releases an article about the successful production of yolkless eggs.

    April 1st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    Sergei Rachmaninoff – 1873

    The Russian pianist and composer produced immensely moving music like his 1901 Piano Concerto No. 2. In 1917, the Russian Revolution drove him and his family out of the country. He eventually settled in the United States where he continued playing and composing until his death in 1948.

    Lon Chaney – 1883

    Known as the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon Chaney literally transformed how we perceive cinema. The actor, make-up artist, and director’s pioneering work set the stage for magnificent and compelling artistry and technique. Chaney’s influence is still felt throughout the industry today.

    Florence Blanchfield – 1884

    Florence Blanchfield was the first Army nurse to be granted a regular Army commission. She joined in 1917 and served during World Wars I and II. Her efforts brought about equality in pay and rank to women in the Army and Navy.

    Alberta Hunter – 1895

    The internationally known jazz and blues singer hung up her microphone in 1954 and pursued a career in practical nursing. Following graduation, Hunter continued her nursing career until 1977 when she picked up her microphone once more.

    Anne McCaffrey – 1926

    The American Irish writer is best known for her science fiction work, especially her Dragonriders of Pern series. She is a science fiction writer of firsts, becoming the first woman to win both the Hugo Award (1968) and the Nebula Award (1969).

    Notable Mentions

    Otto Von Bismarck – 1815
    Ernest Barnes – 1874
    James Lee Dozier – 1931
    Debbie Reynolds – 1932
    Gil Scott Heron – 1949
    Susan Boyle – 1961

     

  • NATIONAL ONE CENT DAY – April 1

    NATIONAL ONE CENT DAY

    What do Benjamin Franklin, the phrase “mind your business,” April 1st, and National One Cent Day all have in common? The answer is the penny, which we recognize on National One Cent Day.

    The United States first issued a one-cent coin produced by a private mint in 1787. Benjamin Franklin designed it. On one side, it read “Mind Your Business” and on the other “We Are One.” This coin was made of 100% copper was larger than today’s penny and came to be known as the Fugio cent.

    It wasn’t until 1792 that the United States Mint was first created. The first coins struck by the newly established mint were called Chain cents, or Flowing Hair Chain Cents by collectors today. On one side of the coin was a circle of 13 links of chain representing the 13 colonies. On the reverse was an image of a woman with flowing hair, otherwise known as Liberty.

    The one-cent coin was reduced in size in the 1850s to make the currency more economical and easier to handle. In 1856, the mint produced the Flying Eagle cent with a wreath on the reverse side.

    This coin was soon replaced with the Indian Head cent in 1859, which quickly became popular and remained in circulation for decades.

    Today’s one-cent coin is made of copper and zinc and has borne the image of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909. From 1959  to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln’s 200th birthday depicting various scenes from his lifetime, and a new, permanent reverse – the Union Shield – was introduced in 2010.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalOneCentDay

    • Research the history of the penny.
    • Save your cents. Each penny saved accumulates over time.
    • Visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for coloring pages and projects designed for the day.
    • Share your penny collection.
    • Use #NationalOneCentDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL ONE CENT DAY HISTORY

    National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this coinage holiday. We’ve flipped a coin several times but still haven’t discovered the founder. 

    One Cent FAQ

    Q. Is the U.S. the only country to have one cent currency?
    A. No. Other countries have one-cent coins. Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe have a one-cent coin that is equal to 1/10 of their equivalent dollar.

    Q. Is the U.S. penny the lightest coin made by the U.S. Mint?
    A. No. The dime is lighter at 2.268 grams. The U.S. penny weighs in at 2.5 grams.

    Q. Has the penny always been made from copper and zinc?
    A. No. For one year during World War II the U.S. Mint struck pennies made from steel. Due to increased demand for copper in 1943, the mint used steel to mint “silver” pennies coated in zinc.

     

  • APRIL FOOLS’ DAY – April 1

    APRIL FOOLS’ DAY

    April Fools’ Day on April 1st has long been a day when practical jokes and tricks are played on the unaware. It’s a time when children convince their parents they’ve broken a bone. Parents get in on the planning, too. Classic April Fools’ jokes include caramel covered onions or fake doggy doo-doo in inconvenient places. Businesses launch impractical or unbelievable products for the fun of the day and newspapers print incredible headlines catching readers off guard.   

    Of course, the trick to a good April Fools’ prank is planning. And you also need to be the first to pull it off. There’s no point in pursuing your prank if someone else beats you to it. Once the foolery has been triggered, everyone else will be on high alert and the element of surprise will be lost.

    Some practical jokers go to great lengths to pull off their ruse. The more people involved the greater the risk of being discovered before the great plan can be deployed. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #AprilFoolsDay

    • Prepare your best pranks and practical jokes.
    • Share stories of your greatest April Fools’ jokes.
    • Be safe playing your pranks and be sure to have a good laugh. It’s all in fun.
    • Share your experiences being fooled and laugh while you reminisce.
    • Use #AprilFoolsDay to post on social media.

    APRIL FOOLS’ DAY HISTORY

    We would be fools to think we knew precisely when April Fools’ Day was originally celebrated. However, April Fools Day shares similarities with other days full of fools, tricks, and merry-making.

    Some believe the day is celebrated in honor of the trickery Mother Nature plays on us this time of year with her unpredictable weather. Another possible connection is the Indian tradition of Holi. The day is celebrated on March 31st and practices the same foolery as April Fools’ Day. So does the Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated on March 25th.

    The earliest known reference to April Fools’ Day is in Chaucer’s 1392 Nun’s Priest’s Tale. Even so, the reference is so vague, and possibly not even occurring on the first of April, leaving doubt as to whether it is the first reference.

    Other scholars point to the reformation of the calendar by Pope Gregory and the Gregorian calendar we used today in the 1500s in France. The new year would take place in April, not January as it does now. The theory is that those who continued to celebrate the new year on April 1st were called Poisson d’Avril (April fish) and pranks would be played on them.

    In 1582, France accepted the Gregorian calendar, but reforms had already been taking place.

    In Britain in 1776, there is a clear and reliable reference to April foolishness in an article in Gentlemans Magazine.  Reference to a custom in the kingdom of making fools of people on the first day of April.  It addresses the day being the culmination of an eight-day feast and the beginning of a new year.

    Noted Foolery

    Newspapers, television, radio, and social media have had their fun on April Fools’ Day. Check out all this April 1 foolishness:

    • Times of London reported in 1992 that Belgium was negotiating to join Holland.
    • The Evening Star of Islington advertised in 1864 a display of donkeys at the Agricultural Hall the next day. Those who arrived early soon realized who the donkeys on display really were.
    • In 1950, The Progress in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, published a picture of a UFO flying over the town. Claiming to have “scooped” larger publications of the first-ever published picture of a real flying saucer.
    • In 2008, the BBC presented a documentary on flying penguins.
    April Fool’s FAQ

    Q. Is April Fool’s Day always on April 1st?
    A. Yes. If your friends, coworkers and the news seems especially goofy on April 1st, this is why.

    Q. Can anyone participate in April Fool’s Day?
    A. Yes. Silliness and practical joking are for everyone. It’s important not to pull a prank that might be dangerous. Some fun and harmless ways to celebrate include:

    • Slipping a rubber snake, worm, mouse, or other creature into food.
    • Leaving a fake mess for someone to find like plastic puppy droppings or spilled milk.
    • Switch the labels on a few cans of vegetables.
    • Pour gravy over ice cream. Add sprinkles for an authentic look.
    • Stick a sign on your friend’s back that says, “Wish me a happy birthday!”
    • Call the local radio station and wish your little sister “Happy 50th Birthday” ten years early.
    • Post on social media that you’re moving to a foreign country.