Category: January 04



    World Hypnotism Day on January 4th promotes the truth and benefits of hypnotism. The day also aims to remove myths and misconceptions about hypnotism.

    Hypnosis is defined as a state of highly focused attention. It’s usually associated with relaxation and heightened suggestibility, while some describe hypnotism as being in a trance. The person credited with developing a method for hypnosis is Franz Mesmer. He was a German doctor who specialized in astronomy. Born in 1734, his development of hypnotism coincided with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason in the 18th century.

    Many religious people believed hypnotism was steeped in the occult. However, these beliefs didn’t deter Mesmer from using hypnosis both as a form of healing and entertainment. Through the years, many others dabbled with hypnotism and created their own methods. Eventually, hypnotism became regarded as a useful tool for reducing stress.

    Today, professionals use hypnosis in psychotherapy. Some of the treatments used include:

    • reducing anxiety
    • treating phobias
    • an approach to weight loss
    • quitting bad habits (such as smoking)
    • improving sleep
    • hot flashes

    Despite the fact hypnotism is embraced by the scientific and psychological fields, there are many misconceptions about it. Some of these misconceptions include:

    • Hypnosis is a state of unconsciousness or sleep
    • Hypnosis is a form of mind control or brainwashing
    • It’s possible not to wake up from a hypnotic trance
    • Hypnosis weakens the mind
    • Only a hypnotist can induce hypnosis

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldHypnotismDay

    On this day, many hypnotherapists offer free semi-private hypnosis sessions. They also host webinars and educational presentations about the benefits of hypnotism. Many organizations, including the National Guild of Hypnotists, the Academy of Professional Hypnosis, and National Council for Hypnotherapy, organize special events. To participate in this day:

    • Learn more about hypnosis and the benefits of hypnotherapy.
    • Watch the BBC documentary, Science of Hypnosis, and the docu-reality series HYPNOTIZED.
    • Discover more about hypnotism. How much about what you know falls under misconceptions? Learn how to dispel them.
    • Talk to someone who received hypnotherapy and discuss how it helped them.

    Spread awareness for this day by sharing #WorldHypnotismDay on social media.


    In 2004, Board Certified Hypnotist Tom Nicoi and the World Hypnotism Day Committee launched the observance to encourage hypnotism professionals to promote the benefits and truth of hypnosis. The first celebration kicked off myth-busting events full of information, free consultations and a new awareness of the role hypnosis can play in our health.


  • WORLD BRAILLE DAY – January 4


    Every year on January 4th, World Braille Day reminds us of the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired.


    About 36 million people around the world are blind. By 2050, the number of people diagnosed with blindness is predicted to rise to 115 million. Those who are blind or who have severe vision impairments face many challenges in life. Some of these challenges include navigating new environments, using a computer, handling cash, and arranging clothes.

    Blind people have ways to successfully deal with many of these situations. In today’s world, advanced technology and voice activation make a blind person’s life much more manageable. But one invention, in particular, has helped countless numbers of blind people. This invention is called braille and it was developed nearly 200 years ago. Braille gives blind people the ability to read and even write letters. The system consists of raised dots that form letters and words which are read by touch.

    Louis Braille

    Louis Braille invented the reading system of raised dots in 1824. Born on January 4, 1809, in France, Louis would lose his sight after an accident in his father’s harness shop at the age of three. He would later attend the National Institute for Blind Children in Paris. There, his interest in music would benefit him when at the age of 10 he would meet Charles Barbier, a captain in Napolean’s army. The captain taught the students about a communication code using dots called Night Writing. Combining his knowledge of music and the inspiration of code communication, Louis Braille invented a 6 dot fingertip reading system when he was only 15 years old.

    Louis died in 1852, two years before France’s Royal Institute for the Blind Youth adopted a braille curriculum. By 1916, schools in the United States were teaching braille to their blind students.


    Organizations around the world host events to spread awareness for braille and other accessible forms of communication. To participate:

    • Pay attention to ATMs, elevators, calculators, signs, and other things containing braille.
    • Learn more about Louis Braille and the history of braille.
    • Learn about famous people who are blind or visually impaired including Helen Keller, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Andrea Bocelli.
    • If you know of someone who is blind, ask how braille has been of benefit to them.
    • Share your story. Be an inspiration to others.

    No matter how you participate, be sure to share #WorldBrailleDay on social media.


    In 2009, the World Blind Union and its partner organizations celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille. The celebration evolved into World Braille Day. In 2018, the UN General Assembly decided to make it an official observance by proclaiming January 4th as World Braille Day. January 4th commemorates the birthdate of Louis Braille. The UN celebrated the first official World Braille Day in 2019.



    On January 4th, National Missouri Day recognizes the 24th state to join the union.


    Also known as the gateway to the West, Missouri is bordered by two great rivers. The Mississippi River is on its eastern border, while a portion of the Missouri River is on the western border. As a result, Missouri is ideally located as a hub of transportation and trade. Interestingly, the state of Missouri has the nickname Show Me State. Historically, Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver receives credit for coining the nickname. However, Missourians today refer to the phrase as a description of their character.

    Statehood came to the state as part of the Missouri Compromise, allowing Maine to enter the union as a free state and Missouri to enter with no restrictions on slavery. During the Civil War, Missouri was divided between the North and South. Because of this, half the state was serving the Confederacy and the other half was serving the Union.

    The state boasts many cultural attractions from riverboat cruises to music festivals to tours of the largest brewing company in the nation.  With a rich history and interesting people, Missouri became a stopping point for many migrating west.  Some people stayed, while others moved on. Unfortunately, some returned east.  A few names you might recognize are Daniel Boone, Laura Ingles Wilder, Kit Carson, William Clark, Walt Disney, Scott Joplin, and Joseph Pulitzer. For a short time, all of these famous people made Missouri their home.


    Whether you’re passing through or planning to stay awhile, join National Day Calendar as we recognize National Missouri Day, the state’s history, and pioneering spirit. Uncover hidden treasures and explore all Missouri’s hills and valleys! Use #NationalMissouriDay to share on social media.

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

    Gov. Daniel Dunklin’s Grave State Historic Site – Herculaneum

    Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site – Sedalia

    Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Kaiser

    Arrow Rock State Historic Site – Arrow Rock

    Battle of Island Mountain – Butler

    George Washington Carver National Monument – Diamond

    Harry S Truman National Historic Site – Independence and Grandview

    Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail


    Missouri History Museum – St. Louis

    Missouri State Museum – Jefferson City

    National World War I Museum and Memorial – Kansas City

    Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City

    Missouri Civil War Museum – St. Louis

    Pony Express Museum – Saint Joseph

    Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – Kansas City

    Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum – Hannibal
    Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins – Camdenton

    Grant’s Farm – St. Louis

    Elephant Rocks State Park – Iron Township

    National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum – Joplin
    The author of two American classics, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Samuel Clemens wrote under the pen name Mark Twain. From journalistic pursuits, and travel writing to puzzling over the human condition, humorous and satirical, short stories and dabbling in science fiction, Mark Twain covered a broad swath of shelf space.
    Orphaned at a young age, Martha Jane Cannary grew up to be known as the legendary sharpshooter, Calamity Jane. She earned a notorious reputation in the Wild West of Deadwood, South Dakota for her relationships with wanted men including Wild Bill Hickok, drunkenness and general lawlessness. Most of the stories surrounding her life are unverifiable.

    Later in her life, she would perform in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1893 and in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
    Tapped by President Woodrow Wilson to lead the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe during World War I, General John J. Pershing’s reputation for leading men was noticed soon after his graduation from West Point in 1877.

    Pershing endured tragedy in 1913 when his wife and three daughters perished in a fire. His only son survived.

    He pursued Pancho Villa on the orders of President Wilson after the Mexican revolutionary’s killing rampage through New Mexico. Pershing never caught Villa, but Europe was calling, and he was needed.
    Known as “the Peanut Man” for his groundbreaking research in the field of peanuts and other crops, George Washington Carver paved the way for struggling farmers to make a living in new markets.

    During his time as the head of the agricultural department of Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed numerous products from peanuts making the once unfarmable legume a valuable commodity.
    In 1924, the Wyoming Democratic Party nominated Nellie Tayloe Ross for governor before she had given them her decision to run. Her husband, the former governor, had passed away in October. At election time, Ross became the first woman governor in the United States.

    The newly elected governor carried out her husband’s unfinished business, but she had business to conduct of her own. She focused on women’s issues and child labor, schools funding and job safety among other regulations.

    Ross ran for a second term. The race was fierce and close. She lost by a narrow margin of 1,365 of approximately 70,000 votes.
    A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, George Coleman Poage was the first African American to win an Olympic medal. In the 1904 games held at St. Louis, Poages earned a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles.
    Harry S. Truman took office after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Within a few months, the war in Germany ended, atomic bombs ended the war in Japan, and the Cold War began.

    In 1948, Truman famously defeated Thomas Dewey by a narrow margin for reelection. He set out to create social reform with his New Deal and supported the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    The author of poetic works such as The Waste Land (1922) and dramas like Murder in the Cathedral (1935), T.S. Eliot broadened his influence in the literary world through the publication of his journal the Criterion. In 1948, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    The heir to the Busch empire, August Anheuser Busch Jr started in the family business cleaning vats. After his father’s death in 1946, Busch became president of the company. In 1953, the brewery purchased the St. Louis Cardinals at the urging of Busch, and the two franchises have been entwined ever since.
    Martha Gellhorn traveled around the world as a war correspondent for more than a half century. She reported on conflicts from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) to the invasion of Panama in 1990.

    Poet laureate Maya Angelou is recognized for poetry and her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She earned numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album. Among her many other talents, the best selling author was also a screenwriter and civil rights activist.

    A 1997 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics, Steven Chu served in President Obama’s administration as Secretary of Energy from January 21, 2009 to April 22, 2013.

    Technology developer and businessman, Jack Dorsey, co-founded the social media platform Twitter with Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, in 2006. He also co-founded the online payment company, Square, in 2009.



    What National Day on January 4th celebrates those who accumulate and hoard tidbits of useless trivia? National Trivia Day, of course!


    The holiday recognizes the collectors of unconnected, irrelevant data, facts, history, and quotes each year. They are the ones who usually proffer these sometimes astounding bits of history when friends and family least expect it. 

    In ancient times, the term “trivia” was appropriated to mean something very new.

    Nostalgic college students in the 1960s began to informally trade questions and answers about the popular culture of their youth. After writing trivia columns, Columbia University students Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky created the earliest inter-collegiate quiz bowls. They tested culturally (and emotionally) significant yet virtually useless information. The students dubbed the tests trivia contests. TThey later published Trivia (Dell, 1966), the first book treating trivia in the revolutionary new sense. This book also achieved a ranking on the New York Times bestseller list.

    • Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge. It also refers to nostalgic remembrances of pop culture.
    • In North America, Trivial Pursuit peaked in 1984, when consumers bought over 20 million games.
    • Steven Point, Wisconsin, holds the largest current trivia contest at the University of  Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s college radio station WWSP 89.9 FM. During the April 2013 event, the university hosted the 44th annual contest. Typically, 400 teams participate, ranging from 1 to 150 players. The competition is open to anyone. It spans 54 hours over a weekend with eight questions each hour.
    • The first season of the popular television trivia show Jeopardy! premiered on March 30, 1964. 


    Are you into trivia? Challenge someone to a trivia contest, attend a trivia night, or host one at home. Show off your trivia savvy. While you’re at it, find out how much you know about the National Days. See if you can answer these questions. Some of them, we aren’t even sure of the answers.

    • How many days are listed on National Day Calendar?
    • Is there a food holiday every day of the year?
    • How many chocolate holidays are there?
    • We love our pets. Do you know how many pet holidays there are?
    • What’s the oldest National Day on the calendar?
    • How many technology days are on the calendar?
    • Beef of your trivia knowledge with 7 Stories Behind Our Favorite Board Games. 

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for ways to use trivia in the classroom and resources.


    Robert L Birch of Puns Corps. founded National Trivia Day. The first celebration took place as early as 1980, a year before the popular board game, Trivial Pursuit debuted. 

    Trivia FAQ

    Q. Are there benefits to playing trivia games?
    A. Yes. Trivia games exercise your brain and expose you to new information. Playing trivia games may improve cognitive skills such as memory, creativity, and problem-solving.

    Q. Can anyone be good at trivia?
    A. Anyone can dominate a specific category, especially if it’s something they are knowledgeable in. Those who have the answers for nearly every category tend to read a lot and have a terrific recall. Gather a team of people with different interests, and you could be on the winning team.

    Q. What is the plural of trivia?
    A. Trivia is plural. The singular form of trivia is trivium.

    January 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    While playing for the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan scores his 30,000th career point. He becomes the 4th NBA player to reach the achievement and does so while defeating his former team, the Chicago Bulls.


    A robotic rover named Spirit landed on Mars. It is the only object to take a photo of Earth from another planet.


    The House Representatives elected Nancy Pelosi as the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.

    January 4th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthday

    Isaac Newton – 1643

    The English mathematician and physicist made many discoveries during his lifetime. Gravitational theory is one of Newton’s most recognized theories. However, he also is credited with discovering calculus and the composition of white light.

    Louis Braille – 1809

    The educator developed a method of reading for people with blindness. The series of raised dots is called Braille.

    Edward H. Johnson – 1846

    One of Thomas Edison’s business associates, Johnson was also an inventor himself. In December of 1882, he wired together a string of lights and strung the first set of lights on a Christmas tree.

    Sterling Holloway – 1905

    The voice actor is best known for his work in several Disney animated films including the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Kaa the Snake in Jungle Book, and Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

    Dyan Cannon – 1937

    In 1977, Cannon became the first woman in Oscar history to be nominated for an Academy Award for her work both on-camera and behind the camera. Cannon was nominated in 1970 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the film Bob & Carol and Ted & Alice. In 1977, she directed the short film Number One which was nominated for Best Short Film, Live Action.



    National Spaghetti Day on January 4th offers an opportunity to pick your sauce and add it to that long, thin cylindrical pasta of Italian and Sicilian origin. Usually made from semolina flour, this pasta has been a worldwide favorite for ages and loved by millions.


    There are various pasta dishes based on spaghetti, and the sauce determines most of them. Some examples include spaghetti ala Carbonara, garlic and oil, tomato sauce, meat sauce, bolognese, Alfredo sauce, clam sauce, or other sauces. In addition, we traditionally serve spaghetti dishes topped with grated hard cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, and Grana Padano.

    The word spaghetti is plural for the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin  string” or “twine.”

    American restaurants offered spaghetti around the end of the 19th century as Spaghetti Italienne (which is believed to have consisted of noodles cooked past al dente and a mild tomato sauce flavored with easily found spices and vegetables such as cloves, bay leaves, and garlic). Decades later, cooks added oregano and basil to many recipes.

    Spaghetti Origins

    There is a significant debate on the origin of spaghetti. However, we do know that we’ve been consuming pasta for many, many years. There are records in the Jerusalem Talmud of itrium, a kind of boiled dough commonly available in Palestine from the 3rd to 5th centuries AD. A 9th-century Arab dictionary describes itriyyaas as string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking. A 1154 writing for the Norman King of Sicily, mentions itriyya as being manufactured and exported from Norman Sicily. Dried pasta became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries due to its easy storage. People stored the dried pasta in ships when exploring the New World. A century later, pasta was present around the globe during the voyages of discovery. (Wikipedia)

    On Top of Spaghetti

    In March of 2009, the world record for the largest bowl of spaghetti was set and then reset in March of 2010 when a Garden Grove California Buca di Beppo restaurant successfully filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 pounds of pasta.

    Sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smoky,” the fun children’s song, “On Top of Spaghetti,” was written and originally sung by folk singer Tom Glazer with the Do-Re-Mi Children’s Chorus in 1963.

    “On top of spaghetti,
    All covered with cheese,
    I lost my poor meatball,
    When somebody sneezed.

    It rolled off the table,
    And on to the floor,
    And then my poor meatball,
    Rolled out of the door.”


    Make your favorite spaghetti dish, and be sure to make enough to share. Of course, you can always invite friends to join you at your favorite Italian restaurant and split a plate. If you do, be sure to tag the restaurant and use #NationalSpaghettiDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this pasta-loving holiday. 

    Spaghetti FAQ

    Q. What wines pair well with spaghetti?
    A. The wine pairing you choose will depend on the sauce and other ingredients.

    Q. Are there other pasta days on the calendar?
    A. Yes. Check out these days to get your pasta fix: