Category: December 06

  • MITTEN TREE DAY – December 6


    On December 6th, Mitten Tree Day celebrates the gift of warmth. It’s a day to collect mittens, hang them on a Christmas tree, and then hand them out to those in need.

    Those who live in cold climates understand the necessity of mittens. This winter clothing item is essential for keeping the hands warm while outdoors. Unfortunately, however, there are many children around the world who are without adequate winter clothing, which includes mittens.

    Mittens have been around for hundreds of years. Those in cold climates made mittens from fur, animal skin, and whatever other materials could be found to keep the hands warm. Many believe the oldest mittens come from Latvia and are over 1,000 years old. Latvians didn’t just use mittens to keep their hands warm, however. When Latvian women married, they were given a hope chest with several pairs of knitted mittens. The unique patterns on the mittens had specific meanings. Some patterns signified a blessing for their home while other patterns were used to bless members of their families.

    One of the earliest known mittens in the United States dates back to 1803. The mitten contained a poem knitted into the wool. During the Civil War, Abby Condon produced hand-knitted mittens for soldiers, and she recruited women from all over New England to help her. About 1,500 workers produced 15,000 mittens in just one year.

    So as you can see, all throughout history, mittens have been given away as gifts and for those in need. This special day helps to keep this tradition alive.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #MittenTreeDay

    Every year on this day, schools, churches, and charitable organizations set up a Christmas tree and ask people to donate mittens. The mittens are hung on the tree and then distributed to those in need. You can participate by putting up a Mitten Tree in your place of work, worship, or in your home. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers to donate mittens. Many communities have child advocacy organizations that are in need of mittens and other warm clothing items for winter. You can also share this day on social media with #MittenTreeDay.


    Some say that Mitten Tree Day is a response to the book, “The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christianson. However, newspaper references prove this day began before the book came out. One newspaper article came out in 1949. According to the article, children of the Primary Department of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church clipped mittens and gloves to the branches of a Christmas Tree. These gloves were then turned over to the Lutheran World Service after Christmas and were distributed to boys and girls in Europe, where warm clothing was badly needed. In the 1950s and 1960s Boy and Girl Scout Troops collected or made mittens to give away at Christmastime, hanging them on trees. In recent years, Mitten Tree Day events have been held annually on December 6th.




    Every year on December 6th, Canada observes National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day commemorates the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989.

    On December 6th, 1989, an armed male student named Marc Lepine entered a mechanical engineering classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal. First, he separated the men from the women. Then, he open fired on the women while yelling, “You are all feminists.” Fourteen between the ages of 21 and 31 were killed, and ten were injured. The shooter also shot himself. The event became known as the Montreal Massacre and shocked all of Canada.

    Debates about violence against women and stricter gun control laws ensued. Two women, Heidi Rathjen and Wendy Cukier, founded the Coalition for Gun Control. Another group of pro-feminist men in London, Ontario, formed the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC). This campaign is a global movement of men and boys who are working to end male violence against women and girls. The white ribbon symbolizes the idea of men giving up their arms. Through the campaign, men wear white ribbons as a sign of their pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls. The movement is currently active in over 60 countries.

    The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is observed during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This international campaign begins with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th. It ends on December 10th, which is World Human Rights Day.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #OurActionsMatter

    In observance of this day, every federal building in Canada flies flags at half-mast. Canadians are encouraged to observe a minute of silence. As part of the White Ribbon Campaign, men wear a white ribbon to express their commitment to end violence against women. Some universities organize candlelight vigils.

    To share this day on social media, use #OurActionsMatter. The hashtag is a call to everyone to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.


    The Parliament of Canada established the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in 1991.




    National Gazpacho Day, on December 6th, recognizes a flavorful soup that cooks serve cold. This typically tomato-based vegetable soup originated in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia. Gazpacho is widely consumed in Spanish cuisine, usually during the summer months.


    The original Spanish recipe includes stale bread, water, vinegar, oil and salt. Other ingredients include olive oil, wine, vinegar, water, and salt.

    Following is the typical method of preparing gazpacho:

    • Washing vegetables
    • Peeling tomatoes, garlic, and onions.
    • Chop all vegetables (traditionally pounded with mortar) and process in a food processor.
    • Add the soaked bread.
    • Blend part of the processed contents until liquid, depending on desired consistency.
    • Blend in chilled water, olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste.
    • Add remaining processed ingredients.
    • Garnish as desired.

    Gazpacho offers cooks many modern variations. Abundant fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs make a delicious gazpacho, too. Consider using ingredients such as avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, or grapes. However, recipes offer meat stock and seafood varieties for gazpacho, too. Don’t hesitate to try something new. If the grocery offers something fresh on special, look for a recipe that will get you experimenting. You won’t regret trying something fresh, especially in the fall or winter. Your palate will thank you for the fresh spices, herbs, and vegetables.

    Even though we serve gazpacho cold, some recipes call for a cooked broth. When the gazpacho is too warm, sometimes ice cubes are added. 


    Try this refreshing soup to change up your menu. Share your favorite recipes or find a variety of options online. Enjoy this Traditional Gazpacho recipe from We also have a delicious Garlic Gazpacho for you to try. You don’t want to miss out on that!

    Use #NationalGazpachoDay to post on social media.


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

    Gazpacho FAQ

    Q. Do all gazpachos contain tomato?
    A. No.Many recipes for gazpacho call for fruits as the base of the soup.

    Q. Is Gazpacho the only kind of cold soup?
    A. No. A variety of cold soups grace recipe pages and cuisines around the globe. One celebrated on these pages is Vichyssoise.





    On December 6th, National Microwave Oven Day honors one appliance that changed how we use the kitchen. 


    Quite by accident, self-taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. While working with an active radar in 1945, he noticed a melting chocolate bar in his pocket. The high-powered microwave beams created a heating effect ideal for cooking. Spencer deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves. Next, he tried cooking an egg. Both the popcorn and the egg created dramatic results. However, the popcorn resulted in success, unlike the egg. The egg exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! However, we can cook eggs in microwave ovens. Try poaching one. 

    Spencer, employed by Raytheon, continued experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

    • Raytheon filed a United States patent application for Spencer’s microwave cooking process on October 8th, 1945.
    • In 1947, Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven. It was called the “Radarange.”
    • An estimated 90% of homes in the United States have a microwave in them.


    The microwave oven cooks more than popcorn! Use this celebration to explore the many uses of the microwave oven. We’ve provided a few suggestions to get you started, but we also encourage you to share your favorites, too!

    • make crispy bacon (and you won’t get burned either)
    • melt chocolate for all that holiday dipping
    • heat rice, flax, or bean-filled hot pads for achy muscles
    • steam vegetables
    • soften brown sugar
    • dry herbs
    • loosen labels from jars

    While testing these ideas out, take some time to clean your microwave. First, steam a wet cloth for a minute on high and let it stand for another minute. The steam softens any build-up. Then, wipe your microwave down with a little hot soapy water to remove any greasy splatter. 

    Use #MicrowaveOvenDay to post on social media. 


    National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this technological holiday. 

    Microwave FAQ

    Q. What cannot be put into a microwave?
    A. The microwave is a convenient kitchen tool to have around, but it has its limitations. Something that should never be put in a microwave includes:

    • Metal, including foil
    • Single-use plastics
    • China
    • Some ceramics

    Q. When was Percy Spencer inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame?
    A. The National Inventors Hall of Fame inducted Percy Spencer in 1999.

    Q. Can I cook a whole egg in the shell in the microwave?
    A. No. The egg will explode much like Percy Spencer’s did in 1945. However, eggs can be scrambled and poached in the microwave.

    Q. Did Percy Spencer patent the microwave technology?
    A. Yes. On January 24, 1950, Raytheon Manufacturing Co. received patent no. US2495429A  for “Method of treating foodstuffs.” The patent names Percy L. Spencer as the inventor.


  • SAINT NICHOLAS DAY – December 6


    On December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day recognizes the third-century saint who became an inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. 


    St. Nicholas is known for selling all his possessions and giving his money to the poor. Raised as a devout Christian, St. Nicholas dedicated his whole life to serving the sick and suffering.

    Legendary stories about St. Nicholas later become part of the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. For example, during the third century, a daughter’s chances of marriage increased when her father offered a large dowry to prospective husbands. One story tells of a poor father with three daughters. He had no dowry to offer.

    Traditionally, families left their shoes by the fires at night so that they could dry. On three separate occasions, Ol’ St. Nicholas provided a dowry for each girl. Legend says he made gold appear in their shoes, drying by the fire.

    While St. Nicholas Day is not to be confused with Christmas, some similarities do exist. Traditions include leaving gifts in shoes (or stockings) or the exchange of small gifts. Another tradition suggests leaving treats for good boys and girls. However, the naughty ones receive a twig or chunk of coal.

    Interesting facts associated with St. Nicholas:

    • He is the patron saint of a great many causes. Some of the causes include sailors, travelers, clergy, school children, and thieves, to name a few.
    • He was born in the village of Patar, located on the southeastern coast of modern-day Turkey.
    • Buried in a tomb in Myra, water believed to have healing powers formed in his grave. It is called the Manna of Saint Nicholas.
    • December 6th is also known as The Feast of St. Nicholas, widely celebrated in Europe.


    Incorporate some Saint Nicholas Day traditions into your holiday season. Slip a gift or surprise into someone’s shoe. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.

    • You could leave a special note or a small wrapped piece of chocolate.
    • Leave a coin or an ornament for the tree.
    • Tuck a stress ball or a new pair of socks into a loved one’s pair of shoes.
    • A fun air freshener or small bath bomb are two more fun gifts to sneak into a pair of shoes.

    Share the story of St. Nicholas. Use #StNicholasDay to post on social media.


    St. Nicholas Day is celebrated worldwide on the anniversary of his death, December 6th.  

    St. Nicholas FAQ

    Q. Where was St. Nicholas born?
    A. The Christian bishop was born in Patara, Turkey on March 15, 270 AD.

    Q. Is St. Nicholas also Santa Claus?
    A. No. St. Nicholas inspired the idea of Santa Claus. The Dutch word Sinterklaas is also linked to the history of Santa Claus.


  • NATIONAL MINER’S DAY – December 6


    National Miner’s Day honors the contributions of miners across the country. Additionally, the day reflects on their sacrifices and offers time to show appreciation to the mining country’s hard-working individuals.


    As we honor their accomplishments and remember the tragedies that these hard-working individuals experience, the country must keep in mind that mining is one of America’s most dangerous jobs. Miners put their lives at risk every day. They contend with health and safety issues as well as an uncertain future.

    The Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 as well as the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 were created to oversee the safety and health of all miners.

    We use products every day made from raw materials excavated from mines. These materials are a result of the work of the miners. These men and women play a much more critical role in our lives than most people realize. 


    Throughout the day, learn about mining history and how the industry changes year after year. Attend a mining memorial ceremony. While there, familiarize yourself with the dangers and health conditions associated with mining. Another way to participate is by becoming educated about mining. Thank miners, you know, for their hard work. Visit a mining museum. Watch a mining documentary. If you’re a miner, share your experiences with others.

    Use #NationalMinersDay to post on social media.


    National Miner’s Day marks the anniversary of the worst mining accident in history on December 6, 1907, in Monogah, West Virginia.  The disaster resulted in the deaths of 362 miners.  In 2009, Congress proclaimed the day be observed each year on December 6th. 




    Each year on December 6th, National Pawnbrokers Day pays tribute to a profession that provides a valuable service to their clientele. Those who are in need of cash funds and also those looking for a reasonably good deal seek the services of pawnbrokers.


    The word pawn is derived from the Latin word pignus, meaning pledge.

    The history of pawnbroking begins thousands of years ago in the west in Ancient Greek and Roman Empires and in the East over 3000 years ago in China. The pawnbroker offers a loan of cash in exchange for property or goods as security. When the loan plus interest is repaid, the pawnbroker returns the property. However, if the clients don’t repay the loan, they forfeit the property and the pawnbroker may sell it to recover the loan. 

    Governments and churches even became involved in public pawnshops, though no one ever established this type of brokerage in the United States. 

    Five years ago, the National Pawnbrokers Association began a wonderful program on National Pawnbrokers Day called Musical Instrument Gift Day.  Pawnbrokers across the country make generous donations of musical instruments to organizations in need. December 6, 2012, they worked with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and collected instruments for a high school in Mississippi.   


    Learn more about the history of pawnbrokers. Shop at a pawnbroker business. Consider a donation to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to support instruments on behalf of the National Pawnbrokers Association. 

    Read The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Walland or A History of Pawnbroking Past and Present by William A. H. Hows.

    Use #NationalPawnbrokersDay to post on social media.


    This National Day is celebrated on International St. Nicolas Day, the patron saint of pawnbroking.


    December 6th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


    The U.S. Naval Observatory is established as the Depot of Charts and Instruments in the Potomac River’s foggy bottoms in Washington, D.C.


    The states ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. Georgia was the 27th state to ratify the amendment bringing the 3/4ths majority necessary for ratification.


    Thomas Edison records his voice by reciting, “Mary had a little lamb,” to test his invention of the phonograph.


    Founded by Stilson Hutchins, The Washington Post published its first issue.


    NBC airs the stop-motion animation Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


    The romantic comedy As Good As It Gets premieres in Westwood, CA. Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear, the film is directed by James L. Brooks. The film would win Academy Awards for both Best Actor and Actress in Leading Roles.

    December 6th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin – 1805

    The French clockmaker and magician created a magical theater in the mid-1800s and served as an inspiration for Harry Houdini.

    Libbie Hyman – 1888

    Throughout her career as a zoologist, Hyman published six volumes of reference texts titled The Invertebrates.

    Jesse B. Blayton – 1897

    In 1949, Blayton purchased the Atlanta radio station WERD becoming the first Black radio station owner and operator in the United States.

    Irv Robbins – 1917

    Together with his brother-in-law Burt Baskins, Robbins co-founded an ice cream parlor known as Baskins-Robbins.

    Craig Newmark – 1952

    In 1995, the internet entrepreneur founded the classified website Craigslist.