Category: February 26

  • NATIONAL LETTER TO AN ELDER DAY – February 26

    NATIONAL LETTER TO AN ELDER DAY

    Every year on February 26th, National Letter to an Elder Day encourages putting pen to paper and writing to an elder you know. The day serves to remind that loved ones enjoy hearing from us and that a simple letter brightens their day.

    Everyone knows that writing is a powerful way to stay connected. If you’ve ever received an unexpected letter, you know what a pick-me-up it can be. Letter to an Elder Day takes that unexpected gift one step further and delivers that love to the elders in our life or those who may be isolated from others.

    HOW TO OSBERVE #LettersToAnElderDay

    • Write a letter to an elder.
    • Host a letter-writing party to write as many letters as possible.
    • Create a classroom letter-writing project.
    • Visit Love for Our Elders to join their letter-writing campaign.
    • Send a handmade card.
    • Use #LettersToAnElder on social media to join the conversation.

    NATIONAL LETTERS TO AN ELDER DAY HISTORY

    Love for Our Elders founded National Letters to an Elder Day in 2020 to encourage handwritten letters to elders all across the country. The story begins with a young boy and his grandpa. When Jacob Cramer lost his grandfather, he began to volunteer at a local senior living community as a way of honoring his memory. The residents lovingly referred to him as “Bingo Boy” because of his entertaining and lively way of calling the community’s bingo game (a much-heated affair, he’s sure to tell you). While volunteering, Jacob discovered that many of the residents rarely received messages or visitors from family and friends and that loneliness was a chronic and ever-present problem.

    So Jacob decided to start writing letters of love to senior communities; quickly, his moniker changed from Bingo Boy to Letter Boy. He found grace and love in his relationships with his friends in the senior community and eventually decided to take his letter-writing efforts national. Jacob created a nonprofit that urged people to write letters to elders (or anyone else in need who are older than them) and facilitated the delivery to seniors worldwide. Since 2013, Jacob and his team have amassed an army of 50,000+ letter writers worldwide.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, they branched out to collect video messages of hope, love, and encouragement, created public awareness campaigns, and engaged individuals, classrooms, and companies. National Letter to an Elder Day is held on February 26 to coincide with the birthday of Jacob’s grandmother, Doris.

    Letters FAQ

    Q. Can I just send a card?
    A. You can send a card, but Love for Our Elders asks that you write a letter, too. Make an effort to write several sentences.

    Q. Can I write a poem?
    A. Yes! Be as creative as you want to be. However, Love for Our Elders asks that you don’t use glitter. We completely agree!

    Q. Can I send the letter to someone I know?
    A. Yes! If you don’t know who to send the letter to, the Love for Our Elders website will connect you to someone to write your letter to.

    Q. Is February 26th the only day I should send a letter to an elder?
    A. No. This year-round effort encourages you to write and keep writing to our elders.

  • NATIONAL SET A GOOD EXAMPLE DAY – February 26

    NATIONAL SET A GOOD EXAMPLE DAY

    When we observe kindness in others, we are often inspired to offer kindness ourselves. Someone set a good example for us to follow, and we must continue those good examples for others in our lives. National Set A Good Example Day on February 26th encourages us to set a good example that inspires others.

    Everyone influences others. The influence could be positive or negative. Even from a young age, we experience good and bad behavior. Parents can positively influence their children at an early age. Additionally, many others, such as our extended families, educators, mentors, community leaders, and even organizations, can positively influence us in many ways. Some of the ways we can easily set a good example include:

    • Demonstrating kindness.
    • Being compassionate.
    • Acting with fairness.
    • Practicing tolerance.
    • Being just.
    • Treating others with respect.

    These good examples reflect a person’s values and positively affect them and others. Setting a good example can be applied in every setting, including home, school, work, and in the community at large.

    Set A Good Example Day encourages individuals of any age and from any background to contribute to the well being of others. A simple act of kindness, consideration, or good conduct enhances the person and the whole community.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #SetAGoodExampleDay

    National Set a Good Example Day encourages everyone to demonstrate thoughtfulness, courtesy, graciousness, and common sense values and virtues in their daily lives.

    Get caught helping another person. Wear an attitude of respect for other human beings. Develop the tools in yourself to be efficient, productive, and responsible, and let others see you using these tools. You can also:

    • Celebrate others who set good examples. Let them know how their leadership impacts your life.
    • Be a good example. Demonstrate positive virtues every day so others can benefit. They will be more likely to set a good example themselves.
    • Recognize good examples at work, home, school, and in your community.
    • Share the good examples you find valuable in your life.

    Follow the conversation and learn more by using #SetAGoodExampleDay on social media.

    NATIONAL SET A GOOD EXAMPLE DAY HISTORY

    The Way to Happiness Foundation InternationalThe Way to Happiness ® Foundation International founded National Set a Good Example Day on February 26, 2022, to celebrate those who are setting good examples for others and to encourage more people to do the same.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Set a Good Example Day to be observed annually on February 26th.

  • NATIONAL TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY – February 26

    NATIONAL TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

    On February 26th, have a happily ever after kind of day. It is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!

    What were once oral histories, myths, and legends retold around the fire or by traveling storytellers, have been written down and become known the world over as fairy tales.

    Origins of Fairy Tales

    The origins of most fairy tales would fail today’s standards of the Association of Fairy Tales. They told unseemlily tales and would be rated as inappropriate for children. Most traveling storytellers told fairy tales with dramatic detail to make children behave, teach a lesson or pass the time much like ghost stories around a campfire today.

    Many of the stories have some basis in truth. For example, some believe Margarete von Waldeck, the daughter of the 16th century Count of Waldeck, inspired the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The area of Germany where the family lived was known for mining. Some of the tunnels were so tight they had to use children – or small people such as dwarfs – to work the mines.

    Margarete’s beauty is well documented, and her stepmother sent her away. Margarete also fell in love with a prince but mysteriously died before she could have her happily ever after.

    As the stories evolved, they took on a more magical quality with fictional characters such as fairies, giants, mermaids and gnomes, and sometimes gruesome story plots.

    Toes cut off to fit into a slipper, a wooden boy killing his cricket, or instead of kissing that frog prince his head must be cut off, but those are the unrated versions.

    Brothers Grimm, Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen

    The brothers Grimm collected and published some of the more well-known tales we are familiar with today. Jakob and his brother Wilhelm set out on a quest to preserve these tales at a time in history when a tradition of oral storytelling was fading. In 1812, they published their first volume of stories titled Household Tales. Their stories’ darker qualities were clearly meant for an adult audience.

    Rumpelstiltskin is one of the tales they collected. Several other versions exist and the little man claimed many different names across Europe. From Trit-a-trot in Ireland to Whuppity Stoorie in Scotland,  Rumplestiltskin makes it difficult for historians to identify him.

    While some storytellers have a long and sometimes ancient history such as Aesop (The Fox and the Goose, The Ant and the Grasshopper), others are more recent like the Grimm brothers.

    First published in 1829, Hans Christian Andersen brought to us written versions of the Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, and many more. Where Grimm’s tales could take on a darker cast and unmistakably written with adults in mind, Andersen’s stories are sweet and warm.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #TellAFairyTaleDay

    National Tell A Fairy Tale Day encourages you to tell a fairy tale or two. If you think you don’t have a fair tale to tell, you might be wrong. We’ve told a few in our day, so we have a few tips to share with you.

    • Engage your audience. Children like to participate. Have them quack every time you mention the Ugly Duckling or make the motions of climbing Jack’s beanstalk.
    • Use repetition. Repeated stanzas, syllables, or movements will keep the kids engaged. It not only helps them to remember the story but sets them up for the next round of the repeated phrase or stanza.
    • Give your characters a voice. Nobody likes a monotone storyteller. Buehler, Buehler, Buehler. No, not even children like the monotone. Varying your voice for each character and inflecting excitement, sadness and disappointment will create drama and stimulate the imaginations of the little minds listening to you.
    • Ask questions as you go. It’s an excellent way to keep your story flowing and to gauge the children’s listening skills.
    • Find out if someone has a story of their own. You might be in the presence of a great storyteller!

    Share your favorite fairy tale with friends and family. Try relating them from memory as this has long been a tradition.  Visit a library or local bookstore for story time.  Use #TellAFairyTaleDay to post on social media.

    You can also learn more about your favorite fairy tales in 5 World-Favorite Fairy Tales and the Stories Behind them.

    NATIONAL TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY HISTORY

    Within our research, we were unable to find the creator or the origin of National Tell A Fairy Tale Day.

    Fairy Tale FAQ

    Q. What is the purpose of a fairy tale?
    A. Fairy tales serve many purposes but one of the main reasons for fairy tales is to teach a lesson. By the end of the story, the moral is clear.

    Q. What are some of the morals fairy tales teach?
    A. Fairy tales often present moral dilemmas for the characters to face. Some of them may be about:

    • truth vs lies
    • who to trust
    • inner vs outer beauty
    • people vs things
    • keeping a commitment

    February 26th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    1970

    National Public Radio files articles of incorporation with the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds. The organization’s membership is comprised of independent, private, public U.S. radio stations.

    1903

    The U.S. Patent Office issued patent no. 534,840 to Michael Joseph Owens for a glass-blowing machine. Later that same year, Owens would co-found the Owens Bottle Machine Company in Toledo, Ohio. He also filed several other patents for bottle making.

    1909

    The Palace Theatre in London introduced the public to Kinemacolor with a showing of 21 short films. George Albert Smith created the process for adding color filters to film.

    1986

    Congress established the title of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry on December 20, 1985. On February 26, 1986, Robert Pen Warren was named the nation’s first Poet Laureate.

    February 26th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Victor Hugo – 1802

    As imaginative and romantic as Victor Hugo was, he probably never conjured up any of the cinematic productions of his novels and plays. What might the French author of sweeping epics like Les Misérable and gothic works like The Hunchback of Notre Dame have thought of the modern interpretations?

    Levi Strauss – 1829

    Today, they are probably more fashion statements than workwear. They come in more styles and colors than Starbucks can come up with for coffee choices. In 1873, tailor Jacob Davis approached Levi Strauss with a proposal after creating a pair of reinforced waist-length overalls from the fabric Strauss had sold him. Less than a century later, they became the stylish wardrobe necessity every teenager required. Fashion designers elevated the humble blue jean to haute couture while the rest of us wrote love letters to our favorite old pair of jeans that fit perfectly.

    Antoine “Fats” Domino – 1928

    Anyone who loves Rock ‘n’ Roll needs to thank the man who bellied up to the piano and called himself “The Fat Man” in 1949. He’s also known for the songs “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blue Berry Hill.” Fats Domino’s unique rhythm and enthusiastic personality drove an entirely new genre of music.

    Johnny Cash – 1932

    If an artist ever sang about who he was, Johnny Cash did. He sang about sinners and redemption, soldiers and drifters, and country boys. If Cash didn’t speak to you through his music, you’ve not found the right song yet.

    Karen Berger – 1958

    The award-winning comic book editor helped create DC Comic’s Vertigo imprint in 1993.

    Susan Helms -1958

    In 2001, the first military woman in space performed the longest spacewalk with astronaut James Voss. She began her distinguished career in the Air Force and became an astronaut in 1991.

    Notable Mentions

    Buffalo Bill Cody – 1846
    John Harvey Kellogg – 1852
    Herbert Henry Dow – 1866
    Rudolph Dirks – 1877
    Michael Bolton – 1954

  • NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY – February 26

    NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY

    February 26th recognizes all things pistachio and National Pistachio Day is the day to celebrate! Pistachio lovers rejoice as they eat their favorite nut all day long. For those who do not eat pistachios, buy some and give them to someone who does. Crack them open and eat them up or enjoy them in ice cream or your favorite pistachio dessert!

    Pistachios arrived in the United States sometime in the 1880s, but they have been cultivated in the Middle East since Biblical times.

    The pistachio tree grows to about 20 feet tall needing little or no rain and must have high heat. Amazingly, in Iran, they claim to have 700-year-old pistachio trees! A new tree takes between 7 and 10 years to mature and bear fruit.

    Pistachio Facts:

    • All pistachio shells are naturally beige in color. Some companies dye nuts red or green if nuts are inferior or for consumer demand.
    • California produces about 300 million pounds of pistachios each year, accounting for 98 percent of America’s production.
    • Pistachio shells typically split naturally when ripe.
    • The kernels are often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted, and either salted or unsalted.
    • In the Middle East, people call the pistachio the smiling nut.
    • In China, people call the pistachio the happy nut.

    Health Benefits

    “Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese and a good source of protein, fiber, thiamine, and phosphorus. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces (42.5g) per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”  US Food and Drug Administration, July 2003

    A Great Thing To Do — Recycle the Pistachio Shells!

    The empty pistachio shells are useful for recycling in several ways. If unsalted, the shells need not be washed and dried before reuse, but washing is simple if that is not the case. Practical uses include as a fire starter; kindling to be used with crumpled paper; to line the bottom of pots containing houseplants for drainage and retention of soil for up to two years; as a mulch for shrubs and plants that require acid soils, as a medium for orchids; and as an addition to a compost pile designed for wood items that take longer to decompose than leafy materials (it can take up to a year for pistachio shells to decompose unless soil is added to the mix).  

    Shells from salted pistachios can also be placed around the base of plants to deter slugs and snails. Many craft uses for the shells include holiday tree ornaments, jewelry, mosaics, and rattles. Research indicates that pistachio shells may be helpful in cleaning up pollution created by mercury emissions. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPistachioDay

    • Eat some pistachios! Eat a bunch of pistachios. 
    • Start the day with a pistachio biscotti. It will be the perfect addition to your morning coffee. 
    • Do you know someone who loves pistachios? Pick them up a bagful or stop by the baker and buy a pistachio treat. 
    • Add pistachios to a salad or soup. They’ll add a nice crunch and amazing flavor, too.
    • Crushed pistachios create a delicious crust on fish and other proteins. Look for recipes for pork and chicken, too.
    • Add pistachios to your baked goods. Like other nuts, pistachios add a crunchy texture but they also bring their own flavor to the mix.
    • Don’t forget your oatmeal and yogurt. Pistachios will make your healthy snack or breakfast even better.
    • Use #NationalPistachioDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY HISTORY

    Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Pistachio Day.

    Pistachio FAQ

    Q. How many calories are in pistachios?
    A. A one-ounce serving of pistachios contains approximately 164 calories.

    Q. Is there such a thing as pistachio butter?
    A. Yes. Peanuts and almonds aren’t the only nuts that get blended into a delicious spread.

    Q. Are pistachios good for road trips?
    A. Yes, but don’t buy them at the first convenience store you stop at for a potty break. Too expensive.