Category: December 20

  • GO CAROLING DAY – December 20


    Tune-up your voice on December 20th so you can join others on Go Caroling Day! Caroling is the practice of singing Christmas songs from door to door as a form of celebration. The word carol means a joyful song or dance.


    The tradition of singing carols has roots in pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice. Carols were later adopted by the Christian faith to celebrate the nativity during the 4th and 5th centuries and were primarily sung in Latin. St. Francis of Assisi improved the popularity of singing carols when he paired the songs with stories (canticles), and the songs were performed in modern languages. The Victorian era saw a surge in caroling, and many popular caroling songs still sung today were written during this era.

    Though caroling is not as popular as it once was, it’s still a tradition many families, communities, and churches look forward to every year. Some popular caroling songs include:

    • Here Comes Santa Claus
    • Jingle Bells
    • O Christmas Tree
    • Silent Night
    • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
    • Joy to the World
    • Let it, Snow!

    So, on Go Caroling Day, gather your best voices and sing your favorite Christmas songs door-to-door in your neighborhood.


    Go Caroling Day is an easy celebration that spreads joy and cheer. If you’ve never caroled before, select 3-4 easier songs and friends who are in the holiday spirit. Not everyone can carry a tune, but that won’t matter when you’re surrounded by loved ones who share in your enthusiasm. Visit friends and neighbors and sing the songs with all the joy in your heart. Afterward, return home for hot chocolate and cookies. Caroling is a simple way to give back to others. Share your event using #GoCarolingDay on social media.


    Go Caroling Day began to appear in 2001 on December 19th. The day has since moved closer to the winter solstice and is now observed on December 20th.

    Caroling FAQ

    Q. Do people still carol at Christmastime?
    A. Yes. Though the tradition is less popular now than in past times, people still carol from door to door. Sometimes, carolers are hired for special events and holiday parties like those at Olde Towne Carolers

    Q. If carolers stop at my house, do I have to invite them in?
    A. No. However, showing your gratitude is appreciated. Whether you offer a smile, applause, or a treat before the carolers move on to the next house is up to you. You can also request a song to show your appreciation.

    Q. How should we dress for caroling?
    A. First and foremost, dress for the weather. No special costume is required to carol, though you may add festive hats and scarves to your attire.


  • NATIONAL SANGRIA DAY – December 20


    Across the nation each year on December 20th, National Sangria Day recognizes a wine and fresh fruit combination that brings a fresh celebration to the table. 


    Sangria is a beverage made with wine and sweetened with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Other ingredients can include herbs, spices, carbonation, and liquor. The combinations are endless, giving sangria a place in the cocktail rotation year-round. Refreshing and light during hot summer months, bright and sparkling during the winter ones, this fruity punch is quite versatile.

    Sangria made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.

    Use fresh fruit in season for the best flavors. Once mixed, sangria should be chilled and the fruits allowed to marinate for a few hours or overnight. When making sangria, if you use 100% juice, you’ll gain the maximum benefits, too. Eating the fruit versus all the sweet cakes and pies over the holidays will be healthier. Get the benefits of red wine, but drink in moderation and sangria will be worth all the celebration. 


    Include sangria with your holiday celebrations. Add flavors that compliment your meals and bring sparkle to your evenings. Hostesses may offer more than one sangria to please the many palates of our guests, too. With so many recipes, it’s easy to please. Don’t hesitate to sample a few ahead of time. We offer a few different recipes to try. Share your favorites this holiday season. And then be sure to find more for the rest of next year, too!

    Red Sangria

    Winter Sangria

    Use #NationalSangriaDay to post on social media.


    With great effort, National Day Calendar continues sampling researching the origins of this food and beverage holiday. 

    Sangria FAQ

    Q. Is the fruit in sangria edible?
    A. Yes. The fruit not only adds flavor to sangria, but the wine adds flavor to the fruit. So eat it up!

    Q. Is sangria served with ice?
    A. No. Sangria should be chilled overnight before serving.

    Q. Can sangria be frozen?
    A. Yes. Whether you’re freezing the sangria to prepare ahead of a big event or if you’re saving the leftovers for later, just place the sangria in a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer.

  • MUDD DAY – December 20


    Mudd Day on December 20th annually recognizes the birthday of Dr. Samuel Mudd, a man whose name was mud after his dealings with one man. 


    After assassinating Lincoln on April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth rode with co-conspirator David Herold to Dr. Samuel Mudd’s home in the early hours of the 15th before crossing into Virginia. Mudd performed surgery on Booth’s fractured leg and allowed both men to stay the night. At some point, Mudd must have learned of the assassination. However, he did not report Booth’s visit to the authorities for another 24 hours. This delay appeared to link him to the crime, as did his various changes of the story under interrogation. On April 26th, authorities arrested Mudd. A military commission found him guilty of aiding and conspiring in a murder and sentenced Mudd to life imprisonment. He escaped the death penalty by a single vote.

    President Andrew Johnson pardoned Mudd, and he was released from prison in 1869. Despite repeated attempts by family members and others, Mudd’s conviction has never been overturned, nor has his record been expunged.


    Dr. Mudd’s name has been dragged through the mud since his sentencing giving the term “your name is mud” a whole new meaning. However, the phrase existed long before Samuel Mudd and the events of 1865. And it meant exactly what it means today, too. Do you use the phrase? Use #MuddDay to post on social media.

    What is in a name? Explore these 9 Notable Figures Whose Names Morphed Into Eponyms.


    National Day Calendar keeps searching for the origin of this suspect observance. 

    Mudd FAQ

    Q. Does Dr. Mudd’s house still exist?
    A. Yes. The home of Dr. Samuel Mudd still stands and has been transformed into a museum documenting his place in history.

    Q. Does Ford’s Theatre still exist?
    A. Ford’s Theatre closed after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. However, it reopened 103 years later. It serves as both a historic site and a live theatre.

    Q. What other historic sites preserve the history of Lincoln’s assassination?
    A. Visit these sites for an up-close historic perspective of Lincoln’s assassination:

    • Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
    • Petersen House in Washington, D.C.
    • Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois
    • Mary Surratt’s house in Clinton, Maryland

    December 20th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


    France transfers the authority of 828,000 square miles of land over to the United States completing the sale of the Louisiana Purchase.


    Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who acted as a guide and translator during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, dies at Fort Manuel, South Dakota. However, some contend that she lived until 1884.


    The U.S. Patent Office issued the first patent No. 488,494 to Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, NY for a pneumatic vehicle tire that “readily and easily detached from or applied to the rim of a wheel.”


    Directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life, premieres in New York City. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore, the perennial Christmas film earned four Oscar nominations.


    Dr. Bernard Kouchner and several Paris journalists founded Doctors Without Borders.


    President Donald Trump signed legislation creating the United States Space Force.

    December 20th Celebrated (And Not So celebrated) Birthdays

    Harvey Firestone – 1868

    In 1900, the American businessman founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

    Robert J. Van de Graaff – 1901

    The American physicist invented a type of particle accelerator called the Van de Graaff generator.

    Julia Verlyn LaMarsh – 1924

    Following her service in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, LaMarsh pursued her law degree. Her career as a lawyer led to her election to the House of Commons in 1960. She became the second woman to serve as a federal Cabinet Minister when she became Minister of National Health and Welfare in 1963.

    Dick Wolf – 1946

    The television producer is best known for his crime dramas such as Chicago P.D., Law & Order, and FBI. Several of his creations also resulted in successful spinoffs.

    Sandra Cisneros- 1954

    The internationally recognized author and poet is best known for her novel The House on Mango Street. She was most recently earned the 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.

    Trent Tucker – 1959

    The shooting guard played eleven seasons in the National Basketball Association. The majority of his professional career was with the New York Knicks. His biggest contribution to the game came in a January 1990 game when he launched a three-point shot with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock against the Chicago Bulls. He made the basket, winning the game for the Knicks. Following the game, the NBA established a rule that required 0.3 seconds to remain on the clock in order for a player’s shot to count. It is called the Trent Tucker Rule.

    Eduardo Sanchez – 1967

    Born in Cuba, the American director is best known for the realistic horror film The Blair Witch Project.



    Every year on December 20th, International Human Solidarity Day seeks to celebrate the word’s unity in diversity. It’s also a day to raise awareness about the importance of solidarity.
    Solidarity is defined as an awareness of shared interests and objectives that create a psychological sense of unity. Solidarity also refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.

    According to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, solidarity is among the fundamental values that are essential to international relations. The Declaration also states that global challenges must be managed so that costs and burdens are distributed fairly. This is in accordance with the basic principles of equity and social justice. Additionally, those who suffer the least should help those who suffer the most.

    The UN is convinced that solidarity creates a spirit of sharing, which is essential for eradicating poverty.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalHumanSolidarityDay

    On this day, the UN encourages new initiatives for poverty eradication. The day serves as a reminder to governments to respect their commitments to international agreements. Events are held all over the world to promote the importance of solidarity. These events include presentations, seminars, conferences, and roundtable discussions. Many of these events also focus on how to combat poverty.

    To participate:

    • Think about what solidarity means to you and why it’s so important.
    • Donate to a relief organization that helps lift people out of poverty.
    • Find ways to help the poor in your community.
    • If you have much, think of things you can donate to those who don’t have a lot.
    • Find like-minded people in your community who also want to help those in need.

    Don’t forget to share this day on social media with #HumanSolidarityDay.


    On December 20, 2002, the UN General Assembly established the World Solidarity Fund. The Fund was set up in February 2003 as a trust fund of the United Nations Development Programme. Its objective is to eradicate poverty. It’s also to be used to promote human and social development in developing countries, especially among the poorest segments of their populations.

    On December 22, 2005, the UN General Assembly identified solidarity as a universal value. This solidarity should underlie relations between peoples in the twenty-first century. In that regard, the UN proclaimed December 20th of each year International Human Solidarity Day. The date commemorates the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund.