Category: February 02

  • OPTIMIST DAY | First Thursday in February

    OPTIMIST DAY | First Thursday in February

    Confident people look to the future with hope, and on Optimist Day we celebrate the volunteers who share their enthusiasm, skills, and talent to make that tomorrow a vibrant and peaceful one. On the first Thursday in February, recognize an optimist whose endeavors have made a difference in your community.


    Each year, Optimist organizations around the world volunteer their time and skills working with the youth in their communities. They provide leadership, scholarship, wellness and safety, arts and sports programs.

    Optimist Day recognizes the volunteers and the youth who support their communities in many different ways. Every day, our growing communities rely on the ingenuity and energy of the next generation to be an integral part of our neighborhoods, schools, and towns. These young volunteers and the mentors who guide them connect them to the greater world around us. Their stewardship creates a hopeful future for us all.


    Recognize the volunteers in your community. Dedicate the day to their accomplishments and let them know how much you appreciate them. Let them know your community admires their hard work and dedication. Encourage other youth to become involved in community organizations, too. Help them see the benefits of improving the world where they live and connecting with the people who live there. Share the projects and resources of your communities’ volunteer organizations, the volunteers, and youth, too. Use #OptimistDay on social media.


    The original idea for Optimist Day developed in 1909 when the Optimist Club of America promoted the day to be observed on April 1st as a way to encourage kind acts and further optimism. The idea was to also replace the practical joking associated with April Fool’s Day. For the next several decades, clubs across the country hosted Optimist Day observances in their communities on various dates throughout the year.

    In 2017, Optimist International declared Optimist Day to be observed on the first Thursday in February with a focus on recognizing the achievements of the volunteers and the youth in the community. Each year, the programs they support improve their communities and provide opportunities for youth of all ages. They also coordinate with other volunteer organizations making the future brighter for all involved.

    Optimist FAQ

    Q. Are optimists positive or negative?
    A. Optimists have a positive outlook and strive to bring a positive outlook into the lives of others.

    Q. Q. When was Optimist International founded?
    A. The international volunteer organization was founded in 1919. However, many Optimist Clubs were established across the United States. In 1911, Optimist Club of America established its first official club in Boston



    On February 2nd, National Tater Tot Day recognizes a kitchen staple. In the United States, we consume approximately 3.5 billion of these nuggets of potato goodness per year.


    These bite-sized bits of golden deliciousness created from the scraps from making French fries once were used to feed cattle. But how do the cast-offs from making French fries become the bite-sized, kitchen-friendly morsels we love to devour today? Through persistence and ingenuity, of course!

    Two brothers, Nephi and Golden Grigg, along with their brother-in-law started dabbling in frozen food when they rented a plant on the Oregon and Idaho borders in 1934. They focused on making French fries, but the waste fed to cattle seemed excessive. Was there a way to reduce the excess? Maybe, but instead, they chose to create a product from the excess. Not only did the scrapped and shredded bits form into tasty bites when blanched and fried, but they also fit into their product line, too. They froze well, could be baked, and were delicious! By 1952, they purchased the plant, forming the Oregon Frozen Foods Company that would later become Ore-Ida.

    Seasoned with spices or baked into a casserole, tater tots make a meal, side dish, or a snack celebration. We dip them, pop them, or just savor them.


    • Add them to a burrito.
    • Make a potato version of nachos by adding your favorite toppings to partially cooked tots and then heating through.
    • Create a tater tot buffet with a variety of dips and seasonings.
    • Add tater tots to your burger.
    • Top a homemade pizza with tater tots.
    • Tater tots and eggs go well together.
    • Build a kabab using vegetables and marinated meat.
    • Share your recipes and pictures by using #NationalTaterTotDay on social media.


    John-Bryan Hopkins created the observance in 2009.

    Tater Tot FAQ

    Q. Are there other potato holidays on the calendar?
    A. Yes! Check out these celebrations:

    Q. What’s the difference between a hash brown and a tater tot?
    A. While both are formed from shredded potatoes, hash browns are typically larger and formed into flat disks or squares. A tater tot is smaller and shaped into a cylindrical nugget.



    National Heavenly Hash Day on February 2nd recognizes a family favorite that covers a variety of desserts with a common ingredient. 


    When it comes to defining Heavenly Hash, the only ingredient that seems for certain is a variety of marshmallows, marshmallow creme or whip. Other ingredients vary, though. Some recipes create delicious cakes with chocolate and marshmallow. And yet, others lean more toward a fruit salad with whipped cream and a variety of nuts or chocolate bars added. Nearly every brand of ice cream has its version of Heavenly Hash with nuts and chocolate included, too.

    However, the common ingredient seems to always be a form of marshmallow bringing the dish to a heavenly flavor perfect for potlucks and family gatherings. 


    • Make some heavenly hash.
    • Invite friends to try heavenly hash.
    • Share your favorite recipe.
    • Try this recipe for Heavenly Hash Bars.
    • Experiment with dark or milk chocolate versions.
    • Use #NationalHeavenlyHashDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this elusive dessert holiday.

    February 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    The United States and Mexico sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty defined the boundary between the two countries as the Rio Grande River.


    Using Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope, William K.L. Dickson filmed Fred Ott as he sneezed at Edison’s Black Maria Studio. Named “Record of a Sneeze,” it consisted of 45 frames and is the first film recorded in the studio. It is registered as a photograph but not as a film because the category did not exist at the time.


    Considered one of the film world’s first stuntmen, Frederick R. Law parachuted from the torch of the Statue of Liberty and landed 30 feet from the bay. This wasn’t his first parachute jump nor would it be his last.


    Sylvia Beach publishes the complete novel Ulysses by James Joyce.


    After a week of mushing 625 miles of brutal conditions, 20 drivers and their dogs safely relay a delivery of 300,000 doses of Diptheria serum to Nome, Alaska.

    February 2nd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    Sarah Hackett Stevenson – 1841

    In 1876 Stevenson became the first woman to join the American Medical Association.

    Solomon R. Guggenheim – 1861

    In 1937, the American businessman established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Two years later, the museum by the same name was built.

    James Joyce – 1882

    The Irish novelist and poet is best known for his novel Ulysses which at the time created controversy for its content.

    Ayn Rand – 1905

    The Russian-born novelist developed the philosophical system Objectivism. Her best-known novels include The Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged.



    National Groundhog Day on February 2nd each year asks one question. Will he see his shadow? Ok, well, maybe it asks another question. Will there be six more weeks of winter? The day is celebrated each year in the United States and Canada. 


    Traditionally the groundhog awakens from his nap for a nice welcomed break during the winter to see if he can see his shadow. Many believe if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he retreats into his den and goes back to sleep. However, if he does not see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play, and people celebrate, believing spring is just around the corner.


    The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. The clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog. When they arrived in the United States, they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.

    Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has hosted the annual Groundhog day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.

    Although already a well-known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention due to the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.


    • Watch Punxsutawney Phil and see if he sees his shadow.
    • Make your own prediction for National Groundhog Day.
    • Watch a documentary about groundhogs.
    • Watch Groundhog the movie. And then, watch it again.
    • Read the Farmer’s Almanac to determine the likelihood of an early spring. Does Phil agree?
    • Look for your shadow.
    • Use #NationalGroundhogDay on social media.


    An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry by storekeeper James Morris, dated February 4th, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania.

    “Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

    Groundhog FAQ

    Q. What’s another name for a groundhog?
    A. Groundhogs are also called a woodchuck.

    Q. Does a groundhog hibernate?
    A. Yes. The groundhog is a hibernating rodent.

    Q. Where do groundhogs live?
    A. Groundhogs are native to the North American continent and are not found elsewhere in the world.