Category: February 15



    Every year on February 15th, International Angelman Day spreads awareness for a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome. The day also encourages us better to understand this condition and the necessity for more research.

    Angelman syndrome affects 1 in 12,000 to 20,000 people around the world. This rare disease occurs when the UBE3A gene in the 15th chromosome loses function. This particular chromosome is derived from the mother. Most diagnoses occur between the ages of 6 to 12 months. It’s during these ages the symptoms become most noticeable.

    Common symptoms of Angelman syndrome include:

    • Delay in developmental milestones
    • Limited speech
    • Unprovoked laughter and smiling
    • Hyperactivity
    • Short attention span
    • Trouble sleeping or needing less sleep
    • Limited mobility

    These symptoms vary from child to child. Some children with Angelman syndrome have seizures, while others have decreased muscle tone or exaggerated reflex responses. Additionally, many babies experience feeding problems and swallowing difficulties. The symptoms are similar to cerebral palsy, autism, and Prader-Willi syndrome. Due to these similarities, many children with Angelman Syndrome often receive a misdiagnosis. Some symptoms of Angelman syndrome improve as one gets older. However, those with this rare disease need life-long care.

    In 1965, the English physician Dr. Harry Angelman discovered the syndrome and published a research paper that first described children with symptoms. Because it was so rare, many physicians doubted its existence. Due to the unprovoked smiling of laughter of children with the disease, Dr. Angelman named the condition “Happy Puppet Syndrome.”

    In 1982, Dr. Charles Williams discovered that the disease was more prevalent than previously thought. He, along with Dr. Jaime Frias, proposed that the condition be renamed Angelman syndrome. In 1986, Dr. Williams started the Angelman Research Group (ARG), which later became the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalAngelmanDay

    Events on this day focus on raising awareness of Angelman syndrome and hosting fundraisers, and promoting research. It’s also a day to remember those with Angelman syndrome that are no longer with us. To participate:

    • Donate to an organization that funds research for Angelman syndrome
    • If you, or a loved one, has been diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, share your story with others.
    • Watch the movie “Lou” which shows a day in the life of a young man with Angelman syndrome.
    • Participate in a fundraiser in your community, or organize one yourself.

    Spread awareness on social media with #InternationalAngelmanDay or #WhatIsAngelman


    The first International Angelman Day was held in 2013. The Angelman Syndrome Foundation organizes and promotes the day.


    On February 15th, National Wisconsin Day recognizes The Badger State.


    Rich in copper, lead, forest and fertile farmland, Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet was the first European to reach Wisconsin while seeking a Northwest passage to China.

    A mining boom, not fur trading, led to the nickname The Badger State. According to oral history, the miners burrowed into the hillsides much like badgers for shelter instead of setting up more permanent homesteads. The first wave of settlers to the area also began the uprooting of the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Chippewa and other indigenous people.

    Early in Wisconsin’s settlement, dairy production began to take root. By the turn of the century, the state became known for its dairy farms and synonymous with cheese.

    Mining, dairies, and breweries grew one after the other. An influx of German immigrants in the 1850s brought a new brand of dreamers. Brewers cropped up across Wisconsin satisfying the thirst of The Badger State. As with brewers in other regions of the country, the 18th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting alcohol drowned out much of the competition leaving only a handful after the legislation was repealed in 1933.

    From Lake Michigan to Superior and numerous river and lakes in between, Wisconsin offers ample opportunity for water recreation and sport. There are also year-round trails perfect for summer hiking or substantial snow for winter activities.


    • Discover a taste of Wisconsin.
    • Join National Day Calendar as we explore the 30th state’s history, people, and culture.
    • Read about these 5 Things Wisconsin is Known For (other than cheese).
    • Uncover and Travel Wisconsin with all her hidden treasures and amazing landscapes!​ Use #NationalWisconsinDay to share on social media.


    National Flag of Canada Day commemorates the official birth of the Maple Leaf Flag, installed on February 15th, 1965. Canadians celebrate the day by wearing red and white, raising their flag high and paying tribute to the big leaf!

    Although Canada gained its independence from Great Britain back in 1868, they continued to incorporate elements of the British flag into their own design. By the middle of the 20th century, Canada was well aware that its flag needed updating.

    It wasn’t until Colonel George Stanley, a renowned public servant of Canada became earnest about redesigning the flag that it eventually sparked a national debate among citizens. Stanley’s vision for Canada’s flag was simple, easily recognizable and served as a rallying symbol for unity.

    Queen Elizabeth II announced the flag’s inauguration on Parliament Hill after the House of Commons voted the decision 163 to 78. Much later in 1996, the Canadian government chose to observe Flag Day for themselves. Today is an opportunity to remember and educate others on the power and beauty that a nation’s flag may hold.

     “Our flag dares us to press on with the unfinished work of our country: to be ever more free and fair, just and inclusive; to be keener of mind and kinder of heart. … Amazing what the right flag — your flag, our flag — can do.” ~ Former Canadian Governor-General David Johnson

    HOW TO OBSERVE #CanadianFlag

    Do what Canadians do! Locate your nearest ice rink, indulge in some maple syrup and don’t forget to be a little extra polite! Ask your Canadian friend to say, “out and about!” Figure out who’s the better Ryan from Canada…Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?

    Wave your Canadian flag and share it on social media using #CanadianFlag.


    Canada celebrated the first National Flag Day of Canada in 1996. While the country does not recognize federally recognize the day,  each province decides if the holiday is celebrated in their jurisdictions. Various bills have been presented to parliament over the years to declare Flag Day a statutory holiday, but none have been successful.

    In 1996, when Quebec first recognized National Flag of Canada Day, protests broke out at the ceremony in Hull. At one point during the protests, the then Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, made his way through the crowds and grabbed one protestor by the neck, pushing him aside. Because Chrétien hails from Shawinigan, this action has become known in Canada as a Shawinigan handshake. It even has a beer with the same name.



    On February 15th, Singles Awareness Day reminds us that there’s nothing wrong with being single. In fact, the day after Valentine’s Day points out all the ways that singledom benefits our communities and more.


    There are several benefits to being unattached. Singles can come and go as they please with no regard to a partner’s schedule, wants or needs. Career opportunity?  A single doesn’t need to consult a spouse before accepting an offer. It’s also easier for a single to keep up healthy habits. There isn’t anyone to sabotage their efforts to work out and eat healthily. Singles also tend to be more self-reliant and involved in their communities.

    Singles come in all ages, too. Whether they’re single by choice or happenstance, recently single or pursuing singledom for the long haul, they tend to lead independent lives. However, that doesn’t mean they are alone. Singles may be raising a child or grandchild. They may be caring for a parent or sibling.

    Despite the images of a spinster, a partying bachelor, a single’s lifestyle can take on quite a different look. They may take on many roles from a professional to a community leader, caregiver, and volunteer.


    • Celebrate your singleness.
    • Join other singles for coffee, dinner, or other events.
    • If you aren’t single, don’t overlook the singles in your life. Include them in your activities. They may not be seeking a life partner, but they do like to be included.
    • Recognize the contributions singles make in the organizations, communities, and schools around you.
    • Read books like How to be Single and Happy by Jennifer L Taitz or Single on Purpose by John Kim.
    • Use #SinglesAwarenessDay to post on social media.


    Our research has found that Singles Awareness Day has been around since 1999. In a blog post dated February 11, 2005, Mississippi State University student, Dustin Barnes lays claim to the creation of the day. According to his article, Barnes and his high school friends invented it “back in the day.” The earliest record we could find of the day in print is 1999. Another celebration has been taking place in the United Kingdom for some time. Some of the articles we found references to the celebration in the UK while others make no reference at all. Whether the observance was created in the US or crossed the pond and grew from there, we can’t be sure.

    Related Observances
    Singles FAQ

    Q. Is this day just for single people?
    A. No. It’s also a day for those in relationships to recognize their friends who are single. Sometimes people who are single choose to be single. Other times, it’s the circumstance. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with being single.

    Q. I’m single and I love it. How can I get my friends to stop setting me up on dates?
    A. First, have you told your friends that you’re happy being single? If not, tell them. Secondly, tell them WHY you’re happy being single. It may be the freedom to travel, the ability to put work first, or just a general feeling of being fulfilled and happy. Whatever the reason, express it to your friends. They are your friends after all. Finally, if they still continue to set you up on dates, flat out refuse to meet this new person. They will eventually get the message.

    Q. I’m single but I really wish I wasn’t. How do I meet someone who has similar interests?
    A. There are several ways to meet new people. Some of them work best if you go into it interested in the experience more than meeting someone. Try these:

    • Take a class. It may be art, cooking, woodworking, dog training, or any variety of things.
    • Volunteer. When you volunteer for a cause you feel strongly about you are bound to meet people with similar interests.
    • Attend to your spiritual nature. Whether it’s through a church, meditation class, or a retreat, you will expand your circle spiritually.
    • Travel. Yes, travel alone or with other friends. You might meet someone who loves to travel, too.
    • Ask your friends about their other single friends. Our friends may be terrible match-makers, but this does allow you to meet new people.
    • Host a party. Invite friends to bring other singles.
    • Try speed dating or a dating app.

    February 15th Celebrated History


    Morris and Rose Michtom create the first Teddy Bear inspired by a cartoon printed in the Washington Post depicting President Roosevelt sparing an orphaned bear cub.


    J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster is displayed in Westinghouse factories. The image depicting a woman with a red and white bandana, her sleeves rolled up and making a fist served as the iconic emblem of all the women who stepped into the roles of Rosie the Riveters and war jobs like those.


    Walt Disney’s animated film Cinderella opens in theaters.


    Canada officially inaugurates its Maple Leaf flag in a public ceremony.

    February 15th Celebrated Birthdays

    Cyrus McCormick – 1809

    The American blacksmith is best known for inventing the mechanical reaper in 1831 and ushering in modern agricultural practices.

    Susan B. Anthony – 1820

    The American Quaker led a wave of reform for women’s suffrage and rights. Anthony was integral to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and though she never lived to see its passage, the amendment was named in her honor.

    Harold Arlen – 1905

    The prolific American composer produced some of stage and film’s most beloved tunes. His songs were both catchy and memorable. Some of his most popular included “That Old Black Magic,” “The Man That Got Away,” “Stormy Weather,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive.”

    Caroline Robinson Jones – 1942

    In 1986, the advertising executive founded her own ad company and soon was one of the most successful women in advertising. Her campaigns included marketing for Goodyear, KFC, McDonald’s, and many more.

    Matt Groening – 1954

    The American cartoonist has developed several animated television series including The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchantment.

    Notable Mentions

    Charles Lewis Tiffany – 1812
    Ernest Shackleton – 1874
    Jane Seymour – 1951
    Chris Farley – 1964
    Gary Clark Jr – 1984

  • NATIONAL GUMDROP DAY – February 15


    Observed on February 15th, National Gumdrop Day recognizes a favorite candy of many; the gumdrop! There’s no question as to what to do.  Eat gumdrops and eat as many as you want!


    Gumdrops are a tasty, colorful, chewy candy that is made with gelatin and then coated with sugar.  They come in a variety of flavors and can either be fruity or spicy.  These little candy treats make terrific embellishments for decorating gingerbread houses and other baked goods.

    The classic board game, Candy Land, features both a Gumdrop Pass and a Gumdrop Mountain. 

    Besides enjoying them by the handful, there are many other ways to use gumdrops:

    • In cookies
    • Decorate cakes or cupcakes
    • In popcorn cake
    • For crafts
    • For gifts

    You can also make gumdrops yourself.  According to many recipes, you would need vegetable oil, sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, powdered fruit pectin, baking soda, and food coloring.

    Credit for the modern gumdrop goes to chemist and candy manufacturer Percy S. Truesdell. According to articles written after his death in 1948, Truesdell took the once hard, poorly flavored glob of sugar and turned it into the smooth, chewy delight we enjoy today. While at the University of Ohio, the chemist altered the consistency of the candy by experimenting with the amount of starch used. He later worked for the Snyder-Chafee Company until 1915.  In 1916, Truesdell founded and incorporated the P.S. Truesdell Candy Manufacturing Company.  At his death, he became known as the Gumdrop King.  


    • Enjoy some gumdrops.
    • Play a game of Candy Land
    • Listen to The Crew Cuts sing their son “Gum Drop”.
    • Make some homemade gumdrops.
    • Use #NationalGumdropDay to post on social media.


    While National Day Calendar has not uncovered the origin of National Gum Drop Day, it has been observed since at least 2004. 

    Gumdrop FAQ

    Q. How many calories are in a gumdrop?
    A. One gumdrop contains 17 calories.

    Q. What flavors are in spicy gumdrops?
    A. Spice gumdrops typically come in flavors such as cloves, licorice, cinnamon, mint, and sassafras.

    Q. Can you cook with gumdrops?
    A. Yes. Gumdrops can be added to a variety of baked goods including cookies, breads, and cakes.