Category: March 11

  • NATIONAL 311 DAY – March 11


    On 3/11, National 311 Day offers an annual reminder that 311 is a resource for communities around the country to connect with their city and non-emergency services. The 311 system is the non-emergency number to call in many cities across the country for residents to report issues, find out about city services, and ask questions.

    Since the creation of the 911 emergency system, non-emergency calls have slowed operators’ response times to true emergencies. In 1996, Baltimore, Maryland adopted the first 311 system as a way to ease pressure on the overburdened 911 system. The new system freed up emergency phone lines and shortened wait times for emergency calls, helping 911 dispatchers get emergency services to folks that need them more quickly, ultimately saving lives. The 311 system also invited the citizens to be the eyes and ears of the city while more closely connecting the public sector to its citizens.

    Citizens call the 311 number to report concerns they notice in their own cities. Some examples of the kinds of reports residents make include:

    • graffiti
    • road, park or fence damage
    • debris on the road
    • noise
    • trees needing to be trimmed
    • illegal parking

    Today, the 311 system is available in most major cities and is spreading to smaller towns across the United States. A 311 system saves lives by diverting non-emergency calls from the 911 system so emergency personnel can focus on those who need it most.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #National311Day

    • Learn whether your city uses the 311 system.
    • If so, be sure to use it to report non-emergency issues.
    • If your city doesn’t, encourage your city leaders to add 311 to their program.
    • Get the word out about using 311, too. Make sure your friends and family know how to use it and when.
    • One way to do that is by using #National311Day on social media.


    In 2020, seven Fellows worked with the City of San José to improve 911 and 311 response times. Google and San José, in collaboration with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Santa Clara County, founded National 311 Day to increase awareness of the non-emergency number and honor the ‘first’ first responders who field these calls and assist people across the country.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National 311 Day to be observed on March 11th, annually.

    311 FAQ

    Q. Does every state have a 311 system?
    A. No. About 2/3rds of U.S. states have a 311 system in at least one city. New systems are coming online all the time, too.

    Q. Does 311 work with mobile phones?
    A. Many 311 systems work with mobile phones, but not all of them do. Check for access in your community.

    Q. How do I find out if my city uses 311?
    A. Visit your local or state government’s website to learn if 311 is available in your area.



    Every year on March 11th, World Plumbing Day highlights the important role of plumbing in protecting public health.

    What do you think of when you see the word plumbing? Chances are, you think about running water, the sewer system, and the many pipes that make it all work. Now imagine a world without these things. How inconvenient would your life be without immediate access to hot or cold water? What if you had to leave the comfort of your home to go to the bathroom in an outhouse? What if your community did not have a system of pipes that made these things possible?

    You might think that every homeowner in developed countries has access to running water and a sewer system. Even in developed countries, however, a lack of plumbing is a reality that some people live with every day. In the United States, two million people do not have access to basic indoor plumbing. It’s not just those living in poverty who don’t have indoor plumbing or running water. In some states, like Alaska, the Dakotas, and Maine, there are entire communities that don’t have complete plumbing systems.

    Where there’s a need

    It’s much worse in undeveloped countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.5 billion citizens throughout the world don’t have access to any sanitation facility. This includes 818 million people in India and 607 million people in China. There are other countries as well that have large populations with inadequate plumbing. These countries include:

    • Nigeria
    • Brazil
    • Indonesia
    • Bangladesh
    • Pakistan
    • Nepal
    • Vietnam
    • Philippines

    You may think that a lack of plumbing is a matter of inconvenience. However, it is much more than that. Not having access to plumbing is a significant health issue. You have probably never thought that plumbing saves lives, but it really does. Without proper plumbing systems in place, many people throughout the world are susceptible to diseases. Children are especially vulnerable. About 700,000 children die each year from diarrhea. This condition is usually caused by improper sanitation and unsafe drinking water.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #World Plumbing Day

    Plumbing organizations gather together on this day to network with other plumbers and keep up with changes in the industry. Those in the plumbing profession attend seminars and workshops to learn what they can do to improve access to running water and safe sanitation. To participate:

    • Thank your local plumber for all the work they do.
    • Think about what your life would be like without plumbing.
    • Donate to an organization, such as Plumbers without Borders or The Water Project.
    • Make an appointment to have your plumbing system inspected.

    Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldPlumbingDay


    The World Plumbing Council (WPC) established World Plumbing Day in 2010. The WBC is an international organization made up of 200 members from over 30 countries around the world. It is their goal to achieve the best possible plumbing for the world through the world’s plumbing industries.




    National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day on March 11th reminds us to thank the professionals who consider every need during the most challenging time in our lives.

    Funeral directors and morticians dedicate their lives to helping us celebrate our loved ones. They bring together the memories and achievements of someone we’ve lost to death. With professional guidance and compassion, funeral directors help with every step of planning a funeral. While the news settles, these experts understand how emotional and stressful the process is.

    Funeral directors come equipped with a perfect skillset. Their compassion and excellent organizational skills guide us through a celebration of someone we loved dearly. In addition, being a funeral director means being a good listener, a skill many of them have in spades.

    They work hard to attain their skills, too. Both morticians and funeral directors study mortuary science, attaining an associate degree or higher. A 1-3 year apprenticeship follows their degree. Funeral directors must be licensed.

    Beyond their training, funeral directors know how to put people at ease. When we grieve, the pain of loss takes on many different faces. Funeral directors act as guides and help to fulfill the wishes of our loved ones. When the pain and suffering ends, the mortician and funeral director provide a sense of peace and unity at a time that can seem chaotic even at its best.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #FuneralDirectorMorticianRecognition

    • Thank a funeral director or a mortician for their time and care. Show your appreciation of their services and recognize the work they do in one of several ways:
    • Send a thank you card letting them know how much their services mean to you.
    • Recommend their services to others. 
    • Preplan your funeral. Put your funeral in the hands of the business that has proven to you they can care for your family.
    • Share your experiences as a funeral director or mortician.
    • Use #FuneralDirectorMorticianRecognition to share on social media.


    In 2008, Congress passed a resolution designating March 11th as National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day.

    Funeral Director & Mortician FAQ

    Q. Are funeral directors and morticians the same thing?
    A. In many circumstances, the terms are interchangeable. A funeral director is considered a more modern term for preparing the body for burial and assisting the family in planning services.

    Q. What are the different kinds of ceremonies that take place after the death of a loved one?
    A. We remember and memorialize those who’ve died in several different ways.

    • Vigils – Wakes, Shmira, and other types of vigils involve family and close friends watching over the deceased and the family in the days immediately after the death.
    • Viewing – Many families choose to include a viewing as part of the funeral process. The time is for friends and family to view the deceased, say final goodbyes, and visit with the family. The occasion is less formal than a funeral, and visitors may come any time during the scheduled time.
    • Funeral – A funeral is a formal service that often includes speakers, prayer, poems, and songs. Religious and spiritual traditions may be included and often are.
    • Memorial Service – A memorial service is similar to a funeral, but the deceased body is not available for viewing. This type of service is sometimes held weeks or months after a funeral service so that family who lives far away can attend and pay their respects. A memorial service is also performed when the deceased has been cremated.
  • National Promposal Day – March 11


    On March 11th, National Promposal Day prompts the ultimate question each year. “Will you go to prom with me?” It’s the day for high school students across North America to craft their unique invitation to the event of the year.

    Prom takes a lot of planning. That includes finding the right tux, the right dress, shoes, and accessories. Does mom teach you how to dance or do you take a dance class? Do you borrow dad’s car or rent a limo? Those are just a few of the details. But that’s getting ahead of the plan. First, ask the question on March 11th, #NationalPromposalDay.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPromposalDay

    Prom is one of the most memorable times in high school. Start it off right with an exceptional promposal. Rehearse it or wing it, but get out there and ask! Get creative about asking someone to prom and capture the special moment on video. #NationalPromposalDay #MyUltimatePromposal @menswearhouse on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.


    In 2016, Men’s Wearhouse founded National Promposal Day on March 11th to inspire high school students to create the ultimate promposal.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the day in 2016 to be observed each year on March 11th, annually in 2016.



    National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day on March 11th celebrates a healthier version of the classic waffle. Whole grain oats and chopped nuts mixed into a waffle recipe is a delicious, healthy way to start your morning. 

    A waffle is a batter-based or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a distinctive size, shape, and surface impression. There are many variations based on the type of iron and recipe used. Waffles have been around for centuries, and there are many varieties of them around the world.  The oatmeal nut waffle is another flavorful addition to the family for us all to try!

    Besides, oatmeal starts a day off right. Add spices, fruit, nuts, or nut butters to add flavor. It’s also a versatile ingredient. And the health benefits of oatmeal are just as good as the flavor. 

    • A serving of oatmeal daily can lower cholesterol.
    • It may reduce the risk of heart disease.
    • It may reduce your risk of cancer. (According to the American Cancer Society, eating a diet high in fiber may help reduce your risk for cancer.)
    • The grain is low in fat.
    • Oatmeal is low in calories.
    • Add oatmeal to your diet as a good source of iron and fiber.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #OatmealNutWafflesDay

    • Mix up a batch of oatmeal nut waffles for the whole family.
    • Start the morning off right with maple syrup and fresh berries, too.
    • Top with bananas or your favorite nut butter.
    • Make several batches ahead and freeze them so they’re ready for busy mornings.
    • They also make a great snack, especially for tiny hands.
    • Use #OatmealNutWafflesDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this flavorful food holiday. 

    Oatmeal Nut Waffle FAQ

    Q. Can prepared waffles be frozen?
    A. Yes. Seal in an airtight freezer-safe container before freezing. Heat them up in the toaster, toaster oven or oven for best results.

    Q. Are all waffles shaped the same?
    A. No. Waffles irons determine the shape of a waffle and they come in a variety of designs.

    Q. Are waffle and pancake batters the same?
    A. No. Waffle batter contains about twice as much fat and sugar as pancake batter. The additional fat and sugar are what make waffles crispy on the outside.



    March 11th is National Worship of Tools Day. This is a day to go out into the garage, the tool shed, the storage closet, or wherever it is you keep your tools.  You can clean them, reorganize them, make something new with them or maybe go to the store and buy a new one.

    It is hard to imagine the world without tools as they are a part of our daily lives. From the hammer, the screwdriver, and the wrench to the most sophisticated tools, they are necessary. Upon their use, they sometimes get rusty and need to be shined, they get dirty and need to be cleaned, they get dull and need to be sharpened.  

    Tool enthusiasts know a good tool when they see one. Often, they have a favorite brand or style. And they never seem to have enough, either. Collecting them is nearly as important as using them. Another common discussion about tools is the borrowing of tools. From one neighbor to another, tools have been loaned, borrowed, and returned numerous times. The funny papers and the sitcoms humorously remind us of this from time to time. And sometimes, so do our neighbors. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWorshipOfToolsDay

    • Spend some extra time shining up your tools or fixing them if they needed it. Taking care of your tools helps them last longer, which is a benefit for you.
    • Go shopping for new tools. You know there must be one you don’t have.
    • Get to work on your latest project and put your tools to work!
    • Use #WorshipOfToolsDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar was not able to find the origin of this day. We suspect someone borrowed it. 

    Tools FAQ

    Q. Can you use a flathead screwdriver on a Philips screw?
    A. You can, but a Philips screwdriver will provide more torque allowing for a tighter fit.

    Q. Is there a reason why my spouse has three saws?
    A. Yes. Different types of saws do different kinds of jobs.

    Q. What is the benefit of having many kinds of tools?
    A. The more tools, the more projects you can tackle. They’re not there to look pretty. They’re there to get a job done. (Psst…to the spouse: as long as there are tools there are projects to be done.)


    March 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    Thanks to a pardon from out-going President Andrew Johnson, Dr. Samuel Mudd boards the steamer ship Liberty bound for his family in Maryland. He leaves behind his cell at Fort Jefferson located on an island of the Dry Tortugas off the Gulf Coast of Florida where he was imprisoned for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.


    President William Howard Taft is interred at Arlington National Cemetery. He’s the first president and chief justice of the United States to be buried in the national cemetery. John F. Kennedy is the only other president buried there.


    The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in New York City debuts Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. It’s the first production written by an African American woman to be seen on Broadway.


    World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirms the COVID-19 outbreak is a pandemic.

    March 11th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Lawrence Welk – 1903

    As a bandleader, Lawrence Welk, brought wholesome music into the family rooms for more than two decades thanks to a syndication deal. His unique brand of “Champagne Music” and family-friendly programming continues to be found on Public Broadcasting stations.

    Wanda Gág – 1893

    The internationally recognized illustrator and author is best known for her children’s book Millions of Cats.

    Dorothy Gish – 1898

    The actress of both stage and screen found success during the silent era of film.

    Ezra Jack Keats – 1916

    The award-winning children’s author and illustrator wrote the popular book The Snowy Day among many others.

    Vinnette Carroll – 1922

    In 1972, Vinnette Justine Carroll became the first African American woman to direct on Broadway and the first to earn a Tony nomination for directing when she directed the musical Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope written by Micki Grant.

    Sam Donaldson – 1934

    For more than four decades, Donaldson served as an ABC News reporter and anchor. He also wrote the book Hold on, Mr. President.

    Antonin Scalia – 1936

    President Ronald Reagan appointed Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court in 1986s after Chief Justice Warren Burger retired and Associate Justice William Rehnquist succeeded him. Associate Justice Scalia served the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years until his death in 2016.

    Jerry Zucker – 1950

    Jerry Zucker is known mostly by the zany films he directs, produces, and writes. Films like Airplane! and The Naked Gun series full of parody and satirical comedy surely leave audiences weak in the knees for more. He’s also dabbled in the romance genre with films like Ghost and A Walk in the Clouds.

    Notable Mentions

    Vannevar Bush – 1890
    Rupert Murdoch – 1931
    Bobby McFerrin – 1950
    Douglas Adams – 1952



    March 11th – On National Johnny Appleseed Day, we remember a man who made apple (and pear) trees bloom across the nation. The day celebrates a kindly legend who lived by sage teachings and labored to bring the shade of fruit trees across much of the United States.

    John Chapman

    He was born John Chapman on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel and Elizabeth Simons Chapman. Not much is known about his early life other than his mother died when he was two. His father packed up Johnny and his sister (an infant brother had died the previous year) and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. His father served as a Minuteman and fought at Bunker Hill.

    Then in 1797, Chapman shows up in northwestern Pennsylvania, propagating his apple seeds. He worked his way steadily into the frontier of West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. Eventually, Chapman became known as Johnny Appleseed and worked his way as far west as Illinois and Iowa and as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin.

    In his wake, he left orchards and the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish spiritual leader. Appleseed would buy his books with whatever payment he might receive for his endeavors. In turn, Johnny would give the books away as he traveled and planted.

    Mostly, though, he planted his seeds and seedlings for free along with his wisdom, his broad-brimmed pasteboard hat keeping the sun from his eyes as he went. Often shoeless, he traveled mostly by foot and sometimes by horseback or canoe. His appearance was nearly as noteworthy as his accomplishments, but so was his kindness. Farmers and frontier folk always found a place at the table if Johnny Appleseed came visiting.

    There are many stories told that the man would travel many miles to nurse an ailing orchard when word would reach him of its poor condition. Bringing the trees back to health would be his chief endeavor while dispersing wisdom, care, and kindness as he did.


    Across the Midwest, landmarks pepper the countryside honoring the man that brought fruit to the frontier. Warren County, Pennsylvania, lays claim to Johnny Appleseed’s first tree nursery.

    Mansfield, Ohio, honors the man with a monument in South Park. The last known Chapman tree still lives! In rural Ashland County, Ohio, the tree struggles to survive, but half of it still manages to bloom in the spring. 

    In his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, there is an entire park named after the man who nurtured the land and made apple trees bloom across a young nation.

    Two dates celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day, either March 11th or September 26th. The September date is Appleseed’s acknowledged birth date. However, many people across the country prefer the March date due to the planting season. While some vagueness surrounds Appleseed’s death and burial, he became ill in early March and passed soon after. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Johnny Appleseed Park, a grave marks the spot where the legendary sower of apple seeds rests.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJohnnyAppleseedDay

    • Begin by reading any one of the many books written about Johnny Appleseed. Some of them are mere folklore but others delve into the man himself. 
    • Visiting some of the landmarks where Johnny Appleseed once lived and worked.
    • Plant a fruit tree. Visit your local orchard to learn more about the trees that live and thrive in your area. Sometimes you will need two in order for them to bear fruit, so be sure you ask.
    • Eat your favorite tree fruit. It doesn’t have to be an apple. Johnny Appleseed planted several varieties of fruit trees. While you can find apples in March, they aren’t in season. Tree fruits that are in season include avocados, kumquats, lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, and pomelos. Only a few of these grow in the United States. Do you know which ones?
    • Educators and families, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for projects and ideas to help you Celebrate Every Day!
    • Enjoy an apple and use #JohnnyAppleseedDay to post on social media.



    While our research did not uncover the founder of this day, we did crisscross a lot of applesauce, cider, and pies.

    Johnny Appleseed FAQ

    Q. Was Johnny Appleseed a real person?
    A. Yes. He was born John Chapman in 1774.

    Q. How long does it take for an apple seed to grow?
    A. An apple seed will germinate in about 60-90 days but it will take another 7-10 years before it produces its first apple.

    Q. How long do apple trees live?
    A. Depending on the breed, an apple tree can live 50 years or longer. However, one tree planted by Johnny Appleseed still stands and produces a meager crop of fruit each year.