Category: December 08



    On December 8 we celebrate National Crossword Solvers Day with nearly 50 million people who enjoy solving crossword puzzles.


    Solving crossword puzzles is a favorite pastime for people across the globe. In fact, it is so popular, people who solve or write crossword puzzles have their own name–cruciverbalists! Today, we want to celebrate all the cruciverbalists in the world, plus encourage everyone to find a crossword puzzle and become a solver, too!

    How Old Are Crossword Puzzles? 

    The crossword puzzle was first introduced in the New York World newspaper in 1913 by journalist Arthur Wynne. It was the eve of WWI and Wynne was looking for a new game for the FUN section in the newspaper as a way to take people’s minds off the impending war. Wynne began by creating a blank word search grid. Each grid came with a list of clues for readers to use in solving the letters. The original puzzle was named “FUN’s Word-Cross Puzzle” and was interestingly found in the shape of a diamond. A few weeks later an editor made a typo naming the puzzle “Cross-Word.” This cross mistake became a historical game changer.

    The first records of crossword puzzles are historically found to originate in England during the 19th century. Most of these puzzles were easy to solve, and usually printed in children’s books or periodicals. Meanwhile, Americans were turning crossword puzzle solving into an adult pastime. Today, crossword solvers have many choices in satisfying their puzzle cravings, including celebrating National Crossword Solvers Day in December every year.

    What is a Crossword Puzzle? 

    A crossword puzzle is a diagram of white and black squares with a list of numbered clues, running across and down the grid. The black squares are blank fillers, while the white squares are for the answers for the clues. One letter for the answer goes in one square. Each clue corresponds with numbers on the puzzle, interlocking or crisscrossing each other. The goal of a crossword puzzle is to solve the clues by filling the white spaces with the answers to the clues.

    Benefits of Solving Crossword Puzzles

    People who solve crossword puzzles are often more relaxed, especially when trying to solve day-to-day problems. Many use their puzzle-solving skills indirectly by approaching stressful situations similar to how they approach solving puzzles. Slow, calculated, and with thought. Studies show solving crossword puzzles regularly has several health benefits, including:

    • Improving short-term memory skills.
    • Assisting in developing better problem-solving skills.
    • Increasing individual IQ by learning new vocabulary.
    • Helping delay dementia and Alzheimer symptoms in at-risk individuals.
    • Improving mood by lowering stress levels and teaching the brain to relax.

    5 Fun Crossword Puzzle Facts

    1. Arthur Wynne, New York World journalist, published the first crossword puzzle in December 1913.
    2. A cruciverbalist is a person who loves to create and solve crossword puzzles.
    3. An estimated 50 million people in the US solve crossword puzzles.
    4. In 2014, Bernice Gorden became the oldest person to publish a crossword puzzle in the NY Times at the age of 101.
    5. Solving crossword puzzles is beneficial to a person’s brain health.


    • Solve the crossword puzzle in your newspaper or in a magazine.
    • Gift a book of crossword puzzles for the cruciverbalist in your life.
    • Find a crossword puzzle app and start playing once a day to experience the health benefits.
    • Create a crossword puzzle for your friends and family.
    • Enter the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament created and run by the legendary New York Times Crossword editor, Will Shortz.
    • Share your photos and videos of solving crossword puzzles on social media using  #NationalCrosswordSolversDay.


    In November 2022, National Day Calendar welcomed National Crossword Solvers Day to our list of National Days. The day was introduced by professional crossword puzzle writer Myles Mellor, an international crossword puzzle publisher.

    To date, Myles has published over 17,000 crosswords and is one of the most successful and prolific crossword puzzle writers in the U.S. Myles actively publishes around 80 crossword puzzles per month, reaching 2 million people. Appearing in over 1,000 magazines, over 55 books, hundreds of weekly newspapers and across numerous websites, he continues to delight puzzle solvers every day.

    Myles’ resume includes creating puzzles for executives and celebrities. He also creates personalized puzzles for weddings, engagements, birthdays and anniversaries. Myles gives back by providing weekly interactive crosswords to the San Diego Alzheimer’s organization. In addition to creating crossword puzzles, he also creates word searches, sudokus, and other puzzles. As a world-renowned puzzle creator and publisher, Myles works with Simon and Schuster, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books a Million and many other top publishers to bring his passion to crossword solvers everywhere.

    Related content: National Puzzle Day | January 29

  • BODHI DAY – December 8


    Each year on December 8th, Buddhists celebrate the day that Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment through meditation. The word Bodhi means awakening or enlightenment.

    Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, is popularly known as the Buddha. Siddhartha, once an Indian Prince, eventually abandoned his life of luxury for a much simpler one. Many believe that Siddhartha resolved to sit underneath a Bodhi tree and meditate until he found the root of suffering and how to free himself from it.

    It took 49 days of unbroken meditation. After becoming enlightened and experiencing Nirvana, Siddhartha became a Buddha, or “Awakened One.” For 2,500 years, Buddha’s enlightenment has served as the central tenant of the Buddhist faith.

    The Bodhi tree grows near the banks of the Falgu River in Gaya, India. Also located there is a Buddhist temple. Buddhists consider it their most sacred site of pilgrimage.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #BodhiDay

    While the day celebrates the founder of the Buddhist faith, the day quietly reflects the ways of enlightenment. No parades or fanfare herald the name of the Buddha through city streets. Some eat tea and cookies. Others decorate a Bodhi tree. For most, it’s a day of meditation. Even if you’re not Buddhist, you can still participate in this day.

    • Learn about the Buddhist religion.
    • Read about how these celebrities became Buddhists: Tina Turner, Kate Hudson, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, and Tiger Woods.
    • Light candles or put up brightly colored lights to signify Buddha’s enlightenment.
    • Read books about Buddhism, including Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, Taking the Path of Zen, and Mindfulness in Plain English.
    • Watch documentaries about Buddha, including The Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha, and Angry Monk.

    Remember to share this day on social media with #BodhiDay.


    Some Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death all on one day. They call the celebration Vesak, and follow the lunar calendar to prepare for the observance. Mahayana Buddhists in China, Korea, and Vietnam break up Vesak into three separate holy days. One of the three days includes Buddha’s enlightenment or Bodhi Day.  Mahayana Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, which means the dates change from year to year.

    In Japan, however, Bodhi Day follows the Gregorian calendar. This is thanks to Emperor Meiji, who began the westernization of Japan when he ruled from 1867 to 1912. Every year, Bodhi Day in Japan is celebrated on December 8th. It’s not known what year it became a day of celebration.


  • NATIONAL SALESPERSON DAY – Second Friday in December


    In the middle of the holiday shopping season, National Salesperson Day recognizes the personnel who make sure the products keep flying off the shelves. On the second Friday in December, the day honors the value and dedication of the professional salesperson and the hard work that they perform.


    A good salesperson is knowledgeable about the product. They answer customers’ questions and provide additional information when necessary. A salesperson may work locally in a shop or travel several hundred miles a day to see customers and vendors. When a new product becomes available, sales personnel study up on the product to stay knowledgeable and informed.

    Many customers have favorite salespeople, and they know the salesperson provides the best customer care. A salesperson’s responsibilities go beyond sales, too. For example, they may be required to track inventory and complete purchase orders. Some even handle delivery depending on the product they provide. 

    This time of the year, sales personnel are especially busy. Holiday shopping is in full swing. But other retail businesses are reviewing their inventories, looking forward to the new year. A salesperson is the frontline of any business. Often, they are the first person a customer sees. They’re definitely the first one they think of asking to speak to when they have a question. Businesses rely on their sales personnel to be ready for anything and provide them with the tools to make the sale as efficient as possible. 


    We can all participate in the holiday! While out shopping, recognize a salesperson who served you well. Give them a shout-out and their business, too! Many businesses will recognize their sales personnel in a variety of ways. They may recognize individual sales efforts or an entire team. It’s also a great time to honor those who’ve met sales goals and provide excellent customer service. 

    Be sure to use #NationalSalespersonDay to post on social media.


    Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of Best@Selling, founded National Salesperson Day in March of 2000. In 2010, the observance moved to December. Schreier-Fleming is an author, consultant, and speaker for salesperson training.


    9 December 2022
    8 December 2023
    13 December 2024
    12 December 2025
    11 December 2026
    10 December 2027
    8 December 2028
    14 December 2029
    13 December 2030
    12 December 2031



    Each year on December 8th, brownie lovers across the nation enjoy one of their favorite baked goods on National Brownie Day.


    In the United States, the chocolate brownie is a favorite, with the blonde brownie running a close second.  A blonde brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate and is often called a blondie.

    The earliest recipes for brownies we are familiar with today are found published in regional cookbooks and newspapers around the turn of the last century. The 1904 Laconia, NH Home Cookery, the 1904 Chicago, IL Service Club Cook Book, and an April 2, 1905, edition of The Boston Globe are three early examples. In 1906, Fannie Merritt Farmer published a recipe in an edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.  

    Three myths have gained popularity over the years regarding the creation of the brownie:

    • In an accidental mixing of ingredients, a chef added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.
    • A forgetful cook left out the flour when mixing the batter.
    • When a housewife did not have baking powder, she improvised to create this new treat. The wife decided to serve her guest flattened cakes.


    Enjoy some fudgy, warm brownies. Be sure to invite friends and family to enjoy them with you, too! Pour a glass of milk and maybe add a scoop of ice cream. Share your recipes and celebrations by using #NationalBrownieday on social media. 

    Chocolate Mint Brownies
    Cheesecake Brownies
    Cherry Swirl Brownies


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

    Brownie FAQ

    Q. How many calories are in brownie?
    A. A 1 ounce serving of the average brownie is equal to 132 calories

    Q. Is there such a thing as house brownies?
    A. In Scottish lore, a house brownie is a spirit that helps around the house. they live in the less frequented corners of the house.

    Q. Is chocolate the only flavor of brownie?
    A. No. While most brownies are made with chocolate, other ingredients make recipes unique. Everything from peanut butter to marshmallow or mint can create a great flavor combination. Blonde brownies or blondies are a type of brownie made without chocolate.


    December 8th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History


    The U.S. Patent Office issued patent No. 572,849 to J.T. White for the improvement in a Lemon Squeezer. The invention made juicing and straining lemons easier.


    Robert S. Brookings joined with other government reformers to create the Brookings Institute. The private organization was the first of its kind devoted to independently researching policy on a broad variety of topics and concerns.


    President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the U.S. Congress one day after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and gives his “Day of Infamy” speech.


    The Deer Hunter premieres in Los Angeles, CA. Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, the Vietnam War film directed by Michael Cimino won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.


    Mark David Chapman murders John Lennon in New York City.


    SpaceX becomes the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft upon the return of the unmanned space capsule Dragon.

    December 8th Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Eli Whitney – 1765

    The American inventor is best known for his invention of the cotton gin, which helped revolutionize the southern economy.

    William C. Durant – 1861

    The American industrialist made his fortune building carriages, but in 1908, Durant took on the automobile industry when he founded General Motors Corporation.

    Elzie Crisler Segar – 1894

    The American cartoonist created the spinach-eating sailor named Popeye. His comic strip “The Thimble Theatre” first appeared in the New York Journal and was later syndicated by King Features Syndicate. It wasn’t until 1929 that Popeye would make his first appearance in the comic strip. Then in 1933, Popeye goes animated for the first time.

    Julia Robinson – 1919

    The accomplished American mathematician contributed greatly to modern mathematics. In 1975, she became the first female mathematician elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

    Sammy Davis Jr. – 1925

    The multi-talented actor, singer, and dancer rose to fame during the late 40s. By the 1960s, his reputation as a member of the Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford only heightened Davis’s draw.



    Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day on December 8th encourages us to step from our Tardis or flip open our Omni while wearing clothes from the past. At the same time, we should act appropriately confused by certain technology. 


    Time travel has captured our imaginations for generations. Science and authors keep coming back to the topic again and again, so it should be no surprise there would be a day to pretend to be a time traveler. The original blog post that got the day rolling can be found here. For more resources on how to be a time travel or at least act like one, we can explore the wide array of television and movies produced over the decades.

    For example, the original Doctor Who produced 26 seasons. Some might say that might be plenty of resource material right there. Let’s not stop, though. We’ve made a list and some of them might surprise you.


    Doctor Who
    Quantum Leap
    The Time Tunnel
    Tru Calling


    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
    The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


    Groundhog Day
    Back to the Future
    The Terminator
    Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
    Midnight in Paris
    Edge of Tomorrow
    About Time
    Peggy Sue Got Married


    Act like a time traveler.  Choose your time period and decide whether you are traveling to the past or the future. Be overly shocked when someone says, “I’d kill for a double mocha latte right now,” or “That car is the bomb.” Misuse technology. When someone offers you earbuds to listen to a new song, sniff them to see if they smell good.

    Do you need inspiration for your time-traveling antics? We have 9 Books to Unleash the Time Traveler in You. Some of them are mentioned above, but this list will give you some insight into the stories and help you take a deep dive into the world of time traveling for the true enthusiast.

    Use #PretendToBeATimeTraveler to share on social media.

    Educators and families, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for more ways to Celebrate Every Day.


    This time-traveling observance began in 2007.