Category: January 25

  • BURNS SUPPER – January 25


    Every year on January 25th, fans of Robert Burns gather together in honor of the famous Scottish poet. The day is popular in the UK, especially among Scottish culture.

    Also known as Burns Night and Robert Burns Day, this event is held every year on the birthday of Robert Burns. The Scottish writer of poems and songs was born on January 25th, 1759. He died on July 21, 1796, at the age of 37 years old. Burns had a rheumatic heart condition and is believed to have died from an infection of the heart called endocarditis.

    Burns is best known for his poem, “Auld Lang Syne,” which in English means “days gone by” or “times long past.” The poem has turned into a song sung on New Year’s. Other well-known works by Robert Burns include:

    • “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough”
    • “A Red, Red Rose”
    • “Ae Fond Kiss”
    • “To A Louse”
    • “Is There for Honest Poverty”

    Another one of his poems is “Address to a Haggis.” Considered the national dish of Scotland, haggis is a dish that contains a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. The dish is minced with oatmeal, suet, and seasoning and encased in the sheep’s stomach. Burns’ poem glorifies the popularity of this authentic Scottish food. Because of this, Burns Suppers traditionally serve haggis as part of the meal.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #BurnsSupper

    This annual event usually consists of haggis, Scotch whiskey, and the poetry of Robert Burns. It’s also customary to recite “Address to a Haggis” before eating. A whiskey toast kicks off the feast. Other courses served include soup, cheese, and dessert. Another tradition during the meal includes playing traditional Scottish music, primarily live bagpipes.

    Those in attendance also say the Selkirk Grace, which is a prayer of Thanksgiving in the Scottish language. After the meal, an “address to the lassies” and a “reply to the laddies” is given. The attendees end the supper by joining hands and singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

    Whether you’re Scottish or not, be sure to share this day on social media with #BurnsSupper.


    Friends of Robert Burns held the first Burns Supper on July 21, 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death. The next year, the group hosted the Burns Supper on January 29th, which they thought was the poet’s birthdate. In 1803, the correct birthdate was discovered. Since then, Burns Suppers have been celebrated each year on January 25th.




    National Florida Day on January 25th recognizes the 27th state to join the United States.


    The Sunshine State is home to the oldest established city in the country. With over 400 years of history, St. Augustine’s streets and colonial architecture have stories to tell. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565, visit the city and walk in the same footsteps as 16th-century bishops, ponder the escapades of pirates and the whereabouts of lost gold and learn about the lives of European settlers.

    East and West Florida became the 14th and 15th British Colonies after the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. However, in 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War, The Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spain.

    The present-day borders of Florida were absorbed through two transactions: The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 brought East Florida with it (but not without dispute from the French) and through a U.S. intervention in an uprising in West Florida in 1812 causing West Florida to join the Mississippi Territory. Florida joined the Union on March 3, 1845.

    Sun and Space

    With an average high temperature of 79.5°F, it should be no surprise that Floridian John Gorrie brought refrigeration and air conditioning to the world in 1851. Add to that, more than half the year with partly cloudy to sunny days, the invention of sunblock would be a necessity, too. Hungary born pharmacist, Benjamin Green, invented a sunscreen in 1944 which later became a tanning lotion known as Coppertone.

    Cape Canaveral and the home of the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County has come a long way from its first launch in 1950. From Apollo missions to Hubble Telescopes and Mars Rovers, Cape Canaveral continues missions well into the future. Missions include commercial ventures including SpaceX launches.

    Florida offers more than enough to do and see. From man-made worlds and relaxing beaches to long, colorful and intricate history, the Sunshine State’s open spaces and sunny faces require more than one visit.


    Join National Day Calendar as we dig into Florida’s sunny beaches and rich history. Seek buried treasures and explore all Florida’s fascinating culture! Look to the past or look to the future and use #NationalFloridaDay to share on social media.

    For a complete list of Florida State and National Parks & Historic Sites visit and  Check out a few of the featured sites around the state below.

    T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – St. Joseph Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center – Mayo Manatee Springs State Park – Chiefland Colt Creek State Park – Lakeland Highlands Hammock State Park – Sebring Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park – Okeechobee Don Pedro Island State Park – Cape Haze Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – Naples Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Ft. Lauderdale Big Cypress National Preserve – Ochopee Canaveral National Seashore – Titusville & New Smyrna Beach Everglades National Park – Miami, Naples & Homestead MUSEUMS Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg Museum of Florida History – Tallahassee John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Sarasota Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine Bok Tower Gardens – Lake Wales Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse – Ponce Inlet Villa Vizcaya – Miami
    Coral Castle Museum – Homestead Weeki Wachee Springs State Park – Key West Lichgate on High Road – Tallahassee A civil rights activist and composer, James Weldon Johnson became United States consul to Puerto Cabello in Venezuela under President Theodore Roosevelt. He is also noted for composing the song Lift Every Voice and Sing.

    Founder of the first African-American union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, A. Philip Randolph was considered a trailblazing union leader and social activist.

    A sculptor of considerable talent, Augusta Savage built a career sculpting busts of notable African Americans. In 1939, she earned a commission for the New York World’s Fair. Her piece, The Harp, depicted men, women, and children forming a harp in the arm of God. Inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s composition Lift Every Voice and Sing, the piece was destroyed along with all the other commissioned pieces for the fair as there were no funds to cast the works.

    Strange Fruit (1944) and Killers of the Dream (1949) placed Lillian Smith’s stance on civil rights squarely in the public eye, right where she wanted it to be. Throughout Smith’s life, she continued to dedicate her writing to the Civil Rights Movement.

    Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman pilot to break the sound barrier.

    The career of award-winning rock and roller, Tom Petty, spanned four decades, several bands and successful solo albums. Notable solo hits like “Free Fallin’” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” were backed by Traveling Wilburys bandmates Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison.

    The first woman to serve as the United States Attorney General, Janet Reno was appointed to the office in 1993 by President William Clinton. She served until 2001.

    Betty Mae Tiger Jumper devoted her entire career to public service. As a nurse, she worked to improve the health and conditions in the Seminole community. In 1967, Tiger Jumper was elected the first woman tribal leader of the Florida Seminoles and the first woman to lead a federally recognized tribe. In 1971, she left office to carry on the publishing of the Seminole Tribune which Tiger Jumper launched in 1950.

    Sidney Poitier began his acting career on stage filling in for Harry Belafonte. Making his way to Hollywood, Poitier became the first African American to earn an Academy Award for his role in Lilies of the Field.

    As part of Project Excelsior in 1960, Joseph Kittinger leaped from a balloon gondola at the far reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Breaking world records that still stand today for the highest parachute jump and a freefall that lasted 4 minutes and 36 seconds, Captain Kittinger’s feats proved multistage survival possible at various altitudes and under certain conditions. With advancing technologies in aviation, these experiments helped to provide valuable data.

    Winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 2006, George Smoot is an experimental astrophysicist. Smoot led the team that mapped the early universe.

  • LIBRARY SHELFIE DAY – Fourth Wednesday in January


    The fourth Wednesday in January offers a unique opportunity for book lovers on Library Shelfie Day.


    Some collectors of books tend to arrange their collections so their spines can be admired pleasantly. Others have a system of organization that results in an alternative art form. However our books are organized on the shelf, they are meant to be photographed and shared on social media.

    Library Shelfies offer book stores, libraries, schools, and individuals an opportunity to express their reading preferences through a single photograph. Whether they frame their favorite authors, titles, genres or cover art, readers share a bit of their library in creative ways. With or without dust jackets, signed and unsigned, dogeared and in mint condition, bibliophiles love books of all kinds.


    Whether you have a small library with a few select favorites or are a true bibliophile, arrange your collection on a shelf and take a picture. Express your inner artist! Build a tower of babbling books or a wall of words. Invite others to join you in your aesthetically pleasing book-building adventure. Some suggestions include:

    • Arrange by color
    • Order books by height, thickness, width
    • Arrange book titles so they send a message
    • Stack books artistically
    • Place books in the order in which they were read
    • Rely on the good ol’ alphabetical order by author
    • Display a biography only shelfie

    Once you’ve taken your library shelfie, visit a local library and check out theirs. You might find they’ve developed clever ways to entice you to new books and old ones, too. Have fun displaying your collection in fun ways! Don’t forget to use #LibraryShelfieDay to share on social media.

    Once you’ve shared your shelfie, explore 8 Unique Libraries In The United States for more shelf inspiration.

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for classroom projects to celebrate the day.


    The New York Public Library founded Library Shelfie Day as a way to observe various national holidays by displaying shelfies representing books from each day.

    Library Shelfie FAQ

    Q. Can anyone participate on this day?
    A. Yes. Library Shelfie Day is for everyone.

    Q. I only read digital books. How can I participate?
    A. Find another book lover and team up with them to create an amazing shelfie.

    Q. Where is the largest library in the world?
    A. The largest library in the world is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., United States. It contains more than 2.9 million books and millions of recordings, sheet music, and photographs.



    National Irish Coffee Day kicks off January 25th each year with a mug of strong coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of cream. 


    On a cold, wet day in 1942 weary travelers to the small Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland found their way to a restaurant and chef Joe Sheridan. To warm his guests, he served them hot coffee, spiked with whiskey and topped with whipped cream. The passengers asked if the beverage was Brazilian coffee. Sheridan responded that it was Irish coffee.
    Click play and enjoy a story about National Irish Coffee Appreciation Day featuring our founder, Marlo Anderson.  If you enjoy the 2 minute show, subscribe with your favorite podcast player.

    A travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, brought Irish coffee to the United States after having it at Shannon Airport.

    Delaplane brought the idea to the Buena Vista Cafe on November 10, 1952. After much trial and error, sampling, and a trip back to Ireland for a taste of the original, Delaplane, along with Buena Vista owners Jack Koeppler and George Freeberg, were able to replicate the delicious coffee and the method for floating the cream on top of the coffee.

    How to Make an Authentic Irish Coffee

    Starting with a warm glass, fill 2/3rds full of freshly brewed coffee. Stir in a heaping teaspoon of sugar.  Add 1 ounce of Irish whiskey.

    Adding the cream, so it floats is the tricky part. According to the Buena Vista account, and at the suggestion of San Francisco’s mayor, a dairyman, cream that is 48 hours old, is best. However, others recommend whipping cream (not whipped cream) that has been lightly whipped or foamed.

    When the coffee has stopped swirling from stirring in the sugar, pour the foamy cream over the back of a spoon.


    Warm up with an Irish coffee. Use #NationalIrishCoffeeDay to post on social media.

    If you want to explore more cocktails and their history, read A-Z Cocktail Origins.


    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this hot beverage celebration. While we do, we hope you’ll enjoy a mug with a friend or two. 

    Irish Coffee FAQ

    Q. What is the correct way to spell Irish whiskey?
    A. Irish whiskey (and American whiskey for that matter) are both spelled with an “e.” Scotch whisky drops the “e.”

    Q. How do I keep my Irish Coffee from becoming cold?
    A. Warm the mug with hot water for a few minutes. Then pour out the water before adding the ingredients.

    Q. I don’t like coffee. Will I like Irish Coffee?
    A. We never trust people who don’t like coffee. However, there is a chance you would like Irish coffee.

    Q. I don’t like whiskey. Will I like Irish Coffee?
    A. If you’re not a whiskey drinker, it’s likely Irish Coffee will not be to your tastes.

    January 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    Nellie Bly arrives in New Jersey, completing her 72-day journey around the world inspired by Jules Verne’s novel.


    The world’s largest diamond is discovered at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Measuring 3,106 carats, the gem is named the Cullinan diamond.


    Playwright Karel Čapek introduces the word “robot” into the world’s lexicon when his play Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.) debuts at Prague’s National Theatre.


    The first Winter Olympic Games in modern history took place in Chamonix, France.


    The jet age begins when American Airlines schedules the first transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707 in the United States.


    President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation in the first live televised presidential news conference. The 35th president took off five days before the televised event. In his prepared statement, Kennedy announced the decision to postpone negotiation in Geneva, aid to Congo, and two surviving American pilots. He also took questions from reporters present in the room.

    January 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    William Colgate – 1783

    In 1806, the candle and soap maker established William Colgate & Son. The company would eventually become Colgate-Palmolive.

    Charles Curtis – 1860

    In 1907, Curtis became the first Native American Senator (R-Kansas). During his career as a politician, Curtis would serve as the Senate Majority Leader and support the 19th Amendment. In 1928, Curtis was Herbert Hoover’s running-mate and became the first Native American Vice President.

    Virginia Woolf – 1882

    The author best known for Mrs. Dalloway and A Room of One’s Own was also one of the pioneering writers of the modernist era.

    Florence Mills – 1886

    From her debut as a 5-year-old “Baby Florence” to her Blackbirds review, the talented jazz performer sang and danced her way to the headlines of the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance.

    Donald Featherstone – 1936

    In 1957, the artist created the iconic plastic pink flamingo yard art.

    Gloria Naylor – 1950

    In 1982, the American author published her first and most recognized, novel, The Women of Brewster Place, earning the National Book Award for First Novel.



    Day Opposite National on January 25th celebrates a fun day of switcher-roos. What better way than to not celebrate? We don’t really mean that, or do we?


    Good morning, or is it good night? Hello, or is it goodbye? I am cold, or am I hot?

    The aim of the day is to have fun all day long saying exactly the opposite of what you really mean. This day has kids rejoicing everywhere. It is also a great day for adults to play along and break out of the winter blues. Maybe we should have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner!

    Most sources say that Opposite Day is always observed on January 25th while other sources say it is celebrated by some on January 7th. It is also believed to be celebrated by a group of people on the 25th of each month of the year.

    Sponge Bob Square Pants even got into the act, with an episode containing the whimsical nature of this day.


    Spend the day exploring opposites.

    • Read about the North and South Poles.
    • Express opposite emotions like sad and happy, excited and disappointed. 
    • Experiment with opposite flavors. Taste sour and sweet, spicy and bland. What’s the opposite of bitter?
    • Play with opposite sounds. Whisper then shout. Cry then laugh. 

    Do the opposite of what you mean and use #NationalOppositeDay to post on social media.

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for projects and ideas surrounding the National Days.


    While National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this day, we did discover one interesting reference dating back to President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. In the 1928 election, Coolidge made a statement to the press announcing, “I do not choose to run.”  That statement spurred a debate and left everyone wondering if he really meant the opposite.

    Opposite FAQ

    Q. What is a contranym?
    A. A contranym is a word that has multiple meanings that contradict each other or are opposites. For example, the word “left” can mean a person or thing that remains. “There are three people left in the office.” It can also mean a person or thing that no longer remains. “Everyone else left the office for the day.”

    Q. If “left” is the opposite of “right,” what is the opposite of “ambidextrous”?
    A. “Ambidextrous” means the ability to use both the right and left equally well. Its opposite is “ambilevous” which means the equally poor ability to perform tasks with both hands.