Category: April 11



    National Submarine Day, on April 11th, honors the day the United States Navy acquired its first modern commissioned submarine. On April 11, 1900, the Holland VI became the Navy’s first modern submarine.

    Designed by Irish-American inventor John Phillip Holland in 1896, he launched the Holland VI on May 17, 1897, at Navy Lt. Lewis Nixon’s Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The United States Navy later purchased the Holland VI on April 11, 1900. As the military’s first commissioned submarine, the Navy renamed it the USS Holland (SS-1). 

    The U.S. Navy’s first submarine was the Alligator, 1862.

    Submarine history runs deep in the United States. During the Revolutionary War era, David Bushnell built America’s first submarine, the Turtle. The submersible made several attempts to sink British ships but never succeeded. At the time, the U.S. Navy did not exist, so the Turtle was not the Navy’s first submarine. The first known U.S. Navy submarine was the USS Alligator. It’s also the fourth United States Navy ship of that name. The Alligator was active during the American Civil War. 

    Elsewhere in the world, Submarine Day is celebrated on March 17th.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSubmarineDay

    • Learn more about the U.S. Navy’s use of submarines.
    • Take a tour of a U.S. submarine.
    • Share your experiences onboard a submarine.
    • Download and print the submarine coloring sheet.
    • Use #NationalSubmarineDay to post on social media.



    In 1969, Senator Thomas J. Dodd (D-Conn.) introduced a bill (S. 2690) to the U.S. Senate to designate April 11th as National Submarine Day. While the bill passed the Senate and was introduced to the House in 1970 (H.R. 7998), no record of a proclamation from President Richard Nixon is found. Despite that, beginning in 1970, veteran organizations, U.S. Navy service members, and many other organizations recognized the day, commemorating the Navy’s first modern commissioned submarine. 

    Submarine FAQ

    Q. Are submarines only used for military purposes?
    A. No. Submarines are used in archeology, ocean exploration, salvage operations, and tourism.

    Q. Do you have to equalize the pressure in your ears as you submerge or surface in a submarine?
    A. No. The solid hull is pressurized to equalize the pressure in the submarine, eliminating the “popping” might feel while diving or flying in a plane. However, your ears might equalize or “pop” when the hatch is closed before submerging and again when the hatch is opened at the surface.

    Q. What is the world’s largest submarine?
    A. The world’s largest submarine is the Typhoon-class submarine. Part of the Soviet Navy, it is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.

    Q. What is the longest a submarine has been submerged?
    A. In 1983, Britain’s nuclear-powered submarine named the HMS Warspite spent 111 days submerged. The submarine descended on November 25, 1982, and resurfaced on March 15, 1983.




    Observed annually on April 11th, National Cheese Fondue Day recognizes a food holiday many enjoy. Fondue is a dish of melted cheese or other ingredients, served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a small portable stove (réchaud).  Participants then dip the bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses, wine, and seasoning.

    A 1966 book published in Zurich, under the name “Kass mit Wein zu kochen” is known for having the earliest known cheese fondue recipe. It calls for grated or cut up cheese melted with wine and for the bread dipped into it.

    The first known recipe with cheese and wine was published under the name “Cheese Fondue” in 1875.

    Cornstarch may be the reason the Swiss became so fond of fondue. In 1905, the thickener was introduced to the land of Switzerland. As many may know, cornstarch thickens liquid and makes smooth and creamy gravies. It also creates a smooth and stable emulsion of the wine and cheese.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCheeseFondueDay

    • Whip up a cheese fondue.
    • Invite friends and family (near and far) to join you with their own versions.
    • Host an online celebration and catch up with friends.
    • Discover how they celebrate with cheese fondue and make a toast to good times.
    • Share recipes, and if you don’t have one, we found a recipe for you to try.
    • Enjoy this delicious Creamy Cheese Fondue recipe.
    • Use #NationalCheeseFondueDay to post on social media.


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

    Fondue FAQ

    Q. Besides cheese, what other ingredients can be used as a fondue base?
    A. While cheese fondue is quite popular, several other kinds of fondue add a savory (and sweet) twist to the subject. Try these:

    • Oil – Seasoned oil is heated in the fondue pot. Dip meats, breads, and vegetables.
    • Tomato – Seasoned tomato sauces serve as a base for delicious dipping.
    • Chocolate – Indulge in a creamy, chocolate treat by dipping fruit, sweet cheeses, and pastries into melted milk chocolate.

    Q. Q. What are the etiquette guidelines for cheese fondue?
    A. Since the fork you are using will be dipped in the shared pot many times, one of the most important rules is to never touch your mouth or lips to the fork. Use your dinner fork to remove the morsel to your plate.

    April 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    United States Navy acquired its first modern commissioned submarine. Designed by Irish-American inventor John Phillip Holland in 1896, the cost to the U.S. Navy was $160,000.


    First baseman Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers one day after the team purchased his contract from the Montreal Royals of the International League. Later the same day, Robinson plays an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, driving in three runs. Dodgers win 14-6.


    Apollo 13 launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida. The crew included astronauts James Lovel, John Swigert, and Fred W. Haise.


    Cher wins the Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Moonstruck.

    April 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthday

    Percy L Julian – 1899

    The American chemist developed products from soybeans including synthetic hormones and cortisone for pain relief.

    Dalia Messick – 1906

    The American cartoonist created the comic strip Brenda Starr, Reporter in 1940. She wrote under the pen name, Dale Messick.

    Jane Bolin – 1908

    In 1931, Jane Bolin became the first Black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. The following year she passed the New York state bar exam. She would once again be a woman of firsts when in 1939, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia swore her in as judge of the Domestic Relations Court in New York City, making her the first African American female judge in the United States.

    Ellen Goodman – 1941

    The award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist has also published several books. In 1980, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her work.

    Bill Thomass Irwin – 1950

    The Tony-winning American comedian and actor gained popularity in the 1970s for his clowning talents. He’s also known on Sesame Street as Mr. Noodle. Other television credits include Legion and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

  • NATIONAL PET DAY – April 11


    National Pet Day on April 11th dedicates the day to those pets who may not always get the companionship and attention pets deserve. While loving our pets is something we do every day, the observance encourages helping out orphaned pet companions. It will improve their health and enhance their opportunities for adoption.

    Sometimes their human companions aren’t well.  Making sure their forever furry friends are receiving the best of care will help relieve stress and worry.

    National Pet Day is an excellent time to do a few checks for your pets.

    • Go through your furever family member’s toys. Throw away any items that are no longer safe.
    • Maintain your pet-friendly home. Keep cords and toxins secure from your four-legged friends. This includes phone chargers.
    • Verify when vaccinations are due and schedule an appointment to update if they are due.
    • Check collars to ensure tags are secure and numbers are current. We sometimes forget to update this information when we move or change numbers.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPetDay

    • Take supplies to those pets in shelters.
    • Help a friend with pets who is recovering from an illness.  
    • Adopt a pet.
    • Give your pets extra love with a bath and rub down.
    • Use #NationalPetDay on social media.


    Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige founded the day in 2005.

    Pets FAQ

    Q. What are some of the responsibilities that come with having a pet?
    A. Pet owners know that some pets require more attention than others. However, each pet deserves to be given proper care and attention. Some requirements of pet ownership include:

    • Feeding pets according to their needs. Most pets (like dogs and cats) usually need to be fed twice a day. Other pets may require more or less frequent feeding.
    • Access to freshwater.
    • A safe place to rest.
    • Daily exercise.
    • Routine checkups, vaccinations, and medical care when sick.
    • Love, affection, social interaction.
    • Training.
    • Grooming

    Q. Is National Pet Day just for cats and dogs?
    A. No. All our loveable pets can be celebrated on National Pet Day!




    National Eight Track Tape Day on April 11th recognizes an era that was here and gone in a short 20 years. Nevertheless, it is a day to remember listening to great music of the sixties and seventies on eight-track tapes.

    Popular from the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, eight-track tapes are a magnetic tape sound recording technology.

    In 1964, Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA, created the eight-track tape. Also known as Stereo 8, the first player was released in 1965.

    In September of 1965, Ford Motor Company introduced factory-installed and dealer installed eight-track tape players as an option to buyers on three of its 1966 models – the Thunderbird, Mustang, and Lincoln. In addition, Ford offered an eight-track tape player in all its vehicles as an upgrade option on the 1967 model. Through the 1980s, optional eight-track players were available in many cars and trucks.

    Eight track cartridges were phased out in the retail stores in the United States by late 1982. However, some titles were still available as eight-track tapes through various mail-order clubs until late 1988.

    Many of the late period eight-track tape releases are highly collectible today.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #EightTrackDay

    • Listen to your eight-track tapes.
    • Share your favorite tracks.
    • Post a memory about playing eight tracks.
    • Share your enthusiasm for eight tracks and what makes you collect them.
    • Do you know someone who would enjoy this celebration? Be sure to let them know using #EightTrackDay to post on social media. 


    Our research was unable to find the creator of National Eight Track Tape Day.

    Eight Track FAQ

    Q. Do they still make eight-track tapes?
    A. No, there are currently no manufacturers of eigh-track tapes.

    Q. Where can I buy eight-track tapes?
    A. Second-hand shops, antique stores, and some music stores might offer eight-track tapes. Several online shops offer eight-track tapes for sale, too. Other options include used book stores, garage, and estate sales.




    On April 11th, toes start tapping to four-part harmony thanks to National Barbershop Quartet Day. Barbershop quartets have a way of making the heart flutter. Very often, they transport us back to a simpler time or at the least make it standstill.  

    Barbershop quartets are a style of a cappella or unaccompanied vocal music. Their music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies.  

    Between 1900 and 1919, barbershop music found its popularity. In the 1920s, it began to fade into obscurity. However, the barbershop quartet saw a revival when the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America was founded. This tongue twister of a men’s organization quickly grew, as did other similar organizations promoting barbershop music as an art form. Today, just under 25,000 men in the United States and Canada are members of the SPEBSQSA.

    But men aren’t the only ones singing four-part harmony. Across the country, organizations like the Sweet Adelines bring women of all ages together, melding their voices together and making crowds swoon to fun tunes. Much like the men’s organizations, the women also compete. They tune their voices and rehearse while also performing locally. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #BarbershopQuartetDay

    • Do you have the pipes to harmonize with a quartet? Join a barbershop organization near you. Lend them your voice! You never know who you will meet or whose life you might impact with your music. 
    • Attend a barbershop event. They host performances throughout the year and provide excellent (often humorous) entertainment, too!
    • Learn more about the history of the barbershop quartet. Read Four Parts, No Waiting by Gage Averill, or watch the documentary American Harmony directed by Aengus James.
    • Read about On the Brink, a barbershop quartet out of Bismarck, North Dakota in Celebration Voices.
    • Use #BarbershopQuartetDay to post on social media.
    • Educators, visit the National Day Classroom for more information designed for the classroom.


    The birthday of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America is April 11, 1938, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded by Rupert I. Hall and Owen Clifton Cash, prospective members were not even required to be able to sing.  According to an article in a June 13, 1938, issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cash was quoted as saying, “All we ask is just that said prospective member THINK he can sing.” 

    Barbershop Quartet FAQ

    Q. Do you have to be a barber to be in a barbershop quartet?
    A. No. While the phrase reflects the history of the music, you do not have to be a barber to be in a barbershop quartet.

    Q. Why is it called a “barbershop” quartet?
    A. There was a time when barbers supplied their own improvisational music to their customers, and it was called barbershop music. In the United States, barbershops formed social clubs that eventually gave way to acapella-style singing groups.

    Q. What is four-part harmony?
    A. In barbershop music, four-part harmony is a type of song written for four voices. In a barbershop quartet, each singer performs one of the four parts without instrumental accompaniment.

    Q. Do barbershop quartets choreograph steps to go with their songs?
    A. Many barbershop quartets include choreography in their performances. The addition of choreography provides a visual component and enhances the overall enjoyment of the performance.