Category: March 25

  • INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF SLAVERY AND THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE – March 25

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF SLAVERY AND THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE

    Each year on March 25th, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is set aside to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of slavery. The day also raises awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

    Between the 16th and 19th centuries, up to 17 million slaves were transported against their will from Africa to the Americas. Up to 2.4 million slaves died during the voyage. Millions more died soon after their arrival in the New World. Most of the people who were enslaved and transported came from Central and West Africa.

    The first people to engage in the transatlantic slave trade were the Portuguese. In 1526, the Portuguese made the first slave voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil. Other Europeans followed suit. The British, French, Dutch, and the Danes became major slave-trading nations.

    Despite the fact they were human beings, shipowners treated slaves like cargo. They shipped the slaves as quickly and cheaply as possible. Upon their arrival in the Americas, agents sold the slaves to work on plantations, as well as mines, rice fields, and as domestic servants.

    In 1807, Britain passed the first legislation banning the slave trade. By 1815, the British pressured the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal to do the same. Five years later in 1820, the United States made slave trading punishable by the death penalty.

    The selling, transporting, and owning of slaves is considered one of the worst violations of human rights the world has ever experienced. The United States officially abolished slavery in the United States in 1865. However, racial segregation and prejudice against African Americans continue to this day.

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    To commemorate this day, many universities and human rights organizations host exhibits, lectures, and discussions. Study the transatlantic slave trade and the implications it had on Africa and the entire world. You can also watch the movie Amazing Grace. The film is based on the true story of House of Commons member William Wilberforce, whose life ambition was to end the slave trade in Britain.

    HISTORY

    On December 17, 2007, the UN General Assembly designated March 25th as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The commemorates the day in 1807 when the House of Commons and the House of Lords passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. On March 25th, 2015, the UN unveiled a permanent memorial called the Ark of Return. The memorial was erected at the UN Headquarters in New York City to remember those who suffered and died during the slave trade.

     

  • INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH DETAINED AND MISSING STAFF MEMBERS – March 25

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH DETAINED AND MISSING STAFF MEMBERS

    Every year on March 25th, the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members commemorates the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett. He was kidnapped by armed gunman in 1985. Collett, a former British journalist, was kidnapped at gunpoint while working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Collett’s body wasn’t found until 2009.

    More recently, in 2018, 16 UN staff members were kidnapped or abducted. All of them were released. In 2019, 21 UN staff members were arrested or in detention. Five of them were held without any formal charges. Kidnap victims are held on average for 12 days. However, Vincent Cochetel, a worker with a UN refugee agency was held captive for 317 days in 1998.

    These attacks on humanitarian workers often take place in unstable environments. Political motivation is believed to be the primary reason for such kidnappings.

    The United Nations was founded in 1945. Currently, nearly 100,000 UN staff members are active in different countries. Of those staff members, 3,500 brave men and women have lost their lives while working with the organization. The 1990s were especially difficult. During this decade, more lives were lost than in the previous four decades combined. The UN began to realize that the more active they became, the more their staff would become targeted.

    HOW TO OBSERVE 

    On this day, many people remember the sacrifices and fates of detained and missing international workers. It’s also a day to honor the peacekeepers who work in dangerous regions around the world. To participate, learn more about Alec Collett. Say a prayer that all of those who are missing or detained will be found or released.

    HISTORY

    Since 1985, the UN has marked the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett. In 1993, the UN established the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel. The UN General Assembly adopted this Convention in 1994. At that time, the UN also declared March 25th as International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members.

     

  • WAFFLE DAY (Sweden) – March 25

    WAFFLE DAY (Sweden)

    Every year on March 25th, Scandinavians celebrate their love of waffles. Waffle Day is especially popular in Sweden, but Scandinavians in Norway and Denmark also celebrate the day.

    Christians in Sweden observe the Feast of Annunciation on March 25th. On this day, the angel Gabriel is believed to have told the Virgin Mary she was to be the mother of Jesus Christ. (This date is exactly nine months before Christmas Day). The Feast of Annunciation is also known as “Our Lady’s Day.”

    In Swedish, the word for Our Lady’s Day is Vårfrudagen. When said quickly, the word Vårfrudagen sounds like våffeldagen, which is the Swedish word for waffle. For this reason, Swedes are known for eating waffles on the Feast of Annunciation.

    Today, more people in Sweden eat waffles on this day, instead of celebrating the Virgin Mary.

    You probably already know what a waffle is. In case you don’t, it’s made with the same ingredients as pancakes. The difference between the two is that waffles are cooked between two plates or a waffle iron. One difference between Swedish waffles is that they are flatter than traditional Belgian waffles. This is because Swedish waffles are made without yeast.

    Most waffles are either square, round, or rectangular-shaped. Traditional waffles in Scandinavia, however, are four heart-shaped waffles stuck together. No matter what shape they are made, waffles always contain a pattern of squares, which are great for soaking up butter, syrup, and other toppings.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WaffleDay

    Just because this day is especially popular amongst Scandinavians, doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the celebration. Because, after all, who doesn’t love waffles? While Scandinavians usually top their waffles with jam and lightly whipped cream, there are many other creative ways to eat them.

    Try some of these yummy toppings:

    • Peanut butter, sliced bananas, and chocolate sauce
    • Marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbles, and chocolate sauce
    • Crushed pineapple, sweetened shredded coconut, and macadamia nuts
    • Cream cheese, lox, and capers
    • Canadian bacon, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce
    • Bacon, lettuce, and tomato
    • Applesauce, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts

    Another fun way to celebrate the day is to host a waffle party and let your guest choose their own toppings! You could also attempt to make your own Swedish waffles. Take a photo of your waffle creation and share it on social media with #WaffleDay.

    WAFFLE DAY HISTORY

    Christians in Sweden have most likely been celebrating the Feast of Annunciation since the 12th century. This was when Catholic missionaries Christianized the country. Swedes have been eating waffles since at least the early 1600s. Our team is still researching the exact date Swedes combined the two observances.

     

  • NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY – March 25

    NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY

    National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th recognizes all Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award for valor in the United States and was created in 1861. 

    On March 25, 1863, Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton presented the first Medals of Honor (Army) to six members of  “Andrews Raiders” for their volunteering and participation during an American Civil War raid in April of 1862.

    The Medal of Honor is awarded only to US military personnel by the President of the United States in the name of Congress for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

    There are three versions of the Medal of Honor; one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force; Personnel of the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard receive the Navy version.

    Since its creation, 3,468 Medals of Honor have been awarded to the country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coastguardsmen.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #MedalOfHonorDay

    • Some federal, state, local, and military organizations may hold events recognizing Medal of Honor recipients. These events may be public or private.
    • Volunteering for your local veteran organization
    • Donate to a veteran service organization
    • Adopt a Medal of Honor gravesite
    • Fly the U.S. flag at your home or business
    • Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    • Visit local memorial sites
    • Use #MedalOfHonorDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY HISTORY

    In 1990, the United States Congress designated March 25th of each year as National Medal of Honor Day.

    Medal of Honor FAQ

    Q. Have any women received the Medal of Honor?
    A. Yes. Following the American Civil War, President Andrew Johnson presented Dr. Mary Edwards Walker with the Medal of Honor for her volunteer work with the Union Army, often going behind enemy lines to care for civilians.

    Q. Has any U.S. president received the Medal of Honor?
    A. Yes, but only one. Theodore Roosevelt received the honor for his services during the Spanish American War. It was awarded to Roosevelt posthumously by President Bill Clinton in 2001.

    Q. Are the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Medal of Honor the same thing?
    A. Yes, but Medal of Honor is the correct term.

     

    March 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

    1807

    The British Parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act making the slave trade illegal in the British colonies. However, trade continued in the Caribbean until 1811.

    1867

    Three years after crews began, the Chicago Lake Tunnel is activated. The tunnel extends two miles into Lake Michigan to collect fresh water and connects to the Water Supply System of Chicago. It is the first water supply tunnel for a U.S. city, and the first of many water supply tunnels for Chicago.

    1949

    Hamlet wins Best Picture at the 21st Academy Awards. It’s the first British film to win an Oscar.

    1958

    Elvis Presley receives a regulation haircut from the U.S. Army.

     

    March 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

    Gutzon Borglum – 1867

    While Gutzon Borglum may be most known for his massive sculpture, Mount Rushmore, the artist created many more impressive works in his lifetime. Included in his collected works is a bust of President Abraham Lincoln carved directly from marble which is on display in the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol Building. Another is called, “Wars of America” and is displayed in Military Park in Newark, New Jersey. Borlum’s sculpture represents the significant military conflicts the United States had been involved in up to World War I.

    Howard Cosell – 1918

    The Emmy-winning American sportscaster with the distinctive voice and personality was a pioneer in sports journalism during his 32 years with ABC Sports.

    Flannery O’Connor – 1925

    The American novelist is best known for her short story collections. Some of her short stories include “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” and “Good Country People” found in her short story collection A Good Man is Hard to Find.

    James Lovell – 1928

    NASA Astronaut, James Lovell, flew four missions to space including as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission successfully returning the damaged Lunar Module and all onboard safely back to Earth.

    Gloria Steinem – 1934

    Gloria Steinem began her path to activism through freelance writing. Known for expose on New York City’s Playboy Club and launching magazines focusing on significant women’s topics while garnering criticism along the way.

    Aretha Franklin – 1942

    With 18 Grammy Awards, the Queen of Soul earned more than R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin started singing at a young age in the Baptist church of her father’s congregation. She would go on to be an R&B legend who continues to collaborate with artists across genres today.

    Elton John – 1947

    The award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, and composer has been creating hit songs since the 1970s. His music and his elaborate performances have left an indelible mark on music, fans, and pop culture.

    Sheryl Swoopes – 1971

    In 1997, Swoopes became the first player to sign with the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBA) in its inaugural season. As a guard and forward, Swoopes competed in 14 seasons in the WNBA for the Houston Comets, winning four WNBA championship titles. She also played for the Seattle Storm and the Tulsa Shock.

    Notable Mentions

    Stephen Luce – 1827
    Norman Borlaug – 1914
    Sarah Jessica Parker – 1965
    Debi Thomas – 1967
    Danica Patrick – 1982

  • TOLKIEN READING DAY – March 25

    TOLKIEN READING DAY

    Celebrated around the world on March 25th, Tolkien Reading Day is a favorite among fans of the renowned author. 

    J.R.R. Tolkien (Jan. 3, 1892 – Sept. 2, 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor.  He was best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarrillion as well as Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham. However, he has published more than 30 books, several posthumously. The author has sold more than 150 million copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and that number continues to grow. 

    The day encourages readers of all ages to explore the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and learn more about the author. With over 30 published works, he had a lot to say and not just about hobbits, though many are on medieval order.

    Can you doodle like Tolkien? Check out the video below. He was an avid crossword puzzler, too.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #TolkienReadingDay

    • While reading Tolkien’s amazing adventures, learn more about the master.
    • Take out your markers and pens. Draw up the creatures or doodle an amazing realm from your imagination. What will you create?
    • Create your own map of Middle Earth.
    • Download and print this Tolkien word search puzzle. Can you find all the Middle Earth words?
    • As you’re reading one of Tolkien’s books, make a list of all the new words you encounter.
    • Read some of Tolkien’s works and use #TolkienReadingDay to post on social media.

     

    TOLKIEN READING DAY HISTORY

    The Tolkien Society created this observance in 2003 to encourage the readings of J.R.R. Tolkien. They chose the date of March 25th because it matches the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

    Tolkien FAQ

    Q. What does J.R.R. stand for?
    A. Tolkien’s initials, J.R.R., stand for John Ronald Reuel.

    Q. Did Tolkien only write fiction?
    A. No. Tolkien also wrote a great many essays, contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary, and was especially adept at the analysis of language.

    Q. Did Tolkien invent languages?
    A. Yes. Tolkien spoke many different languages (as many as 17!) so he also had a deep understanding of how language evolves and develops. While the languages Tolkien created may not be as complete as modern languages, some of them are quite functional and many people even use them from time to time.

  • NATIONAL LOBSTER NEWBURG DAY – March 25

    NATIONAL LOBSTER NEWBURG DAY

    National Lobster Newburg day on March 25th ushers in a celebration worthy of a sea captain. An American seafood dish, Lobster Newburg includes lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs, and cayenne pepper. 

    Delmonico’s of New York debut Lobster Newburg in 1876. A sea captain by the name of Ben Wenburg developed the elegant and rich dish. After he demonstrated the recipe to restaurant manager Charles Delmonico, Chef Charles Ranhofer made refinements and they added the creation to the restaurant’s menu as Lobster a la Wenburg. It wasn’t long before the dish grew in popularity.

    However, an argument between Wenburg and manager Charles Delmonico caused the dish to be removed from the menu. After many requests from patrons, Delmonico’s returned the dish with a new name. The entree came to be known as Lobster Newburg.

    When is National Lobster Day?

    When Delmonico’s first opened in 1830, Brothers Giovanni and Peter transformed a small café. They created New York’s first customary restaurant with cloth-covered tables and printed menus. Similar to the café’s transformation, Lobster Newburg came about right around the time lobster was transforming from a poor man’s food to a delicacy. You see, before the mid-1800s, people considered lobster to be fish bait or food for prisoners. Lobster hadn’t been elevated to the luxury item it is today. But right around the time Captian Wenburg invented the dish, tourism by train and ship was taking off. Pair that with improved canning options (including lobster), and people were experiencing the seafood for the first time. 

    As dishes like Lobster Newburg, lobster tails, lobster bisque, and others found their way onto restaurant menus, the nation’s love of the crustacean grew. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #LobsterNewburgDay

    • Enjoy a dish of Lobster Newburg. 
    • Check out the history of Delmonico’s.
    • Learn more about the types of lobsters in the sea.
    • Explore the history of the lobster industry.
    • Who was Captian Wenburg?
    • Make Lobster Newburg. We even have a recipe for you to try.
    • Enjoy this Lobster Newburg recipe.
    • Use #LobsterNewburgDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL LOBSTER NEWBURG DAY HISTORY

    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this seafood holiday. However, we will keep fishing for the answer.

    Lobster FAQ

    Q. How many ways can you cook fresh lobster?
    A. You can cook lobster in as many ways as you cook other proteins. Lobster can be boiled, steamed, baked, broiled, and grilled. You can also use leftover lobster (is that a thing) to make soups, macaroni and cheese, and dips.

    Q. How big does lobster grow?
    A. According to the Guinness World Records, the largest lobster ever caught was in Nova Scotia, Canada, weighing 44.4 lbs. However, lobsters served in restaurants are regulated. Maine lobsters are served between 1 1/4 pounds to 4 pounds.

    Q. Is a langoustine a type of lobster?
    A. No, but they are in the same family as the lobster – Nephrodidae.