Category: August 16

  • NATIONAL RUM DAY – August 16


    Join National Rum Day on August 16th as blended beverages and cocktails create a delicious celebration. Rum is a distilled clear alcoholic beverage which is a byproduct of sugar production. It can also be made directly from sugar cane juice. After the fermentation and distillation process, most rum ages in wooden oak barrels.


    RUM FACT: In 1764, the British Crown placed a tax on sugar, molasses and rum on the American colonies. This tax was called The Sugar Act of 1764. It was instrumental in the unrest that finally became the American Revolution.

    Rum is the third most popular spirit in the United States. Only vodka and all the whiskeys combined beat it for first and second-rankings. The spirit finds its way into citrusy mixed drinks, and cool blended summer cocktails. So much so, that rum stirs up images of sandy beaches and brightly colored umbrellas in fruity drinks.

    However, rum also conjures up sailors and pirates. The reason for that is how rum came to be. In the West Indies during the 1600s, large plantations grew sugar cane. When they extracted the sugar, they created a by-product called molasses. For years, the molasses was a waste product until it was discovered it could be distilled – into rum. Then, rum became not only a commodity for trade but also a ration on the ships delivering the product. Even in the modern Royal Navy, British sailors received an allotment of rum until 1970.


    There are many ways to enjoy rum. On a hot summer day, a great way to celebrate is with this recipe for a Strawberry Pineapple Cooler. Use #NationalRumDay to post on social media. Remember always to drink responsibly and never to drink and drive 


    We were unable to identify the creator of National Rum Day.


    Q. How many calories are in rum?
    A. Depending on the brand, rum can contain between 70-110 calories per 1.5 fluid ounce shot.

    Q. Is rum better served hot or cold?
    A. Rum makes great hot and cold cocktails. Hot buttered rum is probably the first to come to mind. Others include Hot Toddy and rum-spiked apple cider. However, rum tops the ingredients list of many chilled and blended cocktails, too. Rum punch, rum and soda, and tea are common.

    Q. Are there other rum-related holidays?
    A. Absolutely! National Pina Colada Day and National Daiquiri Day are two.

    Q. Does rum expire?
    A. For the best flavor, an opened bottle of rum should be consumed within six months.

    Q. Will an unopened bottle of rum improve with age?
    A. Once bottled, spirits like rum do not improve with age. However, many spirits do undergo an aging process while still in the barrel. Distillers perfect this process over many years.


    August 16th Celebrated History


    President James Buchanan receives the first transatlantic cable from Queen Victoria.


    Professional pitcher, Fred Goldsmith successfully proves the curveball is not an optical illusion. In the demonstration, the tricky and twisty pitcher repeatedly pitched around a center pole driven into the ground and brought the ball back across the before reaching the target.


    Edwin Prescott patents the “loop-de-loop” roller coaster which he operated at Coney Island.


    The United States and Canada sign one of the first treaties designed to protect wildlife – The Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


    The artist who sketched the first Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks, releases the first color sound cartoon, Fiddlesticks.


    The first official Army parachute jump takes place at Ft. Benning, Georgia.


    Sports Illustrated publishes its first issue. The cover photo was of Milwaukee Braves batter Eddie Mathews swinging away at a home game against the New York Giants.


    After a disappointing performance during an audition, the Beatles release drummer Pete Best. They replaced him with Ringo Starr a few days later.


    The Auditorium Theater in Chicago hosts the folk-rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for their first concert.


    Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack in his Memphis home at the age of 42.


    Actress Carrie Fisher and musician Paul Simon marry. They would divorce less than a year later.


    Madonna’s single “Papa Don’t Preach” hits #1 along with her album True Blue.


    Thomas Welsh granted patent no. 5,236,208 for Platform Steerable Skateboard.


    Housing 40 cows, the first floating dairy farm opens in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    August 16th Celebrated Birthdays

    Amos Alonzo Stagg – 1862

    Coaching until the age of 98, Stagg contributed to college football both as a player and coach. He coached more than any other American football coach, too – 71 years.

    Hugo Gernsback – 1884

    Gernsback is known for his contributions to the science fiction genre. He published one of the first magazines dedicated to the genre- Amazing Stories.

    T.E. Lawrence – 1888

    Nicknamed Lawrence of Arabia, the military leader is noted for his role in several campaigns, including the Arab Revolt.

    Otto Messmer – 1892

    As an American animator, Messmer created the cartoon character Felix the Cat.

    Louis Lomax – 1922

    As a journalist and author, Lomax became the first African-American television journalist. He hosted a weekly talk show and also interviewed Malcolm X in the documentary The Hate that Hate Produced with Mike Wallace.

    Shimon Peres – 1923

    Peres served as both the 9th President of Israel and prime minister.

    Suzanne Farrell – 1945

    The professional ballet dancer is known for her long and successful career. She founded her own ballet company in 2000, the Suzanne Farrel Ballet.

    Kathie Lee Gifford – 1953

    Gifford has hosted the talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee as well as the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb.

    James Cameron – 1954

    Hollywood director and producer, James Cameron, is known for his blockbuster hits such as The Terminator series, Titanic, and Avatar.

    Angela Bassett – 1958

    Bassett is known for her roles in American Horror Story, Black Panther and Waiting to Exhale.

    Madonna – 1958

    Known as the Queen of Pop, the performer released her first single in 1982. She quickly rose to stardom after the release of her first album Madonna a year later.

    Steve Carell – 1962

    Best known for his role as Michael Scott in the sitcom The Office, the comedian also starred in films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the Anchorman series. He also voiced the character Gru in the animated collection from Despicable Me.



    National Airborne Day on August 16th honors the military’s airborne divisions of the Armed Forces.    


    August 16, 1940, marks the date of the first official Army parachute jump at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The successful jump validated the innovative concept of inserting U.S. ground combat forces behind a battle line by parachute. These sky soldiers represent some of the most prestigious and expertly trained forces in the United States Army. 

    In the U.S. Army currently, two airborne divisions operate. The 82nd Airborne Division out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina began as an infantry division. During World War I, the 82nd Division activated on 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon. In 1918, they earned the nickname All American for the composition of their division. Since the soldiers came not only from all across the country, but several were immigrants, too. The 82nd Division represented all of America as few other divisions did at the time.

    The second and still active airborne division had a short-lived beginning. During World War I, the 101st Airborne Division organized for a short while on November 2, 1918. However, the war ended shortly after. During World War II, the Screaming Eagles re-activated on August 16, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. They currently make their home at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

    Both units have served around the world in combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions.


    Discover more about the Airborne troops of The United States military.

    • Watch documentaries about airborne troops in the United States military.
    • Explore the history of airborne units. Read Airborne: A Combat History of American Forces by E.M. Flanagan or Out of the Blue: U.S. Army Airborne Operations in World War II by James Huston. 
    • Discover even more by visiting military museums and memorials honoring the airborne forces. 

    Thank a paratrooper and use #NationalAirborneDay to post on social media.


    President George W. Bush proclaimed National Airborne Day on August 14, 2002. On August 3, 2009, the US Senate of the 111th Congress recognized National Airborne Day with Senate Resolution 235.

    Airborne FAQ

    Q. Does the U.S. Army Airborne have a creed?
    A. Yes. You can find it at the Association of the United States Army.

    Q. What does the AA patch worn by the 82 Airborne mean?
    A. It stands for “All American” a nickname supplied by Vivienne Goodwyn soon after the 82nd Airborne formed during World War I.

    Q. What does the 101st insignia look like?
    A. A bald eagle on a black shield represents the 101st Airborne. As a result, their nickname is the Screaming Eagles.

    Q. How long is Airborne training?
    A. The U.S. Army Airborne School in Ft. Benning, Georgia conducts three-week Basic Paratrooper Training.




    Each year on August 16th, people flock to amusement parks for a thrill, a few exciting screams, and to celebrate National Roller Coaster Day. Take a ride on a roller coaster near you. 


    The day commemorates the first verticle loop roller coaster which was patented by Edwin Prescott on this day in 1898. A roller coaster consists of one or multiple cars on a track. While they are similar to railroad systems in design, the inclines and vertical loops incorporated in the structures aren’t for transportation. These elements boost the thrills rollercoaster enthusiasts seek!

    The oldest roller coasters are believed to have originated from the so-called “Russian Mountains.” Built-in the 17th century, these specially constructed hills of ice located near Saint Petersburg, Russia rose between 70 and 80 feet in height. Passengers faced 50-degree drops. Wooden supports supplied reinforcement.  

    Roller coaster designs existed since at least 1872 when J.G. Taylor received one of the earliest patents. He called his creation an inclined railway. Another patent granted for an inclined-plane railway was granted to Richard Knudsen in 1878.

    For years, history has believed the first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island on June 26, 1884. However, tracing J.G. Taylor’s patent and newspaper articles tells us a different story. According to the Providence Evening Press dated June 1872, Taylor’s elevated railway at Rocky Point, Rhode Island extended 400 feet and gave nine passengers a ride. It all started with a shove, allowing gravity to do the rest.  

    While Prescott’s patent detailed ways to improve upon structures such as J.G. Taylor’s and that built at Coney Island, it was Prescott’s designs that led to the roller coasters we know today. His design gave riders a reason to scream and keep coming back for the rush of excitement. 


    Celebrate by visiting an amusement park near you. While enjoying a roller coaster ride or two, also check out some roller coaster history. Check out the science behind the structures and the gravity-defying curves. Seek out some of the most thrilling roller coasters in the country and world! If you cannot get to a roller coaster, make plans for your next roller coaster adventure! Use #RollerCoasterDay to post on social media.


    Since 1986, National Roller Coaster Day has been celebrated. Roller coaster enthusiasts around the country promote the day through amusement parks with events. 

    Roller Coaster FAQ

    Q. What is the world’s fastest roller coaster?
    A. As of 2021, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates remains the world’s fastest roller coaster. At a speed of up to 149 miles per hour, only the sturdiest of enthusiasts seek its thrills.

    Q. What is the world’s tallest roller coaster?
    A. Sixflags Golden Kingdom in Jackson, NJ boasts the tallest roller coaster in the world. At 456 feet (45 skyscraping stories!) it beats the second tallest by 36 feet.

    Q. What roller coaster has the most inversions?
    A. The Smiler at Alton Towers Resort located in Staffordshire, UK turns thrill-seekers on their heads 14 times!

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!



    What happened to the comedian on August 16th during National Tell A Joke Day? Everyone stole his punchlines! All joking aside, get out there and laugh a little and tell some funny ones.


    This day will be filled with smiles and laughter from morning till night. Jokes consist of humorous stories, either written or verbal, that often end with a punchline. While slapstick includes props and even minor stunts on the part of the storyteller, the best jokes are usually short. They involve a little misdirection and a well-delivered punchline. The more jokes you tell, the more fun you will have, and so will those around you.

    Jokes have been a part of human culture since at least 1900 BC. 

    Since jokes come in many forms, try out your favorite. For some, that might be a one-liner or a knock-knock joke. While many people groan at the sight of a pun, they bring on chuckles, too. If you aren’t comfortable with the whole comedic act, rely on your sense of irony. Use this approach like seasoning, however. You might have a tough crowd. Others simply rely on gestures to express humor. 

    When telling a joke, timing and delivery can be an essential element. Without it, the joke will fall flat. Also, be sure to know the audience. For example, clown jokes may not go over well at a phobia convention.  

    In moderation, laughter is healthy, uses the abdominal muscles, and releases endorphins (natural feel-good chemicals) into the brain.


    How many jokes did the chicken tell? Just one, then it crossed the road. Splat… Tell a joke. While you’re at it, listen to a few, too. Be sure to laugh, celebrate, have fun and enjoy!  Use #TellAJokeDay to post on social media.

    Are you looking for more ways to enjoy a good joke? Then, check out 5 Types of Jokes to Tell Your Kids for a dose of the humor medicine.

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for ideas and projects designed for celebrating the day with your students. Enjoy infusing humor into your classroom while watching your students learn more than ever before!


    We were unable to find the creator or origin of National Tell a Joke Day.

    Tell A Joke FAQ

    Q. Are there other joke holidays?
    A. Funny that you should ask. Yes! National Knock Knock Joke Day on October 31 focuses on one type of joke. National Limerick Day on May 12 takes a look at the humorous poem. Another combination of poetry and humor is National Clerihew Day on July 10

    Q. Can anyone be funny?
    A. Probably, but they may not want to be.

    Q. What is a punchline?
    A. In comedy or a joke, it’s the last line of a joke or story that delivers the story’s humor. It sometimes includes an element that the joke tell has withheld. It is also usually short and surprising, eliciting a laugh.

    Q. Is it punchline or punch line?
    A. Both are acceptable, but neither are funny on their own.