Category: January 09



    On January 9th, International Choreographers Day celebrates choreographers past and present. It’s also a day to show appreciation to choreographers for keeping dance alive in our hearts.

    Have you ever watched a Super Bowl halftime show? What about a music video with dancers in it? If so, then you have witnessed the work of a choreographer. These professionals plan dance routines used in various kinds of performances.

    The word choreography means “dance-writing.” The word first appeared in the dictionary in the 1950s. Despite not being an actual word until the 1950s, the art of choreography dates back to the 15th century. This is when dance masters taught steps to Italians who belonged to the noble class. The court would then entertain others by participating in performances. Most of these performances incorporated ballet. These choreographed ballet performances became very popular throughout Italy and France.

    Modern choreographers in the 20th century did not like ballet, however. These choreographers preferred modern dance instead. Today, choreographers embrace all different kinds of dance, including contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, tap, and folk dance.

    Along with being involved in every area of dance, today’s choreographers plan routines for the following fields:

    • Musical theater
    • Opera
    • Cheerleading
    • Gymnastics
    • Marching bands
    • Synchronized swimming
    • Show choir
    • Figure skating

    Some of the most well-known choreographers in history include George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Bob Fosse, and Katherine Dunham. No list of choreographers would be complete, however, without mentioning Fred Astaire. He gets credit for transforming the way choreography is incorporated into a film’s plot. Astaire’s impressive choreography career spanned more than 76 years.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalChoreographersDay

    On this day, dancers, dance companies, producers, and others pay tribute to choreographers around the world. To participate:

    • Pay careful attention to the choreography when watching a performance of any kind.
    • Learn more about the history of choreography and its influence on our culture.
    • Read about other famous choreographers, such as Twyla Tharp, Shane Sparks, and Paula Abdul.
    • Get together with your friends and choreograph a routine.
    • Watch videos of famous choreographed dance routines like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Madonna’s “Vogue.”

    Post a video of your choreographed dance routine on social media with #InternationalChoreographers Day.


    Our team is still researching the origins of the day.




    National Balloon Ascension Day on January 9th commemorates the first balloon flight in the United States in 1793.


    The French aeronaut, Jean Pierre Blanchard, took flight over the Walnut Street Prison in Philadelphia above a large crowd. He ascended in a hydrogen gas balloon, a popular balloon at the time. George Washington witnessed the launch of the balloon, too. That day he lit the fires of fascination with ballooning in Americans.

    However, more than hot air balloons also flew in the skies over time. Several varieties of balloons took shape over the next 100 years. Airships inflated by hydrogen and shaped like cigars took to the skies. They were also called blimps. Their engines gave these balloons directional flight and speed.

    By the 20th century, large airships with cabins carried passengers. The gas-filled giants eventually disappeared from the skies. Tragedies like the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, where over a third of the 97 passengers perished when the airship caught fire helped to usher in a new era.

    Today, hot air ballooning is enjoyed from the ground and the air. It’s also a scientific tool for weather and other research.


    Plan a trip to a hot air balloon festival. In the United States, there are around 30 balloon festivals to choose from. Go to one or go to them all. You can find a comprehensive list at TownAndTourist. If you’ve been ballooning, be sure to share your photos and experiences. It’s sure a sight to see. From the preparation to the breathtaking launches, balloonists certainly provide an eyeful. And of course, memories for a lifetime. It’s a great way to #CelebrateEveryDay and be a part of the Celebration Nation. Be sure to share using #BalloonAscensionDay on social media.


    National Balloon Ascension Day has been observed since at least 2011 in commemoration of the first manned balloon launch in the United States on January 9, 1793. If anyone would like to sponsor a National Day Calendar balloon, contact us at 1-701-204-6674.

    Balloon FAQ

    Q. Where is the largest balloon festival in the United States?
    A. The International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico is the country’s largest balloon festival in the United States.

    Q. How do I find balloon festivals near me?
    A. lists balloon festivals worldwide.

    Q. Do I have to be licensed to fly a hot air balloon?
    A. Yes. Hot air balloon pilots either have a pilot’s license or an airman’s certificate.

    Q. I’m afraid of heights. Would I enjoy hot air ballooning?
    A. You don’t have to fly in a hot air balloon to appreciate the majesty and beauty of a hot air balloon. Just seeing their bright colors against a brisk blue backdrop can be an exhilarating experience. Some balloonists will also offer tethered balloon rides. These rides allow passengers to ride upward about 100 feet while remaining tethered to the ground by an anchor. This experience may be more to your liking. 



    Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. 


    Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities.  They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.

    From local, state, and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.

    On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.


    There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.  


    Several organizations came together to create National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. Some of the organizations supporting the observance include:

    • Concerns of Police Survivors
    • FBI National Academy Associates
    • Fraternal Order of Police
    • International Association of Chief of Police
    • Officer Down Memorial Page
    • Law Enforcement United
    • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
    • International Conference of Police Chaplains
    • National Troopers Coalition

    Since then the inaugural celebration, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.

  • NATIONAL CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK DAY – Second Monday in January


    The second Monday of January each year recognizes National Clean Off Your Desk Day.


    This day is an opportunity to begin your new year with a clean and organized workspace. Whether your desk is in a private or shared office, cubicle, home or a make-shift desk on the counter, having your workspace uncluttered and organized will help you work more efficiently. A clean workspace improves productivity and inspires us, too. It often gives us a sense of serenity.


    While there are those who say they know where everything is, we all know a clean start helps give us a new perspective.

    Tips for Getting Organized

    • Remove everything from your desk. Yes, everything.
    • Clean the surface. As you replace items, clean them with the appropriate cleaning supply. Usually, a damp cloth is sufficient, but other electrical items need specific care.
    • Get out the shredder and the garbage can. Shred, file, scan documents, business cards, recipes, photos as needed.
    • Place all documents and photos in the appropriate locations.
    • Shred and toss outdated documents, non-working pens, junk mail.

    Don’t forget to replace that old calendar hanging on the wall. While you’re at it, vacuum up those dust bunnies and sanitize your keyboard. Place a fresh box of tissues on your newly cleaned desktop. You’ll be ready for new clients in no time. Use #CleanOffYourDeskDay to post on social media.


    While researching the origin of this tidy day, National Day Calendar staff uncovered information leading to A.C. Viero of Clio, Michigan as the founder of this annual holiday. Now that we can see the top of our desk, we can clearly see there will be more paperwork in our future! 



    Apricot lovers from all over the United States observe National Apricot Day every year on January 9th.


    Related to the peach, the apricot’s velvety flesh is quite similar. However, the texture of the golden-orange fruit is firmer, and the flavor more tart than its cousin’s. Since we easily preserve the apricot, we enjoy this versatile fruit all year long – fresh, canned, and dried.

    Apricots are found the world over but originated in northeastern China near the Russian border in ancient times. Later, the fruit was introduced to Europe and Armenia. The apricot found its way to North America when English colonists settled in Virginia. Apricots traveled further west when Spanish explorers and missionaries brought them on expeditions. This migration caused apricots to be grown commercially today.

    The apricot tree can grow to 45 feet if left unpruned. It produces white, pink, or red blossoms and is a winter-hardy tree. However, early frosts can damage the fruit.

    Fresh apricots pack in the nutrients. A 1 cup serving of apricot halves contains 60% of the daily allowance of Vitamin A and 26% of the daily allowance for Vitamin C. Other vitamins in this low-calorie snack include Vitamin B-6, Magnesium, Iron, and Calcium, and is also an excellent source of fiber.

    With its unique flavor, the apricot is a versatile ingredient lending itself to both sweet and savory dishes. Perfect for snacking, apricots are the best fresh off the tree but are also found in markets year-round. Dried, they are delicious in healthy granola or a salad.


    The best way to celebrate is by eating an apricot. Whether you enjoy preserves or bake up your favorite recipes, be sure to invite someone to enjoy it with you. We’ve even supplied delicious recipes for you to try.

    Consider planting an apricot tree in the spring or exploring and learning about apricot growers in your area. Buying local, when possible, support the growers in your area.

    Have some apricots and use #NationalApricotDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues to explore the source of this fresh and naturally delicious holiday which has been observed since at least 2003.

    Apricot FAQ

    Q. Can apricots be added to baking?
    A. Yes! Like many fruits, apricots add their own sweet flavor to many recipes. 

    Q. Is there an apricot ice cream?
    A. You can find several recipes online for apricot ice cream. Which one will you chose? 

    Q. Where do apricots grow?
    A. Since there are many varieties of apricots, there is one for every growing zone in the United States. However, late frosts can impact production in some areas. 

    Q. Can I dehydrate apricots?
    A. Yes. When dried, apricots take on a chewy form. They are also available in grocery stores. 



    It may be a little shocking, but National Static Electricity Day is on January 9th. The observance explores static electricity and even how we may cause it. 


    Static electricity is different from the electrical current carried by wires through a building or transmitted by the electric companies. Static electricity is produced when the positive and negative charges of an atom are out of balance.

    The atoms of some materials hold their electrons tightly. These materials, such as plastic, cloth, or glass, are insulators. While electrons of these substances do not move very freely, the electrons of other materials, such as metal, move more freely and are called conductors.

    By rubbing two insulators together, we transfer electrons, causing positive and negative charges. Opposites do attract. Atoms with a positive charge become attracted to atoms with a negative charge. We can see the evidence if we rub a balloon head.  When we pull the balloon away, the hair clings to the balloon.

    Remove the balloon, and the hair may stand on end. In this circumstance, the hair has the same charge (either positive or negative). Items with the same charge repel each other.

    At some point, these charges need to be put back in balance, and the static electricity is discharged. The release and the resulting shock occurs when an insulator comes in contact with a conductor, such as a piece of metal.

    How to Avoid the Shock of Static Electricity
    • The drier air of the winter months is a better insulator than the more humid air of summer. To help prevent static electricity, use a humidifier to put moisture back into the air in your home during the winter months.
    • Our skin is drier in the winter months, too. Putting on moisturizer before getting dressed is recommended.
    • Synthetic fabrics are better insulators than natural fibers. Wearing materials made from natural fibers such as cotton will help reduce the amount of static electricity that’s stirred up.
    • While walking around the house, at work, or shopping, holding a key or a metal pen in your hand will help discharge the build-up of static electricity painlessly.
    • Switching to leather-soled shoes versus rubber-soled shoes will help reduce the amount of static that is built up.


    Learn how static electricity affects us. Explore the ways you come into contact with static electricity and how you create it, too. Run an experiment and share your results.

    Use #StaticElectricityDay to post on social media.

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for useful information you can use in your classroom.


    National Day Calendar staff is shocked that we’ve not discovered the origins of this day! But we’ll keep searching.

    Static Electricity FAQ

    Q. Is static electricity harmful to humans?
    A. Static electricity generally only causes a small shock when the energy is discharged. Newer technology at gas stations is reducing the risk of static build-up preventing a spark from causing a fire.

    Q. Is static electricity visible?
    A. Yes, it can be. Plasma lamps allow us to see static electricity in action. However, if you carry a large build-up of static electricity, you may see a small spark when you discharge it, too.

    Q. What’s another name for static electricity?
    A. Static electricity is also known as triboelectricity.

    Q. Can static electricity be stored for power?
    A. Static electricity can be used to power things such as a lightbulb. Researchers are also seeking ways to collect and store static electricity to be used in larger applications.

    January 9th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    A pioneering balloonist completes the first successful balloon flight in the United States. Ascending over a gathered crowd at the Walnut Street Prison in Philadelphia, French aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard demonstrates his hydrogen gas balloon.


    Joe Louis squares off in his 20th title defense at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He KOs Buddy Baer in the first round and retains his world heavyweight title.


    Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone during his keynote session at the Macworld convention in San Francisco, CA.

    January 9th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Carrie Chapman Catt – 1859

    The suffragist and peace activist served as a powerful voice and offered information in an era of change for many women. In 1902, she founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. Catt later founded the Woman’s Peace Party. Her efforts along with other women in her lifetime and those before her led to the passage of the 19th amendment. In 1920, just before the amendment’s passage, Catt founded the League of Women Voters.

    Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney – 1875

    In 1931, the notable American sculptor founded the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

    Richard Nixon – 1913

    From 1953 to 1961, Nixon served the United States in the role of vice president. While campaigning with candidate Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, questions were raised about gifts Nixon prompting him to give the “Checkers” speech. Then in 1968, Nixon ran his second, and successful, run for president. He became the 37th President of the United States. While he brought Americans home from Vietnam, the Watergate scandal resulted in Nixon submitting the first-ever resignation of a U.S. president.

    Earl G. Graves Sr. – 1935

    In 1970, Graves founded Black Enterprise magazine. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Pepsi-Cola of Washington, D.C. as well as the director of several boards. Graves was also a champion of education.

    Joan Baez – 1941

    The folk singer-songwriter gained a strong following during the 1960s. Her political activism drew many to her at a time when activism was growing. Some of her best-known songs include “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” and “Diamonds and Rust.”