Category: February 23

  • NATIONAL TILE DAY – February 23

    NATIONAL TILE DAY

    On February 23rd, National Tile Day recognizes a timeless element of architecture and design. Around the world, tile plays a variety of roles. From the modest to the sublime, tile proves to be versatile and attractive.

    Historically, only the wealthy could afford tile in their homes. The expense of handmade or small batch production meant tiles were difficult for the ordinary person to obtain. With the advent of the industrial revolution, tile not only became more affordable but the designs and features expanded with the technology.

    Beautiful tile finds its way into every room of the home, outdoor spaces, commercial and industrial buildings by providing an infinite number of styles through color, texture, and dimension.  The durability and energy efficiency of tile adds value, and no material is more sustainable or has lower maintenance costs.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTileDay

    • Take time to appreciate the quality craftsmanship of the tile work around you.
    • If a remodel or building is in your future, consider tile in your design. Tile offers not only texture but color and warmth too.
    • Share your experience with tile design and its versatility indoors and out. What are your favorite styles and latest innovations in tile?
    • Explore tile designs for your home or business.
    • Share your story or image showing why you choose tile with #NationalTileDay on Instagram and Twitter.

    NATIONAL TILE DAY HISTORY

    Coverings, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, founded National Tile Day in 2017 to shine a spotlight on the benefit of tile in residential and commercial design.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar® declared the day to be observed annually on February 23rd.

    Learn more about National Tile Day at www.coverings.com/ntd

    Tile FAQ

    Q. What materials are used when making tile?
    A. Tile can be made from a variety of materials including ceramic, glass, concrete, stone, terra cotta, and composite materials.

    Q. What sizes do tiles come in?
    A. Tile can be as small as tiny mosaic tile or in larger custom sizes that cover large sections of wall, floor, or countertop.

    Q. Is there a room where tile doesn’t belong?
    A. No. Any room of the house can accommodate tile if the setting is right. Rugs soften the feel of tile without completely covering the beauty. Furnishings and fabrics for draperies do the same thing.

    February 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    1905

    In the United States, service organizations have been providing communities with volunteer support for generations. These are the people who organize pancake breakfasts to raise money for those in need. They rise early in the morning or start days ahead to make sure holiday parades go off without a hitch. Each year, their planning and fundraising mean children in need get the items they need when school starts. The very first organization of its kind started when four businessmen met on this day in 1905. Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey met for lunch and established the Rotary Club in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Initially, their goal was to exchange ideas, but it grew into something larger than themselves. Soon, they began to serve and improve their communities.

    1941

    It may have been a “Great Scott!” moment when chemists Dr. Glenn Seaborg, Arthur C. Wahl, and Joseph W. Kennedy first isolated and produced plutonium-94. However, Seaborg also discovered several other elements, including americium, berkelium, and californium. We’re sure Dr. Emmett Brown would have appreciated an element named deloreanium.

    1954

    Every summer during the 1940s and into the 1950s, parents worried about their children contracting a disease that caused muscle pain and weakness, extreme fatigue, headaches, paralysis, breathing problems, and even death. Polio peaked in the summertime and those who survived the worst of the disease required treatment in iron lungs or lived with life-long disabilities. But then two vaccines came along. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first vaccine, and inoculation using inactive poliovirus. The second developed by Albert Sabin was an oral vaccine and used a weakened version of the virus.

    On this day in 1954, the first group of children received Salk’s vaccine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania beginning the downward decline of the virus and ultimate elimination of it in the United States.

    2000

    What do E.T., Supernatural, “Billie Jean,” “Maria Maria” and the years 1983 and 2000 have in common? They all belong to two phenomenal music artists who poured all their immense ability into collaborating on tremendously ambitious projects and reaped the big rewards. In 1983, Michael Jackson brought home a record 8 Grammy Awards, most of them from his album, Thriller. On this day in 2000, Carlos Santana repeated the feat by bringing home 8 Grammys from his album Supernatural. Santana and Rob Thomas collaborated on the song Smooth which earned them both Record of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Thomas was awarded a third Grammy for Smooth – Song of the Year.

    February 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    William Horlick – 1846

    Don’t blame William Horlick if you ever get into a mess while traveling in the United Kingdom and someone says to you, “You’ve made a mighty Horlicks of it, haven’t you?” It doesn’t have anything to do with Mr. Horlick, not really. Though he did develop a tasty malted powder and give it his name. The brand we’re familiar within the United States is called Ovaltine, but there are others. But again, Mr. Horlicks didn’t make a Horlicks of anything, so don’t blame him.

    Cesar Ritz – 1850

    His hotels and restaurants inspired songwriters and chefs to grand creations. Irving Berlin crooned about top hats and Gary Cooper while his famed chef Auguste Escoffier wowed diners around the world. Ritz’s most famous hotels were located in Paris and London.

    W.E.B. Du Bois – 1868

    The first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University became an advocate for equal rights and co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    Victor Fleming – 1883

    Tomorrow may be another day, but February 23rd is Victor Fleming’s birthday. The Academy Award-winning director is best known for the musicals The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind.

    Peter Fonda – 1940

    The Easy Rider graced the silver screen for nearly six decades in films like Ulee’s Gold, The Last Full Measure, and Cannon Ball Run. He’s best known for the film Easy Rider.

    Notable Mentions

    Elston Howard – 1929
    Dakota Fanning – 1994

  • NATIONAL TOAST DAY – Last Thursday in February

    NATIONAL TOAST DAY

    Would you believe National Toast Day honoring the humble slice is on the Last Thursday in February? But it is so very versatile. It carries a multitude of jams, jellies, marmalades and fruit compotes. We don’t stop there. Toast transports proteins and veggies, sprouts, and soaks up sauces and drippings.

    Perhaps we have overlooked the necessity of toast, and it shall have its due. We’re able to toast it to a variety of shades pleasing everyone. Whether we lightly toast it or char it to a dark crisp, it serves as a perfect medium for building breakfast or sandwiches. It accepts seasoning quite well, too. Add butter, gee, avocado, or honey. It doesn’t matter your preference. Cinnamon and sugar? Well, it might depend on your mood.

    Or perhaps the bread you have on hand. Is it cinnamon raisin bread or whole wheat? Do you only have two ends left? Some think those are the best kinds of toast. Others well, you can’t teach everyone the best kinds of toast making.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalToastDay

    • Make some toast!
    • Share your favorite toast toppings.
    • Make a toasted sandwich.
    • Cook up some French toast
    • Visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for a toast experiment.
    • Use #NationalToastDay to share on social media.

    NATIONAL TOAST DAY HISTORY

    National Toast Day was started in 2014 by The Tiptree World Bread Awards to celebrate toast and all the breads we make it with. While the organization is in the UK, the day has found a following in the United States.

    Toast FAQ

    Q. Can anyone celebrate National Toast Day?
    A. Yes! There are so many different kinds of bread and ways to toast it that anyone can join the celebration.

    Q. What are toast points?
    A. Toast points are toasted, crustless, triangles of bread.

    Q. Is a crostini a type of toast?
    A. Yes. Crostini’s are made using crusty bread like a baguette. They’re perfect for bruschetta, pate or other hors d’oeuvres.

  • NATIONAL CHILI DAY – Fourth Thursday in February

    NATIONAL CHILI DAY

    National Chili Day on the fourth Thursday in February honors one of America’s favorite winter dishes–chili. It’s also known as chili con carne (chili with meat).

    In Spanish, chili refers to “chili pepper” and carne means “meat”.

    Chili is most commonly made up of tomatoes, beans, chili peppers, meat, garlic, onions, and cumin.  However, cooks offer up so many variations to the basic chili recipe. And, with so many varieties, chili cook-off competitions love to feature chili as a favored entry.  

    American frontier settlers used a “chili” recipe of dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers, and salt. All this was pounded together and formed into bricks and dried. They could then boil the bricks in pots on the trails. 

    At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the San Antonio Chili Stand helped people from all over the United States appreciate the taste of chili. Because San Antonio was a significant tourist destination, it helped Texas-style chili con carne spread throughout the South and West.  In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili con carne as the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas.

    Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as chili joints) popped up throughout the state of Texas as well as other places in the United States. Each new chili parlor usually claimed some kind of secret recipe. 

    Ways to enjoy chili

    There are many ways that people enjoy the great taste of chili, some of which include:

    • Add chili to hot dogs to create chili dogs.
    • Top burgers with chili and enjoy a chili burger.
    • Combine chili and chili with fries and make chili cheese fries.
    • Make the ultimate baked potato by stuffing it with chili.
    • “Frito pie” is chili with spaghetti noodles.
    • Transform mac and cheese into chili mac.
    • Mix rice and chili for another flavor favorite.
    • Add croutons to your chili for added crunch.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalChiliDay

    • Invite friends to warm up over a bowl of chili.
    • Share your recipes.
    • Host a chili cook-off.
    • Use #NationalChiliDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL CHILI DAY HISTORY

    Rich Kelly of Hard Times Cafe in Arlington, VA founded National Chili Day. The day has been celebrated with cook-offs, pot lucks, feeds and bottomless bowls since at least 2006. 

    Chili FAQ

    Q. Are all chilis spicy?
    A. No. Chili is such a versatile dish it can be made with very little to no spicy heat.

    Q. What’s a chili cook-off?
    A. Chili cook-off is a competition. Many people claim they make the best chili and a cook-off is a way to determine who really does have the best chili. Competitors bring their finished dish and judges taste each entry. Sometimes a chili cook-off functions as a fundraiser for a charity.

    Q. What kinds of toppings go on chili?
    A. Some people prefer their chili without any additional toppings. However, there are many ways to top off your chili. Try these ideas:

    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheese
    • Jalapenos
    • Tortilla chips
    • Cornbread
    • Cottage cheese
    • Green onions
  • NATIONAL DOG BISCUIT DAY – February 23

    NATIONAL DOG BISCUIT DAY

    All dog owners, remember that February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day! This day is also observed around the world as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

    Dog biscuits come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and flavors. They serve to reward a man’s best friend for good behavior as part of their training. Dog owners may also give a biscuit to show their canine companions just how much they love them, too. Sometimes, dog biscuits serve to deliver vitamins and medicines we may have difficulty getting our pooches to take otherwise. 

    Specialty treats offer dogs and their owners so much to chews from! Even dogs on restricted diets won’t have trouble finding a dog biscuit that’s gentle on their tummy. Others help keep teeth healthy and fresh, too! What better reward could you ask for?

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDogBiscuitDay

    • Get your canine companion a dog biscuit to celebrate.
    • Go for a walk to burn off any extra calories or explore the varieties available. Maybe you’ll find a new treat your furry friend loves.
    • Share your favorite dog biscuit recipes.
    • Use #NationalDogBiscuitDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL DOG BISCUIT DAY HISTORY

    While National Day Calendar continues to search for the origins of this day, we’re going to treat our furry friends to an extra dog biscuit to celebrate. We have no doubt a dog lover created this day, too. 

    Dog Biscuit FAQ

    Q. Can my dog have too many dog biscuits?
    A. Like humans, our furry friends can overeat, too. Speak with your veterinarian to determine the frequency of treats for your four-legged pal.

    Q. Are all dog biscuits the same?
    A. No. Dog biscuits come with a variety of ingredients, flavors, sizes, and textures.

    Q. My dog has allergies. What are some dog biscuits I can give him?
    A. If you know what he’s allergic to, you can make homemade dog biscuits using ingredients he can have. Talk with your veterinarian for specific ways to treat your canine pal.

  • NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY – February 23

    NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY

    February 23rd annually recognizes a well-known food holiday, National Banana Bread Day.

    Bakers know that to make sweet and delicious banana bread, they need to use fully ripe, mashed bananas. The resulting quick bread is moist and almost cake-like. And while some recipes call for yeast, most don’t. Either way, the finished product makes a tasty sliced snack. Toast it and add butter for an even more satisfying treat!

    In the 1930s, baking soda and baking powder made banana bread and other quick breads standard features in American cookbooks. Pillsbury’s included banana bread recipes in its 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook, too. The release of Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950 further secured the banana bread’s acceptance. 

    Surprisingly, bananas first made their appearance in the United States in 1870. For a long time, Americans saw the tropical fruit as merely that – a fruit, not an ingredient. It would take a few decades before they started seeing the banana’s potential. 

    Early Banana Bread

    One early recipe came from The Vienna Model Bakery. It advertised banana bread as something new in the April 21, 1893, edition of St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  A new restaurant/bakery chain owned by Gaff, Fleischmann & Company, The Viena Model Bakery was known for its baked goods and was likely one of the first to produce banana bread in the United States. The recipe was made with banana flour, made by drying strips of the fruit, then grinding it to a powder. This process had long been used in the West Indies.

    In Hawaii during World War I, a surplus of bananas resulted from very few ships available to export the fruit.  To prevent waste, alternative uses for bananas were developed. For example, bakeries started incorporating the fruit into their bread.

    This recipe was printed in The Maui News on April 12, 1918, for banana bread:

    2/3 banana
    1/3 flour
    Yeast, coconut milk, or water

    There was also rationing of staple food items such as flour. Banana flour was a suggested substitute. It was touted as a health food and recommended for a vegetarian diet.

    This, of course, is not the quick bread we know today.  A recipe submitted by Mrs. Dean in the February 18, 1918, issue of The Garden Island paper for a banana muffin might more closely resemble the quick bread we think of today.

    1 cup cornmeal
    3-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
    2 tablespoons of sugar
    1 sifted banana
    3/4 cup rye flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup milk
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon Crisco

    Mix dry ingredients, add banana, milk, and egg, and Crisco.

    Quick Bread and Muffin

    The difference between a quick bread and a muffin in baking has a lot to do with the type of fat and how it is mixed, creating a different crumb or texture to the bread.

    In 1927, Unifruit (a wholesale produce company) offered a free cookbook called From the Tropics to Your Table. The book offered recipes full of bananas as ingredients, including banana muffins and breads. This little cookbook would have been handy during the Great Depression, which was just around the corner. At the time, families utilized every scrap of food, including overripe bananas. They cooked overripe bananas and other fruits and vegetables into breads, stews, and other dishes when flavor and texture were not as appealing raw.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBananaBreadDay

    • Bake your favorite version of banana bread to celebrate.
    • With so many varieties to try – banana nut, chocolate banana, and more – you can make more than one!
    • Invite someone to join you or give a loaf or two away. 
    • Visit your local bakery and pick up some banana bread. Don’t forget to give them a shout-out!
    • Use #NationalBananaBreadDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY HISTORY

    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this quick bread celebration. We suspect it was founded by someone who thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread!

    Banana Bread FAQ

    Q. Can I bake banana bread muffins instead?
    A. Yes! That would be a perfect treat for the day.

    Q. Can banana bread be frozen?
    A. Yes. Wrap it well and place it in a freezer-safe container. It should keep for at least three months.

    Q. My bananas aren’t ripe enough for banana bread. What can I do?
    A. Poke holes into the peel using a fork. Place in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes. The bananas should soften.

    Q. My bananas are very ripe but I don’t have time to bake banana bread this week. What can I do?
    A. Freeze them in their skins. When you’re ready to bake bread, let them come to room temperature and the bananas will slide right out of the skins and into your mixing bowl!