Category: December 16



    National Wreaths Across America Day is the culmination of a yearlong mission to Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. This mission is in part carried out each December with the placement of sponsored veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of those who have served our country. The observance is designated annually on a Saturday in December by Congress.


    By coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and at more than 3,100 other participating locations around the country, Wreaths Across America strives to remember our fallen heroes. The day honors those who serve. And it teaches our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms. Remember. Honor. Teach.


    All across the country, volunteers come together to lay wreaths on the gravesites of the military. You can help by volunteering, too. Bring your children, no matter their age. It’s an excellent opportunity to teach them about the sacrifices our military and their families make and show respect for our military. You can also donate to make sure every fallen hero is honored. Many volunteers start by laying wreaths for their family members but find they continue to help each year. The meaning of a somber commitment of honoring service members with a wreath grows every year.

    Volunteer or donate by visiting Use #WreathsAcrossAmericaDay to post on social media.


    In 1992 Morrill Worcester and his business Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Years before as a young boy, Worcester visited Arlington National Cemetery in our Nation’s capital. The experience reminded him throughout his life of the sacrifice some had made in order for others, including himself, to succeed and flourish.

    Worcester made plans to lay the wreaths in honor of our Veterans at an older, less-visited section of Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteers stepped forward to help deliver and place the wreaths.

    In 2007, the Wreaths Across America non-profit group was founded. Since then, the event has expanded to all 50 states to lay wreaths at veterans’ cemeteries to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

    Wreaths Across America traditionally lay wreaths on the second Saturday in December.  Beginning in 2016, wreaths will be laid on a Saturday in December.




    Chocolate lovers rejoice on National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! December 16th offers the chocolate day you’ve been waiting for. On this day, dip and drizzle your favorite foods in every kind of chocolate imaginable.


    If you could cover anything in chocolate, what would it be? So many foods improve when we dip them in chocolate. Many businesses build their foundation on the practice of dipping food into chocolate. Whether you pick up a chocolate fountain or order a bouquet of a beautiful arrangement of chocolate-dipped fruit, celebrate! 

    But fruit isn’t the only food meant for dipping in chocolate. Oh no. Other foods cry out for chocolate, too. Have you tried chocolate-covered peanuts, cashews, or walnuts? Pretzels undergo a divine transformation when dipped in chocolate, and they even have a national day of their own. Pound cake and gummy candies taste delicious with chocolate, too. If you love coffee, how can you pass up chocolate-covered coffee beans?

    The list goes on. What’s your favorite covered chocolate covered anything?


    Pick up some chocolate-covered anything, or try your hand at dipping your favorite food in chocolate. Invite friends to join you and share in the experiment. Chocolate-covered treats make great gifts during the holiday season, too. 

    Try these suggestions:

    • Bananas and peanut butter
    • Cookies
    • Potato chips
    • Orange wedges
    • Ritz crackers
    • Biscotti
    • Peanut brittle
    • Marshmallows
    • Fudge
    • Shortbread
    • Ice cream

    Use #ChocolateCoveredAnythingDay to post on social media.


    Undeterred, National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this chocolate lover’s fantasy. 

    Chocolate FAQ

    Q. What does it mean to temper chocolate?
    A. Tempering is a process that improves the quality of a substance. In the case of chocolate, it improves its resiliency and shine. It’s recommended to use tempered chocolate when dipping or making candy.

    Q. How do I temper chocolate?
    A. There are a few different methods for tempering chocolate. One is to heat chocolate slowly in a microwave in 30-second intervals. When the chocolate starts to melt you are getting close. Stop heating the chocolate when it is soft but is still holding some of its shape. When you stir the chocolate, it should become smooth and lose its shape. Seeding chocolate is another method for tempering chocolate. Separate 1/3 of the chocolate and chop it into pea-sized bits. This is the seed chocolate. Melt the remaining 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler. The temperature you bring the chocolate to will depend on the type of chocolate.

    Dark Chocolate – 120°F
    Milk Chocolate – 115°F
    White Chocolate- 110°F

    Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the seed chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate reaches a temperature of:

    Dark Chocolate – 82°F
    Milk Chocolate – 80°F
    White Chocolate- 78°F

    Return the chocolate to the double boiler and bring it to the following temperature:

    Dark Chocolate – 90°F
    Milk Chocolate – 86°F
    White Chocolate- 82°F

    Remove from the heat and begin dipping!

    December 16th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


    In protest of Parliament’s Tea Act passed in 1773, 60 men dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded ships belonging to the British East India Company. They tossed 342 chests filled with tea into the Boston Harbor. Their actions have become known as the Boston Tea Party.


    Author Beatrix Potter self-published her children’s story The Tale of Peter Rabbit in the format publishers rejected – small enough for children’s hands to hold. The story of four rabbits that began as a letter to an ailing child from Potter became a bestseller and classic children’s story.


    President Theodore Roosevelt looks on from the presidential yacht Mayflower as the Great White Fleet departs from Hampton Roads, VA. The nickname referred to the 16 battleships of the newly designated fleet of ships departed to circumnavigated the globe as a demonstration of “America’s naval prowess.”


    NASA launched Explorer 16 from Cape Canaveral. It was the first satellite created exclusively for meteorite studies.


    The Color Purple starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey premieres in New York City. Adapted from the Alice Walker novel, the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. Steven Spielberg directed the film.

    December 16th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Ludwig van Beethoven – 1770

    The German composer is considered the world’s greatest composer. From a young age, Beethoven mastered musical composition and produced a massive collection of works. Even after his hearing began to fail him, he continued to produce some of the world’s most beloved music.

    Jane Austen – 1775

    The author is best known for her novels Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Some of literature’s more romantic characters, such as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, are found within their pages.

    Margaret Mead – 1901

    The American anthropologist served as curator at the Museum of Natural history for 28 years.

    Ruth Johnson Colvin – 1916

    In 1962, Colvin founded Literacy Volunteers of America. The organization is now called ProLiteracy Worldwide.

    Arthur C. Clarke – 1917

    The British author has published numerous books of science fiction and non-fiction. One of his most recognized works, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    William Perry – 1962

    The defensive lineman played ten years in the National Football League. With the Chicago Bears, he won the 1985 Super Bowl Championship.



    On December 16th, Barbie and Barney Backlash Day allows parents to take a vacation from all the repetitive sing-a-longs and storytelling. 


    While Barbie and Barney aren’t the only toys and television shows of childhood, these two do strike a nerve from time to time. The day permits parents to turn off the annoying cartoons and songs. Parents may insist on a different book to read at bedtime. Put away the noisy toys. If you dare. 

    Sheryl Leach created Barney & Friends in 1987. The show first aired on PBS in 1992 and was aimed at children ages 1 to 8 years old. The friendly, purple tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur sang and danced many of his educational messages. While children adored Barney, many adults found him disturbing. Despite the adults’ feelings, Barney & Friends aired for 14 seasons, plus reruns.

    Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and Ruth Handler created the fashion doll. In 1961, Mattel introduced Ken Carson, Barbie’s boyfriend. Interestingly, Barbie was one of the first toys to have a marketing strategy based extensively on television advertising. Estimates place over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries. 

    Often, Barbie is criticized for being an unattainable ideal of a woman. Her figure alone is unrealistic. Over the years, Barbie evolved both in style and shape. In 2019, the Barbie brand honored pioneering women across several eras, as well. 


    Purge your feelings of annoyance for sing-song children’s shows and games. Remember, the popular toys of the day do change from generation to generation. Try these tips to celebrate the day:

    • Make a list of all the Barney characters who aren’t purple dinosaurs. For example, Barney Rubble, Barney Fife, and Barney Miller.
    • Create a doll that represents the kind of person you want your child to see as a role model.
    • Sing a song that won’t become an earworm like the purple dino’s song does. “Paradise City” by Guns n’ Roses should do the trick.

    What annoying song, book, or toy would your child play on repeat? Use #BarbieAndBarneyBacklashDay to post on social media.


    Thomas and Ruth Roy at created Barbie and Barney Backlash Day. 

    Barney and Barbie FAQ

    Q. When did Barbie debut?
    A. Mattel, Inc. and Ruth Handler debuted Barbie at the American International Toy Fair on March 9, 1959.

    Q. Where did Barbie get her name?
    A. Creator, Ruth Handler, named Barbie after her daughter Barbara.

    Q. When did Barney debut?
    A. The human-sized purple dinosaur debuted on PBS on April 6, 1992.

    Q. Who created Barney?
    A. Sheryl Leach, a former school teacher and marketing executive created the human-sized t-rex.